Saying You Sold It with a Sign

When is it appropriate to put a Sold sign in the yard of a property?

August 1, 2008

Q: I sold a property that was listed with another brokerage company. After the transaction closed, my buyer asked that I put up a Sold sign in his yard. Can I put a Sold sign up on this property even though I wasn’t the listing broker?

A: Yes, you can put a Sold sign on the property under the circumstances you describe. Article 12 of the Code requires that “REALTORS® shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.” Practice 12-7 amplifies this statement and provides that “Only REALTORS® who participated in the transaction as the listing broker or cooperating broker (selling broker) may claim to have sold the property.”

Because you were the selling broker in the transaction, Standard of Practice 12-7 clearly gives you the right to claim you sold the property. You can use such a statement in any medium, including signs, print advertising, and Internet advertising.

One limitation on your promotion is that before a closing, a cooperating broker may post a Sold sign only with the consent of the listing broker. After closing, your brokerage’s sign may be placed in the yard if the new owner agrees.

It’s interesting to note that before the Code was amended in 1996, cooperating brokers could only use words like “participated” or “assisted” in the sale; they couldn’t say they sold the property.

Bruce Aydt

Attorney Bruce Aydt, ABR, CRB, SRS, is a national real estate educator, a Missouri real estate broker, and past chair of the National Association of REALTORS® Professional Standards Committee.