Real Estate by Debbie Reynolds: Should You Post a Sold Sign?

Should You Post a Sold Sign?

Do You Tell the Public It's Sold?

When you have received a contract, cleared all contingencies do you post a sold or under contract sign? Is it false advertising if you never let the public know it has Sold?

Some properties never get the sold sign posted. One day the For Sale sign is just removed leaving people wondering did it sell or was the agent unsuccessful in getting the job done. There are agents that use the Pending and Sold Signs as a marketing tool to show others of their success in selling the property. This is a powerful tool and will turn heads.

How many times have you gotten a call from a neighbor that knew you sold his neighbor's house? This is the kind of business that you don't have to fight so hard for.

The type of Sold Sign used can bring more business. I see all kinds of riders trying to convey the message that the property is heading to the closing table. Some signs I like more than others. Some create more intrigue.

SoldContract PendingUnder Contract


Agent sold

Sold in days




Do You Tell the Public It Is Sold? Are there other ways to let the public know? Do Just Sold postcards have an equal or more powerful impact than a Sold Sign?



Sign rider


So sorry





Should You Post a  Sold Sign? 

When you are needing real estate assistance in Clarksville TN, please give The Real Debbie Reynolds a call at 931-320-6730.



 Centruy 21 Platinum Properties2130 Wilma Rudolph Blvd.

Clarksville, TN 37040

When you need Real Estate services in Clarksville TN

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Debbie Reynolds
"The Real Debbie Reynolds"

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Comment balloon 45 commentsDebbie Reynolds • September 19 2017 08:36PM


Good morning Debbie. Like "sold" and "too late" when allowed! Enjoy your day!

Posted by Wayne Martin, Real Estate Broker - Retired (Wayne M Martin) about 3 years ago

Hi Debbie-I used to rush out to put that sold sign up to show how great I was. Then I realized I would get continued action from the sign if I did not. Of course it was appropriately changed in the MLS as per guidelines so I was legit. 

It is not as effective today as it was back then with all our modern technology.

Posted by Marco Giancola, Realtor (305)608-1922, Miami Beach Florida (Beachfront Realty) about 3 years ago

I usually post an under contract sign once the house is out of due diligence. Then a couple of days before closing, I'll post the sold sign. I've also learned that most people not in the business understand what "contract pending" means. 

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 3 years ago

A  sold sign is a very good advertisement. However, we see few of them on our area. Many of the signs are removed at the date of settlement.

Posted by Roy Kelley (Realty Group Referrals) about 3 years ago

Good morning Debbie.  I prefer the pending signs unless the property has actually closed and I have permission from the new owner to leave the sign upfor a few days.

Posted by Gabe Sanders, Stuart Florida Real Estate (Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales) about 3 years ago

A few days before closing I put up a "SOLD" sign.  Otherwise I want potential buyers to call me to ask if it's available.  That way I can keep a log of possible interested parties should we fall out of escrow. 

Posted by Jim Cheney, Rincon Valley Realtor 707.494.1055 (Saint Francis Property Santa Rosa, CA) about 3 years ago

Debbie - I would certainly do this as long as it is allowed.  Apparently, our HOA in Florida does not allow signs from a violation notice I saw on one house.

Posted by Grant Schneider, Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes (Performance Development Strategies) about 3 years ago

Debbie, I like to put the sold rider up a few days before closing so that everyone knows it really did sell. We get a lot of sign calls even when it's a pending rider. I agree, it's great advertising.

Posted by Amanda S. Davidson, Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale (Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty) about 3 years ago

It certainly does get attention, but I admit we haven't always used it due to timing. The Sold needs to go up a few days before the close - and then it needs to come down when the buyers take possession. In other words, there is a narrow window of opportunity and since many of our properties our rural, it's often not worth the effort. However, admitedly, it's a useful tool. D

Posted by Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD, REALTORS® in Clark County, WA (ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors) about 3 years ago

Good morning Debbie. In NJ where I am licensed we were not able to post a sold sign until the closing and then the new owner wanted the sign gone. It became a pending thing. To the question.....yes it matters in my view to be honest.

Posted by Sheila Anderson, The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133 (Referral Group Incorporated) about 3 years ago

Hi Debbie-it's interesting to see the different responses here. I do agree that it's a great form of advertising for an agent!



Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 3 years ago

Debbie I am not a Realtor but I can see the reasoning behind the "sold" sign.  However, I do think Marco Giancola in comment #2 makes a good point.

