Use of signs inside a home a help or hindrance?

By
Home Stager with Showhomes

We recently had a staged home change hands from  one Realtor to another. THe new Realtor, whom we respect, decided to print out small signs and tape them all over the house so buyers had additional information.

Now our beautifully staged Showhome has over 70 signs plastered throughout. Some signs are nice to have such as 'wired for cable and Internet' or 'Media and Storage closet' - some things about a home are not obvious.

On the other hand, signs taped to the kitchen counters that say 'granite counters' or a sign taped to the glass in the middle of a window that says 'nice view' or signs over every light switch that say 'dimmers' really look tacky.

My thought is that excessive signage both demeans the buyer (as if buyers of a 1.5 million dollar home wouldn't know that counters were granite by looking at them) and worse, they really distract from the power of staging to create an emotional connection that leads to a high priced offer. In my mind, and this is my personal opinion, you can't really soak up the bones of a home and begin to visualize yourself living in a new home if you are busy reading signs while you preview the home.

What do you think?

Comments (16)

Charlie Ragonesi
AllMountainRealty.com - Big Canoe, GA
Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros

I think signs are a help. If you want to include more info give the prospect a number to call to hear about the home. There are automated systems out there that do this. Where signs hurt is when there are a bunch of them in the same neighborhood. Buyers get goosy about living ther or stupid in there offers

Jul 08, 2008 12:43 AM
Home Staging
Showhomes - Nashville, TN

I'm referring more to small signs taped onthe walls and doors inside a home -

Jul 08, 2008 12:44 AM
Amy Hunter
Hearth & Home Videos - Sudbury, MA

I have never seen nor heard of such a thing.  Not only is it bizarre, but if I were a buyer I would walk right out of that house!  It must be so frustrating for you to have put in effort in the staging of this house and all a buyer is going to notice or remember are those stupid notes.....

Jul 08, 2008 12:44 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

I think that the signs, while this on sounds a tad excessive, are a lot more "engaging" than the staging of a home which presents the home but doesn't always "engage" the buyer.

What is the success history of that agent?  If it's good, then the answer is "if it ain't broke, don't fix it".  What he or she is doing must be working. 

If this is the second listing agent, the first one without the little signs didn't succeed.  Perhaps this will.  If I saw a little sign on a window that said "nice view", I'd smile looking at the view.  Smiling home buyers buy homes. 

Listing "standard features" is successful for new home builders and some of the entries sound silly, such as, "brick front".  But, it works.  The longer the list, the more questions it answers. 

Of course, price is the real secret. 

Jul 08, 2008 12:48 AM
Dave Woodson
Dave Woodson - Chesterton, IN
Not the Average Agent

Were there any signs expressing the need for a quality mortgage borker or other lending services

Dave Woodson

Jul 08, 2008 12:52 AM
Larry Story ALC
Total Care Realty - Greensboro, NC
Beneath it all is the Land, Covering all of NC

Thomas,

That is almost OCD.  Is the new realtor a postit freak?  I have occasionally seen the small signs for as you noted cable ready or for alarm system knowledge.  Once in awhile with a higher end home you have hidden features which need to be pointed out.  But, that was way too excessive.

Jul 08, 2008 12:54 AM
Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty
Bucci Realty, Inc. - Melbourne, FL
Eighteen Years Experience in Brevard County

I believe signs are helpful when they state the not so obvious and are tastefully placed - not a distraction.

Jul 08, 2008 12:57 AM
Linda Greco Rich, ABR, SRES
Exit Preferred Realty - Bel Air, MD
Harford County Specialist

I totally agree that a potential buyer of such a home will not need to read signs like "great view" or "granite counters." Having signs like those are a needless interuption and could be annoying and tacky like an infommercial. I don't know if it's your place to tell her, but someone should.

