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Selling without a "For Sale" sign

(37 Posts)
minceypie Wed 07-Jan-15 21:14:27

We are intending to put our house on the market this spring. I would prefer not to put up a "For Sale" sign as I don't like the idea of all my neighbours knowing my business and having a good virtual snoop around my house as I do every time a house on the street goes on the market.

Do "For Sale" signs do anything other than a) save buyers having to look at the house number to house when doing viewings and b) advertise the estate agency?

Haggisfish Wed 07-Jan-15 21:16:33

I think it does alert people to your house being in the market-I know of a house that was sold purely because someone noticed the for sale sign-they didn't use the internet.

RainbowFlutterby Wed 07-Jan-15 21:17:12

When we bought our house we drove around to look at places before we made an appointment, to see what the neighbourhood was like. If there was no For Sale sign we didn't bother iyswim.

Bowlersarm Wed 07-Jan-15 21:19:14

It's just that if you are serious about selling you should really use any and every tool available.

But no, IMO, they aren't essential.

Wouldn't it be courteous to mention to your neighbours that you are selling though?

RainbowFlutterby Wed 07-Jan-15 21:24:50

I think it may draw attention to the fact that you have a problem with your neighbours too.

minceypie Wed 07-Jan-15 21:32:23

I think I'd take the risk on people missing it because they don't have the Internet as I think the risk is very small but I do take the point that people might want to do a drive-by and might not be able to identify the house without a sign.

Bowlers, our street is not very friendly. We know a few families and will tell them but the rest are rather stand-offish. This is a small part of the reason we are moving, the main being to move to a bigger house closer to my kids' school.

BlackbirdOnTheWire Wed 07-Jan-15 21:32:37

I reckon most of our neighbours have alerts on RM and Zoopla for anything within a mile of our houses grin. I do (we want to move, I need to keep an eye on the competition...)!

We've been to see a couple of houses without For Sale signs and my reactions (which may or may not be fair) are:

1. Bloody annoying trying to find a house without a For Sale board, especially when EAs get creative with the photography. We drove past one house FIVE times before realising it was behind a huge hedge - photo of house had been taken from just inside hedge with a fishbowl lens and obviously photoshopped too, as we couldn't find that angle when stood there!

2. Suggests a problem. I would be wondering about issues with neighbours, if they didn't want them to know; in the house above, the woman said they were moving because her dad was going to move in with them but tbh divorce was more likely, just from bits and pieces in the conversation. I wondered how willing everyone was to sell, etc.

Just my 2p!

BlackbirdOnTheWire Wed 07-Jan-15 21:33:27

X-post as I got distracted whilst typing.

Flossiechops Wed 07-Jan-15 21:39:25

No I don't think so. My parents sold their bungalow in days just before Christmas with no sign. We sold last June & regretted having a sign as we hadn't told our next door neighbours and he got the right hump with us.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 07-Jan-15 21:44:35

We sold in the depths of a poor market a few years back with no sign. Our estate agent told us it was no issue at all in London.

It did take us quite a while to sell, but we had no problem getting viewings. We had stupid issues like people turning up and complaining there weren't enough bedrooms hmm

minceypie Wed 07-Jan-15 21:51:57

Thanks Blackbird. That's interesting. We don't love our neighbourhood but certainly have no disputes or problems with neighbours and wouldn't want to inadvertently give that impression. As for finding our house, that's a fair point too although this is a very popular area where few houses come up for sale so I don't think this would thwart many buyers.

Penguins, I would be very annoyed if I spent a morning readying my house for a viewing only for them to complain about the number of bedrooms! Did you have a floor plan in your listing? If yes, I would be v. angry.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Wed 07-Jan-15 21:57:40

Oh yes, a floor plan and a clear description of the number of bedrooms. I was furious. We also had quite a few complaints about a slightly quirky aspect of the layout (common for the area) which was clearly on the floor plan and details.

We had a ridiculous number of viewings. I spent months permanently 'viewing ready'. Drove me loopy.

TheSkiingGardener Wed 07-Jan-15 22:02:16

We're leasehold and we are not allowed any signs. It's never been a problem, and people manage to find the right house despite the fact there are 48 that are fairly identical!

Gautami Wed 07-Jan-15 22:04:40

Our neighbor has eventually just sold their house without a board. They very much keep themselves to themselves, so I imagine they didn't have one for similar reasons to you op. However, we all knew about it anyway either through Rightmove/Zoopla or via the jungle drums.

