A foreclosed home is one in which the owner is unable to make his mortgage loan payments and the bank repossessed the home. These homes are usually not for sale until the entire foreclosure process is complete and the bank lists the home in the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS.) The foreclosure process involves three stages:
Pre-foreclosure: the bank filed a notice of default saying that the owner has fallen two months behind on the mortgage payments. At this point, the owner still has two to three months to try and refinance the loan or attempt to sell the home as a short sale.
Auction: the owners can't make the mortgage payments and the bank schedules an auction to sell the home "as-is" (meaning what you see is what you get) to the highest bidder. If the owner comes up with money at the last minute to begin making the mortgage payments, the bank will cancel the auction.
Bank Owned: the home failed to sell at an auction, and the lien holders of the home are paid off through private mortgage insurance or end up taking a loss on the investment. These homes are also known as REOs (real estate owned). The bank with the primary mortgage on the home is now the owner and will usually list the home with a real estate agent in the local MLS.