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What Do Days On Market Mean to Home Buyers

what do days on market mean to home buyers

Here’s a sweet analogy for Days on Market – think of a home for sale like your favorite bread or pastry. Most, if not all, are best consumed when they’re freshly baked, much like a home that has been fresh on the market. But bread gets stale as days pass by, which makes it less and less appealing.

The same can be applied to a listing. As a home’s days on the market creep higher, it gets “stale” and prospective buyers start to be curious. This can be a huge factor in real estate transactions.

What Do Days On Market Mean to Home Buyers

Knowing a home’s days on market is critical in many ways. Read to know more!

What Do Days On Market Mean to Home Buyers

Days on market, often abbreviated DOM, is defined by the National Association of Realtors as the number of days from the date on which the property is listed for sale on the local brokers’ multiple listing services (MLS), or the NWMLS for us, to the date when the seller has signed a contract for the sale of the property.

DOM can also be referred to as “time on market”, and is basically a measure of how long a house takes to sell.

It is also used as a key metric by buyers and real estate agents to see which homes are fresh to the real estate market.

What Do Days On Market Mean to Home Buyers

Days On Market as a search filter 

Buyers and their real estate agents can use DOM as a search filter to identify homes that have been listed for a long time. 

The Days On Market is an indication of how hot the market is.

The average number of days on the market is often used to describe how hot the market is in a particular area.

For instance, in a seller’s market where there are more buyers than the number of homes listed for sale, the days on market are fewer because of the high demand.

Higher Days On Market = “Is there something wrong with the house?”

When a home is listed for sale on the market, the usual expectation is that the property will sell quickly.

This is because homes generate the most interest when they’re new. If the number of days between the listing and sale is few, it might indicate two things: either there is a high demand or the property was underpriced but of good value. 

The more days on the market there are, the more likely it is for everyone to wonder if there’s something wrong with the house. It might be a beautiful home, but could be overpriced, need help with staging, or isn’t desirable to most buyers. It can also lead buyers to think that the seller is unmotivated, stubborn, or always unavailable to show the home.  

Higher Days On Market = a potential bargain

The good news on a house with a high DOM?

It can also indicate a potential bargain, especially from sellers who haven’t received offers and who may be open to a lower offer. In an area that has a large number of houses listed for sale, and the home has been on the market longer than the other properties, the days on market can become a negotiating tool for the buyer.

Work with your agent to learn more about why the property has sat so long on the market, and about the seller’s urgency to sell. 

PRO TIP: In a seller’s market create a search with homes that have been on the market for 7 days or more. Often times this will allow you to make an offer on the home with little to no competition.

What Do Days On Market Mean to Home Buyers

Yes. Only if a listing is taken down off the market for 2 months, and then gets relisted the DOM counter might restart.

The seller can choose to do a significant price change, 5% or more higher or lower, and this will “reboot” the listing. It does not change the Days On Market, but it will trigger an email to all home buyers whose home search meets the criteria of that listing.

The DOM counter does not stop while a listing is under contract. That means that if a home is in pending inspection status, for instance, and the buyer decides to not move forward with the purchase for any reason the listing will have collected all of the resulting days on market.

That is why it is so important to seller’s, in a seller’s market to have potential buyers do a home pre-inspection or have them waive the home inspection contingency.

Start Searching Snohomish County Homes That Have Been On The Market Longer Than a Week: 7+ Days On Market In Snohomish County

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About the Author

Jason Fox

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Jason Fox is a father, a real estate broker, a marketing specialist, and a friend. Being born and raised in the Pacific Northwest he has a unique and interesting perspective on local real estate that he can't wait to share with you. Jason lives in the Meadowdale neighborhood and hopes to see you out walking, at the park, at the movies, on a trail, on Stevens Pass, on the beach, at a lake, at a Seahawks or Mariners game, or just commenting on the blog.

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