It has always been my assumption that the longer a house sits on the market, the more likely the seller will receive less money in the final sale. There is some validity to that theory, but there can also be less validity than you may think. The Winchester, VA February Real Estate Update challenges that theory.
In my research, I looked at February sales. Closings were set at 14 days except for the 90-99 day interval. I stopped at 99 DOMP and went to 100+ days on the market. There were 125 houses that closed in February. Of that number, 15 were foreclosures and 1 was a short sale. That has been typical in the local market for the past six months with the exception of an 8 year low in January.
The percentages broke down like this:
Days Sales Percentage of List to Sale
0-14 36 83.29 – 124.17
15-29 12 85.76 – 101
30-44 6 50.25 – 97.87
45-59 5 88.95 – 94.31
60-74 5 90.94 – 97.36
75-89 2 88.40 – 98.33
90-99 4 84.53 – 91.33
100+ 55 63.81 – 102.63
The highest high did fall in that 0-14 day period, but the second highest high was at 100+ days. The lowest low took place at the 30-44 day interval, and it was followed by the second lowest low at 100+ days. Interestingly, the third lowest low was in the 0-14 day interval. The most consistent numbers were in the 60-74 days period. They weren’t the highest or the lowest, but they were tightest average in the group.
For the home-seller who is panicing because his house hasn’t sold in the first few weeks of a listing, there is hope. It doesn’t always happen that way. There are a few things he can do to improve his odds, such as:
- Make the home easy to show.
- Always have it ready to show. That means clean, picked up, full of light, smelling fresh (no artificial scents please), and available.
- Have a professional stager work with you to make your home enticing.
- Price it right. I encourage my sellers to have an appraisal done prior to list. That way, we know what a lender is likely to loan on the property. Listing way above market is a great way to make sure it sits endlessly, but price it within the market and it will sell.
- Location is the only potential hiccup in any home sale. You can’t move a home. If the location is less than favorable, other advantages will need to be emphasized, but a great location will only add to value of a home for sale.
The average days on the market for February was 102. That corresponds to the 55 properties sold at 100+ days. Every seller is looking for an advantage when placing his property on the market. Simple things can make a big difference, but days on the may not be an indicator of any thing more than external influences, like a seasonal market, bad weather, interest rate uncertainty or an oversupply of available homes.
Days on the Market May Not be the Indicator of a Solid Home Listing