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Best time to list your house? Thursday morning

"I want it in the MLS as soon as possible!"

That admonition will come at the end of the listing appointment. It's an understandable impulse. After all, the sellers have just reached an important milestone after what may have been years of thought, months of fretting, days of planning, and an hour or two of active preparation.

It's absurd, of course. For one thing, putting a home listing together takes time. The Realtor must collect all the information and enter it into the MLS system. The home must be repaired, cleaned, staged, and photographed. Virtual tours must be scheduled, signs and riders prepared, the lockbox installed and the signpost erected.

The Realtor's share of these chores may take 24 hours or fewer, but if the home needs substantial repairs or touch-up painting, it's going to take a few days. Certainly, the home should not go into the MLS system until it is market-ready -- unless the sellers are prepared to take discounted offers in lieu of the unfinished repairs. Even worse is to have the home listed in the MLS but unavailable to be shown.

What's more, there is a right time for doing anything. If your Realtor does not have a strategic marketing plan for selling your home, then you're working with the wrong Realtor.

Strategically, what is the best time to list your home for sale?

The answer is as soon as possible after midnight on Thursday morning. Why? Because your house will be available to all the Realtors planning their weekend showings, but all day Thursday, the listing will show zero days on market. All day Friday, it will be one day on market. All day Saturday -- the most important day of the real- estate week -- your home will show only two days on market.

Obviously, the fewer days on market, the better chance the home will attract a full-price offer. But consider that even if your house does not sell until the following Saturday, it will still show only nine days on market, still benefiting from the psychological advantage of a single-digit number.

By Diane Tuman

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