Don’t List Your Home on a Weekend!

Full disclosure: The Tim is employed by Redfin.

I just posted the findings below to the Redfin blog, and thought they would be worth sharing here. I’ve been spending some time at work digging into sales data to figure out if there are any significant differences in listing performance correlated with what day of the week a home comes on the market.

As it turns out, there does appear to be a significant difference in tours and eventual sale success. The bottom line: Do list on a Thursday or Friday—don’t list on a Saturday or Sunday.

For the full details head over to my post on Redfin. For the highlights, enjoy the charts below.

Redfin Blog: What day of the week should I list my home?

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

24 comments:

  1. 1
    Jesse says:

    Correlation vs causation… You’re missing a lot of science in that pretty chart.

    I might use this info to choose a selling agent though. I hear the ones who post on Friday are the best.

  2. 2

    I’ve Done Advertising for Toastmasters Membership

    And discoverred one golden rule, what works terrific once and the exact method is used say six months or a year later….turns out to be a complete flop the second time.

    Why? Lord only knows….some things are not scientific, they’re subjective.

    I’m not saying Friday isn’t a good time to list per your data [it appears it is], it may be the ones that are going door shopping in person [and are serious buyers with good credit and lots of cash] check for new listings on Friday, before the comparable buyer competition can out bid them on the like low price short sale offer.

    It may be like meeting a new date, swoop in fast before the romance dies off….

  3. 3
    Haybaler says:

    What does it mean when you use the word “List”?

    Is that the day that one sits down with the Realtor at the dining room table to sign forms? Is that when one meets to view the marketing presentation? Is that when all of the data is input into the MLS….and somebody pushes the enter button?

    It seems that the seller has no control over when a listing is “listed”. Just stating that the goal is to be listed on a particular day seems to leave one dependent on so many others to do their part of the process in a timely, complete and competent manner.

  4. 4
    Patrick says:

    Posted to Redfin blog, also posting here:
    You need confidence intervals or standard deviations on these numbers to say whether they’re statistically significant. Without that there’s no way to tell whether 94.4% is a statistically significant difference from 94.1%. It might as well be 94.004% vs 94.001% – maybe significant, but there’s no way to know without the CIs.
    Also I won’t mention correlation vs causation because I hope most people know the difference; and correlations can still be interesting (if they are statistically significant correlations).

  5. 5
    The Tim says:

    RE: Haybaler @ 3 – The calculations are based on the day the listings were activated in the MLS, which is absolutely something that your listing agent has complete control over.

  6. 6
    singliac says:

    Rebecca Black should add a new verse to her song.

  7. 7

    For the best price you’re only dealing with a half percent fluctuation, off of a number that doesn’t mean much (list price).

    With so few houses being listed on Saturday and Sunday, I suspect something else is affecting the chance of selling stat.

  8. 8
    trucker says:

    After a week on the market I fail to see how the date of the original listing can possibly make a difference. Particularly once you get a month or more out from the listing date.

    What I could see as a factor is that the “better” realtors purposely list on Friday’s to capture the weekend shoppers. Whether they get an offer that first week or not, that they are a higher quality realtor may be what causes them to sell faster and for a higher price than the competition.

    Of the 3 houses I’ve owned I can’t say the date of listing could have been even the remotest factor in the price we paid or that we even bought that house in the first place. All had been on the market for more than 1 week by the time we looked at them. The first one had been on the market for at least a couple months. The second for 28 days (this was in the red-hot Phoenix area market of 2005 so that was a relative eternity). The third (and our current abode) had been re-listed for IIRC just over a week – but it had also fallen out of escrow at least once and I think twice previously so if you include the total time on market it had been several months at least.

    I remember from a DOE training class I took many years ago a story about correlation vs causation. That story was that drowning deaths increased concurrently with the sale of popsickels. Year after year, as popsickle sales went up and down, so did drowning deaths. Almost perfect correlation. But the two had no causitive relationship. Popsickle sales went up because it was the summertime and was hot out. People also started swimming in their pools more at the same time. The heat has a casuitive relationship and strong correlation to both popsickle sales and swimming. Increased rates of swimming has a causitive and correlated relationship to drownings. But popsickle sales could be completely banned and drownings would be entirely unaffected – or might even go up since people might swim more to cool down since they can’t get their popsickles anymore.

  9. 9
    Scotsman says:

    Seems pretty clear to me- you have to wait for the next weekend to get the most traffic since that’s when buyers have the free time to shop. And if your measure of effectiveness is the total length of the listing from start to offer then the closer you are to the first weekend the shorter the total time line. A perfect example of being able to statistically measure something that’s a clever construct but of little real value. Except, of course, every Redfin agent will now be touting the cutting edge effectiveness of their company’s market analysis.

