Just about anyone involved in real estate wonders what the best day to list a property on the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) is. You should know that over ninety-percent of real estate properties are sold through the MLS. Why? This may seem surprising since those same homes on the MLS are also listed on all the other mainstream website such as Zillow, Trulia, realtor.com, and the like. And yet, many make the mistake of not listing the property on the MLS. So, why is this a big mistake? Well, because for the most part, people who want to locate properties are working with an agent. Agents search the MLS for them to find a property that will fit their needs. That being said, what’s the best day to list a home on the MLS? Which day of the week will increase the chances of the property getting sold (or rented)? Turns out, it’s Friday! Friday listings are:
▪ Twelve-percent more likely to sell within three months
▪ Most likely to sell for full list price
▪ Almost nineteen-percent likely to be seen by buyers
Reason being is that Friday listings are fresh in the buyer’s minds when it comes to their weekend. Many people make their weekend plans on Fridays. The more people that see the property means more offers; offers, obviously, provide a better chance of the property selling. Friday listings get toured more often, and that leads to the increased likelihood of a sale.
Another explanation for the increased likelihood of a sale is that, since more people see a property after it’s listed on a Friday, there is increased competition amongst interested buyers, and this leads to both a better price, and a confirmed sale within that three-month window.
Moreover, buyers want to beat their competition by seeing it first. Many times, if its a Tuesday when they see it, and they can’t go until Saturday, they’ll assume they wouldn’t get it anyway. The moral of the story is if you are selling a house to a retail buyer…you need to list it on a Friday.
If you list your house for sale on a Friday, it will be available right away for weekend showings and by Saturday (which is the most important day of the real estate week) your house will have shown only two days. That’s important because the fewer days on market, the better chance the home will attract a full-price offer. Even if your house doesn’t sell by the next Saturday, it will still show only nine days on market, benefiting from the psychological advantage of a single digit number.
Another reason that Friday is the best day to list a home is that not only do home buyers look for homes on Friday, but they receive automatic emails from their agents on Friday. The agents who have established MLS accounts for their home buyers to receive automatic listings will discover that their buyers may be calling them before the agent even knows about the listing.
When is the best day of the month to make an offer on a house?
The best day of the month to make an offer on a house is the first Tuesday. Why early in the month? Because the homeowner just wrote a mortgage check for a house he no longer wants – or needs to sell — and he doesn’t want to write another one. Why Tuesday? Because by Tuesday he’s starting to worry that he won’t get any offers from house hunters who saw the house the weekend before.
When is the best month to make an offer on a house?
January. Fewer buyers are willing to house-hunt during cold, nasty weather, so there’s less competition and few, if any, bidding wars. Sellers also tend to be more motivated than they will be in the spring, when there are more buyers. Why? They may have just received their credit card bills that reflect Christmas spending and may be feeling financially insecure. And their decision to try to sell their houses in the winter means they’re willing to risk listing during a time of the year when properties tend not show particularly well.
Fewer buyers are willing to house-hunt during cold, nasty weather, so there’s less competition and few, if any, bidding wars. Sellers also tend to be more motivated than they will be in the spring, when there are more buyers. Why? They may have just received their credit card bills that reflect Christmas spending and may be feeling financially insecure. And their decision to try to sell their houses in the winter means they’re willing to risk listing during a time of the year when properties tend not show particularly well.
Historically, there is also less competition on the housing market during this time of year. Many homeowners wait to list their properties until spring. They are focused on recovering from the holidays or are waiting to list their homes until the warmer weather, to make their moving process easier.
Are they serious about buying?
When you’re looking to sell, you don’t want to attract people who are just looking. You want someone who’s serious about buying. How do you know if a buyer is serious? One way is to see if they’ve contacted a real estate agent or mortgage broker, signaling they’re ready to take the next step in the home buying process.
When should you sell your home?
Knowing when it’s the right time for you to sell can be difficult. It’s a really big decision. There are many reasons to sell, but you have to be sure that you’re ready. People get very attached to their homes, and it’s understandable why. Memories are hard to let go of. Unless there’s a very pressing situation where you have no choice but to move immediately, you should take your time deciding. Don’t make an impulse decision.
