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  • Frank Tadych

Why 'Days On Market' Really Matters When Selling Your Home

Updated: Jul 23, 2020

They say that timing is everything. In real estate, they would be correct.

Days on market, often abbreviated DOM, is the measure by which the real estate industry labels the time a house stays on the market. It's the time between when a home is first listed on the MLS and when escrow closes and it's marked sold or taken off the market. How long a house takes to sell is a key metric used by buyers and real estate agents.

We have already discussed why it's so important for your home to make a great first impression. But the timing of when - ie, how quickly - your home sells is important to your bottom line. It should not be a matter of hope, but one of strategy.

What are the realities if it takes too long to sell your home? Let's explore the implications of your home sitting on the market.

Your home is not being received well. There are two factors a home seller can control - price and condition. If your home is priced correctly to the local market but still not selling, your home is not making a good first impression, or even making a bad impression. You likely have bigger issues at hand than the list price.

The perceived value takes a hit. By default, if all of the competition for your home sells quickly, it takes away the shine and makes your home look less valuable. Every buyer wants to feel good about their purchase, and perception is key. Before long, buyers will assume your house isn't worth what your asking and you're a desperate seller.

It creates doubt with buyers. When a home isn't selling, buyers often assume there is a major issue behind the scenes. Correct or not, it creates suspicion and another obstacle to overcome. Some buyers, convinced of their own assumptions, don't even consider homes that have been sitting on the market.

Fewer buyers are viewing it. The number of buyers seeing your home will peak in the first two weeks and drop considerably after the first month. Also consider the buyer size pool. At some point, all of the buyers in your market will have seen your home. You are left to wait for the next wave of new buyers to the area.

You lose the leverage game. Each time your home passes a DOM milestone, it invites the buyers looking for the deal of the century. The DOM is public, and it invites buyers who love throwing out lowball offers. Worse yet, even with legitimate offers buyers become increasingly bold about dictating terms of the sale.

Correlation to selling price. The longer a home sits on the market, the less likely you are to get the price you want. Markets constantly fluctuate, so there is no real data on this widely accepted concept. But how many people do you know who would pay full price for a house that hasn't sold in several months? The anecdotal evidence is there, and it's real.

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