Stubborn Sellers Stand Firm on Price

Some sellers say they are unwilling to lower their home’s price to reflect the current real estate market, which some housing experts say is contributing to high inventories and souring the real estate market in their areas.

For example, in Columbia, S.C., some sellers are keeping their prices high and waiting for the market to change, which is causing home sales in the city to continue to slump, even though other parts of the country are already seeing a rebound. The median price for single-family homes in Columbia rose 3.3 percent in January compared to January 2010, but the number of homes sold fell 11.6 percent in January. Home sales have dropped 40 percent since its peak in 2006 in the area.

“This is a price-driven market,” says Doug Bridges, a real estate agent with Coldwell Banker United, REALTORS®, in Northeast Richland, S.C. “You’ve gotta have your house better positioned than the next guy’s.” By not lowering the price, the homes linger on the market or have to be put up on the market multiple times, and a buyer often never comes forward.

Seller Jim Brodeur says he refuses to lower the $149,000 price on his two-bedroom, 1,200-square-foot bungalow in Columbia, S.C. He has unsuccessfully put the home up for sale himself three times in the past six years.

Brodeur says a lot of home buyers are looking for a steal nowadays, and “I don’t feel the urge to help anybody steal anything,” says Brodeur. “I don’t have to sell it, and I’m not going to give it away. If I lost my job, it would be different.”

Meanwhile, Bridges suggests sellers get an up-to-date appraisal of their property and have it available to buyers. He says buyers shouldn’t expect to nab the same price they could get a few years ago when housing prices were at their peak.

Source: “Many Home Sellers Won’t Budge on Price,” The State (Feb. 27, 2011)

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