Often in Lethbridge, people will offer $20,000 under list price. It can still be considered a buyers' market here, and sometimes, that is justified. But there are times, when you compare a house with other listings, the price it is at is the right one, and it is a good deal the price it is listed at.
Sometimes people feel that they need to get a certain amount off of the list price, and are more caught up in negotiating, than the home they really want. Often people already know what they want to offer, before they have even seen the house.
For example, there could be a great house listed at 250,000, when the comparable houses are listed at $260,000. There are stilll some people who would like to go in at $230,000.
Of course, it is the buyer's right to go in at whatever price they want, and their Realtor's responsibility to negotiate the best price for them. But sometimes people are happier if they buy a house worth $250,000 for $250,000 when it's listed at $265,000, (than if it's listed at $250,000).
What I'm trying to say I guess is that the value of the home at the price you pay, is much more important than the amount you can negotiate off of the sticker price.
It saddens me when I see people give up on the house of their dreams because they are hung up on sticker price. And it is not necessarily that it wasn't the house of their dreams, it is just their principal that they have to negotiate.
A few times when it is harder to negotiate off the list price:
1) When it's a fresh listing.
2) When it's had multiple price reductions and finally where it should be.
3) When it's a listing from a builder, (in this case, it might be easier to negotiate extras such as appliances, and landscaping rather than an amount off the list price).
4) When it's a multiple offer situation, (then you are competing against people who may be willing to pay more than list).
Again, it is your Lethbridge Realtor's responsibility to negotiate the best price possible for you. But it is also her responsibility to help you secure the home of your dreams.