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Is Days on Market Important to Know When Selling Your Home?

Is "Days on Market" Important When Selling a Home?

Hey, Dave Edwards, Treasure Valley Dave here in Nampa, Idaho. We’re discussing sellers today and some key things you need to know. One of them is DOM or “days on market.”

All the buyers see that number, whether it’s on Zillow, realtor.com, or their agents telling them about it. That’s usually one of the first things that they ask about. “Well, how long has it been on the market?” So, it can mean several different things.

I want to review examples of Nampa homes for sale to show you some mistakes you could avoid.

House #1: 256 Days on Market

We’ve got this home in Nampa, and it’s been on the market for 256 days. That seems excessive.

Pros

Well, it looks nice. The pictures are great. They’ve done a fantastic job with it.

The house is built in 1941; the price is $309,000. It started at $325,000, so it’s come down about $15,000. Hmm.

Cons

Oh, I see a rail line. Those are trains right there. Also, we looked through the description, and it says that the back portion is being subdivided, so you only get some of that lot. You’ll get some neighbors and construction and be by the trains. Your market days might be high if your property is next to a train track.

House #2: 152 Days on Market

This nice-looking house is coming in at $408,000 in Nampa, and it’s on 0.23 acres of land. The original price is just shy of $450,000. Now, it’s $408,000 after 152 days.

Pros

It’s an attractive house. It backs up against Greenhurst, a busy street, but it’s not like highway noise.

Cons

Looking at the history, I see they started at $449,900 and kept it at that price for a couple of months. Then, they started chasing the market down. They lowered the price by $42,000 but still haven’t sold it.

In truth, the home sellers should have made that adjustment within the first couple of weeks. If you’re a seller and want to try this higher price, your agents can say two things. “It really should be at this lower price.”

Or, “You know what? Okay, we’ll try it for a couple of weeks. We’ll try it your way. If we don’t get any showings, we return to what it should be priced at.” That’s not what happened in this case. It went for two months at too high a price.

House #3: 155 Days on the Market

Pros

This house in Nampa looks nice in the pictures and is very spacious. They did a great job cleaning it out. It is a blank slate. Some staging could have helped, but they have a beautiful backyard.

Cons

It’s not close to a train track, but it backs up to a different part of Greenhurst. It’s in a 35mph zone and right across from another school. There could be a little bit of traffic during school hours, but it’s a nice area — there’s no doubt about that.

So, what’s going on here? The price is $425,000. That sounds reasonable, though it started at $474,990. They’ve since dropped the price to $50,000. It’s been on the market for 155 days.

We can learn from the website that this house went on the market for $475,000 and stayed there for a month and a half. Then, they dropped the price slightly before staying at that for several months. Then, they dropped the price again about a month ago to what it is now.

It could’ve been sold by now if they had priced it correctly. But it’s just another example of starting with a price that is too high. Sellers wanted to try it, but now they are still here 155 days later.

House #4: 186 Days on the Market

Pros

This must be a Greenhurst kind of day because we have another attractive house in the area. It’s priced at $449,900. It’s a nice ranch-style, mid-century home. The house looks beautiful from the inside, with hard floors.

Cons

When this house was built in 1976, Greenhurst was just like a little country lane, but now it’s pretty busy. It is at an intersection here, so getting in and out is probably complicated.

It’s been on the market for 186 days, starting at $475,000. The house went on the market in the middle of May, and four months later, they dropped the price to $450,000. It might have been sold if they had come in at what they were when they first started.

House #5: 144 Days on Market

All right, here’s another one: 144 days on the market.

Pros

I like the pictures. It looks staged very well — nice and bright and open. Train track? No, it’s nestled away in this quiet little neighborhood. It’s in a significant part of town. You can see it’s just that close to Lake Lowell. What’s going on with this? Let’s see.

Cons

Currently at $470,000, it’s been on the market for 144 days. They started at $515,000, so they dropped it to $45,000. They’ve been on the market since June 30th and kept that same price for two months. Then, they started chasing the market down a bit.

Another thing is commissions. The normal is a 3% commission the seller offers the buyer’s agent. Of course, you guys have all been hearing about that lawsuit and stuff like that. But right now, it’s still a thing in this country for the seller to pay for the buyer’s agent/broker through the closing process.

In this case, the sellers are paying less than 3%. I wonder if that might be causing this home to stay on the market for 144 days. It could be because they didn’t lower the price or price it right to start with.

House #6: 152 Days on the Market

This house looks like it’d be at home in the deep south.

Pros

It’s older, built in 1979, and has 3,200 square feet. It has five bedrooms, sits on over half an acre, and has been on the market for 152 days.

