Sheriff Sale-Questions

I have some RE experience but it has been a while. I currently own 2 rentals and serious about accumulating more properties through leverage of equity in those homes and/or other means. I found a house that goes to sheriff sale in less than a week. Rather than watch it go to sheriff sale i am wondering how I might go about acquiring it. Should I just approach the owner? Even if that means knocking on their door??? The home appears to be occupied still. Or is it too late at his point? Should I jut go to the auction and bid? (i am a little gun shy on that yet because, although I beleive i can pull a line of credit from my other properties, I have not yet arranged that and the Sherrif sale only gives you 10 days to come up with financing.

Also, in the RE investement world would this be considered a “pre-foreclosure” property? Or, has the bank essentially already foreclosed and this is just the final step in that process?