I recently read a post from The Front Steps blog on resetting the days on market (DOM) data field on the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Although the post was a request for comment (which I did), I thought I would give an expanded version of my thoughts on the subject.
The DOM data field in the MLS reports the amount of days a listing has been listed on the MLS. By prematurely pulling a home off the market and resubmitting the property back on, it appears to the public that the home is a new listing. Is this manipulating the system or just providing the seller’s home a fresh look to potential buyers?
To start with, the DOM stat doesn’t give the buyer a true indication of the amount of time a home may have been actively marketed. Agents have been known to market “pocket listings” for days, weeks, and sometime months before a home is placed on the MLS. We’ve all seen “For Sale” signs with a “Coming Soon” rider. We call the office who’s name is on the sign, only to find out they can’t find any information about a home at that address. Still others continually “list” homes for sale on Craigs list as exclusive listings, “Not on MLS” (yet!).
While some of this marketing is done while the home is being prepped for showing, a good portion of the time it is an attempt by the agent to sell the house themselves (ie. doubleend the transaction). The big winner here is the agent. The big loser is the seller. It is ok to allow an agent a reasonable time to market your home off the MLS (while it is being prepared for market). However, if you want to maximize your sales price, never and I repeat NEVER take an offer before the home has had full exposure to the market.
Potential Home Seller Benefits Of Relisting And Resetting The DOM:
Potential Problems For The Seller:
Potential Problems For The Listing Agent:
Local MLS Service Has Possible Solution:
Kevin Boer, in his article Stale Tuna And Resetting The “Days On Market” — Chicanery And A Public Health Risk, Or Just Plain Old Good Salesmanship, describes what our local MLS has done to make the DOM more accurate. The DOM clock can be reset only if the property has not been listed within a period of one month. Our local MLS has also uses the term continuous days on market (CDOM). The data in this field keeps a continuous count of days regardless whether the home has been churned. So if you are looking to use DOM as a tool to assess the value of a property, I would suggest using CDOM.
What do you think?