“How long has it been on the market?”
This is a common question that I get from Buyers. It’s an understandable one. Knowing the answer does have some bearing on how one would best approach negotiations but generally speaking I think it is less important than most Buyers make it out to be or perhaps it is better to say that it tells us different things than many would be Buyers are hoping to find out when they ask this question.
Why? Well this is one of those conclusions I have come to after being asked it countless times and having experienced the playing out of decisions made based upon it. The hard and fast rule (and pattern that people on bothes sides of the Buyer/Seller dynamic naturally fall into) is that a more recently listed property will command higher offers and places that have sat around for a time will command lower price offers. This is true even if there have been price reductions to make the property competitively priced. Once it has gotten to such a point, there is less of a sense of urgency and a sense of urgency is one of the big things that make people act.
It would be reductionist to only consider these factors though and that is why I am writing this post. There are many other factors that can reduce the importance of how long a property has been on market. Exploring this properly would require chapter length illustration but a couple of quick examples are estate sales where the property has been on the market while the probate process is being done (which is very hard to predict the timeline of and it sometimes takes a year or two) and development properties and others.
This is one of those finer points of real estate where you rely on the professional guidance of the Realtor (that’s me) to help you figure out the various ins and outs of a property that has caught your serious attention. We all want to make sure that your decisions are informed decisions and having all the pertinent info, not just some of it, is key.