Have your agent run a Comparative Market Analysis for you, based on other comparable homes recently sold... a CMA is not based on what this home was sold for years ago. Also, when negotiating, think of the Seller's outlook: they set a price they want, and you keep coming back $1000 up.. why would they sell for less than they are asking, if they are in no hurry to sell? Would you? Has your agent shown you any other homes in the immediate area that may be the same model? Do you have an agent representing you, or are you dealing directly with the Seller's agent? It's important to have an agent that represents you.
You don't "make" sellers come down, you reason with them, and if they don't come down, you either come up or go away.
But there's something even more important than the deal. And it is: where do you and your family want to live their lives, in this house, or the one on the next street?
This is something you have complete control over.
Since this is a "Nearly New" home, the Sellers may be getting close to the pay off of their mortgage, especially if they have an equity line. Have your Buyer's Agent check with your county Assessor's/Auditor's Office (or you can check on line, if you don't have a Buyer's Agent for the original amount of the mortgage and any equity line. This is info you need to know.
I realize it's a much larger price difference than the original poster is talking about but it's the same principal. You should pay what the house is worth in today's market. Not what the seller wants to get out of the house.
Sometimes sellers aren't ready to reduce their price especially if it means taking a loss on the property. We looked at a home were the seller bought in 2008 and wouldn't accept anything less than what he had paid for it. Even though we could afford it and loved the upgrades he made, we didn't want to over pay for a house and wound up getting the same exact model house on the same street for $50,000 less which was inline with recent comps. The house we're currently under contract with didn't have the same upgrades as the other house but the cost to make those upgrades will not be anywhere close to $50,000 and now we can make the changes exactly as we would want it.
James, thanks to you too for the advice. I understand that it is only 24.00 difference, but I guess it comes down to principal. Either take this offer, which is the first one and the has been on the market for 3 months so not too long, but the word is just getting out on the newly constructed houses. And I would think others would be thinking also oh a new house for the same price!! What advice can you give me if they still stick w 160000? Will going up to 157 or 158 change their minds? Or make them mad?