Once a property is listed for County auction (Sheriff or Tax), is it still possible to make a private offer? If so, would you recommend approaching the property owner or the lender? My assumption is that since the property is up for auction due to foreclosure, the lender would probably be the best option. Thoughts?
Depending on whether I contact the owner or lender, what would be the proper approach? Letter, calling the lender directly, going through my RE agent...?
Before the auction the homeowner still owns it so you would have to talk to them
You can certainly make an offer to the owner. But the lender does not own it until the sheriff sale is completed with no third party bidders. So unless the borrower gives you a signed authorization to speak with the lender (needed for a short sale), don't bother with the lender.
Don't involve your RE agent unless the property is already listed on the MLS.
Thanks for the feedback Thomas and Steve. Would you recommend contacting them by phone or sending a letter and let them respond?