Harrisburg PA Homes for Sale Blog: How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA - Why Days on the Market Matters

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How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA - Why Days on the Market Matters

How to Buy a House in Harrisburg PA -

Why Days on Market Matters


One of the first questions buyers ask me when considering how to buy a house, occurs when I hold an open house. They want to know its days on market.One of the first things a buyer asks about a listing is its days on market. Days on market matter when you're on the hunt to learn how to buy a house.

How to Buy a House - Do Average Days on Market Matter?

Which is more important? The "average days" on market or the "number of days" on market of each listing? If you're a buyer, of course, it's the home you want to buy that matters when thinking about how to buy a house.  If you're a seller whose home has been on the market for 60 days, you want to know how long it is taking homes like yours to sell.

How to Buy a House - How Buyers Look at Days on Market

There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. When buyers see extensive days on market, they figure the seller is desperate to sell because the home is still on the market. Buyers also believe there might be something wrong with the home that caused other buyers to pass it up. Both of those assumptions, however, can be wrong.


Too Many Days on the Market

How to Buy a House - Homes can Linger on the Market for the following Reasons:

·         The common reason is overpricing.
The agent may have "bought" the listing by misleading the seller into believing the home was worth more than the market will bear. It's not unusual for an agent to deliberately take an
overpriced listing.

·         Little seller motivation.
Sometimes sellers want to "test the market" by pricing too high, just to see if they can find a fool to pay that price. It's known as a
seller's worst mistake.

·         Stubbornness.
Sellers could be stuck on the price and willing to wait out the market until the market catches up to the asking price.

·         Down real estate market.
buyer's markets, it can take longer to sell a home than in seller's markets. A home that would sell in five days in a seller's market might sell in 120+ days in a down real estate market.

·         Unavailable to show.
If the property is tenant occupied, it might be difficult to obtain an appointment from the tenant. In most cases, homes with a
lockbox get shown more often than those without.

·         Unsuitable to show.
Sometimes sellers put homes on the market before they are ready to let buyers see it. They might be finishing
resale repairs or painting during the first 30 to 60 days of a listing.

·         Reduced commission.
Although buying agents are required to show all listings, many agents refuse to show homes that don't pay the same commission as competing homes. Often these homes are listed
by discount brokers.

·         Little Internet or MLS exposure.
If the home has one photograph in
MLS, buyers are likely to pass on the listing and instead choose homes to see that have multiple photographs.

How to Buy a House - Finding Out the Cumulative Days on Market

Some MLS systems refuse to let agents withdraw a listing and enter it as a new listing without first canceling or expiring the listing. In either case, it is relatively easy for an agent to determine the number of days on market; it's not so easy for a buyer.

·         Check Listing History.
One way is to enter the address of the property into MLS to find duplicate, expired or withdrawn listings. In the Sacramento MLS, this is known as pulling the "history" of the property.

·         Look for Cumulative DOM.
Some MLS have changed the way listings are reported and will include cumulative days on market in the listing itself.

·         Ask Your Agent.
If you are working with a
neighborhood specialist, your agent will have a fairly good idea if the home has been listed before, for how long and by whom.

·         Ask the Listing Agent.
Since real estate agents cannot misrepresent a property, you might ask the
listing agent a direct question. Do not ask how long the home has been on the market because there might have been a price reduction, so the agent will feel justified in telling you the days on market at the new price. Ask if it has expired / withdrawn / canceled and then relisted. Be specific.

·         Search Online.
Enter the property address several different ways into a search engine such as Google or Yahoo. All of its previous
online listings should pop up.

·         Ask Neighbors.
Neighbors know everything that goes on in their area and often are more than happy to tell you how long a home has been on the market.


When thinking about how to buy a house, buyers figure the longer a home has been on the market, the more eager a seller is to sell. If the seller is eager to sell, the seller might be willing to negotiate a much lower price. So, you can see how this piece of knowledge is useful to buyers.







Harrisburg PA Real Estate Expert

Ken Huebsch: Your premier real estate agent in the Greater Harrisburg area.  I am a specialist in Harrisburg real estate as well as the communities of Palmyra, Hershey, and Hummelstown.  My wife Leslye and I have a combined 40+ years' experience serving our clients -We KNOW Harrisburg. When you plan to buy or sell Harrisburg area real estate, allow us to work for you.  We are dedicated professionals and are here for your success. 

For more information on how we can best serve your real estate needs, please complete our online contact form or give us a call.  Also, check out what our fabulous clients have to say about us on our testimonials page!


Cell: (717) 514-1793            Email: Ken@KensHomesales.com


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Comment balloon 3 commentsKen and Leslye Huebsch • September 26 2011 12:43PM


Watch the Yankees loose on purpose, just to get rid of the Red Sox!

Posted by Joseph D. Federico, Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate (Donahue Real Estate Co.) almost 7 years ago

Ken & Leslye-Its over! The Red Sox had a 14 game lead on Sept. 4 over Tampa. Let the long off season begin. Go Phillies!

Posted by Joseph D. Federico, Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate (Donahue Real Estate Co.) almost 7 years ago

Well Ken & Leslye-Its getting late, The Red Sox have dragged their sorry asses out of Boston, Now lets get ready for the Stanley Cup Champions to take the ice in just one week from tonight to open up their season at home against your Flyers. This is Hockey! This is Bruins country, the sooner the better so we can forget how the Red Sox really fxxxxd it all up in a matter of weeks! Good Night! 

Posted by Joseph D. Federico, Eastern Massachusetts Real Estate (Donahue Real Estate Co.) almost 7 years ago