Generally in France a vendor will be asking for a price at which he is willing to sell. Therefore most commonly you will start with an offer below asking and you will then enter into a period of negotiation with the vendor.
There are exceptions to this rule where the property is either an inheritance sale or forced sale. In these situations a fixed price has usually been agreed and it is very hard to negotiate away from this price. As we will be in direct contact with the Vendor, we will be able to advise you on the situation.