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Ask Adam: Questions About Days-on-Market

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This regularly-scheduled sponsored Q&A column is written by Adam Gallegos of Arlington-based real estate firm Arbour Realty, voted one of Arlington Magazine’s Best Realtors of 2013 & 2014. Please submit your questions via email.

Q. One of the criteria we have been using in evaluating homes on the market is the number of days they have been listed. What’s puzzling is that we are finding that the numbers vary from one resource to the next. Zillow, Redfin and the listing updates our realtor provides are all different.

A. The primary source of this data is the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). When your Realtor sends you updates, you may notice that days-on-market is provided in two different formats within the MLS listings. There is “DOM-MLS” and “DOM-Prop.”

DOM-MLS is the amount of time the current listing has been active. DOM-Prop is the amount of time the current property has been actively listed. It takes 90 days for a property’s DOM-Prop to reset back to zero. With that in mind here is an example:

Agent 1 has a home listed for 50 days. The sellers decide to take it off the market for a couple of weeks and re-list it with Agent 2. Agent 2 is able to find a buyer and it goes under contract in 25 days. In this example, the DOM-Prop is 75 and the DOM-MLS is 25 days.

It usually matters more to me how long the property has been listed (DOM-Prop) than how long it has been listed most recently (DOM-MLS).

The discrepancy I have found with some of the real estate websites is that they count days-on-market even if the property is not actively listed. Sometimes I will have a property in an alternative status like “temp off.” The MLS does not count days-on-market while in temp off, but some of the real estate sites do.

Our local MLS just created a new status called “coming soon.” It will be interesting to see which real estate websites count the days in “coming soon” as days-on-market.

In summary, the count of DOM-Prop in the MLS is the most accurate and valuable indication of how long a home has actually been on the market.

The views and opinions expressed in the column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ARLnow.com.

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