There is no set formula, however if you enlist an agent that is familiar with the area and the REO company or bank - they can help you with that company's MO (mode of operendous). For instance, there is one company that is notorious for putting a listing price up and then they will reduce it every 14 days. Another one works strictly off of "net proceeds". Yet another one is famous for holding the price for as long as 3 months before becoming negotiable, but will discount hugely if you buy in a block (several listings at once).
Lakeland is not a hard area to sell even at retail pricing. They have the most sought after public school system in Shelby County, no city tax and newer homes - which make it very desirable to many people.
After you turn to a good Realtor for the statistic and representational part - then figure out what you are comfortable with, Then put the offer in - you will never know until you actually play ball - arm chair quarterbacks are just that........
Happy home buying!
Lipsey/Shaner Team LLC
Keller Williams Realty