Florida has seen an influx of new residents in recent years. In 2020 alone, 167% more people were moving into the state as compared to those moving out of the state. With hundreds of thousands of people flocking to the Sunshine State, cherry red “For Sale” signs are popping up all around neighborhoods to entice buyers. A homeowner planning to sell their home without the assistance of a real estate agent may place a “For Sale By Owner” sign in their yard on their own, but more commonly, “For Sale” signs are placed by a real estate agent. There is no requirement that states a homeowner or real estate agent has to place a “For Sale” sign in the yard of the property being sold, but it is somewhat customary to do so. “For Sale” signs encourage word of mouth around the community and alert potential buyers, can be eye-catching and attractive marketing tools, and make it easier for buyers coming to attend an open house or showing to locate the property being sold. Real estate “For Sale” signs may not only assist in selling the property you are representing as an agent; they may also assist you in attracting future leads and the community as a whole, bringing in not only buyers to achieve your client’s goal of selling their home or property, but also drawing in other prospective clients to boost your professional reputation and career. These signs can be a phenomenal marketing and selling tool, but it is important to understand the rules, regulations, and best practices of signage in order to make the most of your “For Sale” sign!
An often-overlooked step in the sign process is the physical digging necessary to place the sign in the ground. The Underground Facility Damage Prevention and Safety Act, Chapter 556, Florida Statutes, requires anyone who is digging or disturbing the ground to call 811 (Florida specific: 800-432-4770) or go to sunshine811.com and have underground facilities marked no less than two full business days before beginning any digging. The service is free and was created in order to prevent damage to both people and property. According to Call Before You Dig , utility locators from this service typically come to your home within two to five days after they’ve been contacted, not counting weekends. If you do not contact 811 and you accidentally damage a utility line while placing your “For Sale” sign, you could be hit with hefty fines and held liable for any damages by the state Utilities and Transportation Commission. Bottom line: If you are a real estate agent working to sell a home in the state of Florida, be sure to factor the utility location process into your plans to get the perfect timing for placing that “For Sale” sign.
Other Important Considerations:
Each state, county, and municipality has its own laws regarding the placement of signs. Under Florida Statute §479.16(3), signs posted or displayed on real property by the owner stating that the real property is for sale or for rent do not typically require permits. The Municipal Code for the City of Orlando (64.254) states that real estate signs are permitted in all zoning districts, provided that only one sign is erected for each street frontage of the property offered for sale, lease, or rent. Additionally, many homeowners associations (HOAs), condominium associations (COAs), and gated communities may have restrictions as to what can be placed or displayed in your yard or in front of your client’s property. It is your responsibility as a real estate agent to do your research and/or ask your clients about any possible rules or restriction which may affect the place of your sign, and to ensure that you are using the correct size, height, etc., as well as to make sure that you place the sign in an authorized location. Once the house is sold, you are also responsible for removing your sign.
It is recommended to keep the “For Sale” sign towards the middle of the yard, away from any trees, bushes or foliage, and closer to the sidewalk for the greatest possible visibility. You should also keep in mind as to if any cars are typically parked around the house that may block the sign’s visibility to potential buyers. It is additionally important to have your phone number, email address or website posted on the sign to encourage contacts from interested buyers. Some agents may also include a smaller sign at the top or bottom of the primary sign with other helpful information, such as a QR code for taking a virtual tour of the property, the property’s open house schedule, the listing price, possible benefits to the buyer, and features of the home, such as the number of bedrooms or special features like a pool or garden. Make sure the sign in legible and easy to read, and does not include too much distracting or unnecessary information unrelated to the sale of the property. In this digital day and age, it is recommended to post a picture with the house and the for sale sign to your social media accounts (with the client’s permission, of course) so that possible buyers can see it there and message you if they are interested.
There is a great deal to consider when determining the placement of your “For Sale” sign. Remember to always check local laws as well as possible HOA and COA restrictions regarding sign placement, so that you do not lose your sign or face large fees. If you have questions about anything discussed here or regarding any of your real estate legal needs, feel free to give us a call at 407-512-4394. You will reach our Waterford Lakes office, which can connect you to any of our other numerous locations. Our experienced attorneys would be happy to answer any questions that you have regarding real estate and real estate transactions.