You may have been thinking of selling your home for months. Getting ready. Packing things. Having yard sales.
Then you finally picked your Realtor (me) and I came over and discussed pricing strategies and you signed a whole lot of paper. The listing agreement, disclosures about the physical condition of the property. Notices about this and that. A lot.
A photographer came over and took pictures of your beautiful home. Potential home buyers looking for homes on the Internet at 3 in the morning in their jammies or, more likely, at 10am while they’re at work will see your house.
You wake up one morning. Yawn. Grab a cup of coffee. Glance out the window. Or, maybe, you’re coming home from work after fighting traffic ready for a drink and the TV.
You see it.
Oh. My. God.
There is a big sign in your front yard planted firmly in the grass. It says “For Sale”. It has my name on it.
Now, you know. You realize. It is “for real”. You are selling your house.
Why The Real Estate Yard Sign?
You might be wondering why the real estate yard sign still exists. After all, with the Internet, the Multiple Listing Service, lockboxes, GPS and all the rest it’s not like you actually need a yard sign.
Here’s the deal: yard signs are kinda like Open Houses. They are a hold over from the days before the Internet was a thing. They are kind of like a little directional beacon for people who are driving around looking for homes.
Back in the olden days, Realtors used to advertise homes for sale in something called a newspaper. Newspapers had a special little section called “classifieds”. You had to pay for them by the line or the word so Realtors kinda cut it short.
For Sale: cute 3 br, 2 ba ranch on quiet, tree-lined street in College Park. Call Ken at 240-417-9100 for details. RE/MAX United
Now, if you didn’t want to call anyone (and who does?), you might drive around a little in College Park and look for a yard sign with my name on it or you would see other yard signs. You might call the Realtor whose name was on the sign to get more info, if you really wanted.
Real estate yard signs were also good ways to look for what might be for sale, generally, and on any given Sunday, they might have the “Open House” sign rider attached to let people know that you could go in and case the joint.
Why The Real Estate Yard Sign Is Still Around
As near as I can figure, there are a few reasons the yard sign is still a staple of real estate marketing everywhere:
- It’s great advertising for your agent (me). If enough of my signs go up in any given neighborhood, I become the “neighborhood expert”. it’s great being the neighborhood expert because you get a lot of credibility whether you know anything about the neighborhood or not. After all, with the Internet and whatnot, it doesn’t take much to learn about a neighborhood and with a good GPS, I can find my way to just about anywhere. Still, it’s good street cred.
- It’s a great directional beacon. Yeah. the GPS will help me find it but if I’m driving around looking at the numbers on people’s houses looking for 2387 Main Street, I’m not really paying attention to the road. So, in that sense, seeing a yard sign half way down the block helps. “Ah, there it is.”
- It reminds the sellers that they are, in fact selling their house. It reminds them to keep the place tidy and clean and to expect that people will be wanting to come by to look at the house. That whole thing about “Out of sight, out of mind” is really true. The yard sign helps them remember.
- Yes. There are still people who don’t use the Internet that much and just drive around. They call the person who is listed on the sign. They usually are quick to ask the price and how many bedrooms and bathrooms the house has. If the price sounds reasonable, they tell me they’ll call their agent and get back to me. Or, they may gasp and exclaim about how expensive the house is.
I expect the yard sign will be around for awhile. It does have a few good uses and most everyone wants one. They kinda expect it.