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"Seller greed" killing the housing rebound?

Posted by Scott Van Voorhis  September 18, 2013 09:26 AM

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All the talk of bidding wars and soaring prices apparently has swollen the heads of some sellers.

There's growing chatter in the business media - with this Wall Street Journal piece leading the way - about signs of a cool down in the until now red hot real estate market.

Of course, it's all based on August data, which seems like a pretty big problem to me. Yes, home sales do fall at the end of the summer, with buyers, sellers and real estate agents off at the beach and mountains.

Still, the August fall off was more dramatic than in past years, Redfin says in a new market survey.

Anyway, the usual culprits are being trotted out - rising interest rates and soaring prices to name the top two.

But we are also seeing the return of the greedy seller, a favorite villain of real estate cycles past, who typically makes an appearance when buyers start getting edged out of the market.

Here's a graph from the Journal story, in which a broker blames overeager sellers for the supposed slowdown in the real estate market.

Some agents say the biggest problem in the market is "seller greed" - that is, sellers pricing their homes too high, said Jim Klinge, a real-estate agent in Carlsbad, Calif. Faced with rising rates, buyers aren't going for higher prices. "They don't realize our 12- to 18-month full-tilt boogie is over," he said.

What's your take? Are you running into sellers with overly high expectations? Any greedy sellers out there? And if you own your own house, don't you have the right - and maybe even the obligation in a free market society where government safety  nets are minimal - to be as "greedy" as possible?

This blog is not written or edited by Boston.com or the Boston Globe.
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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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