"The Value of a Yard Sign"

By Thomas Ervin
Thomas Ervin is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist.
(Reprinted with permission from Author)

Homeowners sometimes question the value of a "for sale" sign when listing their home with a Realtor. There are those who feel that they may be able to enjoy more privacy if a sign is not used. Actually, the opposite is true. The use of a Realtor's sign can help you maintain your privacy while allowing the Realtor to answer buyer's questions. More importantly, the yard sign is a very effective selling tool for the following reasons:

The sign attracts the attention of people who live or work in your area. They, in turn, may know fellow workers, friends or acquaintances who are interested in buying a home in your location. You never know where a lead for the buyer may originate. Sometimes, a neighbor may know of someone who has expressed an interest in buying in your neighborhood.

If a potential buyer makes an inquiry about a certain home because of the "for sale" sign, he or she may be an excellent prospect. It is obvious that the calling party was impressed with both the outward appearance of the house and the immediate neighborhood. Because location is the most crucial factor in real estate, a sign call guarantees that the location of the house is a plus rather than a minus in the mind of the inquiring party.

Because all buyers have differing tastes, it is sometimes difficult to find a home that appeals to the buyer from an emotional point of view. Because the sign motivated a potential buyer to call, it is obvious that the caller has been emotionally attracted by the property and its surroundings. This is another reason why an inquiry from a sign is usually more productive than other sources of prospective buyers.

ADVICE: A yard sign is certainly not the only tool provided by your agent. Multiple listing membership, newspaper advertising, referral organizations, and motivated salespeople. who are paid on a straight commission basis, are also very effective. Yet, the "for sale" sign plays an essential role in any marketing strategy. Be sure to allow your Realtor to use a sign when your house goes on the market.

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Steve Hatfield, Realtor
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