Days on the Market Statistics - Garbage In/Garbage Out!

Managing Real Estate Broker with The Lloyd Realty Group DRE# D00610006

“DOM” (days on market) or “CDOM” (cumulative days on market) are reported on most MLSs, and are often included in market reports by agents, newspapers, and real estate analysts.  This is a number that should indicate how quickly the market is moving, and give sellers a general idea of what to expect about the time it will take to sell their home and give  buyers an indication of how long they have to “think about it” before writing an offer.  In reality, this is almost a completely meaningless number!

The Numbers

Homes in “Backup” status continue to add days on the market.

When a seller has accepted an offer, and the escrow is opened, most agents will keep the home in “backup” status until the contingencies are removed.  The standard purchase agreement calls for 17 days for that period to be up, but many times there is still missing information that keeps the buyer from removing all contingencies.  It is not uncommon that waiting for appraisals, loan approvals, delivery of homeowner association documents, and negotiation of any repairs can add 30 extra days to the time that the sale remains contingent.

Agents leave the property in “Backup” status until it closes.

Homes in “backup” status continue to show as available on the real estate search sites such as, Trulia, and all the IDX services.  This will benefit the listing agent who still wants to generate leads by advertising that home, even though it is essentially gone.  A home that received multiple offers on the first day, followed by 5 days of negotiation to get to the “highest & best”, followed by a 60 day escrow will show 66 days on the market!

The time to approve short sales often adds months to the days on the market.

Many agents leave the property in the active status until the lender gets around to approving the sale (or foreclosing.)  Even though a property received 14 offers on the first day on the market, when it closes 9 months later, it may show 273 days on the market!

Due to the uselessness of these Days on Market numbers, I have decided to no longer include them in my local market activity reports.  If you want to know how many days a particular property took to sell, just give me a call and I’ll look up the details for you!

Comments (3)

Lynda Eisenmann
Preferred Home Brokers - Brea, CA
Broker Associate ,CRS,GRI,SRES, Brea,CA, Orange Co

Hi Vicki,

You make some really good points, especially when it comes to those who leave a listing in back up just to remain on the web, we see it all the time.

Yet with that said, I still use the days on market, although with the disclaimer that numbers can be distorted as with other things, i.e. sales price to list price ratio. Funny but how some manipulate the numbers, sales price to reduced list price vs. orig list price.


Aug 29, 2010 03:07 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Vicki, I am surprised that this post did not get many more comments. I don't think DOM should be so prominent in the MLS. We can always look up the history but it is not helping to sell homes.


Sep 28, 2010 03:20 PM
Wendy Richards
ProStead Realty - Charlotte NC Home & Real Estate - Charlotte, NC
at ""- Charlotte NC Home & Rea

Very good point! I agree with Vicki that more comments should have been made. Perhaps a repost with "Days on Market is No Longer Relevant."

Nov 22, 2010 05:11 AM