The one exception - if you find a home that is "the one" you have to balance being aggressive with how much you want the home. The "good" ones are still desirable and despite the market there are homes that are selling with high sale to list price ratios.
I have a different view than the other responses. Although I do like the 16% commission recommendation from Eager Buyer!
I grew up in Columbia Co. and I'm familiar with Martinez. In today's market no offer is an insult in my opinion as long as it's backed up by good data that supports the offer.
Work with a buyers agent. This is a free service to you since the seller pays all commissions so you may as well take advantage of it! If the list price is inflated then the 10%-15% off list rule is out the window. A buyers agent will check home sale data for the subdivision and surrounding area to see what fair market value is for the home. Make sure the data is up to date and no more than 6 months old.
In addition a buyers agent will check tax records for the original sales price the seller purchased the home for and get their mortgage history. This information can give you an idea about how much room the seller has to work with so you can get the best deal possible.
Good luck with your home purchase and if you need a good buyers agent in the Augusta area I would be happy to recommend one to you.
ERA Sunrise Realty
We are not your buyers agent determine what is your best interest submit a winning offer secure an execute agreement.
foreclosures always submit your best offer
you dont want to "insult the seller or listing agent who can close down any future offers from you they wont take you serious.
Same as Seller comment
There is an art in submitting offers best take direction from your realtor.
Note in some instances we instruct our buyer submit an offer OVER LIST PRICE home comp's with significant value.
But first let's decipher how the list price was arrived at. Often the seller (whether is is a bank or a "civilian") prices their home too high figuring a buyer such as you will lowball them and it will give them more room to neogitate. Other very savvy sellers will price their property 10% under the market to invite multiple offers and thus arrive at a higher than asking price. The only way you are going to know which kind of seller you are dealing with is ask your agent to run a search for comparable properties nearby. If it supports the asking price 10-15% is generally to much under. If it is under market, it will probably won't work.....but if it is over market in its' asking price, definitely. Your agent can guide you. They will also be talking to the listing broker to see what they think about the activity on the home. Any agent who does not want to do this for you should be left behind while you find one willing to work.