A pedestrian walks past a sign offering property for sale in Monterey Park, California on March 19, 2019.
A “For Sale” sign in front of a suburban 2-story home.
While those looking to sell already have the upper hand, there may be another factor at play for houses flying off the market within mere days: the day of the week they are listed.
A new market analysis from Seattle-based Zillow found that homes in Seattle take an average of just six days to sell if they are listed on a Thursday. The worst day of the week to list a home in Seattle was Sunday, as it takes an additional eight days to sell. Homes listed on Saturday and Monday only perform marginally better, taking seven days longer to sell.
And listing behavior shows that some sellers in the Emerald City might have already caught onto the trend: one third of a week’s listings are posted on Thursday.
Real estate agents believe that the preference for the end of the week has to do with convenience above all else as more potential buyers are browsing over the weekend.
“Home shoppers I work with tend to be most active on Thursday and Friday as they plan their weekend tour schedules. With the market as competitive as it is today, this timing strategy gives sellers the best chance at seeing multiple offers on their home, from my experience,” said Jeff Knipe, president of Portland’s Knipe Realty, in a news release. “Think of selling a home as if you’re going fishing; the goal is for the most possible fish to see your home as it enters the pond.”
Still, half of homes in the United States are selling within a week, and in Seattle that number is even higher — 65% — reflecting the breakneck speed of the market driven by low inventory, according to Zillow.
But the day of the week listed could also present advantages for potential buyers looking to avoid a bidding war that will drive up values: homes on the market longer could see price reductions.
“A home sitting even for one week without a sale in this market can signal to buyers that they may be able to get a small discount,” Knipe said. “A good strategy for buyers who want to avoid getting into a bidding war could be to target homes that have been on the market for a week or two, or even those listed over the weekend that are less likely to sell quickly.”
While spring is normally seen as the peak home buying season, Zillow’s report also suggests that sellers should aim to list before Labor Day to take advantage of the competitive market.
“The housing market has had its foot on the gas since last summer, never entering its usual winter hibernation,” said Zillow Group economist Nancy Wu in the report. “It remains an open question whether 2021 will bring a return to normalcy in that sense, but it’s likely that seasonality in the housing market will remain in some form, even if the changes from season to season are less dramatic than in the past.”
The wider adoption of technology, such as virtual reality tours, driven by the pandemic might play a part in breaking that seasonal pattern. Zillow found that 79% of shoppers were using tools such as 3D tours, and listings with those tours sold 10% faster than those without them.
“By the time shoppers look at a home in person, they’re usually already giving strong consideration to putting in an offer, which helps make the market more efficient,” Knipe said.