Sean gave some great advice below. I would add and reiterate:
1.) Your agent works for YOU! Remind them of that and make sure they understand they are obligated to present your offer to the seller. If it is an "agent" and not a broker, you might want to sit down with both broker and agent and see if a meeting of the minds can be achieved with how you want them to represent you.
2.) Make sure you know your bottom line. In multiple offers on REOs the bank will normally come back to all and say, "What is buyer's best and final offer?" Remember they are trying to find the buyer who wants the property more than another buyer and is willing to up their price. If you know your bottom line and get the home, you will be happy when you put the keys in the door. If you don't get it, there are more out there and you didn't spend more than you wanted to.
3.) Be realistic about what you are offering. Make sure you are not simply making an offer that looks like an incredible deal to you but is truly way under priced for the market value. I am not saying don't be aggressive in your pricing but recognize that banks are looking to recoup a minimum of 85% to market value. Anyone that is near that or over, tends to get the deal.
When writing an offer, ask yourself, "What will I think if I don't get this house? Let that answer guide your negotiating strategy.
It's not uncommon for homes to not have offers and then get several in a matter of minutes or hours. The banks count on this. That's why they tell you nothing is a done deal until the bank fully executes the contracts.
Have someone you trust show you the recent comparables on a square footage basis so you can make an informed decision about whether to up your offer or not.
Thanks for the opportunity to help. I'd be happy to run the comps for you if you like for FREE and at NO OBLIGATION. I can be reached directly at 951-571-9229 or email@example.com
As others recommended, you should sit and talk to your agent. Your agent is probably as frustrated as you are with the way bank are going through selling these foreclosed homes. I take my client to preview bankown properties and by the time they decide to write offers the bank have received 3 -5 offers already. Some for higher than asking price. I rather find a home for a buyer at a lower price so I can move and help another buyer. Try to calculate what 3 to 2% commission is on the amount that your agent will tell you to increase your price by. It is not enough to justify lossing your trust and your business. If you have other reasons to not trust your agent than you need to find another agent who you can trust.
Prudential California Realty