What Does “Days on Market” Mean?

Real Estate

As buyers seek to negotiate the very best deal on a new home, every piece of information matters. One especially noteworthy bit of intel: Days on Market. This is a common real estate metric, but what does it really mean, and how can you use it to your advantage?

Understanding Days on Market

Basically, Days on Market refers to the number of days a home is listed on the local MLS. This metric spans the time from your initial listing up through the signing and acceptance of a contract.

So, if you’re browsing homes and see one with Days on Market listed as just one or two, it means that home was just put up for sale—and chances are, not many buyers have toured it yet.

Meanwhile, if you see a home that has 60 or even 100 Days on the Market, it means the seller has been at it for a few months—and for whatever reason, they haven’t been able to find a willing buyer.

As you can imagine, this intel provides you with a meaningful glimpse into how other buyers have perceived the listing. That home that has 100 days on the market? There’s some reason why nobody’s bought it in all that time—and chances are, it’s making the seller feel a little desperate.

Using Days on Market Advantageously

So how can you actually put this information to work for you?

Well, if a home has only been on the market for a handful of days, that means the pricing is probably going to be competitive. The seller may not be very flexible on the price they’re willing to accept, because they’re really just getting started in the sale process.

Meanwhile, if the home has logged a lot of Days on Market, the seller is probably pretty ready to find a buyer—and as such, they may be much more willing to negotiate with you.

Indeed, a rule of thumb in real estate is that the longer a home is on the market, the harder it becomes to sell. In some cases, it may be that there’s something seriously wrong with the home—but in other cases, it may just be that a very lovely house was slightly overpriced, and that’s turned buyers away. But if you make a reasonable offer, the seller may jump at the opportunity to move forward.

Days on Market: Tips for Buyers and Sellers

The bottom line: As you review listings, always take a look at Days on Market and if you see a higher number, that may be your window into making a really great deal. Ask your agent for guidance!

For sellers, we’ll just note this: The best way to keep those Days on Market down is to make sure you price the home correctly the first time around… and that means working with someone who knows the local markets inside and out.

If you’re looking for an agent to help you navigate the Charlotte market, give us a call. Reach out to Ryan Minges Real Estate any time!