Just a year and a half ago (seems like forever, doesn't it) buyers were watching homes sell for 3%, 5%, 10% or more above list price. Buyers were suffering and some were getting priced out of the market. Did sellers look around and say "Gee, my neighbor got $XX just six months ago; I don't think we should price it as high as the Realtor suggests." No, of course not. They ran with the trend and grabbed what they could and that was fair and right because that's what buyers were willing to pay and lenders were willing to lend. That's how markets work.
Yet now, when the market won't bid what we (in our agenty wisdom) think it should, based on what the neighbor got months ago (comparable sales), we and the sellers get frustrated.
But this is not something to get excited about. This is just the pendulum swinging hard in the other direction. We had a frenzy going up and we'll have turmoil in the other direction until things settle out. The hard part is for the party on the unfavorable side of the trend (Buyers then, Sellers now) to adjust to the present reality and move forward.
Our job as agents is to help our client get the best price and terms that best meets their needs at the time, whether we are on the listing side or the buyer side.
If we're the lister, we dig in hard and use the comps to defend price and get as much as we can. We point out features and benefits and what makes a particular home more desirable than a competing property. We do whatever we can to drive more traffic to the home and generate more potential offers. We give up price and terms grudgingly and net as much as we can out of a sale. If we did that, we did our jobs, even if the home sold for less than the neighbor's did 6 months ago.
If we're on the buy side, we look at trends and inventory and try to get the best value possible. We point out the surplus of inventory in similar properties. We recognize that there probably isn't a "perfect" home and look for the best one to meet the buyer's needs that we can get at the best value to the buyer.
We, as agents, (and our clients, too) need to remember our role in the dance. We don't make the market, we interpret it. We work within it and work to maximize our client's position. We provide information and advice. But in the end, it's up to the buyers and the sellers, the actual principals, what too much or too little is.