3 Oceans Real Estate, A Boutique Real Estate Brokerage Serving the San Francisco Bay Area header image 2

Stale Tuna And Resetting The “Days On Market” — Chicanery And A Public Health Risk, Or Just Plain Old Good Salesmanship?

Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. ()

January 31st, 2008 · 10 Comments

Alex over at theFrontSteps has a lively debate going on about the ethics of “DOM trickery.” (For non-industry folks, “DOM” means “Days on Market” and it refers to how long a property has been on the MLS.) Is it duplicitous or just good marketing to reset the DOM number — often just by classifying the listing as “withdrawn” and then re-entering it minutes later — to make a property look fresher than it is?

One of the earliest articles in the 3 oceans blog was on precisely that topic.

Resetting the DOM on a listing is akin to changing the sell by date on a can of tunaI look at resetting the DOM figure as akin to a grocer scratching out the sell-by date on a can of tuna and replacing it with a later date: it smells funny.

Our local MLS has a very clear policy on DOM resets: if an agent takes the property off the market, it has to stay off the market for a full month and the seller needs to sign a new listing contract. Then, and only then, will the clock reset.

Seems like a reasonable policy to me. Back to the tuna example — if the grocer were to take the tuna to a lab, open up the can, test it for all the bad stuff, and, if it cleared muster, re-package it with a new sell-by date — fine!

As the commenters in Alex’s article note, a with-it buyer’s agent will know what the real DOM number is. “8 days on market for 123 Main Street? You’ve got to be kidding me! Joe Smith had that overpriced dog on the market for nearly 9 months. Now he’s changed the carpeting, increased the price, redone the brochures…and voila — he calls it a new listing!”

Tags: , ,
Possibly related posts

Tags: Consumer · Industry

10 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Lani Anglin-Rosales // Jan 31, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I haven’t read the other article, so this may be rehashing, but does California not have TWO “days on markets?”

    In Texas there are two lines (1) ADOM (active days on market and (2) CDOM (cumulative days on market). Withdrawing for freshness doesn’t work here, because everyone looks at the CDOM anyway. Am I crazy?

  • 2 Resetting DOM (Days On Market), Buyers speak up! ABC News Nightline is listening « theFrontSteps…step inside san francisco real estate // Jan 31, 2008 at 4:53 pm

    [...] this just in, Kevin Boer of 3 Oceans Real Estate just put up a nice post as well. Thanks [...]

  • 3 alex // Jan 31, 2008 at 4:57 pm

    Thanks for the link. I’d encourage your readers to get in on the discussion at theFrontSteps. There’s a good shot at this whole thing getting on Nightline, but you never know.


    It’s funny you mention this. I just (literally one minute ago) got off the phone with the reporter from Nightline and she kept saying DOM and CDOM. DOM this, CDOM that. I got confused and thought it was reporter talk, so I stopped her and asked, “What exactly is CDOM?”
    Her reply, “Cumulative Days On Market.” I had never heard of this, so apparently San Francisco or Alex is waaaaay behind the 8-ball on that one. It makes total sense and why the hell don’t we have that here?!

  • 4 Kevin Boer, Broker Owner, 3 Oceans Real Estate, Inc. () // Jan 31, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    If I’m not mistaken, the local MLS (different from the SF MLS, though SF is only 45 minutes away!) uses the term CDOM, but allows that number to be reset if the home’s been off the market for 30 days.

  • 5 Lynne Pope // Jan 31, 2008 at 6:42 pm

    The unique thing going on in our MLS is that we are changing to grow into a much larger pool. We took the lead from Northern CA and someday may have a statewide MLS. For now, as we have the north and the south direction toward two large boards, we will discover the beauty and benefit of one way of handling the CDOM and DOM and all the news, readers of magazines, papers and blogs will have a more unified place to have this and all conversation. The major thing is for it to be consistent and fool proof from cheaters. (Agents that figure a way to beat the system and fake the days to less) It is the same as changing the odometer on the car, its wrong, its misinformation. Let’s face this as integrity and keep it honest.

  • 6 Peter Chabris // Jan 31, 2008 at 6:54 pm

    Ugh - this practice is the hip new trend in Cincinnati … Realtors cancel listings the day before they expire and then re-list the same day or the next day. It’s maddening and fools no one. Instead it clogs in boxes with ‘new’ listing announcements and aggrevates agents.
    Across the river in Northern Kentucky, they use the CDOM and the silly cancel/re-list practive doesn’t exist.
    Why not just prep the home, price it right and proactively market it instead…?

  • 7 Danilo Bogdanovic // Feb 1, 2008 at 6:36 am

    I think it’s a complete sham that DOM exists. Yes, it’s useful on the back end to track trends in the real estate market conditions and we should keep it there, on the back-end. But it’s completely irelevant and detrimental to sellers and buyers during the course of a real estate transaction.

    For example, I’ve had buyers who thought that wanted to preview property A because it was “new on the market” (7 DOM) while they didn’t want to even preview property B because it had been on the market for over 4 months and “was obviously overpriced or something was wrong with it”.

    Funny thing is, property B was exactly what they were looking for (lot, layout, location, etc), was in better shape than property A and was actually under market value since they dropped the price a about a week before. Meanwhile, property A was in mediocre condition and well overpriced.

    This is how DOM hurts buyers and sellers and should be eliminated on the front-end.

    You don’t walk into a store and ask how long a digital camera you’re thinking about buying has been on the shelf and use that as a determining factor when it comes to buying it. You just know by looking at the price whether it’s worth that price to you or not. So why do we have DOM on the front-end in the first place?!

  • 8 Realtors gaming the MLS | Real Central VA // Feb 1, 2008 at 7:12 am

    [...] 1 February 2008: Kevin had a great post yesterday on this topic I look at resetting the DOM figure as akin to a grocer scratching out the sell-by date on a can of [...]

  • 9 Jamie // Feb 1, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Hi Kevin,

    I think allowing DOM resets after 30 days off the market is absurd! Would the seller consider an offer that came in during that time? Of course!!! It’s a psychological manipulation that also sabotages the local market stats (Altos research, in using a favorite example). 6 months or more is more realistic. Or property renovation or something. A house on my street has been relisted by the same owners annually for the past several years, raising the price every time, with no changes to the property. 3rd time was the charm apparently…. They only needed to fool one family, and they eventually did. And that’s partly how the micro-market has achieved its incredible price gains, one family at a time. (likewise, I’m sure this family will never sell for less than they paid unless disaster strikes)

  • 10 Churning Home Listings, Days On Market Versus Continuous Days On Market | Silicon Valley Real Estate Guide // Feb 1, 2008 at 4:31 pm

    [...] Boer, in his article Stale Tuna And Resetting The “Days On Market” — Chicanery And A Public Health Risk, Or Just Pl…, describes what our local MLS has done to make the DOM more accurate.   The DOM clock can be [...]

Leave a Comment