The Importance of For Sale By Owner Yard Signs

The Importance of For Sale By Owner Signs

Potential buyers often hone their search on specific neighborhoods via real estate websites like Realtor.com, Zillow.com, or Trulia.com and then either walk or drive those neighborhoods to see what homes are for sale.

Just because you’re listing your home in the MLS for sale by owner via an entry only MLS listing doesn’t mean you can’t have a for sale sign in your front yard to capture those potential clients.

The fact of the matter is that a professionally designed real estate yard sign advertising your property for sale will give you the ability to compete with the professionally licensed agents who are selling homes in your neighborhood – ever more reason to have a professionally designed yard sign, just like you want to have professionally designed real estate flyers for open houses and private showings.


Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan provides relevant Federal and State Seller Disclosures?


The Importance of a Correct Yard Sign.

While your yard sign will probably garner less interest than more informative means of advertising like web listings, it’s still very important. According to national studies, between 10% and 20% of your calls could be based on your sign, depending upon the location of your home.

Obviously, a house on a busy street will attract more drive-by attention than a house on a cul-de-sac. But even so, a yard sign is a great source of word-of-mouth from your neighbors and passersby. A cheap-looking sign will detract from the otherwise attractive appearance of your home. Even worse, a bad sign could turn off potential buyers by causing them to wonder what else you have tried to cut corners on.

What should your yard sign contain?

Your yard sign should contain three things:

  • For Sale by Owner
  • By Appointment
  • Your Phone Number

The Value of a Brochure Box

It is very important that your sign also has a brochure holder.

The correct sign allows interested parties to obtain quick and specific information about your home without direct contact. If the yard sign does its job properly, interested parties will stop and get your brochure, indicating a genuine interest. Below are the reasons why.

  1. They’re looking to buy a house. Why else would they stop to get a brochure?
  2. They’re interested in your neighborhood. Why else would they be looking at homes for sale in your area?
  3. They pre-qualify themselves. How is that? Well since your brochure has your asking price, if they call, it’s an indication that they feel they can get financed.
  4. They approve of your home’s “curb appeal.” After all, if it didn’t appeal to them, they wouldn’t even slow down.

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Your Yard Sign’s Most Important Wording

The “by Appointment” and “your phone number” wording on your yard sign will primarily keep people from knocking at the door any time of the day or night.

After all, when people see a conventional real estate yard sign, they write down the phone number, call the agent, and arrange for a showing. Shouldn’t you, as your own agent, have the same privilege?

Here are eight reasons why this gives you the control you need:

  1. You get to show your home at a time that is convenient for you. Not in the middle of dinner, or when the house is a mess, or you’re about to leave for soccer practice.
  2. You get an opportunity to pre-qualify. A quick question or two during the appointment call will assure that you won’t be wasting a couple of hours of your time or theirs.
  3. You get a name, address, and phone number. You are going to be opening up your home to strangers. This is a safety precaution.
  4. You can inquire about children. Children can be a serious problem during the showing of a house. They’re a distraction for both you and the potential buyer, not to mention a possible liability. You can explain why you would prefer to show the house without small children present. Older children? You get to make the call.
  5. Calls from Real Estate Agents. If a real estate agent calls, (representing a potential buyer that wishes to view your home) you can come to terms on how you will deal with a commission before it become a potential issue.
  6. One potential buyer at a time. Nothing can be more stressful during the sale of a home than to have several “lookers” wandering through your home at the same time. You don’t get to devote to any of them the time and attention necessary for them to fully appreciate the value of your home. When you set appointment times you keep the herds of buyers at the curb, not waiting in your living room.
  7. It shows that you value your time and respect theirs. How long it will take to properly show your home, then sit down with your potential buyer and cover other features of its value and answer questions? One hour? An hour and a half? Two? Only you can answer this. But when you show “by appointment only” you get to control this aspect of the sale.
  8. It allows you to maintain all the other day to day priorities in your life. Things like the kid’s school activities, dance lessons, bridge clubs, Aunt Martha’s birthday party, hairdressers, doctors, dentists and the myriad of other things that are important to you. After all, you are not a 24/7 real estate agent! Nor do you want to live like one. Right!

Now you see just how important the words “by Appointment” are to giving you the freedom and control necessary in selling your home yourself. No “for sale by owner” yard sign should ever be displayed without them.

What are the important characteristics of a yard sign?

Given the importance of the yard sign as a home selling tool, you should understand the “makeup” of a yard sign. Yard signs consist of a frame, a printed panel, and the ability to add a brochure dispenser.

  • DURABILITY. Signs can take a beating from the different weather conditions and rough handling. For a sign to have a favorable impression over its useful life, it must be durable. First, look for a steel frame that is strong enough to last, yet lightweight that has a powder-coated finish, which is the most durable coating for a steel frame. Powder coating creates a smooth, glossy finish that is less likely to snag or rip your clothing, car interior or anything it may come in contact with and is very unlikely to chip. The printed panel and directional signs should be tough enough for vigorous outdoor use. We recommend that your sign panels are made of coreplast which is made of heavy-duty plastic. We recommend coreplast signs that are between 6 and 8mm in size.
  • LEGIBILITY. Are the words and URL information legible? Can you read it from a vehicle passing by at 30 mph? It can’t hurt to give it the old drive by test to find out. What is the most important information on your sign? Well if you answered your phone number, your ( did u leave a work out ) and the Web site where potential home buyers can get additional information than you’re right? A legible, clean image focusing on those points is more important than a sign that has too much nonrelevant information which will only cause visual clutter.
  • VISIBILITY. Since it’s very important that your sign gets viewed by as many people as possible, try to look at the sign from a distance using multiple angles. Make sure there are no obstructions from where you are standing to your sign, trees’ bushes, mailboxes, lawn statues, and anything that could cause the sign to not be seen. You don’t want to go through the trouble of having a great sign and no one seeing it.

For sale by owner signs are still popular, even with the internet. 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 an inquiry about your home.


Did you know Houzeo’s Gold Plan provides relevant Federal and State Seller Disclosures?



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