If that's the case, first determine the property's true value. Get your own agent to run comps. Discuss them with him/her; understand what's being compared, and what the property's real value is.
Then, if you want to make an offer, do so. Don't worry about the listing price. That's irrelevant. If it appears that your offer is a "low ball" because it's substantially under the listing price, so be it. Don't worry about it.
Some who comment on Trulia will advise supporting your offer with documentation--the comps, for instance--to justify your price. And that's OK. Probably a good idea.
My point, though, is simply don't overpay for the property. And you don't overpay by knowing the property's value, and then sticking to that number.
Good luck...Delia 510-219-0962
Prior to listing a property, I prepare an opinion of market value, AKA "Comparative Market Analysis" for my client and my own edification. Utilizing statistics from recently sold properties that are comparable to the subject property (i.e., my client's home) and properties that are currently for sale or "active", I generate a report that suggests a reasonable listing range based upon current market conditions.
I always tell my seller that I do not set the price; he or she does, informed by the market information I have presented and their current circumstances. For example, some folks need to sell their property ASAP, due to illness, relocation, divorce, etc. Others may have the luxury of "testing the waters" so to speak with the current pricing--for say a few weeks.
In any event, as a seller's agent, I try never to list a property at a price in excess of a reasonable estimate of market value.
Perhaps you should ask your agent for an updated market analysis of your property. If he or she refuses, perhaps it's time to look for an agent who understands the importance of realistic pricing.
You might also pay a few hundred dollars for a bona fide appraisal by a certified real estate appraiser.
In any event, you should be driving the bus, not your agent.
The best protection that a seller can have is comparable sales. Know the sales price of recently sold homes in your neighborhood similar to yours. A reputable agent should be able to furnish those comparables in an organized and understandable fashion. You can also know your competition by going to open houses or have your agent show you current listings in your area. You may have your home professionally appraised prior to calling agents to list your home. That will give you one more perspective on price.
Ask the agent to reduce the price! In todays market, price is a huge incentive to getting your property sold. If you are getting no showings the price is too high. If you are getting showings but no offers, the price is too high. I sometimes see sellers chasing the market down. They are always a bit higher than the market and the market keeps falling. Get in front of the market with a lower than market value and get your home sold before it loses more value!
If the seller suspects that price is too high --- and thank goodness for that seller's astute observation --- then he should discuss with, and instruct the agent to prepare a summary of the most recent statistics to identify the trend, then reduce the price accordingly. Remember, the seller should drive this bus.
If you would like an honest price opinion please let me know
First Team Real Estate
Are you sure it is the agent driving the pricing? It is unusual to hear a situation where the seller wants to set a reasonable price and the agent refuses to do so. After all, the agent only gets paid IF the listing sells.
In reality, the seller sets the price of the home, not the listing agent. If the seller tells his agent to reduce the price, then the listing agent is obligated to do so. If the agent won't do it, then the seller should contact the agent's broker (since the listing is legally with the broker). If all else fails, the seller should consider changing agents.