Do we need a real estate sign in front of our house?

In October, you decided to list your house for sale and you hired a real estate broker to be your Seller’s agent. You thought that is was standard in the residential home sales process to have a real estate sign hanging from a yard arm in front of the property for sale. When someone lists their home for sale, they put up a sign to attract buyers. The thinking is that the sign is a great broadcast that the property is for sale and there is contact information for whom to call about it. It is seen as great physical exposure versus just having all the marketing data in the internet.


In 2012, the for sale sign on a property is still prevalent. What happens if you forego having a for sale sign on the yard arm in front of the house? How would this impact the sales process for your home?


There may be a strategic reason that you do not wish to have a real estate sign on your property. Perhaps you don’t like the aesthetics of having a for sale sign in front of your property. Following this thought, you may also not wish to advertise to your neighbors that you are selling the property. It could also make good sense to forego a sign if your location is strong enough where the extra advertising from the for sale sign will not greatly increase the potential to find that most suitable buyer.


More than 90% of prospective buyers (from all over the world) are researching property listings over the internet. This fact may change the necessity to have a “for sale” sign to some extent and in some circumstances. I have a listing with no for sale sign in front of the house. The Sellers and I decided to forego the for sale sign for the reasons listed above.


For sale signs promote the following:

  1. the sign indicates to a wider, offline audience (foot traffic, vehicle traffice) that a specific property is for sale and gives contact information
  2. the sign is free advertising for the real estate broker and his company


There is no doubt that real estate for sale signs give free advertising to real estate brokerages. For example, you will quickly know that Coldwell Banker is doing quite well in Cambridge and Somerville because they have a lot of signs with listings. It is great exposure for Coldwell Banker to get more business. The agent’s name on the sign also gives an indication whether specific agents have a lot listings in a specific area. In Andover or Melrose, you will see more RE/MAX (think balloons, folks) signs on property for sale.


It is just something to consider when deciding whether a for sale sign makes sense for the sale of your property or not. Sometimes, the decision for whether to use a sign or not is made very easy because your condominium association documents state no signage is allowed. At other times, the sign will give the extra exposure to your listing as well as the free advertising for the brokerage and agent who are marketing your home for sale.


Best of luck on your sale and listing!


*Willard Realty Group is offering 4% total commissions for listings and 2.5% if the sale does not include a co-broker situation.





Willard D. Cunningham
Willard Cunningham, Broker/Principal
(617) 921-4758
MA License# 9077116
1953 Massachusetts Ave.
Ste. 400775
Cambridge, MA 02140
MA License: 9011


“Your referrals to me will get the best of many years’ residential real estate experience

– and my heartfelt thanks.”