Ask the Egghead: Do I need a ‘For Sale’ sign in my yard?

Dear Egghead: My agent insists that a “for sale” sign will help sell my house. I think it will just attract curiosity seekers and burglars. Who is right?

Answer: Real estate agents aren’t always right. But in this case, I believe they are.

This is a simple call. If you’re selling something — anything –the more people who know your item is for sale, the more likely you’ll find a buyer at a price you’re satisfied with. And that’s the point, right? Selling?

In this Internet age, we risk ignoring some of the tried and true methods to find buyers. About half of the people who’ve bought a house in the past few years say a yard sign helped them find their new property (that’s according to surveys by realtor groups). And that’s why realtors are so adamant about yard signs. Eliminating yard signs kills off half your potential clientele. Not a good business practice.

Yes, they may be unsightly. Yes, they will attract busybodies. But yes, they attract buyers.

Some sellers even object to “For Sale” signs because they consider them an unnecessary expense. Really? You’re going to risk perhaps multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars in your sale price, all so you can save a couple hundred dollars? Pulleez!

And let’s imagine you’re not using an agent, that your house is “for sale by owner.” A “For Sale” sign might be the only prayer you have of selling the house yourself. However, a FSBO house attracts bargain hunters, lowballers, and time-wasters. Not very effective for selling, and a royal pain the butt to boot.

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