For sellers considering selling their homes, putting up “For Sale by Owner” signs are standard practice. In fact, before the internet came and disrupted the scene, “for sale by owner signs” were key to selling a property successfully.
However, now as most sellers are moving towards online searches, sellers are contemplating if their “for sale by owner signs” are relevant or not.
Let’s look at how effective “For Sale by Owner” signs are in this day and age.
Benefits of putting up these signs
When it comes to selling your house, you would want to leverage every marketing tool you can. Though “for sale by owner” signs may not seem like a modern choice, they can make a huge difference.
In 2021, nearly 7% of home sales in the US were FSBO sales. And for sale by owner signs were the second most popular way of finding a house. This increases the likelihood that putting up for sale by owner signs can get you a great offer.
Such a sign can help you in:
Offering information about your property
Getting the word out that your house is for sale
Providing details on how to schedule a showing
Directing interested parties to a print or online listing that has more information
Here are some benefits of using these signages.
1. Word of Mouth
If you have an aptly place sale sign, it is likely that potential buyers are going to hear about it by word of mouth. People usually act on the recommendations of their family and friends. So, if your neighbors or any passer-by notices that sign they can give a heads up to a potential buyer they know.
This works especially well in small towns where the sense of community is relatively strong.
2. Giving exposure to your property
If you are looking for a house to purchase, you are likely to notice properties as you cross them, be it during your errands, drives, or a simple jog.
Homes that have “for sale by owner” signs outside them are likely to catch the buyers’ attention. And if the house manages to catch their attention, they may also look it up and inquire about it.
Also, if your house is near a bustling road, then for sale by owner signs can be very effective. With a lot of foot and vehicular traffic, you can get a great buyer attracted to your place.
Disadvantages of putting up these signs
1. Unwarranted calls
New real estate agents in town who just received their licenses are mostly advised to contact FSBO sellers because they are an easy target for some meaty businesses. You are likely to get many unnecessary and irrelevant calls if you put up these signs. Besides being annoying, such calls will consume your time and energy.
2. Attention from unqualified buyers
By advertising your property as FSBO, you are virtually inviting all to visit and make an offer. This brings a lot of needless attention from buyers who have a low credit score and are not even eligible for a mortgage.
3. Unexpected Showing requests
If your sign does not mention ‘By Appointment Only’, then many people are going to be knocking on your door and demanding a showing.
This may, at times, create a bad impression because your house might not be staged properly or at the least, your quality time may get ruined.
Key features of such signs
1. Colors play an important role in grabbing someone’s eyes. While bright colors can catch the attention, red is to be avoided. Recommended colors include white on blue, black on white, black on yellow, and yellow on black.
2. Sign riders are add-ons to these yard signs. These are added on top of the sign to add value. If your property has a swimming pool, a jacuzzi, riverfront view you may want to emphasize this on the sign.
3. Remember that your sign should be readable from some distance. For this, dimensions are important. An ideal sign is 18*24 inches in size.
While for sale by owner signs can be helpful in giving your house the needed (and sometimes too much) exposure, there are alternatives you might consider.
1. Flat fee MLS service
This is an entry-only service that lists your property on the local MLS, which is the local directory of all for-sale houses in an area, for a pre-determined amount.
This allows sellers to retain all the rights of selling their house as an FSBO while enjoying other real estate services based on the package you choose.
2. For sale by owner websites
For sale by owner is the process of selling your property without involving a broker. When adopting this route, you need not pay the listing agent’s commission.
Many for sale by owner websites have cropped up, acting as a real estate marketplace, allowing sellers to list their homes on their website and get a lot of exposure.
While for sale by owner signs could make a big difference to your marketing efforts, you should not rely solely on them. Use all marketing tools at your disposal.