How To Use Open House Signs Effectively

Open house with Realtor

Open house signs are a key tool in the real estate agent’s arsenal. Agents have been using open house signs almost as long as they have been selling houses. Just because everyone uses open house signs, however, does not mean they are using them as effectively as possible.

Put Them in Visible Places

Open house signs do little good when would-be buyers cannot see them. Always double check to make sure your signs are visible from every direction. If it is blocked by a trash can, bush, or sign post, it is not reaching everyone it should.

Remember, your signs should be visible to pedestrians on the sidewalk, cyclists, and cars. Anyone is a potential buyer. You never know who might be looking.

Give Warning Before Turns

When I was in the market for a house, I always had my eyes out for open house signs, particularly on weekends. However, if a sign was right on the corner, I might pass by without having enough time to turn.

Give drivers a little warning when placing signs, particularly on busy streets. The purpose of an open house is to bring in any potential buyer, not just ones who need extra directions on the way there.

I suggest placing signs about ten yards before the turn so drivers can make the turn safely and place another sign at the turn.  If it’s a busy street with fast moving traffic, try placing signs at intervals of 10-20 ft to attract attention way before the turn.

Cover All Neighborhood Entrances

Open house signs are traditionally placed all all major entrances to the neighborhood.  You will also want to place open house signs next to all of the stop signs in that neighborhood.  Your sign will get more attention if it’s near a stop sign or on one of the corners of that intersection.  Got to look both ways before proceeding.  You should also determine the route from each stop sign to your open house and place a sign at each turn needed to reach your open house. This will help you maximize capturing drive-by visitors who would be entering the neighborhood anyway.

Sometimes all this signage means you will get some curious neighbors stopping in, but you never know who might be looking to buy or who knows someone who’s looking to buy. Maybe a friend or relative is coming for a visit and likes the neighborhood so much they want to move there!

Always make it as easy as possible for people to find your signs, and find their way to the house.

Follow HOA Rules

Plenty of neighborhoods have no homeowner’s association at all, but those with an HOA can create open house rules. Not knowing them is not an excuse, and your client could be fined or reprimanded for noncompliance with HOA regulations if you place signs where they are prohibited.  Unfortunately, some HOAs may even prohibit public access which puts an end to your open house idea.

As a selling agent, you should be familiar with HOA guidelines anyway. Make sure you follow the rules when placing signs in the area.

Code enforcement rules in your city may also pose a problem.  It’s always best to check with your city’s code enforcement before proceeding, or prepare for signs to be removed without notice.

For best practices, and not to annoy your neighbors, it’s best to post the signs no earlier than one hour before your open house and promptly remove them after the open house.  Do this everyday, even if you’re going to have an open house multiple days in a row.

Get Creative

Think outside the box. Just because signs have traditionally sat at the edge of the neighborhood does not mean you are limited to that. Think about other creative ways to get the word out.

Concert promoters put up posters in coffee shops and cafes telling locals about upcoming shows. Why not use the same for an open house? Take advantage of online listing sites like Zillow and Craigslist to get the word out to digital shoppers. There are no limits beyond what you can come up with.

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