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Luxury real estate sellers see price cut as last resort

How two high-end coastal markets are coping with recession

In literary circles, an encounter between Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald began with the Great Gatsby author saying, "The rich are very different from you and me." To which the highly competitive "For Whom The Bell Tolls" writer disdainfully replied, "Yes, they have more money."

In the real world, the rich sellers are very different from you and me. They have the resources to wait out the market.

"When we look at days on market, we find the top-end sellers tend to be more patient in terms of how long a home will be on the market before presenting any kind of price reduction," said Scott Sambucci, director of business development for Altos Research in Mountain View, Calif.

He reiterates, "Top-end sellers keep homes on the market longer and take fewer price reductions."

According to Altos Research, at the start of 2011, percent price deductions for high-end properties were under...