Today, we launch a new weekly feature chronicling examples of housing price drops from across the region. To start off, we’ve got a trio of properties that hit the market with high hopes from their sellers. No obliging buyers bit. So, the prices dropped. Then some more time went by, and they dipped again.

Thus, the number of days a property has been on the market is crucial. To agents, this number is called “Days on Mkt Property.” To buyers, it shows how long the seller has been sweating, waiting around for the right deal. Well, these days, a lot of people are sweating. But, the local DC-area listing service has devised a little trick to wipe that perspiration away. Up until now, sellers have had to pull their homes off the market for 180 days to reset the clock on their properties. Now, that time has been halved.

So, your property’s not selling? Take down your listing for 90 days and you get a fresh start. Days on Mkt Property:0.

The real estate listing service—the Multiple Regional Information Systems--says this change is “more consumer-friendly; it allows a reasonable amount of time for a homeowner to repair or refresh a property and/or redesign a marketing plan.”

A guy who exclusively represents consumers, Stephen Israel, president of Bethesda-based agency Buyer’s Edge, says it’s not. “It provides [sellers’ agents] with an avenue to manipulate the data that people see. The reason they did this was to hide information from buyers. There’s no explanation for doing this that makes any sense other than we’re trying to essentially mislead the buying public.”

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