If the property is a steal, well... figure it is a steal and that the listing agent is fishing for multiple offers. If it looks like a square deal why offer asking price when virtually nothing sells for asking price today?
Your agent will provide very best information, assistance and guidance. If you don't get it...
If you're enamored with Fairfax consider expanding your geographic parameters a bit. There are some coterminous communities/neighborhoods that may tickle your fancy.
Regardless of the type of property it is a buyers market and offering asking price is generally unnecessary. Again, your agent is your main and best source since we've all access to the same information. The only differences between agents are intelligence, experience, integrity and diligence.
I think you are part of trulia after perusing your profile.
Tracy ca? and Kentfield questions? hmmmm very strange
If your selling agent gifts you 1/2 of their seller-paid commission in escrow to help you afford more home, then you can
offer a bit more maybe if there is competition for your dream home in Fairfax.
Some brokers are doing very good things to make home buying more affordable in marin.
Some conditions I think may apply, such as working in marin to avoid crazy commutes.
Good luck Halley and since my Mom grew up in Tracy in the 20s and I know first hand- Marin is nicer.