Sometimes though you are just flying blind, and you have to trust your instincts. There is nothing worse in the house buying process than to find out three months later that someone got a home that you liked for a price that you would have paid - but you didn't make the offer - and they did. If the house has been on the market for a while you can come in under list price, but if it is new on the market, then be prepared for a competitive bidding situation.
If a property has been active for a little while you, as a buyer, have a better chance at determining just how flexible a seller's price is. Coming in with a solid offer based on market trends and comparable properties is always advised. Also, you should be prepared for the seller to counter your initial offer. While your goal is to get the best deal, the seller's goal is usually to make the most profit that he/she can. This back and forth is where your REALTOR can really prove their value. From advice on structuring your initial offer to helping you negotiate counter(s), your REALTOR should be able to walk you through each step of the process.
Jesse C. Sutton