For sale sign

The Comprehensive Guide to Real Estate For Sale Signs

House For Sale Signs

The most widely used real estate sign is the standard for sale sign. Yard signs are used as for sale signs most often, but they can also take the form of a hanging sign. You probably encounter at least one of these signs every day. Even in our digital age, signs advertising a house for sale are the Swiss Army knife of every realtor. In this article, we attempt to answer the most common questions people ask about for sale signs. If we don’t address your question here, please leave a comment so we can answer it for you.

What Should Go on a For Sale Sign?

One of the most frequent questions from agents is what to put on a for sale sign. A typical for sale sign will have your name, your phone number and your website address, as well as the logo of the franchise with which you have partnered (unless you’re independent). Additionally, some agents add a QR code as well.

Things To Leave Off Your For Sale Signs

The next logical question after what to put on a house for sale sign is what not to put on it. The answer may surprise you. One of the most frequent mistakes real estate agents make is crowding their for sale signs with excessive information. For example, modern for sale signs don’t need a physical address. Your online presence should be robust enough that anyone can search for your name and locate your address that way. Additionally, you can leave off your fax number as someone driving past your sign is not likely to use it. Lastly, social media can be a terrific networking tool, but a prospective buyer is unlikely to be interested in connecting with you on Facebook or Twitter.

What Are For Sale Signs Made Of?

Manufacturers make for sale signs from all kinds of materials. The most popular material for yard signs is a composite made of plastic and metal. Composite substrates tend to work better because they lessen the vulnerabilities of the individual components. For instance, plastic tends to warp, but combining plastic with aluminum makes this much less likely. Aluminum bonded to a plastic core is not nearly as prone to dent as it is on its own.

Size and Shape

In general, real estate yard signs such as for sale signs are about 18 inches wide by 24 inches tall. Yet they come in several dimensions and designs. 

You can find for sale signs in a variety of shapes, with a rectangular shape being by far the most popular. One method to distinguish yourself from your competitors is to use a novel sign shape for your signs. Please note, however, that most real estate franchises won’t allow their agent to use signs that don’t adhere to their guidelines.

Additionally, the neighborhood in which your listing is located might have a homeowner’s association (HOA) with rules about what signs can be placed. It’s a good idea to check and find out if any HOA guidelines exist.

Adding Riders to For Sale Signs

Many agents take advantage of space above or below the main panel of a for sale sign. You can attach a small sign panel, called a “rider,” to the top or bottom with added details, such as:

  • Price decreases
  • Buyer incentives like a home warranty
  • Upcoming open house times
  • Home features, e.g., a pool
  • Additional contact info for the agent

For sale sign frames frequently include space especially for sign riders. These smaller sign additions are not meant to cover the central sign panel, but to provide extra information. You can readily switch out the riders at any time. This way, you can update the sign quickly without removing it entirely from the ground.

Where To Put For Sale Signs in a Yard

In general, you should place a for sale sign close to the sidewalk or curb, near the middle of the yard. You want it to be clearly visible to anyone driving past the property.

Place your for sale sign well ahead of any traffic sign or fire hydrant on the property so that it stands out from distractions. Position the sign so that nearby buildings, shrubbery or utility poles do not obscure it.

In areas with limited traffic, such as neighborhoods with ample space in between houses, it never hurts to ask nearby residents who live on a busier roadway if they would let you place a directional sign on their property.

A sign on both adjacent streets is a good idea if the house is located on a corner. This way you’re more likely to attract traffic from both directions.

How to Put Up a For Sale Sign in Hard or Frozen Ground

If you’re in a colder climate, you’ve probably had to fight to get a for sale sign in the ground during chillier months. Sometimes the same problem happens regardless of temperature because the soil is especially hard for whatever reason. You can stop struggling to get your signs in the ground if you use this simple trick:

  1. Decide where you want the sign to go and mark where the frame legs should be inserted.
  2. Drill into the frozen ground using a cordless drill with a spade bit (also known as a paddle bit) attached.
  3. Insert the legs of the sign frame into the holes you’ve just drilled.

And that is how you put up a for sale sign in soil that’s hard or frozen.

When Does the For Sale Sign Come Down?

The timing of removing a for sale sign can become an issue if the listing agreement has ended and another agent is hired. If you’re the agent on the losing end of a situation like this, it’s best to put your feelings aside and pick up your for sale sign right away. If your client hired you after their listing agreement with another agent expired, you don’t want the other agent to leave their for sale sign the yard. Ensure (diplomatically) that they remove it as quickly as possible.


In this article, we’ve covered many facets of real estate for sales signs for home sales. For more information about commercial for sale signs, please see our article on commercial real estate signs. If you’re looking for a general real estate sign overview, check out our guide to real estate signs for new agents. If you still have unanswered questions, please leave them in the comments below.

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