Posted by George Souto, Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert (George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages) about 3 years ago

My wife is superstitious and will not do pending or sold signs. I believe it is more important to preserve the marriage.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) about 3 years ago

Hi Debbie - They're rare in our market. Years ago, a listing agent lost a court case when the seller argued that the sold sign effectively took the home off the market before the transaction was completed, and caused damages in lost time and money when the original deal fell. No problem after closing, but then who wants a sold sign in the yard of their new home?

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 3 years ago

True, it is great advertising for us - but since we list for sellers, it doesn't really serve them in the same way.  I like the idea Amanda (comment #8) mentioned which is if you put one up, do it just a few days before the close of sale.  This seems a good compromise.

Posted by Brenda Whitman, Live in Laramie Real Estate, Broker/Co-Owner, Laramie, Wyoming (Live in Laramie Real Estate, Laramie, Wyoming) about 3 years ago

I don't like to put a sold sign up until the property has closed. If the new owners are moving in day of closing, the sign may stay up for one day. 

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) about 3 years ago

I agree with Rebecca. I do not like to put a sold sign until it closes . The buyers want the sign removed after it closes.The sellers usually ask to remove the sign when it is under contract.

Posted by Gita Bantwal, REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel (RE/MAX Centre Realtors) almost 3 years ago

Debbie, early in my years I would put up Under Contract on my sign, and if it fell out of contract, it would look bad on the Seller and me.   I stopped it years ago.   When the sign comes down, the home is sold.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) almost 3 years ago

As soon as it makes it past inspections, I do a "TOO LATE" sign.

Posted by Rob D. Shepherd, Principal Broker GRI, SRES (Windermere/lane county) almost 3 years ago

On a majority of my listings I put the Under Contract rider up. Sold to me means new owner has closed.

Posted by Paul Durry, Former Broker Associate, CDPE, CIAS, CHMS (National Mortgage Field Services) almost 3 years ago

Hi Debbie

I usually leave the sign as is at least until after contingencies are removed but don't always put up a Pending rider. I normally take the sign down once closing occurs since typically buyers want, and get, possession that evening! Lots of different practices and preferences here!


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) almost 3 years ago

YES!  I use a SOLD sign. I may not put it up until we are almost to the closing table, but I think the seller looks forward to seeing it and letting the neighbors know!

Posted by Sonja Patterson, Texas Monthly 5-Star Realtor Recipient for the Hou (Keller Williams - BV) almost 3 years ago

Some sellers really want to annouce its under contract. I love the too late sign! I am like Joe Pryor wife..   I dont want to jinx the sale till it records! then its too late because the new buyers are in...but its never Sold till its Recorded!!

Posted by Debra Leisek ( Bay Realty,Inc Homer Alaska) almost 3 years ago

Most of the time I do. I recently went under contract with a buyer for a home about an hour a way. I decided not to make the drive just to post the sign.  

Posted by Dan Tabit (Keller Williams Bellevue) almost 3 years ago

Debbie,  I use a pending sign rider when the listing goes under contract. When all of the contingencies are removed, I place a SOLD sign rider.  One we close escrow the sign, riders and the post are removed. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Specialist, Probate Real Estate (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) almost 3 years ago

Good point. The sold sign is a good marketing tool. Thanks for sharing!

Posted by Corey Martin, Real Estate and Management Solutions (Martin Presence Group) almost 3 years ago

Debbie Reynolds, my favorite rider that went up with the For Sale sign was one that said "Taking Backups.."   Our MLS rules say the sign comes down at close of escrow.

Posted by John Mosier, Prescott's Patriot Agent 928 533-8142 (Realty ONE Group Mountain Desert) almost 3 years ago

I'm not an agent, but I sure would want that SOLD out there on my signs!

Congrats on the feature!

Posted by Sharon Tara, New Hampshire Home Stager (Sharon Tara Transformations) almost 3 years ago

I've not seen John Mosier 's (#27) suggestion before, but that's clever.

Posted by Claude Labbe, Realty for Your Busy Life (Real Living | At Home) almost 3 years ago

I must admit that I have not been consistent with my sold signs.  As you pointed out, one day the for sale sign is there and then its gone.  This does leave neighbors wondering did the house sell or not.  I will be more conscientious about using my under contract or sold signs.  I will have to get me a "too late" sign as well. 

Posted by LaShonda Solomon, Serving Cobb, Paulding, Douglas, Bartow Counties (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) almost 3 years ago

I'm glad I'm not an agent and have to make the call on this. Great answers on every one. 

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) almost 3 years ago

We list and sale pending as soon as we can. We use SOLDS which show results. Why not use them, like branding your car. It is promotion.

