Hi Fat Franky,
You asked if aggressive low-balling was a good stragegy and I would have to answer... that depends... It depends upon who is selling the home (private party, lender, or corporation), what the seller's circumstances are (do they want to sell or do they have to), what their financial situation where that property is concerned is (do they owe more on the property than it can be sold for, do they own it free and clear or are they just trying to recoup as much of their investment as they can allowing for current market conditions).
A good Realtor will be able to find out most of this information for you. As for it being a "Buyer's Market", I would say that it is once again, depending upon what you are trying to purchase. Generally, a Buyer's Market occurs when there is more than 6 months of inventory available in the desired market area. When supply exceeds demand than the buyer should be able to benefit. However, in our current market where the preponderance of homes available are in some form of distress (Bank Owned, Pre-Foreclosure, Short Sales) and when there is strong demand for these homes (multiple offers, investors willing to purchase all cash with no or few contingencies, seller's demanding an "as is" purchase and saying up front that no repairs will be done or credits will be given) that sounds a whole lot more like a Seller's Market to me.
Are you in a good position potentially based upon what you have shared here? Yes, it would seem so. Can you as for concessions from the seller of the home you want to buy (like paying for your closing costs, buying down your interest rate for you, credits for repairs)? Yes, you should be able to, depending upon the specific circumstances of the desired property and how you structure the request.
Also, a good Realtor should not view a client who wishes to get the best price that they can for a home purchase a "nightmare". When I work with a client before we ever walk into a house to view it, I have already done a considerable amount of research on that property to get a feel for how close the pricing of the home reflects current value. I share this information with my client so that they will have a better understanding of what odds we might be facing before we ever write a contract.
I try to help them structure an offer that the seller can accept and I send the seller all the information we used to arrive at that dollar amount if we are offering less than listed price. A good, clean offer which does not insult the seller and still gets the buyer what they need to make the deal comfortable for them is, in my belief the best strategy to pursue and the one that has the best chance of being successful.
If you need any additional information or have any other questions, please feel free to get in touch.
Take care and have a wonderful day!
Tisza Major-Posner, Realtor, IVPG Realty (909) 837-8922 or (213) 392-4084 firstname.lastname@example.org