There are typically three types of Real Estate market conditions. The most common are a "Buyers Market", a "Sellers Market" or a "Neutral Market".
At this time, in the HRM specifically, it is a buyers market. It is not unusual for a buying client to view 20+ homes before making a decision. Even then they may be sceptical about putting in an offer. When they do offers could be far below asking price. If the home has been on the market for some time it is also possible that the offered price may receive very little negotiation.
Is this to say that at this time all buyers should try to "low-ball" Sellers? Certainly not! As in all markets a fair and reasonable price will be accepted a lot faster than a low offer. It also allows for more room in negotiating other factors in the deal, such as closing date, items included or excluded, and items that may be revealed upon inspections.
Remember, being fair in your offers will make the rest of the negotiations go a lot smoother which will, in turn, allow the complete deal to go a lot smoother!