In a slowing buying cycle in the residential market I am always curious about the dynamics of why a buyer selects one house over the other. Beyond condition, location, and qualifying for the loan, I probed deeper. Buyers do buy on emotion and that's where their "gut feel" takes over. Many of the women make the final approval since they just seem to have better intuition.
What I have determined a key element in choosing one house over the other is floorplan or basic layout. How does the house flow? I saw two houses (one pre-owned, one new construction) that had an EXTREME U-turn rear driveway entrance into the garage. Even I don't think I could get a car in there. They both have been on the market exceeding 200 days. So the floorplan / layout issue comes down to competition. Do I have to live at this price with this wacky driveway? NO. Not when for the same price in the next neighborhood I don't have this problem.
Stealing and modifying from Bill Clinton, "It's the competition stupid!"
Home sellers need to understand this and preview similar properties in their price range. You only can change what you can change, then it's time to lower the price.