The number of days a house is on the market has two sides: sellers want the number to be low (meaning the house was put on the market and quickly snatched up) whereas buyers look for higher numbers in hopes that sellers will come down on the price in desperation to get out. While a home's days on the market is never an absolute correlation to its condition or worth, knowing the number puts another titbit of information into the buyer's hands at the negotiating table.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Ask the real estate agent to pull the home's MLS, or Multiple Listing Service, listing. The MLS is the record of the home being put on the market and includes all of the details about the home including the square footage and number of rooms.
Check the top right corner (sometimes in the top left corner if there is no photograph of the home) for "DOM," which stands for "days on market." To the right of the DOM will be the number of days the home has been on the market.
Inquire directly to the homeowner or ask a real estate agent to inquire about any previous DOM or when the home's official first listing appeared.
Visit an online service such as Move.com, where homes for sale are listed and can be searched by city or Postcode. Although DOM is not always included on the sites, some listings do offer that detail.
Tips and warnings
- A real estate agent's MLS listing will show the "DOM" (days on market) as a single number starting with the latest date the house was listed. This doesn't include days the house was on the market before being pulled off. For example, a house that was listed on Jan. 1 and stayed on the market until Feb. 1 before being pulled off and relisted April 1-28 will only show a DOM of 28 days; it won't include the earlier days on the market. Asking the homeowner or the real estate agent is the only way to find out the true length of time on the market.
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