Asking price is alot less relevant than comps from the last few months compared to the home you are buying and its overall condition and location. Also important is timing, in that if there are no others like it on market it may do better than if it is one of six in a subdivsion of like homes. This is why I go to about 12 open houses every week. You can't just look at list vs. sell. You need to know what's inside and how it compares both location and upgrade wise to its peers.
Best example, true story, all around the same time in Basking Ridge in The Hamiltons in the Hills.
A beautiful townhome came on at 524k and sold first day full asking. It was priced below others. There were about 5 that were the identical model, but only it and two others in a nice location. Another was on for 549 and got 535. Very close to the first one maybe kitchen a little nicer. At third sold for 515, and was also listed at 549. It had original kitchen, less hardwood, and not as many upgrades. One is still listed, just reduced, and is beautiful inside -- however, the location does not offer any privacy, and that is holding it back.
In reviewing the sale to list, the 524 at full price was actually the best deal for the buyer. The others, with steeper discounts over list, were not the "killing" that the first was. These sales are the poster child for comps, location, and value vs asking price. Asking price was quite irrelevant, and I know that some saw the 524 home and tried todiscount it based upon not paying full price, and lost out. All occurred around the same month, late August / early September. The one in the infrerior location with every bell and whistle is still on the market.
When choosing an offer price, make sure you have comps from the last few months, you know apples to apples how they compare, and any problems with location -- you can always upgrade, but you can't move a busy road or cell tower. If the seller is motivated and one comes on that is perfect but lower than the others, grab it. If there are several on market and they are all alike, make some judgements based upon days on market and recent comps, and offer accordingly.
Good luck. If you need a realtor, just give me a call. I will refer you to someone in Morristown, and be able to help you in the Basking Ridge area. For me it is key that you are with a realtor who knows the inventory, which is why I'd rather refer you in Morristown than do it myself as I cover that area, but do not know the inventory as intimately as you should have in your best interests.
PS - re winter: between Thanksgiving and New Years demand is sluggish, so you may get a better deal, but at the same time, the inventory is slow, so unless it's the perfect home, wait until spring. I have a feeling we are going to see quite a bit come on this spring as inventory is showing that people are holding back.
SO SORRY about the way the first post from iphone came out with the spell fixer.