I believe this is why having an experienced Buyer Broker is critical. Buyers need someone who can quickly gather up all the information about a property, and comparable properties that have sold within no more than 180 days and accurately analyze this data and present it both to you the buyer to educate you on the true value of the property as determined by the market; and at the same time use this data when presenting your offer so that the Seller sees exactly what you're looking at and understands the reasoning behind your offer.
I don't know where you're looking to buy, I work in the Research Triangle area and would be happy to assist you if this is where you're looking in North Carolina. If not, check out the link below to a recent blog I've posted here on Trulia on how to find a great Realtor.
Good Luck and Happy House Hunting.
This is where Buyer Broker agency comes in. In this position, you become the client......your real estate agent can pull comparatives and advise you of the proper offering price to put in in order to have a better chance at obtaining a particular home.
All the best
The list price is not always the sell price.
In real estate, everything is negotiable. But one must always negotiate wisely and surely, not necessarily aggressively. It's a tricky part...your offer can be countered, but it can also be rejected!
Are you asking this from the standpoint of the buyer or the seller? The strategies to negotiate are different depending on whether you are selling or buying. They will also depend on the condition of the property, the days it's been on the market, the comparables, the motivation of the seller, the motivation of the buyer, the inventory, the trends. Your agent can help you gather data such as the List Price/Sell Price ratio etc...
Best of luck!
PS: do you want a Carolina agent referral?