Hidden Gems or Red Flags? What ‘Days on Market’ Reveals to NYC Buyers

What do days on market actually tell NYC buyers about a listing? 

Does it mean there’s something wrong with the listing? Does it mean you should skip over it? 

Or maybe it’s just overlooked? 

Days on the market for a listing can be instructive to NYC buyers. But not necessarily for the reasons you might think. Here are a couple of reasons why a listing may be lingering on the market. 

It’s Overpriced

By far, the main reason why a property spends too much time on the market is because it was overpriced. And no matter what’s happening with the market, buyers and their agents can tell when something is off the mark. 

Sometimes a property is mis-priced because the seller has unrealistic expectations. But sometimes other factors can be at play, such as a lack of relevant sales comparables or a quickly changing market. 

A Busted Deal

“Busted deals” are another reason that a property may still be on the market. Accepted offers on properties aren’t reflected online. It’s only when a property goes into contract or closes that its status gets updated. 

Many accepted offers never make it into contract. But because that information is never posted online, buyers don’t have any way of knowing if or when that’s happened with a given property. And since agents don’t have a way of posting that information, days on market just continue to accrue in the meantime. 

Bad Photos or Insufficient Information 

While most agents endeavor to make a listing look its best in sales listings, sometimes that doesn’t always happen. Bad lighting, bad staging, not enough photos or not having a floorplan or other important information may obscure the true appeal of a listing. People have short attention spans. So if the photos and details don’t grab them immediately, buyers will keep scrolling by. 

Something IS Actually Wrong

Finally, sometimes something is actually wrong with the listing. It may be the case that the photos were inaccurate or misleading. Or maybe the apartment or building has issues that weren’t discussed in the listing. A frequent problem that may arise is financing. Sometimes you can’t get a loan to purchase in a building. And when that happens, it severely restricts the pool of buyers for a particular listing. 

To Look or Not to Look? 

The bottom line is that buyers shouldn’t judge a listing based on days on market alone. Instead, they use it as a signal to investigate further

Buyers should have their agent contact the listing agent to find out why the listing has been on the market for so long. Many will be eager to provide additional information. 

Being willing to take things just a step further and do a little more research may yield an unexpected opportunity! 

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