Listing in Early May Can Earn Sellers $1,600 More

Listing in Early May Can Earn Sellers $1,600 More

Homes listed in the first half of May sell for a premium, and nearly a week faster.

According to a Zillow analysis, sellers who list their homes for sale in the first two weeks of May sell for a $1,600 premium, and six days faster. In 19 of the 35 largest metros, the best month to sell for the biggest sales premium is May.

That said, the best time to list a home varies by market, and could be impacted by local market dynamics or even weather patterns. The earliest is in Pittsburgh, where the magic window is the second half of March, while a handful of markets don’t hit the prime listing time until the first two weeks of July.

Early signals for the 2019 housing market suggest that the balance is tilting toward buyers, as inventory is showing modest gains and appreciation is stabilizing or slowing in some of the previously hottest markets. As the market shifts, it’s increasingly important for sellers to understand what’s happening in their market as they approach the home shopping season. Sellers with the freedom to choose when to sell their home may be able to earn an extra boost by listing at the right time.

Before putting their homes on the market, sellers spend about seven months on average thinking about their decision. During that time, most sellers complete at least one home improvement project before listingi. Knowing the best listing window gives them time to prepare their home.

“Sellers time their listings to optimize their sale in all sorts of ways,” said Skylar Olsen, Zillow Director of Economic Research and Outreach. “Some need to time the sale just right to manage their own synchronized home purchase. Others are seeking to get the highest sale price possible. Balancing these two common priorities suggests that an early May listing date is your best bet, but working with an agent who can weigh the local market and your unique priorities is still our lasting advice.”

The biggest premium for timing a listing is in Minneapolis, where homes listed in the first half of May sold for a 1.8 percent premium. That translates to an extra $4,900 on the sale. Sellers in Austin and Miami, on the other hand, saw the smallest sales premiums. In those markets, listing during the “magic window” gained sellers a 0.5 percent premium – about $1,400.

Cleveland sellers who list their homes in the first half of May could see their homes sell nearly two weeks faster than the typical home. In Las Vegas, when a home is listed has little impact on how quickly it sells. Homes listed during the ideal window in early July sold just half a day faster.

The day a home is listed can also affect how many potential buyers see it, as the majority of home shoppers (79 percent) use online resources during their search, according to the 2018 Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report. Homes listed on Saturdays get the most page views in the first week, and 20 percent more views than homes listed on Tuesdays, which get the fewest page views.

Zillow is now promoting its Owner Dashboard to indicate the best timing for listing a home in each market. Registered owners who have claimed their homes can use tools in the Owner Dashboard to estimate how much the timing of the listing may influence the final sale price.

Region Ideal Listing
Window
Median Sale
Premium ($)
Median Sale
Premium (%)
Days Sold
Faster than
Median
Home
Ideal Listing
Day of the
Week
United States

May 1-15

$1,600

0.7%

6

Saturday

New York, NY

May 16-31

$3,100

0.7%

11

Friday

Los Angeles, CA

May 16-31

$6,000

0.9%

3

Thursday

Chicago, IL

May 1-15

$3,300

1.5%

10.5

Friday

Dallas-Fort Worth, TX

July 1-15

$1,400

0.6%

2.5

Saturday

Philadelphia, PA

April 16-30

$2,400

1.1%

9.5

Friday

Houston, TX

July 1-15

$1,400

0.7%

1.5

Saturday

Washington, DC

April 1-15

$3,800

0.9%

6

Thursday

Miami-Fort Lauderdale, FL

July 1-15

$1,400

0.5%

1

Saturday

Atlanta, GA

June 1-15

$1,300

0.6%

5.5

Friday

Boston, MA

May 16-31

$5,500

1.2%

5

Wednesday

San Francisco, CA

April 16-30

$10,000

1.0%

2.5

Friday

Detroit, MI

May 1-15

$2,100

1.3%

7

Sunday

Riverside, CA

June 1-15

$3,200

0.9%

4

Friday

Phoenix, AZ

May 1-15

$1,900

0.7%

4

Saturday

Seattle, WA

June 1-15

$7,500

1.5%

6

Thursday

Minneapolis-St Paul, MN

May 1-15

$4,900

1.8%

7

Friday

San Diego, CA

May 1-15

$6,000

1.0%

6

Saturday

St. Louis, MO

May 1-15

$1,800

1.1%

7.5

Friday

Tampa, FL

July 1-15

$1,500

0.7%

1

Saturday

Baltimore, MD

May 16-31

$2,400

0.9%

5

Thursday

Denver, CO

May 1-15

$4,300

1.1%

6

Thursday

Pittsburgh, PA

March 16-31

$1,000

0.7%

10.5

Saturday

Portland, OR

May 1-15

$5,400

1.4%

7.5

Thursday

Charlotte, NC

July 1-15

$1,700

0.8%

5

Saturday

Sacramento, CA

May 1-15

$5,200

1.3%

7

Friday

San Antonio, TX

April 1-15

$1,200

0.6%

8.25

Saturday

Orlando, FL

June 1-15

$1,600

0.7%

4.5

Friday

Cincinnati, OH

May 16-31

$1,400

0.8%

7

Sunday

Cleveland, OH

May 1-15

$1,900

1.3%

13

Sunday

Kansas City, MO

May 1-15

$2,200

1.2%

7

Thursday

Las Vegas, NV

July 1-15

$2,300

0.8%

0.5

Saturday

Columbus, OH

June 1-15

$2,900

1.5%

8.5

Saturday

Indianapolis, IN

May 1-15

$2,000

1.2%

9.5

Sunday

San Jose, CA

May 1-15

$18,900

1.5%

3

Wednesday

Austin, TX

May 16-31

$1,400

0.5%

7.5

Saturday

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After earning her bachelor’s degree in journalism at the University of Central Florida, Tracey set out in the real world at Florida Realtors in 1994 as a communication assistant, working her way up to editor in chief of Florida Realtor magazine. In 2004, she left the association to start her freelance writing and editing business. One of her first clients was REAL Trends, and she started working for the organization in 2005. In 2014, Tracey was promoted to editor in chief of publications for REAL Trends. She handles the writing and editing of all REAL Trends publications and marketing materials, including LORE Magazine, the REAL Trends newsletter and the blog. She is also the primary podcast interviewer where she conducts interviews with top real estate industry leaders and affiliated industry leaders. Tracey is married with two children.

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