Selling your home is a lot like fishing. You have to find where the buyers are hiding, attract them with the right bait, and then reel them in. Easy enough, right? You would think so, but unfortunately, many sellers do everything perfectly up until the time they put their pole in the water. In other words, they price their home competitively, get their home in the best condition possible, and even offer incentives, but then, surprisingly, they still go home with an empty stringer. Why? They haven’t master the art of fishing for buyers, or what we call in the real estate business promoting the listing.
Promoting your home in the real estate marketplace means that you place your home in front of as many qualified buyers as possible. But don’t worry, this isn’t as daunting a task as many homeowners might imagine. In fact, with a few tips, any home owner can soon be landing the big marlins!
Believe it or not, a real estate sign, after a real estate agent and the internet, is the single most effective tool for attracting a buyer to your home. Why? A good real estate sign is like a marketing machine that’[s hard at work in the rain, snow, sleet, and sun 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To help create the most effective sign strategies for your home, take a look at these five steps:
1 – Place your sign as close to the road as possible. The closer your sign is to a buyer’s line of sight, the greater the chance that the buyer will see it. You may need to check with your local city planning office regarding the placement of a “For Sale” sign, as some cities and even some homeowners’ associations prohibit or put limits on sign placements.
2 – Place your sign in a clear line of sight. Test your sign’s effectiveness by driving by your house. Make sure that your sign can be seen from a distance and that it is not blocked by trees or shrubs.
3- Make sure phone numbers are easy to read. A buyer may only have a few seconds to see and remember your phone number. Make the print large enough for buyers to see the number clearly from the road. Some sellers and real estate agents even purchase vanity phone numbers that are easily remembered. Also, make sure that the sign is clean – this means giving it a good wipe down every weekend.
4- Use sign riders. A sign rider is a small sign attached to your main sign that describes features of the home. It’s basically a sign for your sign. Why use a rider? Using one or two riders can pique a buyer’s interest. But be careful; agents and owners who overuse riders can easily end up with a sign that looks like a pitch for a carnival attraction. Two or three riders is generally the limit.
5- Use directional signs. Directional signs point to your home’s location from the surrounding side streets. This will increase the number of buyers who will know that your home is for sale, which is important, as many buyers start their real estate searches by doing “drive-bys”.
In my own real estate companies, I have found that during peak seasons, sign calls can amount for as many as 30 percent of inbound calls.
Marc Padilla has been in the real estate business for over a decade and is currently doing consultant work for listing agents at Bayside Real Estate in New York.