Best time to list your home for sale is Thursday, research suggests

Zillow Research names Thursdays before Labor Day the best time to put homes for sale, here’s why

Researchers at Zillow believe they have found which weekday is best for listing a home

The digital real estate marketplace analyzed internal data from 2019 and determined that Thursday is the best day to put a home up for sale. According to its news release on the topic, Zillow’s pre-pandemic research suggests that home sellers are more likely to maximize their profits or quick-turn a property if they list it on any Thursday before Labor Day.

"Home shoppers typically plan their weekend a couple days ahead of time. By listing on a Thursday, you’re giving shoppers a chance to explore your home virtually with a 3D home tour and interactive floor plan," Zillow Research’s Senior Managing Editor Cory Hopkins told FOX Business. "They can then narrow down their options and schedule in-person showings over the weekend for the homes they’re serious about, and act quickly if they want to make an offer."  

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While Thursday tends to be a good day for home sellers all year round, Hopkins explained that listings made on this day before Labor Day generally get to avoid the effects of market slowdown – including less than favorable sale prices and longer pending days.

A new report from Zillow Research says home sellers had more luck attracting serious buyers when they listed their property on a Thursday, which falls in line with weekend visits and tours. (Zillow)

In his own words: "Typically, Labor Day represents the traditional end to home shopping season. Early-mid fall is a time when homes tend to sit on the market the longest as parents aim to be settled into their new home before their kids head back to school and housing market activity begins to slow in advance of the holiday season."

On the flip side, the day Zillow determined to be the worst for home sellers was Sunday, according to the same pre-pandemic data.

Homes listed on Sundays in 2019 reportedly stayed on the market eight days longer than homes listed on Thursdays, Zillow’s release reports. Properties that were listed on a Sunday also tended to sell below the original asking price whereas properties that were listed on Thursday tended to sell above.

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A similar trend occurred across 25 major metropolitan areas in the U.S. for homes that got listed closer to Labor Day, which takes place the first Monday of September every year.

Researchers at Zillow analyzed internal home sale data from 2019 to get a sense of pre-pandemic market trends. The digital marketplace noticed that home sellers had better luck when they listed their properties on Thursdays before Labor Day. (Zillow)

For example, the likelihood of selling a home above asking price was down by 4.7% in New York City on July 9, 2019. The same was true for Los Angeles on this day with a 1.2% likeliness decline. Meanwhile, home sellers in Chicago – the third largest metro in the U.S. – saw the likelihood of selling their home above asking price go down by 2.3% on that same day.

Despite the timing challenges some home sellers faced in 2019, Hopkins told FOX Business that the coronavirus pandemic changed market trends in 2020.

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"Keep in mind, the pandemic threw a wrench into typical seasonal trends. In 2020, the early pandemic freezes paused market activity in the spring months. But the housing market ramped up beginning last summer and never entered its usual winter hibernation," Hopkins said. "It’s likely that seasonality in the housing market will remain in some form, but the changes from season to season may be less dramatic than in the past." 

Outside of seasonality, the residential real estate market has seen stiff competition among buyers due to the country’s persisting housing shortage. 

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As of April 2021, the scarcity of homes and coupled with increased demand has pushed up the median home sale price to $370,528, according to data from Redfin – full-service real estate brokerage. This new median is a 22.2% increase year-over-year.

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Zillow home sale data from 2019 shows that sellers who listed their property close to the Labor Day housing slump were less likely to sell their home above their original asking price. (Zillow)

While Thursdays before Labor Day appear to the best time to list a property, Hopkins did acknowledge that local real estate experts would be able to provide additional insights for sellers.

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"Timing the market is hard, and ultimately the best time to sell a home is when it’s best for you and your family," Hopkins told FOX Business. "A knowledgeable local real estate agent will have the best understanding of what’s happening in your local market."