Hi Zeta, I have several buyers in escrow right now on bank owned homes in Santa Clarita, and I can tell you that a few of them actually had to offer over asking price in order to get the home. I would say banks tend to be more negotiable on the average that a regular home owner. The bank is not in the business to keep the home, so they will reduce and reduce until it's sold. A regular owner will often take the home off of the market if they can't get the price they want, and wait for a better day. With that said, banks are more and more throwing out an excellent price, as their FIRST price. So, it would be foolish to think that just because its a bank owned home, you can always just decuct (x) percent from the asking price, and have reasonable expectations as to whether or not the offer may get accepted.
You need to analyze the asking price versus current market values and local market conditions. If it's a good deal, then it's a good deal. It's quite common for a bank to really stick to it's first price for (x) amount of weeks or a month, until they decide to start negotiating it or cutting it. They believe they have done the proper due-dilligence when putting it up on the market, so they think in general their first price may be the "right" price, even though we know it may not be the case. But thats the reason they try and see what comes of their first offering and give it a "bit" of time.
Just recently I've had other buyers out bid my buyers on "new" listings that came out an very nice, low prices. So in Santa Clarita specifically, there is some stiff competition. But for each hot property, there are definitely some properties, bank owned too, that are just sitting and sitting on the market, usually due to it's condition, but more than likely due to price. Those are the homes I'd focus on trying to cut in price, especially if they've been on the market for 60+ days.
Contact me if I can be of any further help....just visit me at http://www.TheScvAgent.com