Besides snow and ice, there are a number of intangible reasons why home sales have gotten off to a slow start this year, according to some real estate experts.

One such reason is that many homeowners lack motivation to move up. The recession is over but the economy remains weak and consumers' wages and incomes have stagnated, notes Robert Moline, president and chief operating officer of HomeServices of America, a real estate brokerage based in Minneapolis.

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