How do you buy a foreclosure house and do you need an agent?

You virtually never "need an agent" for any real estate transaction. Because of the strained situations in foreclosures it's likely that they aren't involved.

Most mortgage companies will provide you a list of properties they already have foreclosed on, if you contact them for their Real Estate Owned list (REO). Of course, a bank knows the value of what it has and i wouldn't expect a real great deal from them.

Most areas require foreclosure by public auction and that auction must be advertised in the business papers. You can go and bid, but of course, you will be bidding against the lender, and have to have funds ready to close the deal.

Buying forclosures (or about to be foreclosed) is an art and does not mean you would get a deal. First, if there is actually more value in the property than the mortgage that's being foreclosed, the person should be selling it just like any other property. If s/he won't (because of personal sometimes foolish reasons), that's where the art of having him sell it to you comes in. If the mortgage is more than the value...well that's no deal to buy as the seller needs to pay off the mortgage to give you title. And remember, frequently, the owner stopped caring/maintaining the property well before he stopped paying the mortgage. And remember too it can be risky and more expensive for you than the lender, as the seller may well have other debts that have attached to the property and will have to be cleared. (The lender in whats caled first position, doesn't have to worry about these other lesser priority leins, but you do).