What ‘days on market’ doesn’t tell you

Days on Market is a measure of sales typically an average number. A better measure may be the "median" rather than an "average".


Days on Market is a measure of sales typically an average number. A better measure may be the “median” rather than an “average.”

The average DOM for April sales was 44 days while the median DOM for April was 40 days. An indicator that buyer’s are looking and buying at those listings that are “fresh” on the market. On the Red Deer MLS® system we have our housing data sorted into categories.

• Active

• Conditional (also known as pending)

• Sold

• Expired

• Canceled

What is not reflected in the “Average Days on Market:

Whether or not the properties were previously listed and re listed for sale.

Properties that were on and then expired or they canceled the listing and were subsequently re listed for sale do not carry their previous data forward. If you have been reading my previous weekly updates you are aware that I have been reporting expired and canceled listing numbers.

These sellers do not always change their mind when it comes to selling. They may in fact re list with the same agent or a new company and agent. A good REALTOR® will be able to reference data on the house you are considering buying. We can, through our MLS® system, analyze the listing history for many homes.

This historical data may be helpful in determining the level of motivation for a seller. Motivation for selling can influence the accepted selling price.

If my home has been on the market for 90 or 120 days, then listed again with new “spring” photos and now 4 weeks later you want to make an offer purchase, knowing how long I have been trying to sell for and any price history should assist a buyer in negotiating terms they favor.

Sellers have long been told that pricing to high and reducing price later can impact their net.

Whether or not an offer was accepted and the financing fell through or other conditions that resulted in that property becoming active again.

The impact of accepting an offer that ultimately doesn’t complete can be similar to pricing to high.

The first question the next buyer asks is “why did the offer fall”? To often the answer is because of financing and the buyer’s representative did little to confirm the buying ability of their client.

Canceled listings consist of listings that sellers changed their mind, re listed at a new price and reset their DOM to zero.

Their were 66 canceled listing in Red Deer during the month of April. Most of those were canceled after 75 days on market.

The current inventory and how long they have been on the market.

The average DOM for active listings today is 50 days. On average most listings are on the market longer than those that sell. Should be no surprise their if the list to sell ratio has been below 50% for several months which it has.

Conditional listings, these are the listings that recently accepted an offer.

The median DOM is a mere 24 days right now. The most activity occurs in the first few weeks of a listing, the median DOM of 24 days is a strong indicator of that. If you are selling take note. If your REALTOR® does not know this take special note and probably some action.

The moral of the story is data is good. The REALTOR® that has the data and the knowledge and uses it will be more successful at bringing buyers and sellers together. It’s okay for you to ask for data, it’s okay for your REALTOR® to look up data, and it’s okay for him/her to ask for more details.

— Patrick Galesloot

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