Photo: Miller Samuel Inc.
I got a call from the New York Times recently in response to a Redfin study looking at the best time to list a house. Their conclusion seemed to be different than my experience in the NYC metro area, Washington, DC, Baltimore and Miami, all housing markets I have analysed extensively so I dug deeper. I was inspired by the challenge and looked to Long Island for answers.
I think it really came down to the way Redfin used “winter” in the study since I came up with March as the best time to list using the extensive data over at the MLSLI (16,664 signed contracts from 12/10 to 11/11).
The Redfin report concluded that when you list in the Winter, you have less competition. However, you also have a lot less buyers so that benefit would be an offset by lower demand. This point is illustrated by the fact that the highest number of listings actually enter the market in March which is the month that results in the fastest marketing time.
Photo: Miller Samuel Inc.
When I drilled down to the day of the week, I caveated to the reporter (and was pointed out by the brokers in the article) that I think it really depends on the date of the broker tour day(the day brokers view new listings that came on the market). When I lived in Chicago, my town tour day was on a Friday and in my hometown in Connecticut, our broker tour day is on Tuesday. I would bet that Friday is a more common day for broker tours (to view all new listings that entered the market that week) which makes the findings somewhat contrarian since I would think Thursday would have been the best day to list (it was a close third best) because the property has time to get distributed before the tour day.
Of course this doesn’t suggest that a seller who decides they want to sell their home and it happens to be June, must wait until the following March.
Whatever the reasons or issues that are raised, we looked at over 16,000 contracts in a one year period marketed through the MLS of Long Island, excluding the Hamptons/North Fork. I was only measuring the time to market a property, not whether the highest price was achieved. I’ve got metrics on that but I want to crunch the numbers over a longer period to get more comfortable with them. I plan to do this in other markets I cover with MLS data.
Listing on a Wednesday, on average, results in the fastest marketing time.
Conclusion to the question: “When is the best time to list your property?”
- In March
- On a Wednesday
These are mutually exclusive results but based on the data resulted in the fastest marketing time – days on market from original listing date to contract date.
Here other some other findings:
More listings enter the market on a Monday.
The most signed contracts occur in June.