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How Can You Tell How Many Days a Property Has Been on the Market?

February 11th, 2018

Jack in Florida asks:

Is there a way to determine how many days a property has been on the market and sold after images of the property are marketed on the internet?

Most agents will upload photos at the same time they create a listing. In fact, most MLSs require photos these days. So time on the market is the same as days with images.

The best way to tell how long a property has been on the market is to look at the listing on the MLS. Zillow also shows how long a property has been on the market under the heading “Facts and Features.”

Be careful how you interpret the days on the market though. On MLSs there are two steps to a sale:

  1. A sale is PENDING when the seller agrees to a buyer’s offer. But at this point, the buyer’s financing may not be approved and the sale may still be contingent upon approval of an inspection.
  2. A sale is CLOSED when all the contingencies have been satisfied.

So even though a sale could be PENDING in a few days, it could take a month or more for the sale to be CLOSED. And if the contingencies don’t work out, the property could become on the market again after being PENDING for a while.

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4 Responses to “How Can You Tell How Many Days a Property Has Been on the Market?”

  • Who care? unless you want to build a statistic that says if you photographed the home it was on the market so many days. If so, don’t. If you want to have a statistic to show Realtors, then track if it sold or not. You haven’t any control over pricing, but even most overpriced homes will eventually sell. So I would prefer to tell clients my homes, that I have photographed have a 93% sell ratio, instead of the Market norm of 81% (these figures are beer induced as I type this).

  • On most MLS’ (including NWMLS) the days on market stop when it goes into pending (not contingent). A property could languish in pending for 6 months – but if it went into pending 2 days after it was listed; 2 days on the market is all it will ever show.

  • Zillow, Trulia and Realtor.com aren’t always consistent with displaying the number of days a home has been on the market. Price history can be a good thing to look at to see if a listing has been put up and taken down a few times to renew it’s position on listing sites. I see “off-market” properties that have history information when they were last on the market and the date they were reported as sold. Generally, non-members don’t have access to the local multiple listing service so for photographers, the consumer facing websites are what you have to go on.

    Larry is correct that it’s a good bet to correlate the listing date with when the photos were posted since they are usually the same date or within a couple of days. Some agents put listings up before they have all of their marketing ready to go. MLS’s require posting at least one photo within a short period of the agent getting a signed listing contract with a seller unless the seller has directed them to wait before putting the home on the market or doesn’t want photos posted online.

    If you need more accurate dates for a study, you may need to partner with a local agent that will work with you to track properties on the MLS.

  • Anyone looking for information regarding homes in their community can obtain it from a Realtor, especially if they have established a working relationship. I’m a Realtor and would be happy to help photographers in my own community with the tools I have at my disposal. Service minded agents enjoy the prospect of being available for helping anyone. Photographers, their family, friends. It’s what we do. Obligation is implied, but not required. But it would be nice, once the need arises.

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