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Inventory Levels Drop

One of the positive signs in the SLO County real estate market is that inventory levels have dropped. As of 10/1/08 we were at 2553 residential units (homes, condos, PUDs). On October 1st, 2007 we were at 3127 units. So, we’re down 18.4% from last year!

This doesn’t mean that the inventory was reduced by an increased number of sales. For the first 9 months of 2007, 1791 homes were sold in the County. For the same period in 2008, there were 1528 home sold which is a 14.7% decrease.

The Months of Inventory (MoI) calculation also shows that sales have been pretty steady. You can see inventory levels for individual cities and the MOI’s here – http://www.slowatch.com/inventory.htm.

What is helping to lower the inventory is fewer homes being listed. So the homes that are coming on the market are less than the total number of homes coming off the market (pendings, expired listings, withdrawn, or cancelled).

BTW, a withdrawn listing means that a home was taken off the market but it is still under contract with a Brokerage. A cancelled listing means that both the Seller and Broker has agreed to cancel the listing.

While withdrawn listings may mean that the seller wants to take their home off the market for a time to do repairs and then put it back on the market, it may mean that they just don’t want to deal with the Listing Broker/Agent anymore. But, unless the Broker agrees to cancel the contract, the Seller still is under contract. If the Seller went out and had another Broker list their home without cancelling the first Listing contract, the Seller could be responsible for paying TWO commissions if the home was sold.

This is why I would recommend putting in the Listing Agreement that the Seller is able to cancel the contract for any reason. If not, the Seller could be committed to one Broker for the length of the listing contract (6, 9, 12 months or longer). I know that some Brokers won’t put in a “cancel anytime” clause in the contract as they don’t want to put money and time into marketing a listing and then have the Seller cancel it. But, if you feel strongly that you want a “cancel anytime” clause, then find a Listing Broker that will agree to it.

Written by Keith Byrd - Go to Keith's Website/Profile