If homeowners have high expectations that home prices will hit bottom in the next six months, Realtors are even more optimistic, according to a survey by home valuations and listings site HomeGain.

Only 29 percent of 1,150 Realtors surveyed by HomeGain from May 6-11 said they expect home values in their market will decline in the next six months. About half (49 percent) said they expect home values will stay the same, and 22 percent were expecting values to increase.

A recent survey of consumers by HomeGain rival Zillow found that 37 percent of homeowners expect price declines in their local markets in the next six months. Two-thirds of homeowners surveyed by Zillow believe home values will increase (26 percent) or stay the same (37 percent) over the next six months.

Asked about their own property, three out of four surveyed by Zillow expected their home’s value would hold its own or increase in the next six months — demonstrating that homeowners remain "starry-eyed" about the future, since few markets are expected to perform that well, the company said (see story).

The vast majority of Realtors surveyed by HomeGain — 84 percent — said they believed their clients’ homes had, on average, decreased in value in the last year. Only 12 percent said their clients homes had retained their value, while 3 percent said they’d increased in value.

When selling a house, clients were apt to believe their homes were worth more than Realtors’ recommended listing price 69 percent of the time. Some 35 percent had a price in mind that was 10 to 20 percent greater than the Realtor’s recommendation, and 10 percent were convinced their home was worth 21 percent or more than the Realtor’s recommended listing price.

Buyers, on the other hand, thought homes for sale were overpriced 63 percent of the time, Realtors reported. About 30 percent thought homes were overpriced by 10-20 percent. Only 17 percent thought homes were underpriced, while 19 percent of buyers saw homes as fairly priced, Realtors reported. …CONTINUED

When it comes to settling on the actual listing price, sellers tended to get their way, with the listing price set within 10 percent of their expectations 51 percent of the time.

The result is that homes then end up selling for less than the listing price 84 percent of the time. Although the average discount from list is 5 to 10 percent 53 percent of the time, sellers got 11 percent to 20 percent  less than they’d hoped for 27 percent of the time, Realtors estimated.

About one in five Realtors said foreclosures made up 31 percent or more of homes for sale in their area, although 37 percent said less than one in 10 homes for sale were foreclosures.

Most (55 percent) said the economic stimulus bill passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama Feb. 17 has had no impact. While 34 percent thought the stimulus legislation had stabilized home prices, another 8 percent thought it had sent them downward.

Nevertheless, most Realtors (57 percent) gave Obama favorable ratings, with 31 percent saying they "somewhat" approved of his performance and 26 percent "strongly" approving. But 41 percent of those surveyed said they were not satisfied, with 17 percent "somewhat" disapproving and 24 percent "strongly" disapproving of the president’s performance.


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