First, you'll need to identify homes that are in -- or about to be in -- foreclosure. Identifying foreclosed properties as early as possible is important for giving yourself time to do your homework.
To find prospects, check the newspaper. Auctions for the city or county are often published in the legal notices section. Some areas even issue special publications with foreclosure listings. Real estate agents often keep a tight eye on certain neighborhoods, so if you know an agent in an area you desire, you may ask for a heads up about new foreclosures.
There are also companies that specialize in handling auctions for financial institutions, so you can get on their e-mail or mailing lists, or you can sign up for paid subscriptions to services that regularly provide you with foreclosure news.
If you have your eye on one particular property that will be in foreclosure, you can contact the lender's attorney or the trustee for information about the sale date.