In conversations that I've had they are waiting for prices to get lower.
They are also waiting to make sure they are going to have their jobs.
They are waiting to see what is going to happen with their aging parents.
They want to make sure they can continue to afford the luxuries like, utilities, food and gasoline.
Some are nervous about the DOLLAR.
Many are just plain irritated that mortgage guidelines don't respect their 780+ Beacon Scores.
A few want to see if they can WIN a house from a non profit http://www.homeinchouseraffle.com
It just varies by person but mostly they are waiting TO SEE.
I also think buyers fear that we have not yet hit the bottom of the real estate decline, and many buyers don't want to be caught paying too much money for a home that will devalue in another six months (in their eyes). When does everyone jump back in? When either jobs are created or they can see home prices rising again.
Just my .02
Katina and Scott G. both zeroed in on the most vexing problems in real estate today. Like Katina wrote, it's not just about price, but so many other issues, e.g., jobs, necessities, luxuries, etc.
I think there's a general sense of anxiety among the 'middle class' (what's left of it) and the standard of living we all miss and remember from just a few short years ago. Not a day goes by that I don't hear more horror stories from people I know or people they know, one degree removed.
Sometimes it's hardest to see light at the end of the tunnel when everything in the tunnel is pitch black. I believe in the future of the American economy and it's relentless ingenuity. We are still the leaders in vibrant business ideas and entrepreneurial spirit across the globe. Things will get better.
Scott Miller, Realty Associates, Boca Raton, FL
Many sellers are not in tune with the current market values, but that is changing.
My sellers are given the complete market history for the last three years in their zip code and neighborhood.
We then price it for today's market. In the last 45 days I have had two listings and one sold in a week and the other in 20 days. These are seller's with equity enough to sell. My bank listings sell in less then a week since I push them hard to price it competitively.
Have heart, the last down turn lasted around 8-10 years, I already see homes in my area going for more then recent lows, so we are building steam. Not like it was in '04, but that was just crazy.
I have been buying, selling and a agent/broker for since '82, this is a cycle we will get through.
I have several buyers who are credit approved, but are looking for that one "perfect deal". And they will not make an offer unless they feel like they have exhausted all other home selections.
So, stick with it. It will eventually get better. It is our job as Realtors to really educate buyers and sellers about the housing market, to get a clear picture of what to expect from us and for us to get a clear picture of what they really want to get out the housing experience.
ERA Pacesetters Realty
Buyers are out there - but are picky. They can afford to wait for the right "Deal".
Serving Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. for 28 years