“Days on Market” Doesn’t Matter Much


Imagine you’re looking for a new home and come across one that seems to be just what you’ve been looking for. It’s got the amenities you want, the price is good and it’s in great condition. You ask your Realtor how long it’s been on the market and they tell you it’s been on the market for four months. Does that change your mind about the home?

It shouldn’t.

Days on Market is a myth– it doesn’t show the desirability of a home anymore than being single at 40 shows that someone isn’t lovable. Sometimes good homes go unnoticed and sometimes there are reasons a good home, priced well, hasn’t sold fast. Maybe it was being remodeled during that time, perhaps it wasn’t accessible and couldn’t be shown very easily, or maybe the sellers received a lot of offers but haven’t accepted any yet.

Maybe it’s been under contract and off the market for much of the time. Sometimes agents or staff don’t update the MLS info timely (or at all). If a home is listed Jan 1 and the seller accepts an offer on Jan 3, that home now should show as “under contract” on the MLS. but if the sale fails because the buyers can’t get their loan and it’s put back to “active” on Feb 13- the MLS shows that home has been on the market for 44 days when it’s actually only been available for three.

When you go to the store to buy a new shirt do you ask how long the shirts have been for sale or how long that line has been out- and would it matter either way? Of course not- you either like the shirt or you don’t. And that’s how buying a home should be…

When you are looking for a home make it easy on yourself- determine what’s really important to you, go see all the homes that meet your criteria and buy the best one. Working with one of the best agents in the market will ensure that you get a fair price and terms that work for you.

And have some fun  shopping for your new home…


8 thoughts on ““Days on Market” Doesn’t Matter Much

  1. It’s not the home thats any different. It’s the seller that changes. The longer the house sits the more worried the seller gets. The the seller is more likely to accept a lower offer on day 180 than on day 1. Buyers know this and thats why they ask.

    If nothing else, buyers perceive it as a factor, so in their fantasy real estate experience, it is a factor. And that perception changes their actions, i.e. whether they bring an offer or not.


  2. Are you telling me there is hope for those of us single and over 40? I think I feel hope springing eternal.

    DOM can be a reflection of many things. The number one influence remains price as most everyone will agree.

    Right now in the East Bay it’s a great market for move up buyers. Many are going to miss out on a great opportunity because they are digging in their heels for top dollar on they believe their home is worth. They think they are then going to be able to out negotiate the seller of the home they want to move up into – thus having their cake and eating it too.

    Real estate is a gas. Where else can you see so much with so little effort?

  3. Greg, I have to disagree.

    Days on Market is an indicator. You raise many instances when it would be a misleading indicator, but often it just means a property has sat on the market for a while. Crowds do have some wisdom – if you compared 100 properties that were on the market for over 3 months with 100 that were on the market for 3 days, I think you’d find more desirable properties in the second group. You’d probably find some hidden gems in the first group, but you’d also find some over priced dogs.

  4. It all depends on the property/ seller. Greg is right when he says DOM is irrelevant if a home started out at $429,900, but is now $399,900. Now it’s priced right, and some buyers want to penalize the seller for starting too high. However, if that same seller is now making 2 mortgage payments, hmmmm. It all depends on the property / seller.

  5. DOM can mean a lot. Usually, if a house has been on the market for a long time, the seller is more motivated and may be willing to negotiate a little more. These days, there are many houses that have been on the market for some time. I think it blurs the line a bit on the DOM issue.

  6. I was just going to make fun of Jennifer’s “no-duh” comments, but then linked to her blog and read her last post, so I can’t. Great post , Jennifer. (7 reasons to not buy).

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