Q: Is there a standard dollar amount or percentage that should be taken off a seller’s asking price when considering how much to offer? Also, is it standard practice for a buyer’s real estate agent to "get a feel" from the seller’s agent as to whether an offer of $225,000 on a $250,000 house would be acceptable, prior to showing the house?

A: One advantage to working with a Realtor is that you gain the advantage of their experience and knowledge as to the standard real estate negotiating and transaction practices in your area. But what is standard differs in different areas — and in real estate, markets are hyperlocal, so standard practices vary state by state, city by city, and even in different neighborhoods within the same city.

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