Asking Price is always just that...the asking price. As a buyer, you can't always know why someone is selling and how motivated they are. So, a buyer could always make an offer. However, understand that other buyers may be making offers too. The trick is to find the balance between getting a good value and actually getting the house. My experience in this market has been that when a home that is a good value hits the market, it goes fast. And value is also tied to condition, location, utility, etc. as well as price. So, in theory it is always negotiable, that is of course unless the seller doesn't have to negotiate, or doesn't want to. The key is finding a good buyer's agent that knows how to get the right information and guide you accordingly so you get what you want. Hope that helps.