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Last-minute spats over price have sellers, agents crying foul

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis March 1, 2011 07:53 AM

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A growing number of home sales are falling apart and appraisers once again are taking the blame.

A quarter of real estate agents surveyed in January reported they were left scrambling when a low appraisal clashed with the sale price, according to the National Association of Realtors. Ten percent of agents reported they lost deals, with the other 15 percent saying sellers had to lower prices or put in more equity.

A third of home builders are also blaming low appraisals for lost sales, according to this USA Today piece.

Sounds like a theme we've heard before during this real estate downturn. I mean the real estate market would be on its way to a rebound if it weren't for those lousy appraisers and their persistently negative attitude towards home values, right?

That's what the big girls and boys of the real estate sales industrial complex would like you to believe, but I'm not buying it nor should you.

It's an inconvenient fact, but after falling 30 percent from peak, home prices are sliding downhill again across the country.

This is shaping up to be the year of the double dip.

Not only that, foreclosures, once isolated to struggling urban neighborhoods and poverty stricken rural towns, have become a Main Street phenomenon as well.

Builders are blaming dirt cheap foreclosures for unfairly pulling down prices, but like it or not, that's the competition. And it's selling at a nearly 30 percent discount, according to RealtyTrac.

That said, here's your chance to knock me off of my soap box with an appraisal horror story or two.

I'm all ears.

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
The author is solely responsible for the content.

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About boston real estate now
Scott Van Voorhis is a freelance writer who specializes in real estate and business issues.

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