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Homes waiting several months to sell

Zillow • Jan 9, 2014 at 4:07 PM

By S.E. Slack

Ready to sell your home? Experts say you can expect to wait for three to four months in Ohio before you should start packing up. While that might seem like a long wait, it’s about two months shorter than some of the slowest markets in the nation.

“The hot metros in the West have the shortest days on market,” said Skylar Olsen, economist for real estate firm Zillow. The company has tracked home sales and listings nationwide since the beginning of 2010 to determine the seasonal nature of the housing market and reveal how quickly homes are selling.

Drawing conclusions about what drives market differences is complicated, Olsen said.

“Days on market can vary across the country due to regulation and procedural differences, not just because of market conditions,” she said.

Since 2010, the median days on market significantly decreased in Canton to 77, and is currently more than 40 percent faster this September than last. In Akron, homes are averaging 89 days on the market – an improvement of 35 days since 2010. Columbus homes are spending about 83 days on the market while Cleveland homes are languishing a bit longer at 101 days.

The ups and downs of days on the market are a result of strong rebounds in many metro areas. Nationwide, investors and home buyers are tapping into lower home prices and looking for more good deals. But underwater homeowners, who can’t always afford to sell so low, put off selling their homes until prices make more financial sense. This has constrained inventory in the same places where people are ready to buy.

This contrast means that some homes are flying off the market almost as soon as they’re listed while other markets are slower to catch fire. How quickly Ohio will pick up the pace depends on how rapidly underwater homeowners can get their homes on the market and how desirable each local market is to investors and home shoppers.

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