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San Carlos Real Estate January 31, 2013

Eight Days a Week.

by Chuck Gillooley

The Magic Number.

When I am compiling the data for the San Carlos Real Estate Week in Review post that I publish every week, there’s a number that always seems to jump out at me from the Days on Market (DOM) column:  8.    By definition, the DOM figure is the number of days from when the property was listed on the MLS until an offer is accepted and the status changes to pending.     And in this high-demand, inventory depleted market that we’re experiencing now, 8 days seems to be the magic number that it takes a well prepared and intelligently priced home in San Carlos to sell in this market.  Can it be shorter?  Of course – there have been quite a few homes that have sold before they even hit the market, or within a few days after being listed.    And there’s always the ones that missed the mark on price or location and will sit on the market longer.

But when you look at mechanics of a typical listing in San Carlos, the number 8 is not a coincidence.

Exposure versus Expeditiousness.

It’s an absolute no-brainer that it’s in the best interest for sellers to get their home to maximize the exposure of their home by selling it on the MLS.    Yes, there are certain circumstances where an off-market sale may make sense, but if your goal is to get the best price possible for your home, you absolutely want multiple buyers competing for it.   But there’s a fine balance between garnering enough exposure on the market without holding interested buyers at bay too long to possibly squelch their enthusiasm for your property, or to have a competing listing hit the market and take the wind out of your sails.

When you examine the mechanics of a typical home listing, there are two critical events that maximize the accessibility and the exposure of your home:  the Tuesday broker’s tour, and the weekend open house.   What’s very apparent in this market is that you really only need to conduct one of each to garner enough interest to generate multiple offers on your home…and that’s where the number 8 comes in.

Here’s a very typical timeline of a home listing in San Carlos:

  • Friday:  Home debuts on the MLS.
  • Sunday:  Open House.
  • Tuesday:  Broker Tour.

By the following Friday (7th day) interested buyers have had enough time to see the home and review disclosures, and there’s usually more than enough interest now that it makes sense to listen to offers.   Allow one day for counter offers and ratification, and there are your 8 days.    This example holds true regardless of what day of the week the home is listed on.

Obviously, the point here is not that it’s going to be exactly 8 days to sell the house.  The key takeaway is that most hot listings will only have one open house and one broker tour before they’re gone, and as a buyer you need to plan accordingly.

What This Means for Buyers.

This compressed time-frame means that buyers have to be on top of their game, and that the purchase of a new home must take top priority.  Every hour and every day counts in a fast market like this.    If you’re out of town for the first (and only) open house, or if you can’t get out to see the listing for a few days, you’re already way behind the curve.   Your competition has already been through the house a couple of times and is now (hopefully) reading through the disclosures and planning their offer strategy.

There’s no gray area for buyers — you’re either in the market, or you’re not.    Those that are going to be successful finding a home in this challenging market recognize this and already have their strategy locked and loaded.

Those that don’t will continue to be stunned by the news that a home sold in “only” 8 days.

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Comments 1
  • My neighbor who is renting the home across the street was telling me how frustrated they were finding a home to buy here in SC. I mentioned a home down the street where the owner had passed away almost 2 years ago and the house was vacant. Their agent contacted the owners and 3 weeks later, they have closed escrow on their new home (and as you mentioned in your post, they got the house for much less than it woudl have sold on the open market.

    I was happy to help them and know the frustration of finding the ideal home, preparing a great offer only to find you are back to square one after the dust settles.

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