Ultimately, keep in mind that the sellers are probably embarking on a major life change. They may be selling due to a job transfer, new baby, or the need for more (or less) space. It's a huge decision for them, and receiving an offer can be as exciting as it is nerve-wracking. So lead with your best offer. Be patient and understanding. See what happens. If you don't get the property, learn from the experience and move on. Who knows? You may find something even better.
Brendon DeSimone is a Realtor® and real estate expert based in San Francisco and New York. He is a contributor to Zillow Blog, has collaborated on multiple real estate books and is often quoted by major media outlets. Follow Brendon on Twitter.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Zillow.