Nationwide buyers are paying 2.7% below current listing price in October 2009 according to a recent report. This variation has been shrinking since January when buyers were selling 4.6% below list. All real estate is local, and in some Florida markets buyers are still paying more than 7% below listing price, and in some California area buyers are actually paying over list.
As a Cincinnati Realtor I can see what is going on locally in my market and this change is being driven by two main factors. The shrinking gap is being perpetuated by basic supply and demand economics, and a better understanding of fair market value by both buyer and seller. Buyers are more realistic about the price of their property, and agents are giving better advice.
As the year comes to a close sellers are reducing their price and creating a greater demand for their property which is yielding stronger offers. In addition the number of foreclosures being purchased is up and those properties tend to sell at or above list price skewing the data. What is most important as a prospective buyer is that your realtor provides you solid comparable data to help you make an informed decision on your purchase price.