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Birthday Houses: The Scenario That's Crushing American Homeowners

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When Ann Robertson first put her Raleigh home up for sale, she timed it so that it would be part of the Oakwood neighborhood's annual Candlelight Tour held each December. ... That was 826 days ago. Today, Robertson's house remains on the market. It is part of a growing collection of homes that real estate insiders dub "birthday houses," a term that refers to any property that has gone unsold longer than a year. ... In the past, sellers' agents could, if they wanted, conceal the total days on the market by taking homes off for a day or two and relisting under a new MLS number. But now the MLS displays a cumulative days-on-the-market figure that is tied to a home's address.

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