Millions of gun-shy homeowners could soon jump back into the saddle if the market improves for sellers, according to a recent survey
. An estimated 5 percent of U.S. homeowners would put their home on the market within the next six months if they witnessed signs of a turn around. This accounts for an approximate 3.8 million so-called "sidelined sellers," who've been reluctant to list their homes in the midst of the recession. In comparison, 5.2 million existing homes sold in 2009. A large part of encouraging homeowners to sell will have to do with closing the gap between their perception of the market and reality. Nationally, less than a quarter of homeowners said that their home had increased in value in the past year. In reality, 34 percent had increased in the latest quarter. Additionally, two-in-five homeowners believe the real estate market has already hit its lowest point -- which is as good a point as any to start the slow climb back to black.