Southern Maryland Best Buys


To Post a Sign or Not to Post a Sign When Selling Your Home? Think Carefully!

It's tough to sell a secret.

CENTURY 21 Sold Sign I once had a lady call me and ask me to list her home for sale. It was in a subdivision of modest priced homes where properties normally sold pretty well if they were priced correctly.

When I got to the home I discovered that she did not want a sign placed in front of her home because she did not want any of her neighbors to know she was selling her home. How silly! She lived in a 55+ subdivision, and often the neighbors in these areas know friends and family that are looking for vacation homes near friends. These neighbors are often the best lead generators in the world.

Though the internet is today trumping signs and printed ads, signs still have a place since the baby-boomers still drive through the retirement subdivisions looking for signs, especially those with information boxes on them. And as I said before, people up north still rely on the information they receive from friends/relatives who already have homes in these areas.

So to say "NO SIGN" in front of your home in a subdivision, especially a 55+ one, is only hurting the seller's chances of finding a good qualified buyer. Of course, if the deed restrictions forbid the display of such signs, that is a different matter and the rules must be adhered to. That was not the case for the property mentioned above.

Now, I still would have taken the listing since I feel my internet prowess could overcome the absence of a sign, but this lady also:

  • Wanted any agent who showed the home to remove any signage from their vehicles.
  • Wanted no "Just Listed" postcards sent out.
  • Wanted no pictures in advertising since her neighbors "might be able to figure out which house it was".
  • Preferred that the agents and their prospective buyers park their cars 1/2 mile away in a hospital's parking lot. Keep in mind that between the home and the hospital was a 4 lane highway with no crosswalks. Can you imagine trying to hustle senior citizens over that road? Not to mention the physical strain of walking that far!

Needless to say, she put so many limitations on my ability to sell her home that I politely declined to take her listing. I think that kind of surprised her. As I recall, her home was on the market for over 2 years before it sold at a hefty discount. Her silly attitude cost her time and thousands of dollars, and for no rational reason.

This came back to mind since I have a current seller who also does not want to have a sign out front. However, in this case, the property is in a subdivision that is in limbo due to the current housing slowdown. Only 4 homes were built in his section before the builder moved on. It will likely be a year or so before construction restarts with a different construction company. So in this case, the lack of a sign will have little effect on me. Few people will be driving through there looking for homes. Plus the seller has bought and sold many properties through me. I am of course going to list this property.

But in a typical subdivision, having a sign out front is not a bad thing, in my opinion. I also like putting information boxes out front. Today, people want information NOW! And I try to give it to them. It also saves on call-after-call asking for basic information like price, number of bedrooms and baths, square footage, HOA fees, etc. I would rather have the buyers see that information rather than call me for it.

I know, I know, some of you will say that to have them call is an opportunity to steer them to another listing. But in my experience, most of them will not allow you to do this. I have yet to have a successful diversion to a different property occur. Just my opinion.

But having that sign up could be just the little bit of extra effort that gets you that buyer in these competitive times. And it certainly cannot harm your chances of selling! So let you agent put up a sign when he/she can.

For more information on this topic, please feel free to call me at: 813-783-4444 or e-mail me at:  You can also visit my main webpage where you will find a lot of useful local information:


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Comment balloon 1 commentCheryl Ritchie • May 24 2010 06:49PM
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