Sellers becoming more realistic, buyers, not so much…

HomeGain, one of the first websites to provide free instant home values, announced the results of an extensive nationwide survey on home prices based on the responses of over 1,150 Realtors. The survey shows that 36% of homeowners think their homes should be listed 10 to 20% higher than what their Realtors’ recommend, down from 45% in the first quarter. Conversely, 64% of homebuyers think that homes are overpriced versus 59% who believed the same in the first quarter.

“Realtors are in a unique position as they get to hear both sides of the home price story – the buyers’ and the sellers’. They then apply their own home valuation analysis based on their understanding of the market which often meets resistance from buyers and sellers,” said Louis Cammarosano, General Manager of HomeGain. “The results of our second quarter Realtor home prices survey indicates that home sellers seem to be getting the message that perhaps their homes are not worth as much as they thought they were, while buyers are expecting to find a bargain on every corner.”

This is exactly what I am seeing in the Indianapolis area as well. When I meet with sellers, I am finding that they are much more realistic in pricing their home than in previous years. It seems that they have finally heard the media that has been telling them for the past few years that home prices are going down. More and more sellers just want to get out what they put into the home, or break even. Sometimes, a homeowner even thinks their home is worth less than my findings, and want to underprice the home.

While sellers are bringing down their prices, buyers are still thinking they can lowball offers on the house. Of course, you can make any offer you want to, but I am seeing that it is no longer an effective strategy. Homes are moving, and some of them are going quickly. Especially in the lower price range, I have seen buyers offer above list price and still be out-bid on HUD homes and bank-owned homes.

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