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Homesellers underestimating downward price pressure

Home sales might be held back by sellers' expectations.

Home sales might be held back by sellers' expectations.

House keys might not be moving from sellers' pockets to buyers' hands as frequently as they could these days because sellers are reluctant to accept current price points, a recent Zillow analysis found.

According to Zillow, this is especially true for sellers who acquired their property after the real estate bubble burst in 2006. An examination of list prices on the Zillow website revealed this group of sellers is overpricing their property by an average of 14.1 percent.

This might be because this group is basing list prices on the purchase prices they paid, and are failing to take into account continuing declines in real estate values. Of those who bought after 2006 and plan to sell within the next four years, 17 percent told Zillow they will base their list price on the amount they paid for the house. Among those who purchased between 2002 and 2006 and plan to sell in the next four years, only 9 percent said they will calculate a list price based primarily on their original purchase amount.

Zillow Chief Economist Dr. Stan Humphries said home sellers need to be realistic about price if they want or need to relocate in this strong buyers' market.

Clear Capital recently reported house prices will continue to fall throughout 2011, especially in the Midwest.