Days on market, also referred to as DOM, are the amount of days a property has been listed for on the market. Flashback to the beginning of this year; anything with a DOM of 30 days or more would have been considered high.

However, due to unprecedented times, many home sellers have found themselves in a bit of a predicament.

Buyers have been more hesitant, or even unable, to set foot in a home the past few months. As a result, DOM numbers have suffered.

What does this mean for those who are now house hunting in a rebounding market?

What the experts say

Previously, we wrote about the pros and cons of a high DOM. The first thing buyers tend to think when a home has been on the market for a while is that there must be something wrong with it.

With these historic times, a high DOM does not necessarily carry the same significance it once did.

“It becomes tricky during COVID-19 to try to identify a number [of days on market] as good or bad, because the global health crisis requires everything to have an extra layer of examination,” says Dave Wetzel, MLS Listings president and chief executive officer.

Where should your focus lie?

Current market conditions tell us that the DOM by itself matters less than other factors, such as how the days on market compares to other homes in the neighborhood or significant price reductions.

You should also take into account the property location, local market and neighborhood comps, curb appeal, and community development.

A good rule of thumb is to also look at when the property was listed. If it was listed just before the pandemic, then you have less to worry about when it comes to its time spent on the market.

If it was listed 30-45 days before social distancing rules went into place, then there may be some questions to bring up with your agent:

  • What are the comparable homes in the area selling for?
  • Could it be possible the house was under a contract that fell through?
  • How is the seller’s agent marketing the property?
  • What are the seller’s intentions for selling?
  • Are there any current inspection reports on file?

These are questions that should be asked regardless of DOM. However, they are especially useful in easing any concerns about a “stale” listing.

Do not overthink it

If your heart is set on a property with a high “days on market”, do not let this be your main focus.

It never hurts to see a house in person. After all, that may be just what the homeowners have been waiting for.

Now that Florida has been slowly reopening, the sellers are probably waiting for buyers to jump at the chance to finally tour their home in person!