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Survey: Agents Expect Prices to Rise, but in Smaller Increments

In concurrence with many industry analysts, real estate agents expect price gains to mellow in the near future, according to survey results released by ""Redfin"":http://www.redfin.com/, a Seattle-based national brokerage.

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Agents also harbor a positive outlook for sellers and a somewhat less positive outlook for buyers in the current market, according to ""Redfin's Real-Time Agent Survey"":http://www.redfin.com/research/reports/real-time-market-sentiment of 380 real estate agents.

Eighty-six percent of agents believe prices will rise over the next few months. The same percentage of agents say now is a good time to sell a home. Both of these categories have increased from the first quarter of the year to the second.

However, while a majority of agents expect price gains, a minority expect prices to ""rise a lot."" The percent of agents who anticipate prices rising ""a lot"" in coming months fell from 44 percent in the first quarter to just 16 percent in the second quarter, according to Redfin's survey.

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Also, while the percentage of agents who believe now is a good time to sell a home increased four percentage points to 86 percent in the second quarter, the proportion of agents who believe now is a good time to buy fell from 57 percent to 46 percent.

This was the first time in the survey's history that fewer than 50 percent of agents agreed the current time was a good time to purchase a home.

However, the percentage of agents who say now is a bad time to buy is still a meager minority at seven percent.

Factors leading agents to view the current market as a seller's market include low inventory and an observance of multiple offers on the same homes. Ninety-three percent of agents cited these buyer challenges in Redfin's survey. While still a significant majority, this is down three percentage points from the first quarter.

On the other hand, the most commonly-cited obstacle for sellers--cited by 40 percent of survey respondents--is low appraisals.

In the current environment, a decreasing percentage of agents are advising buyers to ""use aggressive strategies such as waiving contingencies and expanding their budget when facing a bidding war."" About 11 percent of agents admitted to using these strategies, as opposed to 15 percent in the previous quarter.

Another observation real estate agents revealed in the Redfin survey is an influx of new agents. About 31 percent of agents noted an increase in agents in their area, up from 24 percent in the first quarter of this year.

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