Today, I found 228 homes in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia that have been listed on the MLS and on the market for more than 365 days. An entire year or more on the market! 29 of those homes have been actively on the market for over 2 years! Can you imagine? Two years of keeping your home clean, having a lockbox on the door, and leaving the house on Sundays so a REALTOR can hold an open house!
That is a very long time even in today's slower market.
While 86 of these homes are over $1 million (which you might expect to be on the market a bit longer anyway), over 60% of these long-time listings are under that price.
How do this compare to the average time for sale? Well, of the 1,847 homes that have sold so far this year in D.C. and Northern Virginia, the average days on market was 53.
WARNING: You Don't Want Your Home on the Market Forever!
One of the first questions buyers ask is "How Long Has That Home Been on the Market?" More often than not, buyers will use this information to determine how much they wish to offer for the home. That is, if the buyer even makes an offer at all. The longer a home has been on the market, the less chance it will get an offer from buyers because they will often think something is wrong with the house that's been on the market for so long. In reality, the only thing wrong with the home may be the price!
If when checking out these homes, I notice that there have been no price reductions or very small price reductions, it becomes obvious to me that the sellers are not very motivated and unlikely to negotiate. Chances are there were some offers for the property early on, but that the sellers refused to lower their price to get the deal done and the house sold.
When working as a listing agent representing the seller of a home, I do not want my seller's home on the market for more than a year with no price reductions. We'll often agree upfront to scheduled price reductions after set periods of time without an offer to get the home sold. The better strategy is to just price it right at the beginning.
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