Things are improving. I'm an eternal optimist anyway, however statistics support my statement and that's great news. Still, it's no cake walk by any means.
So what is the secret to success in this market? Is price always the answer? Well, yes and no. The real answer is value, and that concept requires a little perspective.
Value is subjective, it's relative, and is always established by the buyer. By definition, we would expect subjective value to differ from person to person. A homeowner often has strong feelings about the value of their home, but truly, the perspective of the buyer is what matters. Consider a swimming pool as an example. A buyer might be willing to pay more for a home with a pool because they "value" that feature whereas another buyer has no interest in a pool and therefore assigns no value, and may even eliminate the house altogether from consideration.
A relative analysis of value is also from the buyer's perspective. It is usually a side by side comparison of features, condition, and of course price, of competing listings. But, the relative value discussion can include a buyer's previous home or new construction versus resale, etc. A day of house hunting naturally leads to a stack ranking and elimination process. Floorplan, paint color, which way the house faces, backyard size, are just a few of the eliminating criteria I've seen. How is a seller supposed to compete with that? The short answer...unfortunately is price.
When the price comes down, the "value" should go up. And when you find the perfect buyer and the right balance of price and value, you'll find success in selling your home. Of course, that assumes the appraiser agrees with the buyer's opinion...a discussion for another day!