Posted by Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573, Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker (MOOERS REALTY) almost 3 years ago

I put the up under contract sign shortly after we go under agreement.  Your listing goes off of Zillow, Trulia, and all the other internet websites, so what is the point of not showing the home is under contract on the yard sign? 

Posted by Tyler Smith, Homes for Sale - Elizabethtown, PA (Realty ONE Group Unlimited) almost 3 years ago

I keep my sign up with no mention of under contract or anything, so potential buyers will call (sign calls)  I or the buyers agent remove the sign the day of or day before closing.  Neighbors will know it sold when they see New Neighbors.... or in many cases have already had the chance to talk with the buyers during inspection process or multiple visits to the home.  Great post. 

Posted by Joan Valverde, GRI,CDPE,CNE,MRP,SRES Colo Sprgs, Blk Forest, Monu (HomeSmart Realty) almost 3 years ago

I prefere to leave my options open and putting a "sold" sign tends to close a lot of doors.

Posted by Sybil Campbell, REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia (Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia) almost 3 years ago

Great question as you can clearly see, lots of different ways other handle it. I usually put up a pending sign once all inspections, contingencies and mortgage commitment are received. So this means that my pending sign may only be up for 2weeks or so. Also, I do think my Just sold postcards produce more results than a sold sign.

Posted by Stephen Turner, The BIG Guy of NEW HOME SALES (Burkentine Realty Group (Burkentien Builders)) almost 3 years ago

When it goes under contract, i post a sale pending sign, when al contingencies are met, when the buyer gets their approval, i post SOLD. Sold signs bring more listings for me Debbie Reynolds 

Posted by Scott Godzyk, One of the Manchester NH's area Leading Agents (Godzyk Real Estate Services) almost 3 years ago

Two guiding principles I use to decide. 

1. Does it help my sellers?  I don't think it does.  Something can happen and you will have lost potential showings.  When a buyer calls off the sign, tell them the situation and let them decide if they want to see it and put in a possible back up offer.  A "sold" or "under contract" sign will deter that from happening.

2. Always telling the truth.  "Sold" isn't sold until the money changes hands. Putting up a "sold" sign before it is actually sold is stretching the definition of sold.  It's part of the reason the public doesn't trust real estate agents.

Posted by Tim Maitski, Truth, Excellence and a Good Deal (Atlanta Communities Real Estate Brokerage) almost 3 years ago

OK here's an interesting scenario.  This is true and on going for a home that I walk my dog by almost every day.  I keep close tabs on everything around me to see which way the wind is blowing - under contract, etc.  This particular home is unique.  It is pending now for the third time.  The listing agent has not posted anything on the sign.  I'm sure the neighbors are wondering. 

What if this agent had posted a "pending" sign, then removed it.  Then posted a  "pending" sign and removed it.  You get the picture.  Gives you a different way to think about the signage.  I believe this agent did the right thing by doing nothing, it just worked out better in this instance.  But this is the home.

Posted by Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions, Listing and Buyer's Agent (Compass Realty Solutions) almost 3 years ago

I understand that a property is pending until it is closed. When it closes it is sold.

That is how we have to do things in our MLS.

When a property closes the buyer takes possession and most want the sign removed or even take it down themselves.

I would love to be able to put up a Sold sign, but it is not often an option.

Posted by John Wiley, Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA almost 3 years ago

Contracts come and go and sometimes we don't put the status in the MLS (always by owners request)

Agents always want to know the "inside scoop" as to why it fell apart if something doesn't close.  Many times it is absolutely none of their business.

Personally, I think putting any kind of sign on a property prior to closing is a disservice to the seller.

Posted by John Dotson, The experience to get you to the other side! (Preferred Properties of Highlands, Inc. - Highlands, NC) almost 3 years ago

I see it (posting an under contract / sold sign) as a best practice especially if it in is a community that you farm or want to do more business in. Having evidence of sales in the neighborhood with certainly reinforce you as the go to expert.

Posted by Anthony Kirlew, Helping You Make Fiscally Sound Choices (Group 46:10 Network @ eXp Realty) almost 3 years ago

I put pending signs once under contract and sold signs when we are a week out from closing. By then, you pretty much know that you're going to closing.....most of the time. 

Posted by Stavrula "Sam" Crafa, RNC,GRI, CDPE, PSA, Providing the integrity and service you deserve. (Future Home Realty) almost 3 years ago

I just stand in front of the house and wave as people just drive by.

Posted by Steven Nickens, R(S)GRI ABR, Maui Real Estate Hawaii (Wailea Realty) almost 3 years ago

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