Article: Homes Long Listed

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Many neighborhoods have that listing. You know the one. The one that may be in probate or perhaps the owner just isn’t motivated to sell, and it just SITS on the market for months. Maybe years. Meanwhile it skews the entire area’s days-on-market average and – often times – becomes an eyesore, with the roof or paint falling into disrepair and the yard untended for long periods of time.

Behold! The dinosaurs of America’s listing catalogues. MLSasaurus, if you will.

The best information on this property comes from a blog post at, which was published in June 2011 and, at that time, had been on the market for more than six years   (a Zillow page reports that it sold on March 21, 2014)

It got us thinking about the worst of this particular species of listing: The homes in the United States that have been on the market the longest. Those statistics are difficult to find in one place, but with a little elbow grease and our good friends at Google we found some homes that simply must be near the top of this list.

In its time in the listings the price fell from $2.2 million to its eventual sale price of $841,000… that for a 9 bed, 5 bath mansion of nearly 10,000 square feet in the Boston ‘burb of Lowell, Mass.
But this home, while famous, isn’t the longest in the U.S. or even Massachusetts. A home in Rutland and one on Bolton both sat on the market for multiple years… apparently with comparable homes on the same street at about half the price. See? There’s usually a reason.
This article from several years ago highlights cities with the longest average time-on-market listings (lesson, Florida was a tough sell in 2011)
This article, also from 2011 (something about that year…) has a slightly different list of tough home-selling cities, also largely concentrated in Florida and Georgia.
This entertaining article highlights the homes on the market longest in Australia (if you’re looking for a weatherboard home in Tasmania).
The lack of recent articles on long-on-the-market homes could be because, when the market came back, those numbers decreased and the stories became less interesting.
Still, in some neighborhoods a couple of months can feel like a very long time. Be sure you keep an eye on vacant properties and report them if they become a nuisance.
Or, you know, buy them.