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September 21, 2010

Homeowners more optimistic about their values than agents

Think your home's value rose or at least stayed even in the last year? You have that in common with nearly 40 percent of Marylanders polled by HomeGain.

Less than 25 percent of the Maryland real estate agents the site surveyed, however, said the same of their clients' home values.

Agents surveyed by HomeGain were also more pessimistic about where the market is headed. Forty percent expect prices will fall over the next six months, compared with 28 percent of homeowners. 

Agents have complained pretty much from the start of the housing bust that sellers aren't realistic about their property values, though that doesn't apply to everyone. Some homeowners pick asking prices that get them contracts toot sweet, while others languish on the market for months -- even years -- with no offers.

HomeGain's poll surveyed 2,600 homeowners and 1,100 agents nationwide. That's a pretty typical survey size, though of course the numbers in Maryland were low -- 79 homeowners and 38 agents.

Maryland has a fairly high share of optimistic agents and homeowners: The state ranked 10th for the percentage of agents and homeowners who think prices will increase in the near-term (10 percent and 15 percent, respectively).

It's no easy feat to predict exactly where prices will head. Think of how much debate you'll find over what a home should be priced at now.

Maryland agents polled by HomeGain said half their seller clients think their homes are worth at least 10 percent more than they -- the agents -- believe is the market value. Meanwhile, 40 percent of their buyer clients think homes on the market are at least 10 percent overpriced, even though many agents talk their sellers into asking for less than they wanted.

Not a new gulf, for sure. And it probably won't disappear anytime soon.

Posted by Jamie Smith Hopkins at 7:00 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: For sale, Housing stats, Survey says ...


Certain areas will remain strong (Harford County and Howard County because of BRAC), and there are always areas that are popular that maintain value. But with lenders asking for better and better borrowers (a good thing) and the glut of homes on the market, prices can only go down. I haven't had a single buyer client pay within 5% of the list price in the last 12 months, and most of them are closer to 7-10% below list, either with a seller subsidy or without. And I am seeing seemingly fairly priced listings that haven't had a showing in months.

I know that when I was on the buyer side of the equation there were a lot of homeowners out there who really had an overinflated sense of what their home could sell for. I wonder how these homeowners are getting that impression; between seeing what's selling (and more likely, not selling) locally and through sites like zillow it's pretty clear to me that property values are continuing to fall.

Maryland has a fairly high share of optimistic agents and homeowners: The state ranked 10th for the percentage of agents and homeowners who think prices will increase in the near-term (10 percent and 15 percent, respectively).

And i wish we could find just 1 to come on this blog and substantiate their reasoning as to why. Me thinks they are the last remaining schmucks that are in denial about why home values went up in the first place. Your precious little .25 acre that is SSOOOO much nicer than everyone else' piece of dirt is worth what it was worth in 1999 and maybe less.

10% or 15% is not much. Greater percentage believes in Santa Claus.


It would be something like this: "I'm sorry can you repeat the question?"

5 Years ago real estate agents were telling people "don't wait, this is a steal, prices are going up"! Now they're all disappointed that someone who bought a house 5 years ago for 250k, is not willing to sell it for 200k.

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About Jamie Smith Hopkins
Jamie Smith Hopkins, a Baltimore Sun reporter since 1999, writes about the regional economy. Her reporting on the housing market has won national and local awards. Hopkins is a Columbia native and has lived in Maryland all her life, save for 10 months spent covering schools in Ames, Iowa.
She trained to become a wonk by spending large chunks of time as a geek and an insufferable know-it-all.
Baltimore Sun articles by Jamie

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