Warmer weather means a lot of things: Pool days, ice cream trucks, and peak moving season. Around 80% of all moves in the United States occur between April and September. The bad news (unless you’re a landlord or a seller): The current seller’s market means housing prices are likely to remain ludicrously high going into the summer.
As if the prices weren’t bad enough, anyone on the hunt for a new home knows how quick the turnaround can be on a listing. I’m currently looking to rent an apartment in New York City, and know well the pain of seeing a dream listing get posted in the morning and snagged by someone (presumably wealthier and faster than I) within a few hours. How does one make the apartment search a little less painful?
You might not be able to control the time of year you need to move, but you can control how you time your search for specific listings. If you want to optimize your apartment hunt, you need to know what day of the week you should be looking for new listings.
In order to figure out the best time to search for new listings as a buyer, I researched when sellers are advised to post their listings. The general consensus: Thursday is the day to look for listings.
That’s because sites like Zillow advise landlords that Thursday is the best day to list, because most renters want to tour rental properties as soon as they can, and most of them have more availability during the weekend.
Multiple interviews with real estate agents in Apartment Therapy confirm this wisdom. Real estate broker Kimberly Jay, for instance, notes that new listings tend to hit the market just before the weekend—which means it’s also a safe bet that a good number of listings will drop on Fridays, too. If you’re looking to buy versus rent, often a weekend open house will be your only chance to see a place before the seller begins reviewing offers.
When it comes to the best time of day to browse listings, Apartment Guide recommends buyers strategize around the typical workday: Assume that property managers and agents start posting new listings at the start of their days, around 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.
The rapid turnarounds of a competitive market mean that your new home search could feel extra chaotic. We simply can’t assume that sites like Zillow or StreetEasy will exclusively post the best, freshest listings at 9 a.m. every Thursday morning.
The silver lining here is that plenty of dream listings also could (and do) go out any time of the day. Rather than torture yourself by hitting “refresh” over and over, consider investing in a real estate agent who can devote their time to finding you the best listings as soon as they appear.