Montrose is a fast growing community and enjoyed rather significant increases in home values from about 2003 through 2007, until the market started flattening out. Values have remained fairly static since 2007, the good news for home owners being that there hasn't been any depreciation in values. The average sale price last year was about $217,000. Right now the "magic number" is $200,000, meaning homes in that price range or under are still moving fairly well, even though we're down in sales volume by about 34% since last year.
It's actually a great time to buy in Montrose right now, because there is a lot of inventory, from brand new construction to very old homes, and interest rates are still quite low. A new or newer 3 bedroom, 2-bath home can still be had for under $200,000, but most are running in the low $200,000's. What I see happening in this market is that buyers are too optimistic about getting great deals and are making very lowball offers, which are rejected, and sellers still think we're in the hey-day of 2 or 3 years ago and price their homes too high. But there is definitely some room to negotiate. You are right not to believe that an asking price actually reflects true market value or what a seller might be willing to take.
Most real estate brokers and offices have what is called IDX (information data exchange) on their websites (such as mine), which will allow you to search the entire local MLS. You can also sign up to be sent automatically new or changed listings that meet your criteria. That's a good way to get a feel for the market, especially, for homes that suit your needs and price range. I hope you find what you're looking for.
Have you looked into Delta Colorado? A few minutes North of Montrose? I work in that area and you can absolutley get more house for your money relative to Montrose.
It's not that you're not capable of resaerch, you just need a Real Estate License to access the Sold comparables and the mitigating details included in the MLS database.
Remember there is nothing to be gained by going it alone. I costs you nothing to have an agent represent you as a buyer. It can cost tens of thousands if you go in blind.
That's just my opinion, you can take it or leave it. Good Luck!