Days On Market and a few other things

In a comment to my Sunday Night Stats post, I was asked to report the days on market in addition to the regular Sunday night data being posted. The system won’t let me run stats for data that exceeds 10,000 homes, so I can’t do a full year at once. That is why it is broken down into quarters. I also can’t go back before February of 2005 in non-archive format. So we’ll end with 2nd quarter of 2005 for comparison purposes. The numbers are for median days on market.

I’m posting these in real time with two windows up as I gather the information, so I have no commentary regarding the data at this time.

YTD Residential King County – 62 days
YTD Condos King County – 58 days

1st quarter 2007 Residential – 40 days
1st quarter 2007 Condos – 28 days

2nd quarter 2007 Residential – 27 days
2nd quarter 2007 Condos – 22 days

3rd quarter 2007 Residential – 33 days
3rd quarter 2007 condos – 27 days

4th quarter 2007 Residential – 47 days
4th quarter 2007 Condos – 43 days

1st quarter 2006 Residential – 26 days
1st quarter 2006 condos – 20 days

2nd quarter 2006 Residential – 20 days
2nd quarter 2006 Condos – 17 days

3rd quarter 2006 Residential – 24 days
3rd quarter 2006 Condos – 19 days

4th quarter 2006 Residential – 33 days
4th quarter 2006 Condos – 27 days

I have to go backwards on 2005 as the beginning of the 1st quarter is archived, and the 2nd quarter residential sales exceed the 10,000 limit. So 2nd quarter 2005 residential sales volume exceeds any quarter reported above. While this post is not about #of sales, that seemed important to note.

4th quarter 2005 Residential – 24 days
4th quarter 2005 Condos – 19 days

3rd quarter 2005 Residential – volume exceeds 10,000 homes

3rd quarter 2005 Condos – 19 days

2nd quarter 2005 Residential – volume exceeds 10,000 homes
2nd quarter 2005 Condos – 24 days

Inadvertently we learned that the 2nd and 3rd quarters of 2005 were higher in volume of Residential says than any quarter since that time.

As to days on market, looking at the 4th quarter comparisons between 2005, 2006 and 2007 likely gives you the best information regarding the lengthening of days on market. It would appear from what we have seen so far YTD in 2008, that this trend will continue.

Stats not compiled or published by NWMLS. (Required disclosure) 

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ARDELL is a Managing Broker with Better Properties METRO King County. ARDELL was named one of the Most Influential Real Estate Bloggers in the U.S. by Inman News and has 33+ years experience in Real Estate up and down both Coasts, representing both buyers and sellers of homes in Seattle and on The Eastside. email: cell: 206-910-1000

20 thoughts on “Days On Market and a few other things

  1. Hi Ardell,

    Aren’t days on the market one of the most easy to manipulate pieces of statistical information available on the NWMLS?

    From what I can tell, agents can take homes off the market and put them back on the market and restart the “days on the market” clock as some sort of do-over to get the public to believe it’s a new listing.

    Even though there are rules are in place to try and prohibit re-listings solely for the purpose of manipulating the data, there seems to be a ongoing and continuous acceptance of this practice.

    Showing days on the market to consumers, to me, seems deceptive until the MLS members, that is, real estate agents and brokers, decide to put honesty to everyone (including the general public) and quality statistics ahead of self-interest.

    But I know if I’m wrong you’ll correct me 🙂

    A member of the general public ought not have to care if the property was “previously listed with agent X and now, since it’s been re-listed with agent Y, is miraculously a NEW listing.” These sorts of actions may benefit the seller and the MLS members, but to the detriment of consumer respect towards agents.

  2. Jillayne,

    A couple of years ago NWMLS instituted cumulative days on market, which corrected most of the problems. If you change agents, for example, you get a new listing number, but the days on market are added together. If the first agent had the listing for 90 days and the second one posted their new listing 10 days ago, the days on market will show as 100 days for the current listing and at time of sale the days on market are also totalled.

    There are some discrepancies if the property is off market for a very long time in between, and also if the property changes owners or changes dramatically in other ways. But by and large days on market is not as easily manipulated as it once was.

