Hey there, Chuck!
Okay... Buckeye makes sense. I was scratching my head and wondering which part of Phoenix proper was "rural." LOL
Unfortunately, the banks are as inconsistent and unpredictable as they've always been. Some of them even hire asset management companies to handle the REO sale for them. The one thing that holds true is there is NO method to their madness, if you know what I mean.
But a good Buyer's Agent can provide you with the comps, research the property, and otherwise provide you with the necessary information on any given property so that you can make an informed and savvy offer.
For instance, sometimes a lender will be extremely motivated to get a property off its books. They might very well price it 20% below current market values. In that case, to offer them less than list price is almost a sure way to have your offer rejected. Also, pricing like that on a decent condition home will almost always attract multiple offers, thus creating a small bidding war among the buyers. Make sense?
Hope that helps explain the situation, Chuck. Feel free to email me directly if you have any other questions of I can assist you in any way.