The question in itself seems simple enough right? Unfortunately wrong. The fact is days on market can be skewed many ways and perhaps put in the wrong light and end up being nothing more than smoke and mirrors like the picture to the right shows.
Let’s use an example. An agent comes by to review your upcoming sale with you, your area shows an average days on market of 77 days and the agent shows you their listings have sold on average in 43 days, sounds great right? Hold on, maybe not.
There are 2 ways the MLS tracks these statistics, one is last days on market and one is combined days on market. If I were to list a home at $299,900 and it was on the market for 150 days and did not sell so we decided to reduce and re-list it again at $269,900 and it sold in 34 days what amount of days did it take to sell, 34 or 184?
Now I can appreciate that at a new price it did in fact sell in the 34 days but if you add the entire track record of the attempt to sell it would be the 150 days plus the 34 days making it 184 days to sell not the 34 you were told. What we do on listing appointments is go over the last days on market for property time as well as the CDOM or combined days on market so you have a clear picture of what to expect.
It’s not fair to rearrange numbers to give an illusion of the upper hand so be sure to ask how the days were figured. Using the days on market to determine who to list with, what the market is like and what your next step should be is one way to look at the home selling process but remember its only one piece of the puzzle.
The fact is most agents including me use days on market, the media reports on them and the Board of Realtors publishes them so we see them everywhere, that’s ok. The important thing is to understand what you’re looking at so the proper expectations are set up prior to making your next move. When used incorrectly it may appear the days on market are much faster or longer than you expected.
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