While searching for my first home, I eagerly awaited Friday mornings, when I’d wake up, immediately check my phone, and scroll through all of the new listings that went on the market overnight.
After scouring (and re-scouring and re-scouring) the same handful of listings all week, Fridays were like a breath of fresh air — new photos to swipe, new 3D walkthroughs to click through, and new tours and open houses to schedule with my real estate agent for the weekend.
But that was just the pattern I noticed in my city in Colorado. I wondered if other parts of the country had a similar most popular “listing day,” when real estate agents strategically listed properties on the market — and why.
After asking around, I heard a few different preferred days of the week and rationales from real estate agents. Here’s what I learned.
Thursdays and Fridays Are Big
Real estate broker Kimberly Jay confirmed my experience, sharing that new listings often go on the market just before the weekend, when many buyers aren’t working and have more free time to scope them out in person.
“Many listings hit the market on Thursday and Friday,” she says. “This way, the first showing at the open house will drive the most traffic.”
Wednesdays Build Anticipation
Wednesdays are also a popular choice because they help drum up excitement for weekend showings, which can help drive up the number of offers and, ultimately, the sale price of the home. This tactic definitely benefits sellers the most and may actually lead some buyers to make rash moves to nab the house they want.
“Seller’s agents list mid-week knowing that the first showing is several days away in order to build up anticipation,” says John Walkup, cofounder of real estate analytics site UrbanDigs. “Then, at the open house, when buyers are climbing all over each other, the competition becomes visceral. To avoid that, some buyers jump on a unit sight-unseen, which, unless the buyer has seriously done their homework, is a risky proposition.”
Pro tip: If new listings in your area hit the market in the middle of the week, consider arranging a private tour during the work week, then attend an open house or schedule a second showing for the weekend, says real estate agent Amy Williams.
“This will help you feel comfortable with the home when you make an offer,” she says. “Relying solely on attending a crowded open house might leave a buyer feeling uneasy about making an offer.”
Weekends on Rare Occasions
Real estate broker Michael J. Franco noted that some properties, such as high-end co-ops in New York City, do not allow weekend showings — they only allow mid-week tours. If that’s the case for a property he’s selling, he lists it over the weekend instead. But this isn’t a very common occurrence.
Real estate agent Jeremy Kamm is a big fan of listing properties early in the week — specifically, on Tuesdays.
“Tuesday is a great day to bring a listing to market because it is early in the week, but after Monday when buyers are likely too busy with post-weekend work to find the time to explore new inventory,” he says.
Todd Maloof, a real estate agent in New Jersey, also sees many homes hit the market in his area on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. In addition to giving people time to prepare for weekend showings and open houses, listing in the early or middle part of the week gives casual browsers time to share listings with their friends.
“Whether you are a buyer or not, people love to hop on the internet and see what the latest inventory and pricing looks like during their lunch break at work,” he says. “They may see a home that pops up, and then share it with a friend who is actually searching for a home.”
So you don’t end up spending every hour of every day scrolling Zillow, keep your eyes peeled for any patterns and ask your real estate agent if there are one or two days that a majority of listings seem to go on the market in your area.
And if you’re trying to buy a house in today’s hot seller’s market, here’s some bad news: It could be total chaos out there, with no apparent rhyme or reason for the day that people list new homes for sale. The important thing is to stay connected with your real estate agent so you can pounce on new listings, whenever they actually appear.
“In a market like the one we are presently experiencing with a severe shortage of inventory, there really is no bad day to activate a listing,” Kamm says.