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5 Real Estate Terms You Need to Know

Because of this, real estate professionals place a heavy emphasis on the number of days a home is on the market. The median days on market refers to the time it takes for a home in an area to sell. The median days on market is the midpoint of home sales, meaning half the homes in an area sold faster and half the homes sold slower.

This statistic can be used to calculate a market's relative strength. The basic ideas is that the faster homes sell, the more demand there is in a market.

Typically, homes with a high number days on market are perceived to be less desirable or overpriced compared with homes that were recently listed. For example, buyers might make the assumption that the longer a home is on the market, the more eager the seller is to unload their property, and try to negotiate a lower price.

At the same time, this number might not be as accurate as many people think. A common practice is for agents to take homes off the market after a set number of days and relist the home.

Tip: You should consider homes that are already on the market as opposed to flocking toward new listings. Knowing that a home has been on the market for a long time can provide you with a starting point to argue for a lower price.

3. Median list price per square foot over time
When homebuyers begin their search, they will want to know the strength of the market. This will clue them into whether it is a buyers' or sellers' market, and ultimately save them money. One way to gain insight is to look at the median list price per square foot over time.

If this number is down or flat it might be a good time to buy a home. If the figure has increased it can indicate demand is up and it is a good time to sell. In addition, the current median list price per square foot allows buyers to compare the relative cost of two homes in two different areas. You can see an example of this on our market statistics page for San Diego.

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