We spent some time this week going over our listings, to get a sense of what inventory we have for current buyers to see. While we have more listings than we had six months ago, we found that we had the same distribution--a few new listings that are being shown a lot, a few short sales where the banks are taking so long to approve offers, or simply rejecting all offers, that they won't sell at all, and a bunch of listings that we know are overpriced, and are usually not even being shown.
In addition, we have recent anecdotal evidence matching what we have always known--houses that sell quickly for the highest prices are those that are perceived of as well-priced and likely to disappear if not bought right away. We just sold a home in four days that had been listed twice before without success. What was the difference? This time the owners took the Realtors' pricing recommendation, had a lot of showings right away, started a bidding war, and ended up getting over the asking price. One more notable fact about this house is that it is in pristine, move-in condition. That's what buyers want now. No more DIY projects, or deferred plans for upgrading. What sells is what's perfect, or close to it.
So the bimodal distribution of inventory continues--a little bit of choice on great, well-priced, new listings, and a lot of signs on properties that aren't going to sell quickly. Sellers, take note!