Fast home sales, slow home sales
Above: The homes that sold in the Baltimore region in December, organized by how quickly -- or slowly -- they went from listed to under contract.
The breakdowns come from Metropolitan Regional Information Systems' stats arm, RealEstate Business Intelligence, which notes that yes, some homes really do come on the multiple-listing service as already sold -- hence the 34 properties in December in the "zero days" category.
But it's rare that someone had to have the house so badly that they snagged it from the owners before they were even thinking of selling. It more likely was for sale but not on the MLS -- a new home, say, or a for-sale-by-owner -- and an agent entered it into the system afterward.
So let's ignore the zeros. If you add up everything from one day to 30, that's almost 400 homes, close to a quarter of all (non-zero-day) sales that month. That's by far the most common period for a home to sell, comparing just 30-day stretches.
To put it into perspective: 415 homes that sold in December -- not that many more than the 30-and-under group -- had been on the market more than six months. (Of those, 15 had been on the market more than two years.)
Newly listed homes are more likely to get attention. But that's not the only reason the sales stats show a sizable chunk of homes selling in the first 30 days. An owner might have been trying to sell for considerably longer but went on and off the market a few times before finally finding a buyer. (On that note: Here's an explanation of the difference between "days on market" and "days on market property," the latter of which does track the total number of days for sale over time.)
The most common selling point in the first 30 days in December: Day 11 through 20, according to RBI.
Buyers, do you find yourself focusing on the new stuff or do you keep an eye on older inventory for price drops?
Sellers, what was/is your pricing strategy at various lengths of time on market?