You’ve all heard the real estate joke that if you ask an agent what the key point is in selling real estate, she’ll answer, “Location, location, location.” Of course if you ask her what kind of car she drives, she’ll also say, “Location, location, location.” Well, stop the presses. Redfin says they’ve found the real answer.
By Emily Peck
Trying to sell your house? Many sellers put their home on the market at a wishful-thinking price, figuring that they could just lower it later.
That strategy could be a misfire. According to a new analysis by Redfin Corp., a Seattle-based brokerage that operates in nine states, a listing gets the most attention online when it’s new to the market. The week that a listing hits the market, Redfin estimates that it gets nearly four times more visits on real estate websites than it does a month later, likely the earliest time that a seller will consider cutting the price.
Redfin looked at traffic to listings in Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Irvine, Calif., Washington, D.C., Boston and Chicago. They considered listings that debuted in the first three months of 2010, sat on the market for at least 60 days and had undergone at least one update. The site used its own traffic data to estimate what traffic would be like to other real-estate sites.
Okay, red line is web visits to new listings, green line is visits to updated listings. Clearly new homes, never before listed, get the serious traffic, and soon. Price it wrong, and you’ve lost your chance, because most of your potential buyers won’t be back. The little spikes at 30 and 60 days are no doubt the bottom-feeding bargain hunters using the filters. Is that where you want your home to be?
Redfin also notes that half of all listings don’t sell within a year. So, if you want to sell your house, even if you live in the Real Bay Area, it’s time to do away with your wishing price. Unless you don’t believe in useless aggregate data.