1. The sale is a foreclosure and you can close quickly.
2. The seller needs to close quickly for a specific reason. (i.e. foreclosure sale is next week)
3. If you are paying more than the property is worth and it will not appraise.
4. You are in a declining market where lenders are wanting bigger downs to close loans.
5. You are buying a property at the court house steps.
First Team Real Estate
I assume based on the questions you have been asking via Trulia that you do not have representation? If you do not have a realtor, you should get one-especially for bank owned properties. It is not in your the best interest to utilize the realtor who is representing the bank.
In addition, whatever offer you make, if you know that there are multiple offers and you really want a house make the offer as clean as possible. There are so many homes with more coming on weekly in San Marcos. If you have a realtor who can give you a market outlook; comps, oncoming foreclosures in neighborhoods, etc you be able to make better decisions when it comes to offering price. In addition when it comes to bank owned properties, the longer it is on the market, the more leverage-you the buyer has.
In my experience, sellers and lenders alike are looking at the bottom line: their net.
I can't address foreclosures for your area. In San Mateo County the only way to buy a foreclosure is with all cash.