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By Kim Murphy
Murphy & Murphy Southern California Realty 

Real Estate Round-Up: Signs, signs, signs


Last updated 2/21/2020 at 11:05am

Last week I had the opportunity to be part of a group to discuss signage in Fallbrook. It seems to be that whenever we’re in an election cycle, the proliferation of signs, seems to be overwhelming, almost to the point of annoying.

Although Fallbrook has sign guidelines, political signs are exempt from those guidelines. This year, because of California’s early primary, we will probably be looking at the current signs, plus additional signage, up and through November. That’s not a pleasant thought, but it is what it is.

There are other signs that seem to be creeping into the landscape of our town that are equally annoying and they are the “feather” banners. From the perspective of the merchant, these banners/flags, do exactly what they were created to do. Catch your eye! They are tall, they wave in the wind and they are colorful. The only thing is, they are not allowed in Fallbrook.

Other signs that I personally care about are real estate signs. I have received many questions over the years about the signs that real estate licensees post. Mostly I hear about them when a resident is offended by their presence in a particular location, or when there are many signs posted at the exact same intersection.

Real estate licensees, not just Realtors, who list a property for sale are permitted to post a sign at the listed property. They are also permitted to post “directional” signs, with the permission of the landowners of those properties. They are also permitted to post signs along county-maintained roads, if they adhere to the set back requirements and do not impair vision for ingress and egress to the county road. Some homeowner associations have additional guidelines that must be adhered to that restrict location or size of the signs.

As the Realtor charged with representing a client to sell their property, depending on where that property is located, a sign can be a very useful marketing tool. In conjunction with a complete marketing plan, a sign is just one part of the overall plan. If a property is along a well-traveled road, a sign is great advertising.

If a property is tucked away, down one of Fallbrook’s quaint country roads, a sign at the property, plus a directional helps out-of-area buyers and their Realtors find the property. Believe it or not, GPS still does not work everywhere in Fallbrook.

Fallbrook is a funny place. Sometimes we find our signs removed or pushed over, even though we have permission to post them. Sometimes we find our signs with shotgun holes through the middle of them or graffiti across them. It is a delicate balance we keep, trying to market property to interested buyers and stay within the guidelines of what is visually acceptable.

I can assure you that Realtors don’t want to annoy the residents, but they do want to do everything they can to help the sellers, who have hired them to sell their home, sell it. A sign is one part of the marketing.

Professionally, the biggest offense I see are the signs that are posted that are illegal. All real estate signs, except for generic “for sale” or “open house” signs are required by law to have the broker’s name on the sign, at least as large as the agent’s name.

The broker or agent’s phone number must also be on the sign. This law was passed so that the public could reach the responsible party if a sign is in question or an offense has been made.

This law and the required placement of signs applies to all licensees, not just Realtors. So, the next time you see a sign that you believe does not meet the standards above, due to placement or identification, call the number on the sign before you remove it. You might be surprised to find out that the licensee did get permission to post or that they were unaware of the law.

Speaking for Murphy and Murphy, we seek to find the balance between serving our clients’ needs and keeping Fallbrook tidy. Hopefully, this article will clear up any confusion regarding signs. One day, you too may be selling your home and you will want your Realtor to utilize every marketing tool available to them, within the law.

Kim Murphy can be reached at [email protected] or (760) 415-9292 or at 130 N Main Avenue, in Fallbrook. Her broker license is #01229921, and she is on the board of directors for the California Association of Realtors.


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