You sound like a smart and savy buyer. that's a good thing in this market. Smart Representation is important also, especially because a buyer's representative will have your interest in mind all the way. Most importantly whle the selling agent is selling the listing to you,the buyers agent will be selling the purchase and offer to the seller, You can;t make anyone buy ior sell for that matter. What you can do is present an offer in a way so the seller will think it''s the last best offer they will get. $20k is not much to take off the table in this market, Every price is negotitable, even lowered valued homes still have plenty of concessions that can be given. There are so many anxious sellers out there and they are pretty easy to pick out too. A good Buyers agent will get the job done for you and work hard at it.
I invite you to call me and talk at your convenience with no hassles or obligation. I work in Turnersville and can provde some very good market info. and show you a negotiation plan of action that will work for you.
Calling a bottom if difficult. I see interest rates rising in the near future. Since a stablization fo values has occured, I see no real infection of the current prices moving downward. i don;t see them going upward for a while either, Buying a distressed seller will drive a market down in an area for a short time but eventually it snaps back, and that could mean some instant equity(a difficlut thing to find in this market) but if you are moving into a new home, especially as first time home buyer, you have great advantages now! That doesn't mean buying the first house you see, it just means you have control.. It's the first time in many years it has ever been this strong on the buyers side too. Call me 609-868-1171