More Denial of Reality Chronicles

"It's like pulling teeth in this market," said Twyla Rist of Reece & Nichols Realtors in Kansas City, where prices are off between 7 percent and 15 percent. "Even with everything being said, you still have people that think my house is better than everybody else's."

A recent Coldwell Banker report showed that more than three-quarters of its real estate agents surveyed said most sellers have unrealistic initial listing prices for their homes.

Likewise, an unscientific study released last week by real-estate Web site found that half of homeowners polled think their home's price has increased or stayed the same in the past year.

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In fact, the median sales price of an existing home dropped 9 percent to $191,600 in September from a year ago, according to the National Association of Realtors.

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"We feel that we're better than other people. We're unique. We're special," he said. "It stands to reason that our houses are also special."

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"Owners are very concerned about how much they paid for particular changes, but buyers out there don't value them."

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"Like any type of loss, there's a grieving process," Batchelor said. "First, they're in denial, then angry, then depressed and hopeless. But then they eventually move on if they want to sell it."


More relative fallacy: a sale is relative to purchaser and seller.

A home is only worth what a purchaser will pay for it, and a seller will let it go for -- and we're talking about specific, real, people.

The real estate assessment is also "unreal," but because it summarizes statistical data, is more real than what many people will think if left up to their own preferences.

This denial of reality, even among the affluent, is yet another of the infinite reasons why Democracy is a stupid idea.



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