For example if it's a short sale, the negotiating may be different than negotiating on bank owned homes. Factors such as asking for a pest report can affect your success in being selected, believe it or not. And for $99 you don't want that to be the reason you weren't selected.
Finding the right realtor to get you fully informed is important. In that way, you make the final decision on what price/terms you want to offer based on your risk tolerance, but understand the risks that you are taking. Since no one knows what others might have offered on the property, your risk tolerance would be how willing you are to not be selected in order to save some money. Ultimately, you need to feel that when you finally are moved into the home of your dreams, you had gotten a good deal on it.
As the market changes constantly, there's no guarantees...but an educated buyer is my best client.
Consider your home buying experience as an adventure, then trust that the 'right one' will happen for you.
Good luck Shawn!
Homes in Sacramento County are selling for more than list price, so negotiating a price lower is a thing of the past. Don't let anyone tell you differently. Look only at homes that sell in your price range. You'll save yourself a lot of grief.
Best of luck to you.
All of your questions can be answered by a seasoned Realtor. Interview a couple pick one to work with and let them do all of the leg work for you. This is our job! A good realtor will be able to show a recent history of the house you are interested in as well as the comps for the neighborhood. We will also be able to suggest the best way to write your offer depending the your specific situation.
Good luck and let me know if I can be of more assistance.
James Blaylock, REALTOR
Keller Williams Realty