How Long Does It Take to Sell a Home in Today’s Market?

House with words - How long does it take to sell a home in Silicon Valley today?How long does it take to sell a home in Silicon Valley right now? It depends on what segment of the real estate market the property is in, and what type it is. Most homes are selling in 3-4 weeks.

How long does it take to sell a home in Santa Clara County?

First, for the success stories, the properties that do sell, what’s the timeframe?

  • Houses which have closed escrow averaged 27 days in September 2022 so far
  • Also in September, the median days on market is 17 days
  • For condos and townhouses, the average days on market so far this month is 38
  • The median days on market for condominiums and townhomes is 27

Pending sales – how long were they on the market?

  • Pending houses right now average 33 days on market
  • Pending condominiums and townhomes average 28 days on the market

It’s interesting to see that the more recent sales were slower for the houses but faster for condos and townhomes as compared to the closed sales.

Active listings and length of time on the market

  • Houses for sale in Santa Clara County that are not under contract (and not listed as “Agent Only”) average 52 days on market
  • For townhomes and condos, it’s an average of 44 days on market

So it seems that for the homes which DO sell (and not all homes which are listed become sale pending), the average is in the 3-4 week range.  What that says, pretty clearly too, is that if your listing is well marketed but doesn’t sell in three to four weeks, you’ve got a problem.

Some types of properties will always take longer (think Santa Cruz Mountains, ultra luxury homes and others), but overall, your home should be seeing 3-5 showings per week and get at least one offer for approximately every 10 showings, which should happen within 3-4 weeks.

What if your home has been on the market for a month with no offers, or only low offers?

If your house or condo has been actively listed and marketed for more than 4 weeks and isn’t selling, it’s time to have a conversation with your agent. Every situation is different and I cannot advise anyone but my own clients about what needs to happen in your case.

I can tell you that if your home does not get an acceptable offer in 3-4 weeks, there’s a good chance that the number one obstacle is a price that’s too high for the current market. If that is the case, it’s time to make a serious change in the price – think hedge clipper, not nail clipper. Otherwise, if home values are dropping and your price does not get ahead of it, you will be chasing the market down. It is very expensive when that happens.

Beyond price and just getting or not getting offers, you will want to understand:

  • how many showings are there each week?
  • what is the feedback from the buyer’s agents? (what are the buyers saying?)
  • what homes ARE selling?
  • how long does it take to sell if it’s underpriced? (that’s a common strategy today)

Some flaws are fixable and some are not fixable. You cannot do anything about a less desirable location or a neighbor with too many vehicles or an eyesore of a front yard. But you do control the price.

Some real estate gurus like to say “there’s no problem that the right price can’t fix”. That’s true, but sometimes there are cheaper ways to solve whatever the problem is.

In some cases, home sellers are offering to pay points on the buyer’s loan to offset the rising interest rates. Frequently it’s a lot cheaper for the seller to buy down the loan rate than to take a price reduction of 3-5%.

Related reading to how long does it take to sell:

Why didn’t my San Jose home sell? (on this site)

Beware over improving your property when preparing to sell (on this site)

Selling your home in Silicon Valley – 9 FAQs (on popehandy.com)

 

Days on Market Deception

Foggy freeway with words "Days on Market deception"As a real estate consumer, do you pay attention to the days on market? In some cases, it can be difficult to tell how long a home has been offered for sale because there are a myriad of marketing channels now, especially online. It’s almost a twist on the old concept of shadow inventory. The days on market deception is pronounced in some cases, though happily, it seems to be far from all of them.

Why is the days on market data murky sometimes?

The MLS in our area, MLS Listings, shows both a list date (when the home was entered onto the MLS for public viewing) and a “Days On Market” (or DOM).  In the best of all possible scenarios, those line up seamlessly and reflect the total marketing period. In some MLS organizations, they also show a Continuous Days On Market or CDOM, representing the total days, including any breaks in time or switches between agents / brokers in listing the property.

