Understanding Days On Market Statistics

DOM Definition

Days on market – DOM – can be defined as the number of days a home is listed before going under contract. Sounds simple enough. But, this number can easily be skewed. Take Boulder in 2020. Real estate was incredibly hot in the second half of the year. Frequently homes would be marketed for a week before going under contract.

So you could say, ‘Seven days to an offer — that’s 7 DOM.’ And you would be wrong. Because homes going under contract in seven days might not be shown for the first day or two to build interest. And then with multiple offers, the Boulder home owner was purposefully leaving the house on the market after an offer arrived. In hopes of attracting more and higher offers.

That seven days on paper might look like this:

  • Tuesday, Listed in MLS, no showings allowed until Thursday
  • Thursday, showings start. No weekend deadlines allowed on contracts
  • Sunday, Listing Agency notifies all showing agents of multiple offers
  • Monday, Bring your highest and best offer. Home goes under contract

In such a scenario, the winning offer may have arrived on the first day of showings – even though that was four days after the home was listed. So, was it one DOM or four? Or seven when the multiple listing service is adjusted?

Boulder Colorado home sellers need to drill down from the general statistics offered online to the specific trends in their neighborhood. Its not merely a matter of say dividing all real estate sales by days to contract. Home Sellers care about specifics. Its important to look at similar properties. If you are selling a condo, you want to see what other condos Days on Market (DOM) were like. Ranches with acres of land are not going to have useful metrics to compare with a city condo!

Let It Snow

Statistics in real estate are also skewed by seasons. For instance, a family lists a lovely house ready to go for sale in October. Just like the example above, it is under contract by the following week. And then the inspection and loan deadlines come into play. And sometimes – regardless of the best of intentions – a house falls out of contract.

Homes coming back to the market in this scenario – around the time of the holidays – can sometimes miss the market. Why? As much as buyers want to make a move, moving during the holidays can be difficult. So that house sits on the market, waiting for the year to roll over in January. When all of a sudden, everyone is again talking real estate around Boulder County. The DOM statistic can really look skewed in such a scenario.

Colorado Home Sellers want to take seasons, location, interest rates, politics, even the stock market into consideration when looking at any given stat – Days on Market included.

The simple truth is, Spring to Summer is much busier than say Winter to the New Year.

Sellers Define Successful Pricing

Once an accurate days to contract number is determined, this is going to impact marketing expectations for Boulder sellers. If homes are averaging twenty one days to an offer, and your house sells in the first week – that’s great news. But, if your home is still on the market at week six, even though this on the far side of the average, you may be asking, “is my listing agent doing everything he or she can to get my house sold?”

Looking back to one stat for the reason a house is or isn’t selling isn’t fair. But it also isn’t uncommon. Truth is, usually a number of factors will play in – including price and marketing and condition of the property. Watching DOM for your house in comparison to the market may help determine if a price adjustment is necessary.

More On The Subject

Elizabeth Weintraub does a deep dive on the subject from a home buyer’s perspective. Different markets – different perspectives. I’ll wager she is in more of a Buyer’s or neutral market than the Boulder-Louisville-Lafayette area here in Colorado. She does mention one important Seller trick that I haven’t seen lately, but does come into play. Relisting.

Relisting Homes To Impact DOM

This is really prevalent in Buyer’s Markets. The Denver metro market has been in a home sellers market for close to a decade, so this idea might sound foreign. But, in past portions of my real estate career, it was common to see a house come on and off the market. When it did so, it would get a new MLS number. And look like a hot new listing.

Relisting a property would be a good way to change the days the house has been available. After all, a condo that has been for sale for 200 days, something must be wrong with it,right? But, that same condo, listed, removed, relisted might look to only be a few hours old in the multiple listing service.

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