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What does "Days on the Market" Mean?

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  • Written By: J.M. Densing
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 21 September 2016
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Days on the market, also known as DOM, means the number of days that a property is listed on the multiple listing service before it has a pending sale or is delisted. This value can be an indicator of overall value of the property; if the DOM is very high, it's often a clue that the property is too expensive or that there are problems with the building. The DOM can also fluctuate with the real estate market and be influenced by factors like seller motivation. Real estate agents occasionally try to manipulate the days on the market to make it seem as if listings are newer than they are in an attempt to help them sell faster.

The term days on the market refers to the amount of time one particular property has been for sale. The DOM is tracked from the first day that a property is listed with an agent for sale until the listing is no longer active. A listing becomes inactive when its status changes to pending or it is removed from the market by the owner. Pending status occurs when there is an accepted offer but the sale is not yet complete. The average DOM is the total days on the market of all the properties for sale in an area divided by the number of listings; this can give a picture of the health of the real estate market in a locality.

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Buyers often look at the days on the market of listings that they are interested in. A high number can discourage them from considering a listing seriously. When a property has been listed for a long time, buyers often assume that there is something wrong with it or that the asking price is inflated. They also may assume that the seller is desperate to sell and if they choose to make an offer, unreasonable demands might be included.

Generally, days on the market can be influenced by factors besides a problem with the listing. If a property has been listed for an extended period, it may be because the market in the area is slow. In this context, it's a good idea to look at the average DOM and compare. Low seller motivation can also have an influence because reasonable offers may be turned down or the property may not be adequately prepared for showing. Real estate agents occasionally remove a property from the market to conceal the actual days on the market and then relist it in an attempt for a quick sale. This practice is generally considered dishonest and discouraged, but buyers should be aware that the days on the market value may not always be accurate.

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