A growing number of brokers and agents say their clients are disputing their recommended listing price, and that sellers usually get their way in setting the asking price, according to a quarterly survey by home valuation and listings site HomeGain.

HomeGain’s survey of 1,084 brokers and agents, conducted Aug. 11-17, also showed Realtors are slightly more pessimistic than they were three months ago that home prices will bottom soon, and that their support for President Barack Obama has dramatically declined.

The survey showed 31 percent expecting home values in their market to decrease in the next six months, up from 29 percent in May. While 23 percent expected home values to increase, 46 percent expected they would stay the same.

A survey conducted by Zillow in July found homeowners are even more optimistic, with only 19 percent expecting their own property value to decline in the next six months (see story). About one in three surveyed by Zillow (34 percent) expected their home value to increase, and 47 percent said they expected it to hold its own for the next six months.

The surveys suggest a growing disparity between consumers and Realtors on home valuations.

Nearly three out of four agents and brokers surveyed by HomeGain in August (74 percent) said that on average, sellers think their home is worth more than the listing price they recommend, up from 71 percent in May. …CONTINUED

One in four Realtors said that on average, sellers think their homes are worth up to 9 percent more than the recommended listing price. Another 38 percent put the difference at 10 to 20 percent. About one in 10 Realtors (11 percent) said the gap between their recommended listing price and the seller’s perception of what their home is worth exceeds 20 percent on average.

Sellers usually got their way in setting the actual listing price, the survey found, with the asking price set within 10 percent of their expectations 55 percent of the time, up from 51 percent in May.

On the other side of the deal, 64 percent of agents and brokers said buyers thought homes for sale were overpriced. About 30 percent said buyers perceived homes as overpriced by 10 to 20 percent. Only 11 percent said buyers perceived homes as underpriced, while 20 percent of Realtors said buyers felt homes for sale were fairly priced.

As a result, 81 percent of Realtors said homes sell for less than the asking price, although 54 percent said the difference does not exceed 10 percent on average. Only 8 percent said there was little or no difference between the asking and selling price, while 11 percent said that on average, the selling price exceeds the listing price.

One in five Realtors (20 percent) said foreclosures made up 31 percent or more of homes for sale in their market, while 36 percent said less than one in 10 homes for sale were foreclosures.

A minority of Realtors (41 percent) gave President Barack Obama favorable ratings, with 21 percent saying they "somewhat" approved of his performance and 20 percent "strongly" approving. That’s a sharp decline from May, when 57 percent of Realtors gave the president favorable ratings.


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