The ultracompetitive real-estate market has not only pushed prices to record highs, but also shrunk the length of time homes are available to buyers. A typical property now sells in less than a week, according to Zillow's most recent monthly market report.
Market forces are definitely in sellers' favor. And if you want an even better chance to make a quick sale, list your home on a Thursday. On average, Thursday listings sell faster than homes listed on any other day of the week, according to Zillow's recent analysis of 2019 data.
That's not all: New listings that appeared on Thursdays received more offers that went above the initial asking price than homes listed on other days, according to Zillow's analysis.
By contrast, the worst day of the week to put a property on the market is Sunday. Homes listed on Sundays tended to stay on the market eight days longer than those listed on Thursdays and were less likely to get offers above their asking price.
"When you think about, it it actually makes sense," says Jeff Knipe, a real estate agent and president of Knipe Realty in Portland, Oregon. "You've got a lot of homebuyers looking at properties on Thursdays and Fridays on Zillow, and planning their showings for Saturday and Sunday."
These figures are from 2019, and this year's gangbuster market may erase some of the daily variation present in the 2-year-old data. That said, real estate agents like Knipe, a Portland native who has been selling real estate in the area for more than 20 years, still believe in the Thursday rule.
In fact, the conventional wisdom that you should list on a Thursday has only become more entrenched in recent years, as more and more prospective buyers, and even their agents, are starting their searches on the internet, Knipe says.
Video by Richard Washington
"As more eyeballs went online, it started making sense to me," he adds. "So we would always prep our weekend showings on Wednesdays, Thursdays, or Fridays. It made sense to me to make sure that you had your house on the market for those eyeballs coming in, not just from unique users or buyers but also from agents."
The data backs up his assertion: Nationally, 1 in 5 new listings pop up on Thursdays — more than any other day, Zillow says. In Knipe's hometown of Portland, that figure is 1 in 3.
Digging up less-popular Sunday listings will do little for buyers entering the current market, who face fierce competition to purchase property. There continue to be too many buyers and not enough houses for sale, and month-to-month price hikes continue to break Zillow's own records.
Those trends are likely to extend through the rest of the year and even into early 2022, Knipe says. That time of year is traditionally quieter for the real estate market, with homes selling more slowly after Labor Day, according to Zillow's data. This year is another story.
"Prices are going up pretty heavy," but that likely won't put a damper on demand, Knipe says. "I'm expecting a really good summer, and I'm expecting a good fall and winter too."
Video by Helen Zhao
The best assets prospective buyers can have are, as always, good credit and a solid down payment. Even that may not be enough, though. Here are some other tips for succeeding in this tight market, according to real-estate professionals.
- Get a preapproval letter. Before you even start looking at houses in a competitive market, get a preapproval letter from your lender that you can whip out if you want to move on a property, said Debra Hall, a real estate agent in Northern Virginia. "A preapproval letter is when you have reached out to a lender," Hall said. "They've checked your credit. They've verified your employment. They've looked at your bank accounts, and they deem you truly qualified to buy a house." Putting in that effort up front can save valuable time and give you an advantage.
- Don't forgo the home inspection. The tight housing market has driven some anxious buyers to skip home inspections in order to seal the deal, but that's a very risky move, said Sue Riley, a real estate agent in Northern New Jersey. "You never want to forgo an inspection. Ever," Riley said. "There's a lot of hidden things that can come up, and you don't want to be on the losing end of that."
- Write a note. When you send a personalized letter to the seller introducing yourself, it can create an emotional connection between the two parties, said Leigh Marcus, a real estate agent in Chicago. "When a buyer writes the letter — the kind where the sellers can see who they were when they were buying — that resonates a lot with them," Marcus said. That personal touch could help you outpace the competition.
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