Locally it is a buyers market and I find that many people are curious about how much negotiation is typical off of a homes list price. I have been tracking this statistic for some time and interestingly, it does not vary all that much. The rule of thumb for many years has been between 2% and 4%. Here are % off list price during November for the past 9 years:
1998 – 2.03%
1999- 2.07%
2000 -1.82%
2001 – 2.85%
2002 – 2.86%
2003 – 3.79%
2004 – 2.85%
2005 – 3.53%
2006 – 3.31%

Obviously there is more negotiation in a Buyers Market than a Sellers market. But when the average days to sale increase during the same time period, like they have since 2000, it means that Buyers are being more picky about what they make offers on. I have also seen Sellers not consider offers in a certain range and then accept the same offer (of lower) after time has passed and they have reduced the asking price. Many buyers resist making an offer on a home they consider overpriced.

Print Friendly