Who will win, the buyers or the sellers?

There’s a townhome down the street from me that has been for sale for quite a while. The “for sale” sign has been out front, with a little mailbox full of flyers for almost an entire year.

I pick up a flyer periodically, look at the price and say “How can this townhouse be worth $70,000 more than my duplex?”, and put it back in the mailbox.

The curious thing is that they’ve only lowered the price by about $10,000 over the past year. It could be that they aren’t that motivated to sell, and are just waiting for that one person who can’t live without that particular townhome. It could also be that they don’t want to admit that their home is probably not worth what the appraisal that they get a few years ago may have overinflated it to be. I don’t want to think about losing all of that imaginary money either. Er, equity, I mean.

Sounds like this seller isn’t the only one in this position, though. According to this article from bankrate.com, buyers and sellers are currently in a deadlock (or staring contest, perhaps), both waiting the other out to see who will cave first:

DENYING REALITY: Who’s going to blink first — house sellers or buyers? To put it another way: Will sellers drop prices in response to a big supply of houses for sale, or will buyers finally have to pony up?

“Even to this day we still have stubborn sellers who aren’t being realistic,” Mike Larson, a real estate analyst with Weiss Research, tells The Palm Beach Post. Reporter Linda Rawls writes that experts say sellers will blink first.

[The entire article is available here. ]

But do you know who comes out as the unlikely winner in this situation? The real estate agents — with a sign up for a year right down the street from me, real estate agent Harvey Knoll has become a household name…

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