Days on market deception in practice

Here’s where there can be confusion on the actual days of market exposure:

  • being listed, for up to 30 days, on the “coming soon” section of our MLS (won’t be displayed on the regular MLS for the public or real estate agents)
  • being held open for a week or two before getting exposure on the multiple listing (not tracked on the MLS)
  • other marketing offline, such as “coming soon” signs, advertisements, or mailers (not tracked by the MLS)
  • being listed in a non-mls private listings club (data not shared with the MLS)
  • getting promoted on Redfin or other sites as a coming soon – even the disclosure platform, Disclosures.io, now solicits for these pre-market listings on their site (information feed is one way: the MLS can tell Redfin about the listing, but Redfin doesn’t tell the MLS about coming soons)
  • going on and off the MLS with a 30 day break or more will halt the timer for days on market (even if the list date remains the same)
  • pocket listings or whisper listings that sell without ever going on the MLS at all (but still had a marketing period, possibly with the sale reported on the MLS for comp purposes only)
  • homes listed, then canceled, then relisted with another broker after a month off the mls will show as a “new” listing and DOM will be zero (in some places with a different MLS, the CDOM would list all of the days – better data)

All of these factors can really obscure the data and make it difficult for consumers (and sometimes buyer’s agents) to know how long a home has actually been receiving market exposure. And we don’t know the exact number of listings impacted because it’s not being tracked.

Why do the days on market matter? (more…)

Campbell Real Estate Market Update, Nov 2009

The Campbell real estate market appears to be “past the bottom”, as is the case with much of the Silicon Valley housing market. In some parts of San Jose, “the bottom” was in February or March of this year.  Campbell may have hit that point sooner – but in any event it is now heading back toward a balanced market (30 is the balance point for this formula). (Images and charts from Altos Research, to which I have a subscription and permission to use these, as well as the RE Report, another subscription service of mine. Altos uses list prices, the RE Report uses sold data as well as list prices.)

 

campbell-CA-home-sales-market-action-index-11-10-091

 

Let’s look at the data for October in Campbell – actives, pendings, and closeds (care of the RE Report).

 

Trends At a GlanceOct 2009Previous MonthYear-over Year
Median Price$671,500$697,500 (-3.7%)$730,000 (-8.0%)
Average Price$717,461$760,850 (-5.7%)$783,941 (-8.5%)
No. of Sales2820 (+40.0%)17 (+64.7%)
Pending Properties4239 (+7.7%)18 (+133.3%)
Active5568 (-19.1%)105 (-47.6%)
Sale vs. List Price96.1%98.6% (-2.5%)96.1% (0.0%)
Days on Market3642 (-14.0%)77 (-53.5%)

 

While in many parts of the greater San Jose area the Days on Market (DOM) are lengthening, they are shortening in Campbell! Sales are up, but prices are still declining a bit (in several areas of Santa Clara County, prices are again inching up – this tends to happen in less expensive areas).  Pending sales are up and inventory is down.  So there are some mixed indicators but Campbell appears to be at or near “the bottom”.
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Monte Sereno: How’s the Market?

The Monte Sereno real estate market tends to be a good indicator of the high end market throughout Silicon Valley or Santa Clara County. While it may not be exactly the same in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Almaden or Saratoga/Los Gatos, it’s often very similar.

Homes at the high end of the price range have taken a beating in the downturn, as would-be buyers – mostly “move up” home buyers – haven’t got enough equity to purchase the next home.  Many are running into problems getting financing too. So without a large amount of money to put down, it’s very difficult for even willing buyers to make the purchase.

Prices have been dropping in Monte Sereno, as they have been dropping everywhere in the San Jose area.  Although we aren’t seeing the deep discounting here that we see in Alum Rock (where most of the houses bought are distressed properties, either short sales or bank owned homes), the rollback in pricing is still painful for home sellers, especially if they were counting on that money for retirement.

Let’s first look at the recent historical data on list prices in Monte Sereno (graphs courtesy of Altos Research, with which I have a subscription). First here’s a view of the median list price of all houses offered for sale in Monte Sereno in recent years:

 

Monte Sereno List Prices Recent Years

Now, the asking prices in Monte Sereno in recent years broken out by quartile (each segment is 25% of the inventory):

 

Monte Sereno list prices recent years by quartile

 

The highest priced homes have shown the most volatility, as you can see by the swings in the top line.  That could be a statistical abberation since each quartile represents very, very few homes.
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