Staging the house
Curb appeal is essential. You’ll hear this often, and it’s true. When it comes to homes, buyers do judge a book by its cover. They won’t want to go in if the exterior doesn’t look nice. When people see a listing online, they’ll usually drive way it first to see if they even want to go in. Here are some tips regarding curb appeal:
Pressure-wash siding and walkways
Plant flowers, and new grass if needed
Wash all of the windows
Repaint the porch
Clean. The house should be spotless. There’s no excuse for a dirty home when trying to sell it. If you have a very large house, or don’t have the time, you can always hire a professional housekeeping service to come deep-clean.
De-clutter. You can’t have junk lying around! If you don’t have the room to store things, consider bringing some of your things to a friend’s house temporarily. Don’t think about storing it all in the garage if you have one. You may have to get a temporary storage unit, but it will be worth it.
Set the dining table. This is a great way to let the buyer envision themselves in the home. A cleared dining table doesn’t really allow for that.
Clean the floors. If the floors are worn down, you might consider re-staining them. You don’t need to install all new flooring, but clean the ones you’ve got! Rugs are a great way to hide any imperfections, if there is a scratch or two on the floor.
Stage the furniture. Don’t be afraid to rearrange; in fact, you should. You don’t need to go out and buy all new things; in fact, you don’t even have to buy one thing. You can use what you have, but place it in such a way that would feel inviting.
Clear out the closets. Buyers are going to look in any and all closets. Be sure that they are all organized! This includes your clothes as well. Be sure to clear out what you don’t use; you want to be able to show how much storage the home has. And, if a particular closet is on the smaller side, having it clear will make it appear larger.
Put away any toys or children’s items. Just because you have children doesn’t mean you should have their things lying all over the house when people come to view it. Even if the buyers have kids themselves, they aren’t going to be too empathetic. They want to be able to envision their family there, not yours. They want to see a blank slate so that they can envision what it would be like to live there.
Put rooms back to their original use. For example, if you converted the second bedroom into an office. You’ll need to convert it back into a bedroom. If you don’t have bedroom furniture for the extra bedroom, consider renting or buying some. The buyer has to be able to envision what each room is for.
Add “homey” accessories. Put out a fresh vase of flowers. Don’t forget to change them as the week goes by; you don’t want dead flowers when buyers come. Hang artwork, or plates. Be sure that you don’t get to personalized with your accessories. For example, buyers won’t be as excited about your coin collection as you are.
Show how you can use awkward areas. Many homes have some awkward areas. For example, if you have a small “nook,” show how it could be a computer desk. You’ve got to show buyers what those areas can be, because many times awkward spaces in a house can sway a buyers decision in the wrong way.
Get rid of any smells. Especially pet stains. This may seem obvious, but many sellers don’t put the effort into this. There are many products out there that can get rid of stains and bad smells in a home.
Add, replace, or re-paint porch furniture. The porch (if you have one) is a huge selling point. If you’ve got one, you should use it to your advantage. However, having a porch isn’t enough. You’ve got to make sure it looks nice.
Consider the time of year. For example, if you are selling your home during Christmastime, add holiday decorations. Just be sure you don’t go overboard, because it can have the opposite effect. Place new firewood in the fireplace if you have one. You get the point.
Selling a house is hard enough as it is. Make it easier on yourself by doing some of these simple things. They don’t take much time, and don’t have to cost a lot. However, if you don’t have the time to do any of these things, you will want to hire a professional.
Spending a little money will go a long way in helping you sell the house faster. Remember, the longer that a home sits on the market, the harder it will be to sell, if it’s even possible. Plus, taking it down and re-listing it on the MLS for it to be fresh is no longer an option. You still can, but now they list have come up with what is called CDM, or, combined days on the market. They now take an average. So buyers are still going to know how long the home has been on the market for in total.
You never want to have a stale listing. Buyers either think there’s something wrong with the house, or they just don’t want it in general because it seems like nobody else does. People are hardwired naturally to want what they can’t have. And if it looks like nobody wants your house for whatever the reason…the buyer isn’t going to consider it. They’ll move onto another house.
Take these tips about how to stage the house, and the best month and day to list it, and you’ll be one step closer to selling it faster (or at all!). Too many sellers don’t take these things into consideration. Realize that your realtor might not know everything. While they are very knowledgeable, many will give you the wrong advice as to when to list the house. Not because they don’t want you to sell your house, but because they don’t really know themselves.