Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Huge Signs and Banners don't sell houses ... Agents Do

We see huge signs and banners on some homes but our agent won’t get us any.

Congratulations on choosing a moral, ethical and legal agent to work with. Your agent knows that you can only have “big” signs on certain sized parcels per the County regulations. “Permanent” banners, too, are not legal, and should not be strung up on your garage.

When you see this type of “selling” action, things are revealed and none of them are any good for the Seller. The first is the obvious desperation – either of the agent, the Seller, or both. Unless temporary for an open house, streamers and banner signs only show desperation. Home sellers in the Tahoe part of our County have been limited to signs not much bigger than a postage stamp for many years with no effect on home sales. It isn’t the size of the sign, it’s the price of the property and the quality of your agent that will sell your house.

You should be aware of the agent that will knowingly break the sign ordinance. Did you get promised a gimmick to get your house sold? If it was that easy, and were truly productive, wouldn’t every agent get bigger signs and longer, brighter streamers? Think how our neighborhoods would look with all the resulting signage and visual clutter vying for the attention of prospective Buyers. That is why there are ordinances and why they must be complied with.

Is your agent running blind ads on your behalf? It is just another gimmick that isn’t allowed. Consider the following two items from the Realtor’s Code of Ethics: • Standard of Practice 12-5 REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTOR®’s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. • Standard of Practice 12-10 REALTORS®’ obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits REALTORS® from: 1) engaging in deceptive or unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites; 2) manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result; or 3) deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic, or to otherwise mislead consumers. Just putting the word “agent” doesn’t qualify any more – they must identify themselves in an ad. If they aren’t marketing your home in a legal manner, what will they do when it comes to negotiating an offer on your behalf?

Our Advice: Maintain your and your neighborhood’s integrity. A serious Buyer will know which homes are available that suit their wants and need. They are typically working with a knowledgeable agent, have spent time shopping on the Internet, and often drive around the neighborhoods they like. They will know your home is for sale before they see the gaudy decoration pleading for an offer. They will recognize such signs for what they are – an invitation to submit an offer … a low offer to match the Seller’s exhibited motivation. You might as well put “or best offer” in your ads like you’re selling an old refrigerator. Want to get your home sold? Price it right. Match your expectations to reality and your life will move forward.

Gimmicks don’t sell houses – hard working agents do. If your house looks like a used car lot get ready for wheeling and dealing, or, more appropriately, dealing and reeling.

When it comes to choosing professionals to assist you with your real estate needs… Experience is Priceless! Lisa Wetzel & Jim Valentine, RE/MAX Realty Affiliates,, 775-781- 5472

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