It is up to you, as the buyer, to offer what you think a house is worth. Why pay any more for a house simply because the seller thinks it is worth a certain price? Do not worry about insulting a seller. You never know if you are making a seller's day in that nobody might have made any offer on their house. Imagine if you don't make an offer on a house because you fear that you will insult the seller, only to later find out that the house sold for less than what you were going to offer for it.
A real estate agent should be able to provide you the average percentage of the list price that houses are selling for in your area. However, that number alone should not set your offering strategy since you do not know which sellers are overpricing their houses and which ones are underpricing their houses. That number will tell you is whether the market is hot or not. For example, if houses are commonly selling for above list price, then that market is hot.
Simply put, as a whole there are many scenarios when it comes to price, so analyze your situation in its entirety and consultant your agent.
It depends on the house and who is selling it. Remember that regular people who are selling the house are going to react emotionally to your offer. You want to offer a price that doesn't insult them so that they are encouraged to negotiate. I have seen better final prices with a better initial offer. That said, if a bank is selling the house, it is a more businesslike deal. If you can explain a low offer to a bank in an accompanying letter with your offer, you will have better luck. The agent you choose has to be experienced in the local market so they can guide you through the process. All the rules have changed in the last three years. Make sure your agent knows that! Best wishes with your offer. Let me know if I can help.
Associate Broker, First Realty
Best of luck to you!
Another thing to consider is the type of financing you will obtain and the type of sale. Banks selling a property handle offers differently than a private seller. Fannie Mae Homepath financing does not require an appraisal whereas an FHA loan does. You will not be able to offer more than market value with FHA financing in a competitive bidding situation whereas with Homepath you could.
By the way Debra and or Ashley, how about a thumbs up. :)
Both Ashley & Chris have given you sound responses to your question. I, however, do not use a "percent" when discussing with my client as to a possible offer price. Once you have pulled the current active listings and what has been sold, along with the actual condition of the property is what helps me ascertain a ballpark for purchase price. As, Ashley commented, f price is determined currently by the motivation of the seller & by Chris, in how much you want the property.
Hopefully, we have been able to help you with your question! Have a blessed week:)