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Secret to the Perfect Listing Day

Secret to the Perfect Listing Day

When it comes to listing your property online, timing is everything. From the day of the week, to the time of the day, your property is halfway sold by listing at the right time.

So which day of the week is the best time to list?

Average agents

Most real estate agents don’t even think about this question. They just list on whichever day is convenient to them. Granted, there are lots of loose ends to look after on the day you list a home. There are dozens of websites to which you need to upload information. It’s arguably “smart” to spread out one’s workload over the week.

Above average agents

Some agents are smarter. They look to research for answer. An “experienced and smart” agent would likely quote a research study by Redfin, which found that homes listed on Friday are sold 0.5% closer to list price. Therefore, they list their clients’ homes on Friday.

You might say to yourself, “Wait, Bay Area homes have been selling way over asking price, yet Redfin’s data says homes are only selling at 94.4% of list price?” Let’s pause a moment to entertain how ridiculous this sounds. And real estate is a highly localized craft. Why would you look to a national site for answers to a local question?

The Cal Agents

At the Cal Agents, we take advantage of nationwide sites but not blindly. We think our clients deserve an agent who puts in the hard work that most agents do not. Each of our agents does research and comes up with the answers on his or her own.

Had the “above average” agents done their own research, they would find a very different answer than what the national sites say. We research for listings case by case, but here I’ll just use 2016 East Bay data* to illustrate the difference. Contrary to common belief, the best day to list in the East Bay is Wednesday, not Thursday or Friday, as Redfin suggests.

Suppose you listed your home with one of the “above average” agents, who flips a coin and lists on Thursday and Friday equally. On average, your listing would sell 6.78% above list price. Not bad, right? When you list with the Cal Agents, we’d list on Wednesday, when historically homes sell 7.65% over list price, that is 0.87% above the other “experienced and smart” agent. For a home valued at $500,000, that’s a $4,350 difference. For a $2,000,000 home, the difference can be as large as $17,400. Compared to the market average 5.83% across all listing days, our sellers are $9,100 and $36,400 ahead, thanks to our hyper-local research and expertise.

Why is one day better than the other better?

The days may seem arbitrary, but there is a good reason. First of all, most buyers tour homes on the weekends. The majority of buyers compile the homes to tour on Friday (yup, the watch-cute-cat-videos time) or Sunday morning before they head out. In order for your home to be seen on Friday or Sunday, you need to list it two days earlier. Why? Because there is a delay of a few hours to one day for information to propagate from MLS to national sites, and another day of delay between national sites sending emails to buyers and buyers actually reading them. By listing homes on Wednesday and Friday, there is a better chance to get in front of buyers by Friday and Sunday. That translates to a better chance of the home being toured that weekend.

Secondly, the more a listing is toured, the more business cards there are in the house. An observant, interested buyer (even though there may be only one) can smell the amount of competition and therefore is more likely to make a higher offer.

Thirdly, a buyer’s agent often recommends an offer price to the buyer based on the subject home’s DOM (days on market). A sought-after home goes fast. When a home has a high DOM, it means there aren’t a lot of interested buyers. Let’s say there are two homes a buyer equally likes; one has been on the market for 14 days, and the other just missed that narrow window to be fresh and hot and is on market for 20 days. In order to get a contract on the first home, an agent usually recommends a higher offer than the second based on a sheer assumption that the longer a home has been on the market, the less others will offer.

If Wednesday gets a better result, everyone would be listing their homes on Wednesday, right? The sad truth is that only a small fraction of agents know how to time the listing to their client’s advantage to maximize profit. The majority of homes are listed on Thursday and Friday, even though it’s statistically a less effective selling strategy. On the bright side, there is less competition on the best listing day, which makes it an even better day for our sellers.

Conclusion: There IS and there ISN’T one best day.

Each city and each area is different. That’s why we conduct localized market research specific to each listing. The “Day to List” a home is only one of many variables included in the quantitative analysis we use to to help our sellers gain the extra edge.

The Cal Agents believe that every bit counts. Despite the cumulative workload of listing all homes on the best day, we have dedicated marketing staff to make sure all loose ends are tied and all our listings get online on the best day. If we can help the seller pick up a few thousand dollars here and there, in the end, our sellers will end up netting tens of thousands of dollars more compared to hiring another agent. We simply leave no stone unturned; that is the Cal Agents difference.

*This particular data set comprised all single family homes sold in the East Bay major metropolitan in 2016. We use different local data to come up with the best day to list for each listing.

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Lex Shan

Lex is a real estate broker, real estate developer, entrepreneur and technologist. He has started an architectural design firm, real estate development private equity fund and California's largest real estate 3D marketing company.

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