Funny enough, it’s on Greenhurst again, but this one dumps right onto Greenhurst. Again, it’s a 35mph zone here, so it’s okay. A school is down the street, so you might get some traffic. It might be hard to get in and out, but the location only bothers me a little.

Cons

They could have cleaned it up better. Also, I’m assuming these are not professional pictures. Although not bad, they feel different from professionally taken ones.

What bothers me is it’s been on the market for 152 days at $575,000. Now, we’re down to $520,000, so that’s $55,000 they dropped. The sellers kept it at this higher price for almost a month before dropping it after three weeks by $25,000.

Since then, they’ve been chasing the market down. So, it might be another one of those cases of “if they would’ve started at the right price.”

But there’s something different about this: it’s occupied by a tenant. That means there are particular rules for house showings when there’s a tenant involved. You must honor that agreement if the tenant is still under a lease and has six months to go on it.

You’d have to wait if you bought and wanted to move into the property. Or you could buy out the lease from the tenants or continue renting it out to the current tenants.

Also, when showings come, they ask for 24 to 48 hours’ notice in this case. Sometimes, tenants only keep the place all that cleaned up because they want to stay put. That can make your days on the market a bit higher.

Now, we’re starting to get out of the average $400,000-ish range, which is the sweet spot on the market. We’re getting up there where houses are more expensive. In this case, you can expect those days on the market to get slightly higher.

House #7: 235 Days on the Market

Here’s an attractive enough-looking house over here in Nampa at $559,000.

Pros

The outside of this place looks nice, like a blank slate. There’s only a little landscaping going on there. And because it came on the market back in March, it still looks gloomy because it was winter when the pictures were taken.

All right, the inside looks nice as well.

Cons

The sellers certainly needed a professional photographer to help them. Those pros would be like, “This is dark.” Professional pictures would’ve had this all lit up and some color correction. They didn’t even have the light on. Come on.

Yeah, your agent needs to have professional pictures when it comes time to sell your house. We use a photographer who has a drone. And even if you’re in a regular neighborhood, sometimes a drone picture will give buyers an idea of what the area looks like, what the backyard landscaping might look like, etc.

But it should be on the market for less than 235 days, even with bad pictures. It first came on back in March at $695,000. It’s dropped $45,000 since then. The sellers made a correction and came down substantially, but it wasn’t enough. It went from $695,000 to $559,000, so that’s over $135,000. My gosh, if they would’ve come in $145,000 less, it would’ve been sold by now.

They call this in the business: “The agent is buying the listing.” He comes in and says, “Yep, Mr. Seller, you know what? You’re right; it should be $145,000 more than the market says.” Yikes.

House #8: 188 Days on the Market

Pros

This one-story house sits at 2,557 square feet. It’s well into a subdivision. It must be a newer subdivision. They have some development going on in here now. You’d probably have a rear neighbor, but it looks like a decent-sized yard. It’s over here on Northeast Nampa, right off Cherry, around the new roundabout.

Cons

I wonder if this had professional pictures. If it did, my photographer would have cleaned and lit the driveway in different places. They also would’ve opened those windows to bring in as much light as possible. They didn’t even turn the TV off.

We all know it’s a pain when moving, but pictures are how buyers buy houses. To have this cleaned up would make it look more attractive. It’s like your eyes are going all over everywhere else. And how many pictures do you need of all the mess? They just missed out on some things.

We started at $685,000. Wow. We’re down to $575,000, so we’ve dropped to $110,000. It didn’t go on the market, then under contract and fall out. None of these have gone under contract at these prices.

And you know what, it’s day 188, and they’re still waiting. The super secret notes say “motivated seller.” That’s probably accurate. Dang. So you know what I mean? You don’t always understand what houses should be priced at because you’re an armchair real estate agent watching HGTV Property Brothers and realtor.com.

House #9: 200 Days on the Market

Pros

Alright, this is another house here in Nampa. It’s a good size, almost 3,000 square feet. Ah, they did have a professional come in with the pictures because that makes this floor plan thing. Look how bright it is. See, a professional photographer can make all the difference in the world.

I don’t know if this was staged as a vacant house or if they brought regular staging material. People are still living there, at least when these pictures were taken, but they did an excellent job of staging it.

It’s over here on a bit of pizza pie-shaped lot, so that’s nice. This must be the little community park with a pool across the street. This part of town is fabulous because you are like, “There it is. Lake Lowell’s right there.” Why would we still be on the market after all this time?

Cons

Well, 200 days ago, we started at $635,000. Since then, we’ve dropped $589,900 — that’s $45,000.

