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Does a 'For Sale' sign help sell a house?
Estate agent help and guides
01 March 2021

Does a 'For Sale' sign help sell a house?

Rosie Hamilton
Writer & Researcher

When it comes to selling your property, it's common sense that you have an advert online, and feature photos of your home in an estate agent's window.

But, what about 'For Sale' signs? Do estate agents still use them? Is it still worth having a sale board up when you're selling your home?

The short answer is: yes, having a 'For Sale' sign up can help you sell your home.

The longer answer is: like all forms of marketing, there are pros and cons to having a 'For Sale' sign up. Ultimately, whether you put one up outside your house is your decision to make.

In this article we'll go over the positives and negatives of putting up a 'For Sale' sign, and look at some of the ways it can help you sell your home - if you do choose to use one.

Positives of using a sale board

  • Marketing

Perhaps the most obvious positive of a 'For Sale' sign is that it's marketing! Having a 'For Sale' sign outside of your property makes your home sale more visible to those who might not otherwise see it.

  • Useful for property viewings

A 'For Sale' sign can make it easier for people to find your home, particularly if: you live near many similar looking homes, your house number is obscured, or you live somewhere more remote.

  • Sign of trust

Some people associate the absence of a 'For Sale' sign as an indication of something wrong. For example, a poor relationship with neighbours.

Negatives of 'For Sale' signs

  • Security

Some people decide not to put up a sale board for security reasons. They worry that a 'For Sale' sign could attract attention from opportunistic burglars who might pose as an interested buyer, or potentially leave you more open to property fraud.

This is not a particularly common issue if you still currently live in the property you're selling. However if you don't, you may want to consider any security concerns before committing to a sale board.

A good estate agent and conveyancer team will also be able help to ensure that you remain safe and secure throughout the sale process. They'll vet potential buyers before they come for a property viewing, and conduct a range of financial and identity checks during the conveyancing process.

Read more about property fraud - and how to protect yourself from it - here.

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  • Less effective than online adverts

Some people think there's little point having a 'For Sale' sign outside a property given that many people start their property search online - particularly if your property is more likely to appeal to a first time buyer.

  • Some estate agents charge for a sale board

Most good high street estate agents will include a sale board as part of their standard fee, but many online agents, or smaller independent estate agencies will charge extra for putting up a 'For Sale' sign.

  • Off-putting

Some people think it can be off-putting if there are too many 'For Sale' signs up in an area, because it can look like there's something wrong with the area, and lots of people are moving away.

How a 'For Sale' sign could help you sell your house

  • Attracting different audiences with different methods of advertising

Different people approach buying a house in different ways. Although many people will turn to the internet to search for properties, others will drive around the area, and some will start in the traditional way: by visiting estate agent offices.

A 'For Sale' can help you catch interest from the people who may have missed your property online (among the hundreds of other properties for sale nearby).

So, although it's unlikely to cinch you a sale all on its own, this extra bit of advertising could encourage more potential buyers to come for a viewing. Every little counts!

  • Word of mouth

A 'For Sale' isn't just for attracting the attention of buyers. It'll also be noticed by the friends and family of buyers - who might then pass it on to them. A word of mouth recommendation from a trustworthy source, like a family member, can be just as powerful as some good online photographs.

  • QR code

Marketing has changed, and so have 'For Sale' signs. Many boards now include QR codes along with the regular estate agent contact information. These QR codes can be easily scanned by potential buyers walking past your home. They'll then be taken to the information leaflet online, instantly.

Other things to consider

  • Local rules on boards

Some areas in the UK where 'For Sale' signs have to follow strict rules on size and shape, and some councils don't allow home sellers to put up 'For Sale' boards at all. There may also be rules about how quickly you have to take the board down once your home has been sold. If you're unsure, check in with your estate agent, or your local council.

  • Lease specific rules

If you're a leaseholder - particularly in a block of flats - you may not be allowed to display a 'For Sale' sign outside your property. You can find out if this is the case by checking your lease agreement, or getting in touch with the freeholder directly.

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