Not seeing so many signs of real-estate activity in Houston lately? Swamplot’s Montrose correspondent says that might be because the Houston Association of Realtors has been telling its members that city officials have been handing out fines to agents who’ve placed their signs in the public right-of-way:
. . . the word is out and there are very few signs out on major streets on sundays. its really odd— the name brand real estate companies have been cracking down on their agents. When you do see a misplaced sign, its usually a listing that has been on the market for a fairly long time or there is an “off brand” real estate company. . . .
The response has been to put up generic open house signs for cover. Makes it harder to identify the perpetrator.
How long has this been going on?
I started seeing sign changes in the last couple of weeks. There was a trend toward people using open house signs pre-printed with their name. That has stopped. For awhile I thought no one was doing open houses because it was just too hot. . . . . As the photos show, the for sale signs are moving off city property too.
And where are those signs going?
All of them are “house side” of the sidewalk which is theoretically not a public easement. Even though the public easement does extend a small distance on the house side of the sidewalk. The yellow house sign is virtually invisible because the fence goes to the sidewalk. The enforcement of the city ordinance makes things look incredibly odd not to mention hard to find. . . .
Getting on the wrong side of the law is not cheap either. Try fines ranging from $300 [to] over $500 per sign per day assessed on realtors .. ahem.. scofflaws for having the temerity to hold an Open House. You can run a red light and take out a couple of cars and the fine isn’t that high.
Photos: Swamplot inbox