HOW DO "FOR SALE" BOARDS BENEFIT A SELLER?

PUBLISHED 23 JAN 2019   

Recently there has been some debate in property circles about the humble “For Sale” board, and its relevance and effectiveness in present day South Africa. Is there still a need for “For Sale” boards or are they a thing of the past?

Access to information has flourished since the rise of the internet, so other traditional methods of spreading information have come into question and some methods have been left behind. Although “For Sale” boards don’t generate a particularly wide-reaching scope like online options, they have a complementary marketing relationship to their online advertising counterparts.

The iconic “For Sale” Board has become a beacon, guiding people to prospective new homes; because they have almost always been around, people are hard-wired to look for these signs when they’re thinking of buying a property. Although buyers may use search engines and property portals to do research, the humble “For Sale” board can often be an initial spark in the process.

Besides the technological alternatives, some sellers have concerns about the effect of the “For Sale” board on their day-to-day lives. A common concern is privacy. The “For Sale” board tends to attract a few curious lookie-loos, who may end up knocking on the seller’s door and asking for a personal tour. Another concern is security. When people know the house is for sale, there is a bit more exposure to the public than usual. These may seem like valid concerns; however, the “For Sale” board actually serves as a buffer between the public and the seller. The “For Sale” board has the contact details of the Listing Agent or representative which encourages inquisitive voyeurs to rather call the agent for more information than bother the Homeowner. When selling a house, it’s important to remember that all exposure is a good thing.

The “For Sale” sign serves as an emblem for the property market and an advertisement for the agency and the seller. They also spark conversation among neighbors and friends that spread through word of mouth to other prospective buyers. When people are walking or driving past, they take notice of the signs which show that the homeowner is serious about selling their property. In many instances a buyer is referred by a neighbor who knows of a friend or relative who would like to live in the same street or neighborhood. Parents or in-laws wishing to live close to their children or grand children is a good example. Sellers who decide not to use a “For Sale” board may run the risk of missing an interested party. This 24-hour marketing tool is an asset to any agent and the seller in the property industry and provides significant exposure when combined with the usual property portals and online services.

“Relationships are essential in the property industry. People work for people and personal referrals and word-of-mouth are proven to be the most effective marketing tools,” says Sandy Walsh, MD at Property.CoZa.  “Sometimes it’s the simple things that make the real difference and “For Sale” boards continue to be an effective marketing medium.”