We were doing some research this week, and were startled to discover that, from January 2010 through the present date, only one-third of all listings taken have sold. That means that, for every seller who put his or her home on the market and sold it, two sellers put their homes on and nothing happened. If you add those people who haven't bothered to list their properties due to the poor selling climate, there is a big supply out there.
Since real estate agents work solely on commission, this is obviously a troubling state of affairs. We only get paid one out of every three times we list a home, and listing always used to be the guaranteed way to make money, since the percentage of buyers who look and don't buy is higher than that of sellers who don't sell. The combination is deadly.
It does prove, however, that sellers should be listening to their agents about the price and improvements necessary to attract an offer in today's market. What's the point of cleaning everything up and making plans to move, only to sit there for two years without a sale? If you do want to sell, you need to do more than just sign a listing--you actually need to have a property in the top third of all properties, in order to sell it. That's food for thought.