What’s the Best Day to Sell a House? Top Agents Share Their Listing Strategies

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Do buyers prefer brick or vinyl siding?

Is eggshell or taupe the superior neutral?

Which is the best day to list a house for sale?

Big questions invite complicated answers, and while we’re not here to discuss the merits of construction or painting today, we can offer some insight when it comes to selling a house.

Listing agents have long puzzled over which day of the week is most beneficial for announcing their latest property for sale, and the most obvious answer is also the most frustrating:

It depends.

Your location, your market conditions, and your sellers’ expectations are all factors that play into deciding which day is the best for listing a house. We spoke with top agents from around the country to learn about their strategies for putting new listings on the market.

A family seeing an open house.
Source: (goodluz / Shutterstock)

Listing strategy #1: Working for the weekend

Jeff Reiter, an agent in Birmingham, MI, and winner of two 2019 HomeLight Achievement Awards, prefers to list on Thursdays.

“Whenever I list a property, the hope, obviously, is that we get multiple offers,” Reiter says. “In order to do that, I want to get as many showings compacted in as short amount of time as possible.”

Reiter’s strategy leans into the likelihood of buyers having the most availability to look at houses on weekends.

“Let’s say there are 10 potential buyers for a certain house,” says Reiter. “If you list a property on a Monday or Tuesday, you’ll get half of them that come through that evening or the next evening, and maybe you get an offer from one of those five. But you’re not giving a chance to the people who could only come on a Saturday or Sunday, because you’re going to have to make up your mind on that [early] offer.”

Listing a property on Thursday still grants weeknight shoppers the opportunity to take a peek, but with no delay until busy weekends.

“Even if they give you an offer on Friday, you can kind of hold off on responding to it until after the weekend,” explains Reiter. “People get a chance to go through [the house] and by doing all of that, you just increased the chance that you’re going to get a couple of offers, which means you’ll get more money.”

In North Carolina, Brigitte Perry is also a firm believer in Thursday listings, and attributes her team’s sales success to their strategic listing routine.

“We always have an open house on Saturdays and we’ve found that, in order to allow enough time for advertising and to remain top of mind, Thursday listings are effective,” says Perry. “We post all of our listings no later than 9:30 on Thursday morning in order to allow time for syndication, and for the Facebook and Google campaigns to run for the open house.”

Agents Andy Hargreaves, a two-time 2019 HomeLight Achievement honoree in Michigan, and Krista Hartmann in Missouri are keen on Thursday listings, too.

“We monitored our daily clicks on sponsored ads and they were always higher on Wednesdays and Thursdays, so we figured this was the time to connect with buyers and sellers bored at work and looking to plan their weekend,” Hargreaves says.

“I prefer to unveil my properties on either Wednesday or Thursday,” Hartmann says. “Then, I typically allow showings to start on Friday. The reason for this is that it helps my listing get more exposure before it’s actually seen by any buyers. As soon as the property goes live, I run social media ad campaigns to pique the interest of people who may not be actively searching for a home.”

Similarly, in Wisconsin, Laura Halbach, a three-time 2019 HomeLight Achievement honoree, prefers to go to market on Fridays. Doing so gives her time to put an ad in the local newspaper and make sure that potential buyers have her new listings on their radar for weekend showings.

“There will be a rush to see the new listing as buyers know there will be lots of activity,” she says. “As a representative of the seller, I love to see buyers under pressure!”

Listing strategy #2: Weekday warriors

On the other side of the coin, agents like Liz McCarthy in San Rafael, California, prefer to submit their new listings early in the week. In McCarthy’s case, this is largely due to the prevalence of broker tours in her local market.

“We generally launch our listings on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, because we have broker tours on Wednesdays and Thursdays,” says McCarthy, who recently earned two 2019 HomeLight Achievement awards. “I think it’s best service to my seller to launch the house so the brokers can see it online, go preview the house for any particular client they might have, and see if it fits. Then they can call their clients and say, ‘Hey, I think this house is a good fit for you,’ and send them to the open house over the weekend.”

Since broker tours are such a core component of real estate sales in McCarthy’s market, she’s quick to admit that her strategy is not a unique one.

“It’s sort of standard practice in my market; I think 90% of [real estate agents] here list a house before the broker tour,” McCarthy explains. “And it’s become pretty standard that the buyers are aware that they can go to the broker tour; it’s not just for brokers. I tell my new buyers, ‘You need to have some flexibility during your work week to go look at brand new listings,’ because number one, there’s a chance the agent might take offers immediately, and number two, [along with the open house,] it helps buyers look at the house more than one time before they have to put in an offer.”

Following the mid-week broker tour, McCarthy’s new listings are held for open house on both Saturday and Sunday. Elmer Morales, a HomeLight Elite agent several hours south in San Bernardino, CA, also prefers to list early in the week to allow time for open house anticipation.

“New listings should only go on the market Tuesday or Wednesday!” Morales says. “This gives the consumer enough time to prepare for an open house or showings for the weekend. With syndication, emails, and preparation, it puts the listing in a good position to receive proper exposure on the first weekend it’s listed, which is the most important weekend.”

Dan Edwards, in Bellevue, WA, is a fan of Wednesday listings.

“By launching on Wednesday, we have the ability to syndicate out to all the major websites both nationally and internationally. It also allows our team time to create postcards, door hangers, and to send personal invitations to our grand openings on the weekend,” says Edwards. “Listing on Wednesday creates the highest level of market exposure before the weekend, and ample time for most buyers to see the home, inspect the home, and decide before the offer review period on [the following] Tuesday.”

What’s your preference?

While your weekday listing mileage may vary according to market trends and local industry habits, one thing is clear: Most agents do not list on weekends.

We asked for your feedback in our Q1 2020 Top Agent Insights Survey, and the data speaks for itself in the graph below:

chart showing the best day to list a new home for sale

While Thursday is the winner with almost 40% of HomeLight agents preferring to list on this day, note that second-place is for “it doesn’t matter,” with a strong 20% vote. Though this may sound dismissive, many areas around the country were enjoying a strong seller’s market when HomeLight conducted the survey, and this feedback is subject to change in times of market downturn.

We can surmise that, regardless of launch day, each house will speak for itself. When priced correctly and put in front of the right buyers, the listing will sell.

Header Image Source: (Emma Matthews Digital Content Production / Unsplash)