There are How to books in the local libraries that you can check out. I too, recommend working with a Licensed real estate agent because we: Have access to not just foreclosures but also motivated sellers, know foreclosures(REO'S) asking prices are based on broker price opinions which mean the banks are looking for "Fair Market Value". this means you most likely won't get a better deal because they have a before repair asking price and after repaired price. MOST newbie investors compete against the experienced and take a guess who usually wins, in the end.
I suggest working with an Buyers agent, as a client not as a customer; you have a much better chance at getting what you want.