Jul 08, 2008 12:59 AM
Steve Homer
The HBH Group (Keller Williams affiliate) - Round Rock, TX

We use custom made signs for luxury homes that are part of a media theme designed specifically for THAT home only.  These all match the home book, the brocures and all media placed on the Internet.  This technique has been a differentiator for us in our marketplace and we now have sellers calling us to get this enhanced service.  Agreed that too much of anything is not good, but done tastefully and pointing out features that ARE NOT OBVIOUS is an absolute necessity.  The reason why is that most buyers agents will not represent the home as effectively to their buyers as a listing agent can when they have knowledge of features and benefits passed to them by the seller.

By the way, we also work directly WITH our stagers to design media that is themed with the staging theme, so it all WORKS TOGETHER!  And our homes are usually the first to get an offer as a result!

Jul 08, 2008 01:00 AM
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

Whats funny is I recently walked into a home that did this. almost every where you turned there was a small colorful sign taped to a wall. It announced $3000 in seller concession, repiped house, $2500 in remodeling work, etc...

Jul 08, 2008 01:01 AM
Heather the Realtor Orlando, Lake Mary
LemonTree Realty - Orlando, FL
First Time Home Buyers, Bank Owned Homes

Forgot to mention the buyers loved it and it also helped the buyers remember the house.

Jul 08, 2008 01:02 AM
Katie Evans
Keller Williams - Greenville, NC

Seems like to would distract from the real purpose........getting the buyers to look at the home.  It will now be remembered to buyers as the post it note house! 

Wonder if the listing agent reads your blog?

Jul 08, 2008 01:02 AM
Home Staging
Showhomes - Nashville, TN

I beleive using signs like this would be great in a vacant home but this is fully furnished and professionally staged Showhome -

We really like this agent and she's really agressive. The previous agent was a not so great and gave the home little attention so we are glad to work with her and hope she succeeds in getting people in the door. The staging works and is proven - no need to improve what already has a track record. For us, the signs undermine the staging by distracting buyers from getting a really deep feel for each of the rooms. It really interrupts the flow of the home and diminishes the impact.

That said, this agent produced some of the best marketing material I have seen and I wouldn't hestiate to recomend her for a luxury seller. The signs are designed well and look great, just to prolific. I appreciate both points of view. In our expereince, the signs are a bit polarizing - some people like them others hate them and walk out of the home. They are not universally liked!

Jul 08, 2008 01:08 AM
Michele Hess
Simply Staged Inc. - Rockford, IL
Home Stager Rockford - Simply Staged Inc

I am not a fan of the signs in a staged home.  Perhaps a few here and there to state the not so obvious.  I recently staged a home in which I returned to see approx. 8 signs alone in the kitchen.  Most stated the obvious such as stainless steel appliances etc.  

These signs were spread throughout the home.  Felt it distracted from the staging and interrupted the home buyer from feeling "at home".

May be useful in vacant homes in moderation.

Jul 09, 2008 02:01 AM
Stacey Holt
Setting the Stage - Huntsville, AL

What's the realtors name and phone number...I will call her and tell her that her signs are a little OCD and she needs to seek help for her post-it problem...lol...That would drive me crazy if I were a buyer...it would also make me feel like they think I am stupid or something...like I can't look out a window and see the nice view or look at the countertops and know they are granite...it's very kindergarten...you know how in a classroom everything has a label so the kids can become familar with everything in the room...Please tell her to take the obvious ones down!

 

Jul 09, 2008 03:14 AM
Anita Hoppenstand
A1A Home Staging LLC - Palm Coast, FL
A1A Home Staging LLC

Hi Thomas.  I think signs would be distracting and kind of insulting.  Especially the signs pointing out a good view (as our 14 year old daughter would say "Gee - thanks for the info Captain Obvious!").  Where does it end - "Flush me, I'm quiet!"?!  A good marketing brochure of the home could point out the features the realtor is trying to call attention to.  I saw a stager put up a sign pointing out a central vacuum on one of the HGTV shows and I thought it detracted from the nice job she had just completed updating the room.  However!  Heather has a good point.  It would certainly make a place stand out and be more memorable. 

Anita

Jul 09, 2008 07:38 AM