My Average Days On Market??

I HATE getting asked that question.  Not because it is longer than average, but because that info is sooooo easily manipulated by Realtors today that it has no real meaning.  Plus, it doesn’t really give a good indication of how good a job a Realtor will do at selling your house.

See, Realtors are the ones who enter the date a listing goes pending.  Realtors are also the ones who can delete a listing and put it back on with a new MLS number, making you think it is a new listing.  When it sells, the report they can print and show you DOES NOT SHOW the days on market from the previous listing!!  They can do the same thing with price changes.  I have seen several times on LBAR where the price of a listing was reduced the same day it went pending.  Then, when it closes, it shows that the house sold for 100% of the asking price.  That is a way to be able to tell prospective sellers that you get a higher that normal List-to-Sale percentage.  It is all a game, and one I don’t play.

I have no idea what my average days on market are at the moment.  To be quite upfront (as I always am), I have sold several houses very quickly and some take what seems like forever.  Last summer, I sold one before it even hit the MLS just by networking.  When I get asked about things like this, I usually tell people about the ones that I have sold fast and the ones that have taken a longer time.  Then I tell them I put the same effort in all my listings.  The difference in one that sells fast or slow has a lot to do with the house and the seller.  An over-priced listing is going to take a longer time.  One in a poor school district will take a longer time.  I then tell them that every seller who has taken my advice about price and work that needs done has sold their house quickly.

So, what is a consumer to do when a Realtor can quote manipulated statistics?  I say ask them questions that make them think.  How about asking them what they are going to do any different from the next agent.  Maybe ask how they get  their clients.  If you hear the word referral, that means that they did a good enough job that somebody promoted them to a friend/family member.  Most agents just think about marketing when they are on a listing appointment.  Ask them questions about what happens AFTER you get an offer on your house.  What is their negotiating strategy?  How do they usually handle inspection repair lists?  What do they do to make sure the buyer’s loan is getting done?  The goal is to get to the closing table with as little drama or surprises as possible. 

And if you do ask about their average days on market, be sure to ask if that includes their deleted listings.  Also ask how far back they went in history to average those numbers.  They could have had two that recently sold fast and are quoting you just the average of those two.

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