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The Importance of For Sale Signs in the Yard

How Many For Sale Signs Should You Place in Your Yard?

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Agent holding a sold sign

Sellers want a For Sale Sign to turn into a sold sign.

© Big Stock Photo
Hardly a day goes by that I don't receive a call from an interested buyer on one of my For Sale Signs. In some markets, buyers drive by a home, spot a For Sale Sign and slam on the brakes. The question isn't whether you should have a For Sale Sign in the yard, unless you want to keep secret the fact that your home is for sale -- and some sellers do. It's whether the For Sale Sign will generate buyer calls.

Types of For Sale Signs

Some homeowner associations do not allow For Sale Signs in the yard, or the HOA may have restrictions about size and placement. If you live in a planned community, you may want to read your HOA regulations before putting a sign in your yard.

Standard types of For Sale signs vary depending on inherent weather conditions where you live, type of brokerage that has listed your home and, in some cases, simply personal preference.

  • For Sale By Owner Signs
    Sellers who try to sell without representation generally don't want to spend a lot of money on signage. In fact, a less expensive sign may play to a For Sale By Owner's advantage because a buyer might believe the seller is desperate to sell and the buyer can get a great deal.

    You can buy a For Sale By Owner sign at a hardware store, some Boards of REALTORS® or online. Most of these For Sale Signs are made from metal or plastic and secure to the ground through the usage of stakes or wires.

  • Real Estate Agent For Sale Signs
    The two most common types are small signs with stakes, which are pounded into the ground, or larger sign panels, which generally hang from a sign post. Materials for the signage can range from wood to plastic to metal. Sandwich boards are inexpensive but portable enough that some kid might run off with them.

For Sale Sign Content

A REALTOR®'S For Sale Sign will catch the eye of a buyer, and promote the real estate brokerage and the agent. It may contain the following:

  • Name of the brokerage
  • Office phone number with area code
  • Web site
  • Company logo
  • Brokerage address

Some agents utilize space on top of the sign post and below the sign panel. They may secure a smaller sign on top. Examples for the top of the post are:

  • Virtual tour web site
  • The actual asking price
  • Price reduction
  • Slogan
  • Buyer benefit such as a home warranty

Here are examples of a sign rider, which may hang by hooks below the sign panel:

  • Agent's cell phone number
  • Co-Agent's name / number
  • Home feature such as number of bedrooms / pool / horse property

Placement of For Sale Signs

The For Sale Sign should be easily visible from the street. If I don't like where the installers place my For Sale Signs, I call them and submit a move order. Sometimes signs can be blocked by cars parked on the street, trees or telephone poles.

  • It seems less intrusive to place the For Sale Sign near the sidewalk or street than close to the home.
  • If the home is located on a corner, consider installing a sign on each street.
  • For out-of-the-way homes such as those on secluded streets or in an area where traffic is limited, you might ask home owners who live on a busy street if you can place a directional sign in their yard.

Number of For Sale Signs

Sometimes problems crop up when the listing expires with one agent and the seller signs a listing agreement with a new agent. It's possible that the first agent may be reluctant or slow to remove that agent's For Sale Sign. A delay could mean more sign calls for that agent.

I'm not suggesting that you yank the sign out of the yard yourself, but if calling the brokerage leads to a dead end, you might have to do it. The absolutely last thing that you want to happen is for a buyer to call your former listing agent.

Sometimes, when agents lose listings, they develop a bitter attitude. If a buyer calls your former agent by mistake, it's possible that agent may do everything in his or her power to talk the buyer out of viewing your home.

At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.

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