Gary is very correct in his response about doing inspections and your own due diligence on any property.
Working with an Accredited Buyers Agent is always a bonus.
A quality agent will not just call the listing agent for information. There are many avenues to follow in order to properly research the property and potential tax / asessment liabillities, as well as any local potential issues.
If you were to get an agreed price / terms on a bank owned property, there are almost always addendums the bank will want you to sign. They sometimes are very confusing to most buyers. I tend to have an attorney review them for my buyers. Don't let this scare you, it's part of the game, and a quality Realtor who has the knowledge, will quide you through the transaction.
Quality buyer representation is a must.
There are some great deals to be had. Just don't jump without someone on YOUR side.