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Sellers' return to housing market could be slow, surveys indicate

November 05, 2012|By Alejandro Lazo
  • A sign lists homes for sale.
A sign lists homes for sale. (Donna McWilliam / Associated…)

When will sellers return? That’s a burning question in residential real estate circles these days as inventory has fallen and the market has grown increasingly competitive.

Having more people put their homes up for sale could help relieve some pressure, but most current homeowners appear to believe that time is on their side, recent surveys show.

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The online real estate broker Redfin on Monday released a quarterly study of its homeowners. The survey showed that only about 15% of those potential sellers think it’s a good time to sell, up only marginally from 13% from the last time Redfin surveyed sellers last quarter. Eighty-three percent of those homeowners thought they would get a higher price by waiting one to two years.

"At this point in the housing market, the only opinion that matters is that of the would-be sellers trying to decide whether to put their home on the market," Redfin Chief Executive Glenn Kelman said in a news release. "These attitudes aren't changing dramatically from one quarter to the next, but the direction has been remarkably consistent among both buyers and sellers: the market is slowly tilting in sellers' favor."

The most recent Fannie Mae National Housing survey showed that about 19% of Americans viewed the current market as a good time to sell, the highest point since the survey began in June 2010.

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