house in auction was bought before it was auctioned

I have been tracking a house in auction since september.? It was my understanding that you could not purchase the house before it went to auction, as the owner had the opportunity to auction their own home.? Now I see that this house was sold before it was auctioned.? What happened?

A homeowner can sell there home to anyone they want at anytime they want. Being in foreclosure does not change that.