Redfin: For Real Estate Listings, the First Week Is Crucial



Original Post Date: August 23, 2010

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.

Redfin’s graphic, below, tells the story:

The red line represents visits from the day of debut. Green shows visits to the listing after it’s updated.

Back when most folks looked for a new home by getting in the car, the freshness of a listing didn’t matter very much. But now a new real-estate listing works almost like a news story. When the news hits, people flock to read it. The next day, traffic drops off.  Your home listing, says Redfin chief executive Glenn Kelman, “is just another momentary media phenomenon in an ADD-addled world.”