People can ask whatever they want for their property. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. They may have a better location, view, newer appliances, or other amenities that make their home have higher relative value than those in the neighborhood.
Number of bedrooms is key, though, and one reason why those wishing to add value to their homes will add on a bedroom because it puts their home into another pricing category versus just a remodeling job like a kitchen.
Usually a seller anticipates they will be negoted down from what they ask for their property. I think 5% to 7% was a norm I was told when I bought my first home, so they may automatically price up by 5% to 7%.
If the house just came on the market, then that is top price. It may have to sit a while before they decide to start discounting, but you run the risk of losing that house if you don't throw your bid in the ring before someone else does.
If you go with an appraiser, you must pay for that appraisal although that may just be $150 to $200. Be prepared to swallow that cost if the bid you submit is not accepted.
If you have mortgage financing through a bank or mortgage lender, an appraisal is typically REQUIRED before your loan is approved. This gives the lender confidence that the loan-to-value ratio is in an acceptable range according to their credit standards and that they are not financing a house priced too far above market. But you don't have to have the appraisal done if you don't want to before you make your bid.
Ask the seller when the last time the property was appraised and if they will share that information with you. Also ask what the total square footage is although fewer people are giving this information out because it provides too easy a yardstick to compare with other houses.
Completed my real estate training and passed the test. Have owned several homes myself. Am a banker by trade.