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Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Not in My Front Yard" ("NIMFY")

Real Estate Signs -- the "Analog" Kind (vs. Symbolic)

Sign, Sign everywhere a sign
Blocking out the scenery breaking my mind
Do this, don't do that can't you read the sign

--Lyrics, "Signs"

Nobody likes real estate signs -- until they want to sell their home!

Then, if not your best friend, they're at least a necessary evil.

So, too, "arrow signs" (see above) can be quite helpful drawing attention to a home that's tucked away in a neighborhood that's hard to find.

The typical strategy is to locate one on the busiest nearby street, to pique the interest of passersby.

Sign Ordinances -- and Etiquette

Whenever I do that, I'm always careful to get permission from the closest neighbor.

Then, I check the local ordinances, to comply with any requirements regarding size, setbacks, etc.

Even after having done those things, my experience is that someone (a neighborhood vigilante? a city worker who doesn't know the rules?) doesn't like the sign -- and it disappears.

In almost nine years in the business, I have lost arrow signs (at $40 a pop) in Minnetonka, St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Bloomington, Edina, Minneapolis -- and, as of this morning -- Golden Valley.

P.S.: when I first started in real estate, I remember seeing a toppled "For Sale" sign, and automatically assuming it had been vandalized. Then I saw another, and another, and another.

The explanation? Every Spring when the ground thaws, signs that were put in before the ground froze topple (probably a good "sign" that a price reduction is overdue!).

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