    I believe the stats are as accurate as any. Number of properties on market has its duplciations, as does number of closings. I can only assume the the discrepancies in any period are equal.

    Might be worth checking as to when cumulative days on market was instituted, as that before and after day would be significant. My recollection is that it could have been sometime in 2005.

    I know it happened after February of 2004 sometime.

  3. Add data for the percentage difference between the list price and sale price and the number of transactions with a decrease in price to the DOM data. Now, you have an idea of the number of owners/agents who mispriced the property and the rate of mispricing.

    There is that one agent who promises the seller the golden goose in the listing presentation. There is the seller who wants to “try” for an outrageous price against the advice of the listing agent. Mispricing by a lot is waste of time. The strategy results in an economic loss of time and money for the seller and the listing agent.

    A list price of +/- 3% of the sale price is good. The mispriced property sits on the market for a lot longer than the average DOM. After a while the property becomes stale resulting in a discount on the list price to a sale price less than the comparable average sale price. With the Time Value of Money the real economic loss is the difference between the discounted sale price and the average sale price plus the value of the extra DOM (time) beyond the average DOM. The seller ends up less and the listing agent ends up with less.

    Michael P. Lindekugel
    Financial Analyst
    RE/MAX Commercial
    Team Reba – RE/MAX Metro Realty, Inc

  4. Laxtosnoco,

    There are no non-cumulative days on market in the system, so I would expect so. I’m using a stats button that gives me the DOM. I can’t imagine how it could be anything but cumulative, since they are the only numbers for the system to crunch. I don’t hand calculate the median DOM by hand, so I can’t say with 100% surety.

  5. Perfect example:
    2 different agents from 2 different brokerages have listings in my neighborhood – where I also have a listing – these other two unethical agents listings have expired on the NWMLS but they have left their multiple for sale signs up on the road. One of the agents even told me the other agent called her and they had talked about how to manipulate the DOM. These are two seasoned “professionals” who have each been in the business a long time. The DOM simply doens’t truly reflect anything accurate. After the prescribed number of days go by they are going to list the properties as new listings to restart the clock. I think that’s a bit desperate, not to mention against city code for leaving their signs up when they do not have an active listing. I doubt their brokers would even care.

  6. DOM hater.

    Many people took their properties “off the market” at the “end of season” in 2007 and will be coming back on market this Spring.

    During that time, I believe it is the seller’s right to leave the property “on market” via the sign, but not be in the mls. They were “kind of” on the market, as in if someone happens by and wants MY house…well then maybe we will show it. But I don’t want agents in and out all the time! I need a break!

    I think the seller has that right. And showing the days there was a sign but it wasn’t in the mls, not really being actively “for sale” beyond the sign, would also be inaccurate if you accumulated those “barely on market” days, don’t you think?

    I know a house that was on market every Spring for four years for four months of every year. Not sure how one would treat that one in a computer based DOM scenario. But I do tell people it’s the house that has been trying to sell for four years. Every time they come back on market, they raise the price. So it’s the perennially overpriced house.

    Actually it’s more deciduous than perennial 🙂

    I doubt someone is really willing to take their house off the market for months just to fool the days on market, and for NO other reason beyond that factor. Had the properties been out of the mls without a sign on the lawn, vs out of the mls with a sign on the lawn, would you have felt differently about the days on market not being cumulative going back to the previous season?

  7. I am not sure how those agents expect to manipulate the Cummulative DOM. listings are cross referenced by address and tax ID for the last 90 days. after a listing is canceled or expired the homewoner has to wait 91 days before the house is relisted to avoid inlcuding the DOM for the previous listing in the CDOM for the new listing.

    A smart buyer’s agent will look up the property history in the NWMLS. the history will report the previous listings for many years.

  8. Yes, that’s just it… “a ‘smart’ buyer’s agent” let’s hope that’s the case. As for the previous poster – you can’t tell me that with a sign on the street but not on the MLS that it’s not still ‘on the market’, if a buyer came w/cash in hand the property would be sold; therefore, it was on the market.
    I just think it’s tacky, unethical, and deceptive and I expect more from seasoned professionals. Perhaps that’s my problem, especially in this business it seems, I need to lower, lower, lower my expectations.

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