This week our listings saw an average of 1.6 each, which is the lowest average we™ve seen since I™ve been tracking this statistic. Recently, I discovered a new tool offered by Centralized Showings (CSS), which allows us to see showing statistics for all listings within their system. Their data agrees with my reports that showings are down dramatically since the first of the year. Consider that in October 2006 (which is as far back as the tool would let me go), the average number of showings per listing in CSS was 8, while the average almost a year later in September 2007 was 5.5. That™s a 31% decrease in showing traffic from almost a year ago. Additionally, the Charlotte Regional Realtors monthly publication was released this week and the following stats for the Carolina MLS show that the number of home sales were down 10.2% when comparing August 2007 to August 2006.
There ARE still people out there looking and making offers. The difference is that one year ago, if a seller missed an opportunity, another buyer would appear a few weeks later. Today, it could be a few months, instead of a few weeks, before the next buyer comes along. When a potential buyer does appear, sellers need to remember that they have one chance and can miss it if that buyer goes with a competing listing. If that happens, the buyer won™t be back. The law of supply and demand tells us that with fewer buyers and an increasing number of listings, sellers absolutely must offer a price attractive enough to keep the buyer from choosing the competition.