Rivercam Wed 07-Jan-15 22:06:55

In the town I grew up in, no one used to put signs up.

We sold our house without a sign, and defiantly would do again. The estate agent cheekily put up one when we had sold, but we soon took it down! With a Rightmove etc, I think there's less need for them now.

PolterGoose Wed 07-Jan-15 22:09:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Artistic Thu 08-Jan-15 00:16:34

We just bought a house that never had a for-sale board. I kind of preferred it as it gives more privacy to the buyer & seller. smile

Millionprammiles Thu 08-Jan-15 08:44:27

We sold our house without a For Sale sign (it was in an off-street cul de sac so noone would have seen it by walking by). Sold within a week at asking price.
It depends where you live but in London the vast majority of buyers are relying on agents as they're often able to arrange viewings before properties are even posted on the internet. By the time the sale board is up viewings are probably already booked.

RudyMentary Thu 08-Jan-15 08:47:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

YonicSleighdriver Thu 08-Jan-15 08:49:00

I'd assume someone had broken it. But won't they see it in the estate agent window and then go look on zoopla?

Deux Thu 08-Jan-15 08:57:01

My NDN sold her house without a sign. The first anyone knew about it was when a Sold sign went up.

In her case she was recently divorced and her ex was constantly driving along our street snooping. He was also trying to extract money from her - she had bought him out, refurbished and he thought he was entitled to a share of the sale proceeds too.

Another one sold without any boards but it had been rented out.

TengoSueno Thu 08-Jan-15 10:39:35

I think it depends on the area. We have just sold ours without a sign. The agent came on the Thursday, we had viewings on the weekend and offers in the same day. On the Monday a guy came round to put up a sign but we told him 'No thanks we have already sold'. It can be done.

YackityUnderTheMistletoe Thu 08-Jan-15 10:49:11

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom - I wouldn't have taken those comments as complaints, as such.

Estate Agents can be very pushy for some sort of feedback about the house. 'It's not what I was looking for' is RARELY good enough for them. They want details, and lots of them, so as a viewer you just give them something that gets them off your back.

So yes, the quirky layout would be one that would be mentioned, not enough bedrooms, again, a definite one.

They do that so they can 'supposedly' show you houses that meet what you are looking for. In reality it's just a box checking process so they can show that they're doing their job.

Oh and the appointments to view a house - I've had estate agents line up several houses for me to look at, none of which met the criteria I had left them such as number of bedrooms, outside space, etc. So yes, my feedback WAS not enough bedrooms, lack of outside space. He had arranged the viewings without telling me what they were for, simply because I wanted to see one particular house.

It got to the point where I would ask to see the brochures right at the beginning, look through them and say 'yes, no, no, yes' to seeing them. What is the point of seeing them if they don't meet the minimum requirements?! I felt sorry for the sellers, but I wasn't going to waste my time viewing these houses just because the agent was an idiot.

PenguinsandtheTantrumofDoom Thu 08-Jan-15 11:31:09

Yackity - I take your point, but the bedroom one was a genuine complaint. I was in the house and I heard the exchange with the estate agent and the estate agent's rather exasperated reply that they had explained it was a two bed when the person rang up to arrange the viewing.

The way our local market worked as well they didn't tend to arrange lots of viewings or schedule things in unless people had asked to see that particular house. If they thought you might be interested in something new to the market they would email you the link. They were pretty run off their feet with requested viewings without pro-actively scheduling odd ones in. It was a really weird market- people were viewing loads but never making the jump to actually buying.

When we were buying we had a bit of that "Oooh, I'll just show you this random new build that doesn't meet your criteria of period house and has one bedroom too few", so I totally agree that that happens in some areas/markets/agents.

Bragadocia Thu 08-Jan-15 12:07:49

A lot depends on the type of property you're selling and the area you're in. The house we recently bought is on a road of well-sized Edwardian properties, and I think the people interested in them are most likely to do their house-searching on the net (many houses sell immediately, within days).

I would like to sell without a sign when we move from here, as they can be ugly buggers, left up far longer than needed. A house sells within 72 hours, then the sign is left there for 3-4 months. Estate agents like them, obviously, as it's good free advertising.

If I had a house that was very special externally, I would use a board - the kind of house that people driving passed might think "it must be mine!" But not when it's a pretty standard house.

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