Each bank/lender works a little differently, but they all have similar goals. They want to get the best price possible and have no interest in "dumping" real estate cheaply. Generally, banks have an entire department set up to manage their REO inventory. Most homes will have several agents not associated with the sale create a BPO (Brokers Price Opinion) that will help the bank determine the price. Banks are selling a lot of homes right now and work hard to find a balance between protecting their assets and determining a price that will sell the property quickly.
Once you make an offer to purchase you may get a quick answer or it may takes days. Sometimes you will be notified to submit your “best” offer as multiple offers have been submitted. Banks may present a "counter-offer." It may be at a higher price than you expect, but they have to demonstrate to investors, shareholders and auditors that they attempted to get the highest price possible. You should plan to counter the counter-offer.
Your offer or counter-offer will probably have to be reviewed and approved by several individuals and companies. Even once an offer is accepted, the bank may insert wording like “..subject to corporate approval with 5 days."
If you have not done so by the time you accept the banks offer you should have the house inspected by a professional. If you are waiting for an inspection, and already have the contract drawn up you should have an inspection contingency written into the agreement, so that you can pull out of any deal if the result of an inspection produce surprises or faults you are not comfortable with. You should always remember that the bank or loan company will always want to sell the property ‘as-is’