Oh, so here’s one thing. “Please allow two-hour notice for showings. Seller will kennel the dogs in the garage or remove them.” If you’re an agent with your buyers, looking at places, that would be a clue. It’s like, “This will be difficult to look at. Maybe I’ll go down the street to the house I can get into within the next hour or half.”

As a buyer, I’m looking at a situation like that. It’s like, “Hmm, dogs. Dogs mean damage.” So, pets, in general, can mean damage. It doesn’t mean it will be, but I don’t know what it means if a dog has to be kenneled.

Still, 200 days. Okay, this came on the market and stayed at a high price for a couple of weeks. And then they dropped it, but it didn’t do enough. There’s nothing wrong with the house. It’s beautiful. The community is excellent. But this is another case where they just started out asking too much.

House #10: 279 Days on the Market

So here’s an older one from here in Nampa. I will dwell on it briefly, but it has a different circumstance.

Pros

This was built in 1908. Wow, take a look at the pictures. It’s decked out. Well, it should be because it’s currently an Airbnb homestay. Look at all those telephones. So, it’s got over 4,600 square feet, many beds, and bathrooms. I see a kitchen; I see there’s going to be a kitchenette coming up. It has a vibe to it, huh?

This is like an entertaining area. There’s a stage up there at the front behind the piano. So if you’re a singer and would like to have a place at home to practice, this would be a nice place to do just that.

So, is it next to a train track? Well, I’m glad you asked because there’s a train right there close to it. Now, is that going to be a big deal? Maybe not because, at this point, there’s downtown right here. This is downtown Nampa, Old Town, Farmer’s Market, etc. But why else would this still be on the market after 279 days?

Cons

It started at $715,000 and remained that way. It’s currently being used as an Airbnb. You can’t plan when you will show it; it depends on the Airbnb bookings. It will take a lot of coordination to get in there to look, and I’m glad they had these great pictures taken. These professional pictures give a buyer a good feel of the house.

I’m just looking back to the history. If your house is on the market and you take it off for a short time, the days on the market continue to accumulate. If you’re on the market, you take it off for 31 days, then your days on the market will start over again.

So, higher math says that’s $35,000, and they dropped it. Is that enough that would’ve kept it from being sold sometime in the last 279 days? I’m not sure. The price and the fact that it’s hard to get in to take a look at are significant factors.

But it’s an unusual house. It’s not cookie-cutter, so the number of people looking for it is much smaller than your regular subdivision house.

House #11: 151 Days on the Market

Alright, so here’s the last one on our journey today. It’s up in that higher price range now: $799,990, 3,079 square feet. Why has it been on the market for 151 days? It sits on almost a third of an acre.

Cons

The house does not have professional pictures; colors are everywhere. They held the camera up and down instead of across some pictures. Some of them are the other way. As beautiful as this house is, these pictures don’t convey that. I’m glad they have their toys and stuff all lined up.

And what about this? Whether you’re a professional photographer or not, you should know how to close the toilet. Oh my gosh.

Also, you can have up to 50 pictures, but they only gave us 16. As big as it is, this house must tell your potential buyers a story. This one tells me a story with these pictures that there’s not much of a story to tell. How tight can they be that they didn’t even get a perpetual photographer for a house like this?

Why else would it be on the market for 151 days? Again, that thing with the commission. They didn’t have a photographer; they’re not paying the standard commission. What they’re offering is common, but if you’re trying to get a house sold, you’d want to do everything. You can do some of the things you can to get it in the zone so it can be sold.

What else? It started at $825,000 and stayed at that for about a month and a half before chasing the market down. They’ve come down $25,000, which will be more than that. They also have one to two hours’ notice for showing it.

Again, if you’re the buyer’s agent, you have everybody in the car, and you were out driving 151 days ago. It was summer and hot. You want to make everything easy for the buyer and the buyer’s agent to want to look at your house.

It's All About Marketing

Your agent should be teaching you about that. So, we looked through some great houses, and they didn’t get a very fair shake when it came time to get sold.

Days on the market — We learned that it could indicate an issue with the house, like train tracks. Or there’s an issue with what the buyers expect to get out of this, which doesn’t align with what the market’s saying.

So, as a seller, when it comes time for you to put your house on the market, do you want to know your days on market? Do you not care? Are you unmotivated? “If it sells, it’s fine. If not, that’s fine.”

Next time, we’ll look at some minimal days on the market and see what they did differently than these.

Want to Move to Idaho?

Hey, thanks for stopping in and learning more about real estate in Nampa, Idaho and the Treasure Valley. When it comes time to sell a home, buy a home, or even relocate to the Treasure Valley, your Treasure Valley Dave team is your real estate expert by your side, helping you get home.

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