Should You List Your Austin Home For Sale at Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is Monday May 30 this year, less than two weeks from now. Austin home sellers may wonder if this traditional kickoff of the summer selling season in Austin actually produces offers. I have a listing for a home in Austin coming up that will be ready the weekend before Memorial Day. Would it be a waste of market time to list a home in Austin the Thursday before Memorial Day, right before everyone heads out for vacations, or should a home be placed on the market for sale as soon as it’s ready, regardless of holidays?

The potential downside could be that putting a home up for sale before a big holiday weekend will accomplish nothing more than earning it additional days on market with no hope for a fast offer. I mean, who spends Memorial day weekend looking at houses anyway, right? Might as well wait until the Tuesday after, if following this logic. But let’s see if the assumption is supported by data.

Listed Before Memorial Day Weekend
Year # Sold Med/Avg DOM % OLP
2010 218 47/65 92.78
2009 319 35/64 94.85
2008 361 39/69 93.42
2007 461 30/55 95.49

The chart above shows the stats for the past 4 years for homes sold in the Austin MLS with listing dates the Wed-Mon preceding and inclusive of Memorial Day for each year. In other words, these homes in Austin were listed for sale either just before or during the actual Memorial Day weekend.

The fist column is # Sold, the next is the median and average days on market before the home sold. The last column is the percentage of Original List Price for which the home sold. If the assumption that these homes suffered “holiday lag time” is correct, then that should be revealed in the next chart, which will show homes that were listed for sale immediately after Memorial Day weekend for the same 4 years.

For the following chart, I looked at homes listed the Tuesday through Sunday immediately following Memorial Day weekend.

Listed After Memorial Day Weekend
Year # Sold Med/Avg DOM # Sold
2010 308 56/73 91.68
2009 292 37/65 94.27
2008 397 40/67 94.16
2007 478 26/50 95.86


So, did the above post-Memorial Day listings perform better? No, not really. Lets start with 2010 sales.

In 2010, the homes listed just prior to Memorial Day eventually sold faster than the homes listed after. And they sold for a higher percentage of original list price. There were far fewer listings, probably because people wait until after the weekend, as the assumption and common sense would suggest doing, so the lower inventory could have a slight effect on the data, but there it is.

In 2009 though, the numbers are essentially inconclusive with no real significant different, though the pre-Memorial Day listings do win with a slight advantage. Back in 2008, it was mixed. In 2007, the post Memorial Day listings won, by a slight amount.

Let’s look at one more stat, or ask one more question. Do listings for homes in Austin actually get sold during the actual Memorial Day weekend, or do the above sales actually happen on the book ends?

Accepted Offer Day

Thur-Tues Fri-Mon
2010 257 128
2009 346 185
2008 385 207
2007 419 224

This chart above shows the number of contracts actually signed – the “Pending Date” – for homes in Austin over Memorial Day weekend for each year. The Pending Date is the actual date, also called the “Effective Date”, that the final initials or signatures were placed on the contract making it a “done deal”.

In 2010, On the Thursday thru Tuesday of Memorial Day, 257 contracts were finalized. Of those, 128 were finalized on Fri, Sat, Sun or Mon, smack in the holiday weekend. Though this does show that more than half of the 257 happened on the Thursday or Tuesday before or after, which does support the notion that people were either hurrying up or catching up on both sides of the actual long holiday weekend. Nevertheless, as you can see for the other years listed, buyers and sellers are in fact around and/or available to execute contracts during Memorial Day weekend in Austin.

Conclusion: If your home in Austin is prepared and ready to go on the market just before Memorial Day weekend, go ahead and list it. There is no reason, statistically, to wait. It might get shown and you might get an offer.

Listed Before Memorial Day Weekend
Year # Sold Avg/Med DOM % OLP
2010 218 47/65 92.78
2009 319 35/64 94.85
2008 361 39/69 93.42
2007 461 30/55 95.49

4 thoughts on “Should You List Your Austin Home For Sale at Memorial Day?”

  1. I love this statistical analysis. People always want to know if listing on a certain day of the week is better than another. Agent folk-lore is often bought into play – “buyers shopping during the holidays are more motivated”, so it’s great to see a data-driven approach.

  2. Steve and Sylvia,

    You’re hit a home run with this post. And not to go too far with the analogy, but people don’t stop going to the ballpark, shopping at the mall, or a host of other “transactions” during Memorial Day.

    I love how you picked out this special holiday, and then how you picked apart some of the misconceptions for our industry. Kudos to you both, and Happy Memorial Day as well.

  3. I’m really confused and need advice, as we are new to Austin, and thought we found a house. So we make an offer, the seller counters, we reply within $1500 of their counter. So we all accept and my husband hand-delivers earnest money and the $100 for the offer entertainment to the seller’s realtor this morning. Then, the seller’s realtor turns around this afternoon with some objection regarding some appraisal, which we never intended to ask for. Now, apparently, they have another buyer. We have no idea what to do now.

    Is there any recourse to this? It seems to me to be entirely unethical. Is there any fairness in Austin real estate??

  4. With Memorial Day 2012 just past, I compared last year’s market inquiries vs actual contracts with this year’s data and actually found a 25% impressive improvement. Out of 30 interested parties who contacted our office during the holiday weekend, we showed 20 properties. 8 have offers in the 200-300+++ range.


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