Arriving at a fair offer for a home you want to buy takes a lot of focused research on specific things. You can't always rely on your opinion of what a price should be worth because prices of properties depend on a lot of things. Some people make the mistake of just taking off a percentage of the list price, and they do this for every property that they make an offer on, as a standard. While it's true that some owners post the list price as higher than what they are willing to accept for the property (in anticipation for negotiations), some owners list the actual price of the property as the list price to avoid the hassle of extended negotiations. It's always good to come across as somebody who wants to make a fair offer. Here are things that may help you out with deciding on how much to offer for a piece of real estate property.
This means that you should find comparable houses and make a comparison between the list price of your property and other properties. For example, if you want to buy Carlsbad real estate, and are looking at a house that's 1000 square meters big, with three bedrooms and a two car garage, you should look through Carlsbad homes for sale with the same specifications. Of course there will be differences, like how old a house is, how well-maintained it is, little details on the architecture that raise the value of the house. As you explore more houses and study what makes one more expensive than the other, you'll be able to understand how houses are priced.
2. Find out the final price of comparable properties.
Other properties for sale would have list prices, but it doesn't mean that it's how much the property actually sold for. Check out the actual price that comparable houses in the area sold for and check if owners lowered the price just to sell the house, and if they did, how much did they lower it by?
3. Ask your real estate agent.
If there's somebody who can give you a rough estimate on how much a house should be valued at, it's a real estate agent. You can ask for his/her opinion as a supplement to your own research. Some agents work or buyers but more commonly, agents work for home sellers. Which means that their opinions may be at times biased. This isn't to say that real estate agents won't be honest with you. After all, they'll make money faster if they're able to sell a reasonably priced house to you. Not to mention that selling you an overpriced house will hurt their credibility. It's just important to have a point of reference, and your real estate agent's professional opinion could provide you with a different insight on the property you want to buy.
4. Factor in your own opinion.
One has to feel reasonably good about the purchase one makes. Ask yourself how you feel about the purchase and if you're not actually sold on the price, try to pinpoint why you're feeling that way towards the situation. There might be something there which you can't exactly put your finger on yet.