Janna Rankin Scharf, GRI, CLHMS, SFR, AG - Coeur d'Alene, Idaho Real Estate Professional
Just this week I have had three different homeowners tell me that they don't want a sign in their yard while their house is for sale. "Will that be a problem," they asked?
Well, it's not a problem, but it's usually not to their advantage in getting their home sold as quickly as possible.
In one case, it really won't make a difference. These sellers live in a remote area on a private gated road with only 6 other homes. Other than these close neighbors, there is absolutely zero drive-by traffic or sign visibility from the main road. Not having a sign in their yard won't make a bit of difference. (Although, because it's a waterfront home, a sign at the dock visible to boat traffic WOULD provide good marketing exposure for them.)
In the second case, it will make a big difference. It is a lovely golf course neighborhood, just the kind of scenario where folks like to drive through communities where they would like to live to see what's for sale.
According to the 2010 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, 22% of buyers said that they used yard signs to find the house they eventually bought! That's hugely significent, and dwarfs the stats for open houses at 12%, newspaper ads at 9%, and home books or magazines at 6%.
In my third case, the distressed sellers are coming to grips with losing the family home they love to a short sale. They don't want the neighbors to be asking questions that they don't want to answer. Under the circumstances we can proceed without a sign and see how it goes. As time passes we may revisit the sign issue.
So, do you have to have a sign in the yard when your house is for sale? No. But should you? Yes. Do we ever make exceptions? Of course.