For Sale By Owner Signs: Frequently Asked Questions and Crazy Examples
Lawn signs are a very important marketing tool for FSBO sellers, and they create an opportunity for you to impress an image of quality onto potential buyers. A good FSBO sign makes a positive first impression: someone driving or walking by sees the sign, and almost reflexively looks at the house.
Here are some FAQs to help you come up with the best possible sign for your FSBO property.
Do I need a sign if I’m primarily advertising on the web?
Absolutely. While over 80% of home buyers search for homes on the internet, a significant number of buyers discover properties simply by driving around. Furthermore, if a local buyer somehow missed your web-based listing, they may not find your property unless they see a sign in the yard.
What are sign riders and how can they help me sell my house?
Sign riders are narrow add-on signs that attach to for sale by owner signs to add additional information, such as a directional arrow or an announcement like “OPEN HOUSE TODAY 1-4.” If your home is located well within a subdivision or otherwise away from main roads, placing a FSBO sign with a directional arrow at a major intersection nearby can help funnel more traffic by your house. Sign riders may also contain information like web addresses, phone numbers, or even QR codes that smart phone users can scan to view a virtual tour immediately.
Can I make my own sign?
In general, it’s not recommended that you make your own sign. If you have access to high-quality materials and have a graphics background, you may be able to make a very nice, professional-looking sign. But the average FSBO seller should use a prefabricated sign to project a serious and professional attitude.
How much do for sale by owner signs cost?
Costs vary widely. All advertising packages on ISoldMyHouse.com allow you to order a custom for sale by owner sign with your phone number on it. Or you can get small for sale by owner signs at discount retailers for only a few dollars. You can spend $100 or more on a custom reflective aluminum sign in a frame. And there are several options in between. If you choose to create a custom aluminum sign online, expect to pay at least $75 per sign.
How many for sale by owner signs do I need?
If you live on a desirable or busy street, you may only need one. If you live further back in a subdivision, away from major routes, you should consider having one in your yard, and one or two more with directional arrows placed strategically at intersections that are more heavily traveled.
What is the best color for my sign?
For signs in general, the five most effective color combinations in terms of attracting attention are:
- black on yellow
- black on white
- yellow on black
- white on blue
- yellow on blue
You may have noticed that many for sale by owner signs have white lettering on a red background, and this is another eye-catching color combination.
How large should my sign be?
In general, a sign of 18 x 24 inches is good. Remember this rule of thumb about lettering: it needs to be legible from 30 feet away, letters need to be at least one inch in height. If your sign is installed away from the sidewalk or street, you will probably need lettering two inches high to ensure people can read it from the street.
Do I need a brochure box or info tube?
Having a brochure box or info tube for flyers about your house is highly recommended. If a potential buyer sees your sign, takes a look at your home’s exterior, and is interested, he or she can immediately grab an informational sheet about the property, complete with pictures. This is a great way to maintain the interest of potential buyers.
Should I have the price of my home on the sign?
In general, you should not put the price of your home on your sign. You may want to put the price on the flyers in your brochure box. You can change the flyers easily if you change your asking price. If you have your asking price on your sign and then adjust it, you’ll either have to order a new sign or make an unprofessional looking change to the sign with a marker. It’s best not to have the price on your sign.
Why are the words “Appointment Only” important?
Having your phone number and “By Appointment” or “Appointment Only” on your FSBO sign gives you a measure of control that most FSBO sellers need. Without those two words, people may walk right up to your front door and knock, while you’re busy getting dinner on the table, when your house happens to be a mess, or when you’re showing your home to someone else. Those two little words can be great sanity savers for FSBO sellers.
Crazy Examples of For Sale By Owner Signs
Even in the internet age, the marketing plan for your for sale by owner property should include traditional advertising methods, including newspaper classified ads and yard signs.
In order to make for sale by owner signs stand out, some sellers have resorted to unorthodox methods. While the house itself ultimately has to make the sale, these three unusual for sale by owner signs certainly do the job of attracting attention by using unique approaches. Here they are:
1. Go with total honesty.
This poor man was obviously not having a good life when he had to sell, but the upside to his ex taking the dog was that he didn’t have to put it in a kennel during home viewings. And anyone willing to deal with that little asbestos problem probably got a great bargain!
2. Appeal to local history.
Located in the Beaumont neighborhood in Portland, the Ode To Rose’s building is a “TENpod,” one of many creative service co-ops that houses independent small businesses. This sign spells out the important details, such as the square footage, the fact that it’s an investment property rather than an owner/occupant property, and that the current tenants rock. Spaces in TENpods aren’t that easy to come by, so they must be doing something right.
3. Use your best manners.
In 2010, Tulsa resident Jeramy Risenhoover decided to appeal to potential buyers’ sense of propriety by asking nicely if someone would buy his house, located on a busy street in the city. The new front door and UV window protection, Risenhoover added, would be the sugar on top of his request.
Other Creative Signs
If you’re interested in something different from the standard for sale by owner sign, perhaps you could take a page from some creative real estate broker’s book. How about a custom sign made by a local artist like this one in a laid-back beach neighborhood in Florida?
Or you could always use celebrity appeal, as this Seattle homeowner did:
Making your sign stand out is important, but if you live in a more buttoned-up neighborhood, it’s best to stick with methods like eye-catching sign color combinations and bright, large lettering that’s easy to read from the street. Some sellers use sign riders and even feather flags to attract more attention.
Before putting up your signs, feather flags, or life-size celebrity cut-outs, be sure to check your local sign ordinances to ensure that posting your sign won’t result in a violation.
About the Author: Kris Lippi is the owner of ISoldMyHouse.com and the broker of Get LISTED Realty. He actively writes about real estate related topics such as buying and selling homes, how-to guides for around the house and home product recommendations. He has been featured in Inman, Readers Digest, American Express, Fit Small Business, Policy Genius, Lending Tree, GoDaddy, Manta as well as other major websites. Read more about us here.