When you make an offer, it is a good idea to have your agent write a note saying how you came up with the price. When I am a buyer's agent , I write saying my clients are qualified and love the house but they want to offer x because if they went higher they may buy another property or I explain the comps that support the low price. You need a buyers agent who will present your offer.But if you offer too low sometimes the seller may not counter the offer if they are not motivated. In this market I am sure they will consider all offers.
1. The price point of the house
2. Where the comps tell you the house should be priced
3. Most importantly: Do you want to buy a house or just see what happens?
Your question is a good one!! There have been several questions on Trulia that are very similar to yours. We wrote a blog post about it since it seemed like such an important question for buyers to get answered. I have attached a link to that blog post and we hope that you find in helpful.
I would always give my buyers some comps ( available, pending and sold transactions) to work with and let them decide on what offer price to make that is comfortable for them. Should they decide on a price that is $20k-$30k less, then that is their prerogative. I would always tell them that we do not know how the sellers will respond, but the good thing is there is a lot of other homes to choose from if the sellers do not respond well to their offer price. Good luck to you!