A recent survey of California home buyers by the California Association of REALTORS® reported that home buyers in 2009 spent an average of 10.3 weeks searching for a property, compared to 8.7 percent in 2008.

Then there are the tire kickers.

Ron Phipps, president-elect of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®, sighs when he considers them. The problem is, you don't know, he says. There's no DNA for me to know that. There's no psychological profile.

In Marin County, Calif., Lidia Pringle is proud of personally inspecting 298 homes in her search for the perfect property. Lindy Emrich, an associate with Alain Pinel REALTORS®, who represented Pringle for months, located possibility after possibility and Pringle rejected them all.

In September, Pringle found what she wanted, a Tuscan-style home for $5.9 million. She was shown this single property by a different practitioner - Emrich wasn't part of the deal.

I have so many wonderful things in my life, says Emrich. That is not one of them.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Juliet Chung (12/29/2009)