What to Know About Days on Market Values in Real Estate Listings

In the real estate world, “days on market values” (DOM) is one key indication of market demand.  Presumably, the shorter time it takes for a house to go under contract, the greater demand there is in the market (given that all other factors have been accounted for). And while this is true in general, you have to make sure you are looking at accurate data and seeing the full picture.

The DOM value consumers can see on HAR.com might not be telling the full story. It is a common practice for real estate agents to terminate a listing (or withdraw, or expire a listing), only to reset the DOM with a fresh new listing of the same property, either at the same price or at a new price. While this practice is nothing forbidden, it certainly skews the DOM average available to consumers. Your licensed real estate agent has access to the entire property archive for a “cumulative days on market” (CDOM) number, including the entire pricing history, to give a comprehensive view of the listing.

Another way for DOM averages to get skewed is under new construction listings. Some builders list the property for sale as soon as they have obtained the construction permit, while others wait until they have received an offer before listing the property – there are no standards. So, you will see a wide range of DOM with new construction, e.g., from 289 days to 0 days on the market. New construction listings can also be terminated/withdrawn/expired and re-listed, as well. Again, there is nothing unusual about these practices, but it is something to keep in mind when looking at average days on market. Over time and with a large enough data set, these averages can serve as useful benchmarks. However, on a small scale, your Realtor needs to dig deeper, and should take other determining factors into account when estimating how long it may take to sell your house.

Other important factors to consider when listing a house are location, asking price, property type, updates, floor plan, size and staging. I covered the importance of pricing a property for sale correctly from the start in a previous article: How to Price Your  House to Sell Fast.

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