Staging and “Days-on-Market” are inescapable parts of the real estate agent’s life. How one agent and his or her seller handle each issue can vary widely. Before the home is put on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), everything with regards to condition, presentation, marketing and showings better be well thought out and thoroughly discussed. Otherwise, the listing will accumulate “days on the market” (DOM).
As an adjunct to my real estate practice, I’ve been answering questions in The San Jose Mercury News (SJMN) since the 1990s. In 2006, the SJMN asked me to “pen” a new advice column named “Market Wise.” All this time, the topic of “Days-on-Market” has never had its due. Here in the latest publication, I took the opportunity to insert the importance of “DOM” regarding a home that refuses “to sell.”
For a Realtor®, the “DOM” is the closest thing to a “batting average.” Since 1999, over half of Kapowich listings sell in 10 or fewer days. The average is 20.5 “Days on Market.”
by Pat Kapowich
Published October 2, 2016
Q: My property is not selling after several weekends of open houses. I now know my staging is the wrong theme for Silicon Valley homebuyers. Our listing agent claims the problem is our list price. What he fails to acknowledge is that the home’s equity is also my retirement nest egg. He wants to bring the listed price down by a minimum of $30,000. I’m suggesting we first change the theme of the staging. It was my fault for choosing the wrong motif. I’m more than happy to pay a few thousand dollars to remove and replace the decor. Included in the staging cost is another 30 days of rental. That’s a saving of $27,000. What do I have to lose?
A: Three thousand dollars, but more importantly, the almighty the days on market (DOM). The DOM is an indicator of value in the minds of many home buying consumers and their agents. Sad, but it’s also true during the dot.com craze buyers began to ask the open house host, “How many days has it been on the market?” In that Silicon Valley dotcom seller’s market, a desirable property sold in hours or days. If not, the groupthink battle cry was “there must be something wrong with it.” Fast forwarding through all the hot, cold and balanced markets to present day, we find nationally that Realtors® reported receiving an acceptable offer in 36 days. Nowadays, in the nine Bay Area Counties, and especially Silicon Valley, 36 days on market would only conjure up negative images for our homebuyers. Consumers would convince themselves sight unseen that something is amiss with the roof, foundation, HOA, neighborhood and more. Never in a million years would buyers or their agents think the wrong staging is in play.
You and your agent need to sit down and prepare a list of all and any changes to your mutual listing. Brainstorm at the property together with a blank sheet of paper. The listing has lost the “buzz” of being new on the market. You need to create another wave of buyers. Ask your agent while sitting at your kitchen table for a list of top ten actionable items. If you two do not successfully negotiate privately, you’ll fail publicly.
10.2.2016 Bay Area News Group
Pat’s “Market Wise” real estate Q&A advice column runs in the Pulitzer Prize-winning San Jose Mercury News on the first and third Sunday. Look for it in a Bay Area News Group newspaper near you.