    Should be good for an extra hundred bucks in Tim’s Christmas bonus.

  10. 10

    I’ll bet donuts to dollars that people who bury a St. Joseph statue in their yard sell their homes faster than those who list their homes on a Friday.
    If your home is priced right, and in a neighborhood people want to live in, it will sell, no matter what day it’s listed.
    If your home is a piece O’Dookie , overpriced, and in a neighborhood that’s not sought after, you’ll have trouble selling it no matter what day it’s listed.
    I think sellers would be better advised to lower their price than to list on Friday.

  11. 11
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 10

    Price??? Oh please, Ira- get with the program!

    Now these poor suckers (see link) probably listed on a Monday with the result that 320 days later there’s still no sale. While I can’t confirm that, the last modification WAS on a Monday (9-19) so that effort was wasted. Some one needs to send the listing agent a link to this post. . .

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Issaquah/8612-308th-Ave-SE-98027/home/465865

  12. 12
    Saffy the Pook says:

    I’d like to see the standard deviations for each of those data points. There’s a difference in the means, but my guess is they aren’t statistically significant, particularly for the price as a function of listing day.

  13. 13
    whatsmyname says:

    Listing on a Wednesday will double your chances of a short sale. List with a Capricorn or a Taurus, never a Virgo. Your home has a warm, romantic feel, so be ready. You are entering a phase of many offers.

  14. 14
    Macro Investor says:

    I don’t see why you’ve all missed the causation. On friday the buyers leave work, get liquored up and overpay for houses. Obviously the closings are usually fridays because they’re too bleary eyed to read their mortgage docs. Just put my hand over the signature line and we’ll be all done in a jiffy.

  15. 15
    Ray Pepper says:

    Sellers would have an easier time picking up match sticks with their butt cheeks then getting their homes sold going forward UNLESS they are as motivated as the banks to UNLOAD!

    Catch my drift!! ???

    Drop those prices!

  16. 16
    David Losh says:

    Every Real Estate company on earth has run this same article in every format available for as long as I can remember. It’s on all of the hand outs of every company I’ve ever worked for.

    Most, however include the Broker’s Open Days as a good day to come on the market, or there abouts.

  17. 17
    Ray Pepper says:

    RE: David Losh @ 16

    Broker’s Open? ………….. Now thats a funny one….

  18. 18

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 17 – It might come as a surprise to you, but there are some areas where activity at broker’s opens are pretty good, and others where it’s completely dead.

  19. 19

    By trucker @ 8:

    What I could see as a factor is that the “better” realtors purposely list on Friday’s to capture the weekend shoppers.

    It could also be the sellers. Perhaps the sellers that are on top of their game get things ready when they are supposed to, so that the house can be listed when the agent suggests.

  20. 20
    tomtom says:

    Looks like some people here are taking this a little too seriously.

  21. 21
    David Losh says:

    RE: Ray Pepper @ 17

    Yes, Ray, in Real Estate Brokerage you have agents who do a job of finding properties for buyers, and who prepare properties for sale. Broker Price Opinions, and Broker’s Opens are the unfair advantage some agents have.

    If you are well known, well respected, and well liked other agents cozy up to you.

    I go to Broker’s Opens every week. You can see properties that have twenty to thirty cards in them the first Broker’s Open, and see a very similar property, with a lower price, maybe even better location, that has no one going to look at it.

    There are some agents, “in the Business.” that other agents avoid. They have a reputation for being difficult. I know that it sounds a lot like me, but over the course of time you learn that Real Estate agents are the hardest working people you will ever meet. It’s a tough way to make a buck, and you just have to love it.

  22. 22
    Ray pepper says:

    RE: David Losh @ 21

    Stop it now! Your killing me with unyielding laughter!

  23. 23
    ARDELL says:

    The stats might be more relevant if they only tracked homes that sold in the first 10 days or so of being listed.

    Listed on a Friday in 2010 and sold in 2011 after 3 price reductions? How relevant is Friday?

    Perhaps they are only tracking homes that sold during a short period after listed…still looking. If anyone spots that, can you let me know?

    Thanks.

  24. 24
    Daniel says:

    I am sorry but the conclusion you draw can not be drawn from the data you show (which may however still make it true).

    In particular houses listed on Friday could have characteristics that on average make them more desirable than houses listed other days. Listing a house without these characteristics on a Friday would not make a sale more likely, nor would a house with these characteristics be less likely to sell if listed on another day.

    I suggest you read up on what is known as the “Berkeley gender bias case” which is one of the classical examples of what is known as Simpson’s paradox.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simpson%27s_paradox

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