I found a stressed property (C class) in a nice neighborhood (B class) while on a business trip - a good candidate for making a deal. However, I have never purchased an off-market property, hence need some advice from the experienced folks on Bigger Pockets.

I need advice on:

1. How should I approach the owner? I have found the name of the owner through county tax records, but don't have any contact numbers.

2. Would it be advisable to hire a real estate agent to open the discussion on my behalf? Or should I rather get started myself and then bring in the real estate agent when the owner agrees.

3. I have not purchased a lot of properties myself and do not have experience in rehabilitation. Is this a big NO-NO for purchasing a stressed property out-of-state?

Thanks in advance