Homes for Sale Grow Scarce as Sellers Await Higher Prices

A real estate agent near California’s Silicon Valley seeks sellers by combing property records for people who’ve owned their houses for at least 40 years. A Denver-area broker offers half his commission for a listing, while a counterpart in South Florida hosts happy hour gatherings at bars to loosen up homeowners reluctant to sell.

Real estate agents, who spent the six-year U.S. housing collapse coaxing buyers off the fence, are now hunting for sellers as home inventories hover near lows last seen in 2005. A scarcity of properties signals the housing market’s uneven recovery as purchasers trying to take advantage of record affordability run up against homeowners choosing to stay put in properties that aren’t worth as much as they owe….read more

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