Good morning Jennifer,
Don't ever be timid about any offer - ever .. and don't let any realtor make you feel bad about a lower offer.
If I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like the typical realtor that has bought another house and he's running it "Exclusive" because he's too cheap to split the commission.
If you've done your homework and you know and feel it's 20% higher than the market value, than it probably is .... I would start 22/25% back of asking, with *you* sitting at the table -- and don't be afraid of any reaction, thats why the good lord has made counter offers .l.o.l..
There's 3 prices when you go to sell anything:
He'd love to get the "asking" price (don't we all!) .. but in his mind he might take the "liking" price after just a few counters ... and it might take 2/3 days of counters on both sides to get to the right "taking" price .... or, the house might be fresh on the market and you have a seller that needs an education, remember you drew first blood and you can bet he'll get his feelings hurt -- but you're not there for his feelings, you're there to buy his house.
Sometimes new sellers get stupid, especially realtors ... in our last purchase we had boiled it down to 3 houses, the 1st choice was a home owned and being sold by a famous realtor via FSBO (don't you just love it!) I made the offer and he laughed ....
I was told he had a buyer that would give him much more than my offer ... my question was, where is the offer and does he know for certain the buyer is approved or can qualify: "immediately" .. his response was - "this person owns many homes" .. and my question again: does he know for certain the buyer can qualify "immediately" or can write a check for it right now - again "this person owns many homes" --- he had nothing.!
It's been 14 months and he still owns that house ... in the meantime, we moved on 14 minutes later and bought choice #2 that ended up being superb purchase and a better location for less money, he did us a great favor.