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In Defense of Scorned 'Bottom Feeders'

March 17, 1991

The author of the "Bottom Feeders" piece suggested that those who bring low-ball offers on real estate are committing an immoral act. She unfavorably compares them to fish.

I am a real estate broker and I am well aware of the emotional attachments people have with their home, as well as the anguish many feel now that they have seen a great deal of equity in their homes vanish over the past year.

Nevertheless, I am constantly amazed at the fantasy land many sellers are in when I read ads which state that their homes are priced at "X dollars below market." This is a delusion. If their homes were priced below market they would have sold yesterday. If they did not sell yesterday it is because they are priced above the market, despite any illusions the sellers may harbor about the market value of their homes.

The fact is that the market price of their homes is not the same as it was last year.

Home sellers can accept this fact and not look upon "low-ball" offers as unreasonable or insulting, counteroffer and thereby sell their homes in the foreseeable future. The alternative is they can sit on their home until the market turns around and their home regains the value it has lost in the last year.

If they sell low now, they can also buy low now. If they wait to buy a new home until they are able to sell high, they will have to buy high as well. The only difference is the year or two they may have wasted in waiting.

JIM FREDERICKSON

Van Nuys

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