Are you working with an agent? Reason I ask is - no matter what the listing price is - a range or a "regular" list price - an agent should be able to provide you with an analysis of area sales - NOT FROM ZILLOW.
Now - not every agent knows what they're doing so they don't really know what they're looking for as for "comps". I have agents, in this business for over 20 years and they don't know how to pull comps. They'll try and negotiate with me on a particular property and they'll be pulling available homes in a completely different town, different style of home, etc... crazy. That WILL NOT help you as a buyer.
You can visit my site for some interesting articles about the market and other material to catch up on what's going on out there.
I understand the idea started in Australia and moved to California and now it is used around here. I also feel, that if the end user doesn't understand it, how can it be of benefit? But, statistics have shown, that once a home is moved into a price range, quite often it does receive more offers and sells.
Carol Bromm, SRES, CBR
Prudential Douglas Elliman, Babylon
Yes, I agree with you that the buyer would offer $449k at that point ( I had few times when the buyer had questioned that). I guess the goal is to have the listing come up in the search of the large price range, example if buyer is looking in $449k to $500k or $500k to $515k the house will come up in search.