You can ask for seller assistance as a buyer. But just know that when you ask a seller for help, there isn't much room for negotiating on the purchase price of the home. Also, depending on where you are wanting to puchase a home, you might qualify for a USDA loan. That loan allow you go purchase a home with 0% down and you might even be able to wrap your closing costs in on the loan if the house appraises.
You always need certified funds at a closing. However, if the amount needed is greater than $10,000.00 ~ you will need the money wired from your banking instituition to the closing company. GOOD LUCK!
A few things go into consideration when you want your earnest money back....1.) Have the seller accepted your offer?2.) Why do you want out?In our state, Indiana, if you just pull out of the deal--you are likely to lose your earnest money. Hope this helps.
Asking 15% off in this market right now is 'okay.' Just be prepared that depending on their (seller's) situation they may or may not be willing to go with your offer. Not being an expert in that part of the country, check to see if there are SOLD comps availabe from your local REALTOR or zillow.com. But do make a clean offer when you are asking for a deep discount. (Purchasing the home in AS-IS condition & have financing ready to go.) Good Luck! Let us know how it goes!