Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Home Selling Tips: A sign won't sell your condo

A blog reader of ours, fellow blogger and real estate stats man Jeff Baird recently asked me a few questions about "for-sale" signs and condo buildings. Basically, do multiple for sale signs look bad to buyers? Is banning signs a good or bad idea? Will it help or hurt selling a condo? We get these questions often.

In short, a condo association should make decisions within the context of their by-laws and ownership. If the overwhelming population of a building does not like for-sale signs on the fence then proper steps can be taken by the board and ownership to ban them. Personally, I don't like the look of them and I think it takes away from the city and property aesthetic.

My personal opinion is a for-sale sign won't help sell your condo. In my years listing property not one qualified buyer has called on a for-sale sign on a condo building fence and then bought the home. Occasionally you will get calls from curious people for any number of reasons, nor are they seriously looking for anything to purchase. It's an inefficient way to shop for a condo and rarely if ever practiced.

Signs are more effective, however, on single family homes or small multi-unit buildings where serious buyers of those types of properties can identify with the home driving or walking by. In the city, there are fewer single family homes for sale in many neighborhoods. A sign going up in a hot neighborhood can help attract real buyers that know the location and average price of homes in the area. Still, if the price does not meet market expectations the home won't sell no matter how many showings a sign attracts.

There are many distractions that can consume sellers when the market has turned on them and their homes for the worse. No amount of signs or other tricks will make a buyer commit their dollars to a property. Price, condition, location and good Internet information are key ingredients to selling a property for top dollar. Top dollar is a moving target. A professional should marry those ingredients, set the proper market expectation for the client and handle all affairs of the transaction properly and legally. And a sign from above helps too!

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