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How Long Has That Home Been on the Market?

By Guest Blogger, Brian Block
RE/MAX Allegiance, Alexandria, Virginia
Brian is an Attorney, a REALTOR with a long list of professional designations attesting to his expertise, and the author of Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. Real Estate Blog.   Brian is one of my favorite real estate bloggers, and I thought you might enjoy reading his perspective on this question. 
Topping the heap as one of the most popular questions for homebuyers everywhere — “How Long Has That House Been on the Market?” has numerous implications.

BB - Question MarkUpon hearing that a home has been on the market for a lengthy period of time, most people make one or more of the following assumptions:

  • There’s something wrong with the house.
  • The price is too high.
  • The sellers are willing to negotiate.
  • The sellers don’t really want to move.
  • There’s something else we don’t know (about the home, the neighborhood, the sellers)

Typically, when a home is on the market for a significant amount of time, over and above the average time on market in a given area, that’s a strong indication that the home is overpriced.  Many sellers do themselves an injustice by overpricing their home for sale at the beginning. 

There may be several reasons why sellers overprice their homes:

1.  Ego — they want to clear as much or more than their neighbor did when they sold.
2.  Improper Guidance — somebody told them they could sell the house for that much.
3.  Unrealistic Expectations — the sellers don’t realize nor follow the ups and downs of the market.
4.  Testing the Market — the sellers lack real motivation to move, but will for “their price.”
5.  Built in Negotiating Cushion — instead of pricing right and getting a sale, the sellers believe that they need to price the home high to leave room for negotiating down.

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Buy Me.  Sellers willing to negotiateAs a buyer seeking property either for your residence or as investment, you will most likely find that homes that have been on the market a long time rarely have anything truly wrong with them, except the price.  Properly motivated sellers will likely be much more willing to negotiate on price and other terms when their home has languished on the market for months.  You should start by researching the average amount of time that homes spend on the market in the community that you wish to buy. 

Brian’s article continues, with statistics relative to his market in Northern Virginia, but here are some local statistics that may interest you more:


Unlike Brian’s market in Northern Virginia, no homes in Crofton (21114) have been on the market for a year or more while there are five in Davidsonville (21035) and fewer than five in Gambrills (21054) and Odenton (21113) combined.  However, any homeseller whose property has been on the market for more than six months may be highly motivated to sell now, and there are more than a hundred of those.  In the following chart, statistics are the “average” –

DOM over 180









In Crofton, at this time, there are 137 homes on the market.  The average list price is $401,635, and prices range from $220,000 to $899,899.  Average days on market for all properties is 101.  Average age of homes is 24 years.

76 homes are currently on the market in Davidsonville, with an average list price of $976,708, with the lowest priced at $279,900 and the highest at $2,999,950.  The average days on market for all listed properties is 154 and the average age of these homes is 17.

In Gambrills, there are 67 homes on the market ranging from $214,900 to $2,700,000 with an average list price today of $658,991.  Average days on market is 141 and average age of listed homes is 22.

There are 219 homes currently for sale in Odenton.  The average list price is $364,859, and prices range from $45,000 for a mobile home to $2,100,000.  The average days on market for all listed properties is 99, and the average age of these homes is 12.


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