You found a house that seems perfect and you really love it. The chemistry is there, and the price is right. If you are like many buyers, you start off by asking the real estate agent if the sellers will take less than they are asking.

A real estate agent doesn’t know what the sellers’ bottom price is. The sellers often don’t know themselves until they get an offer. In many cases, the price is negotiable, but the only way to test it is to make the sellers a written offer to accept or counter.

Attractive, well-priced homes usually sell quickly in any market. If you get involved in offers and counter offers, another buyer could come in with a better offer while you are negotiating back and forth. If you cannot qualify for financing at the asking price and you are willing to risk losing the house, you can make a lower offer. But if it will break your heart to lose a home you really love and you can afford it, it may be better to avoid bargaining and simply pay the asking price.