Days on market is one of the most important statistics in real estate. As a listing agent, you (and your client) likely want the sale to close as quickly as possible. The sellers want the sale money in their bank account and the ability to move on to the next chapter of their lives, and you want to get paid. The best way to ensure it all happens in a timely manner is to reduce your listing’s Days on Market. Here’s how. 

What are “days on market”?

Days on market (DOM) refers to the number of days between when a property is listed for sale and the day it goes under contract. (Note that this does not include the escrow period before the sale has officially closed. That's typically an additional 30-45 days.) 

In a stable market, properties in good condition and priced appropriately are likely to sell during the average DOM window for the area. In a less-than-stable market, it’s anyone’s game, and in very competitive markets the average DOM may be greatly accelerated. According to Zillow, the national average DOM in 2020 was 25 days (down from 30 days in 2019). 

Low days on market: When a property is described as having a “low DOM,” it means it went into contract and closed in fewer days than the average for the area. 

When DOM is low overall in a town, county, state, country, etc., it indicates that it’s a seller’s market. This means that buyers are choosing properties and executing contracts quickly, likely due to low inventory, which means there’s more competition to purchase properties as they come to market. 

High days on market: When a property is described as having a “high DOM,” it’s been sitting on the MLS for longer than average and/or may have been removed and relisted multiple times. Very high DOM properties may be stigmatized or tainted. 

When DOM is high overall, it’s an indication of a “buyer’s market,” meaning that buyers have the luxury of time when choosing a property because there is high inventory and little competition. 

Why are days on market important?

A property has its best chance of being sold in the first few weeks after it’s listed. When a property hits the market, buyers and agents will usually receive automated notifications within hours of it going live, letting them know that there’s a new listing that fits their criteria.

As DOM increases, the chance of your listing being spotted by ready buyers decreases. A property with many days on the market may become stale: Even if there’s nothing wrong with it, because it has not sold agents and buyers may assume that it has structural defects or is otherwise problematic.

How to decrease days on market

If you're preparing a property for sale and want to sell it quickly, there are several things you can do to decrease days on market. 

Price your listing right from the beginning.
Your property needs to be priced correctly from the start to get it in front of the maximum number of qualified buyers. A careful, comparative market analysis—both of sold and listed homes in the area—is essential to pricing your property.

While it might be tempting to set a high list price, that strategy is likely to backfire. Buyers working with higher budgets are likely to realize that they can find something better in their price range, and buyers in the correct price range will pass on the property, thinking they can’t afford it. (Worse yet, they may never get a listing notification because it’s outside their range.) This apparent lack of interest from all sides will lead to an increase in Days on Market, and might even result in a lower eventual sale price than if you’d listed it correctly from the outset.

Use great photos.
Good photography is key to getting potential buyers to visit your property. If they never see it, they definitely won’t buy it, so don’t skimp on high-quality photos. If it’s an option, consider partnering with a reputable builder to turn a land listing into a “new construction” property for sale to allow potential buyers to really envision themselves on the property. 

READ: How to Take Picture-Perfect Photos for Land Listings

Have answers for every potential question.
It's natural for a potential buyer to have questions about a property, and it's even more natural for them to want to involve their lawyer from Day One if they're serious. While questions, clarifications, and inspections are all part of the process, they can also seriously slow down a real estate transaction. 

Some things take time because they have to, but the more knowledge you can arm yourself with, the faster you can answer questions that arise before an offer is made. Having answers readily accessible can definitely shorten Days on Market. In addition to the official seller’s disclosure, consider asking the seller any questions you foresee arising during showings and walkthroughs so you can answer quickly and avoid waiting for a response.

Fix and spruce what you can.
Take note of anything within the property that might be a turnoff to a potential buyer and fix it prior to listing. Even if it’s just a minor cosmetic upgrade, little things go a long way towards a quick sale. A potential buyer who sees a property that needs multiple minor repairs or with dead landscaping may assume it’s not been taken care of. 

All of these factors will work to make the property as desirable as possible and keep the transaction moving along to limit your property’s days on market. 

Welcome Homes can help sell your land faster. Here's how.

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