Condo “For Sale” Signs in BC

Real Estate Sales Representative with for real estate results in the Tri-Cities.

Condo “For Sale” Signs are hung on what we in BC call "Trees".

While hanging real estate signs on fences or patio posts is unacceptable in most instances, there are many strata corporations in British Columbia who are not allowing “for sale” signs to be hung on the real estate sign tree in front of buildings.

For Sale sign

This action is mainly in response to the abuse by a few irresponsible REALTORS®, who do not take down their signs on time, hang them when they don’t have a listing, don’t secure them properly, use oversize signs, etc.

While I understand the reasons strata council’s want to do this they should have been advised by their management company that preventing someone from hanging a “for sale” sign is not legally enforceable according to the Strata Property Act of BC. (BTW, strata is what we use to describe a condo in BC; same as in Australia)

These signposts help effectively market and expose a strata lot to the public and owners cannot be prohibited from doing this.  As a REALTOR® I’ve come across Lower Mainland buildings where the strata council are obviously not aware of Part 7, Section 122 of the Strata Property Act, which provides as follows:

Bylaws relating to sale of strata lot 122. 

The strata corporation may pass a bylaw governing activities relating to the sale of a strata lot, including locations for the posting of signs and times for the showing of common property and holding of open houses, but the bylaw may not prohibit or unreasonably restrict those activities.

All is not lost; there are ways for owners of a Strata Corporation to legally take charge and that is by making some simple bylaw changes to empower the Strata Council. Here are some suggestions to ponder:

1.     An owner must provide a copy of their listing to the management company.

2.     Only allow a for sale sign to be put up when the listing goes live.

3.     Have the sign removed by the sold (not possession date), expired, cancelled or terminated, date.

4.     Invoice the REALTOR® $20/day for advertising outside of these allowed times.

5.     Do not allow a Buyers REALTOR® to also put up a sign.

6.     Have maximum sign sizes.

7.     Prescribe fines for all of the above.

This means that the listing REALTOR® would need to obtain and read the bylaws to know what the rules are for signs, lock boxes, move in/out procedures, open houses, full extent of restrictions, etc., or else it could cost them.

As I do my business in the Tri-cities of Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody and surrounding areas of Metro Vancouver, I can't tell you the number of times I see the need for some regulations; too bad!

If you have any questions about strata corporations, leaky condos, etc., give me a call: 778-878-0778, or email.

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Li Read
Sea to Sky Premier Properties (Salt Spring) - Salt Spring Island, BC
Caring expertise...knowledge for you!

Very interesting post!    In my area, not any condos and not many townhomes...same "rule" of the strata, though.

Sep 19, 2010 08:42 AM #1
Diane Friesen
Century 21 Coastal Realty Ltd. - Surrey, BC

Good post - but how would the Strata enforce the collection of fines?   I suppose the bylaw could be written to have further a reaching solution to include the Brokerage.   A simple agreement could be required signed by both the Realtor and the Brokerage.   An invoice sent to the Brokerage which prevents further signs by any of its members until paid would be dealt with immediately and the cost then charged by the Brokerage to the individual Realtor.    Otherwise those same Realtors who leave their signs up too long might be just as unco-operative in timely payment of such fines and the Strata Corportion would have to pursue collection in the Courts.   

Sep 19, 2010 09:40 AM #2
John Grasty
for real estate results in the Tri-Cities. - Port Moody, BC
Your Tri-cities REALTOR, neighbour and volunteer.

Li: More than 50% of Metro Vancouver housing inventory is multi-family.

We all need to be on top of SPA, and quickly obtain and read the bylaws for any multi-family we list.

Trust all is well on the Island.

Diane: The intent of the bylaw would be to fine the owner so it goes on their file.

This would really force REALTORS® to clean up their act because they'd be constantly having to cut a cheque for their client, and it sure wouldn't make them look very prepared, or professional.

Thanks for asking the question, and stopping by.

Sep 19, 2010 03:29 PM #3
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John Grasty

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