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Why Pending Signs Dump Ice Cold Water On Your Most Qualified Buyers & Sellers


Why would you use a pending sign? A lot of REALTORS use a pending sign because they want to encourage people to list their home with them. And they want to show off to the marketplace that their marketing actually worked.

But a pending sign can actually be the worst possible thing you can do for your marketing.


Because when homeowners in your neighborhood see your listing go up, that's when they're most likely to call you and be curious about the home. The pending sign can help a little bit, but you're going to miss out on the most qualified buyers you can have. 

And I'll give you a classic example:

My wife and I have identified an area of town we want to live in called Echo of the Pines. It's a beautiful area with some nice homes in the neighborhood but very few homes come on the market. The other night when we were driving home, we saw a new for sale sign. As a REALTOR, I get all these alerts, but they become noise and I tune them out.

And so I saw the sign and I turned in for the corner sign. (Directional signs work guys!) And as I went in and we found the home, what was sitting on the top of that rider? Pending. That's like throwing cold water on top of a buyer that's driving by your sign.

When I saw that sign, we immediately turned around and were done. We're not even talking about it anymore. Now, what if the pending sign wasn't there as a home buyer? As a home buyer, I would call the agent and find out about the listing.

When you put a pending sign on, you're eliminating all calls on that listing. You're eliminating people trying to find it on your website. You're eliminating all that activity by throwing that pending sign on there. It's the worst possible thing you could do.

The best call you can possibly get as a REALTOR is a sign call.

Here's why:

Because these buyers have climbed the "Ladder of Intent."

When we're doing marketing, we always look at intent levels. So if you get a Facebook lead, they have very low intent. They're just scrolling through Facebook and they happen to click on something. You get a or Zillow lead, they have a little bit higher intent. You get somebody on your website, they have even higher intent. If somebody responds to your postcard, that's higher intent. Because these people are closer to making a decision.

But let me share a secret with you: The sign call is one of the highest intents buyers can possibly have.

And here's why:

These people have already qualified themselves based on the neighborhood they want to live in. They know the price ranges in that neighborhood. They're not going to waste their time driving through a neighborhood if they can't afford it. They know where they want to live. They've also eliminated themselves based on the style and size of homes. These are all baked into the neighborhoods they're driving through. So this is a high level buyer.

And when they pick up the phone and actually call you, believe me, that's a high level buyer.

Now here's the stats behind this: 72% of people that call you on a sign call, still have a home to sell. Three quarters of the buyers still have a home to sell!

And you're going to throw a bucket of water on those people when you put that pending sign up. Why would you do that?

Using a pending sign makes no sense because we're in a fast-moving market. If we were in a market that took six months to sell the house, then putting a pending sign up would make sense because you want to show off your success. But not when every listing goes pending instantaneously.

You want to keep that pending sign off and just ride the wave. Try to get as many sign calls as you possibly can for as long as you can, because you will be able to convert all those sign calls into more buyers and sellers.

If you feel like you have to put a pending sign up because your sellers make you, here's what you should do:

Put a sign up that says sold or pending (whichever one you want to choose), but that you have other listings coming soon in this neighborhood, and to call you for a list.

You want to encourage people to call you and this gives them another reason to call.

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