Could someone please point me in the right direction...?

Real Estate Agent with Amerivest Realty

Forget about socks that go missing in the laundry...


The real mystery is, "Where do all of my directional arrow signs disappear to?!?"  You know the ones... the little rectangular (or arrow shaped) signs that you put on a corner to point people to your listing that sits just slightly off the beaten path...

I have concluded that directional arrows are one of my most fruitless expenses... and of course, everybody wants one.

After several of my generic arrows (which are less expensive to purchase, and ship faster) disappeared; I started paying extra for personalized signs.  (Always the skeptic, I just assumed other agents were taking my signs and using them for their own tucked away properties.)  So, of course a sign with MY name on it would be rendered useless to them, right???

I can't decide if it's really malicious Realtors or not.  Maybe it's other nervous sellers that are hoping my competing listing won't be stumbled across, maybe it's bratty kids, or possibly it's trash gatherers looking for the 3 cents worth of metal in the wiry little stand...

There are a few jurisdictions in our area that are very particular about sign placement, but that's not the issue.  It doesn't matter what town they're in... or if they're out in the middle of the country... they disappear.  More than once I've bribed a neighbor to allow me to place a sign safely within the boundary of their property - and the darned things still go missing.

Just the other day I noticed that one of my brand new, PERSONALIZED signs was missing from a yard in which I gave the owner a Target gift card to entice her to let me place my sign on her property.  (Sorry if that's a run-on sentence.)  Mad, and without anyone better to call - I called the police station to see if they had possibly taken it - or if someone had maybe turned it in after an up-to-no-good kid jokingly took my sign and put it in one of their friend's yards.  (Or, maybe one of their teacher's yards... I've received several calls from teachers that awoke to one of my for sale signs stuck in front of their house.)

At any rate, the police receptionist informed me they put all of the confiscated signs behind the building by the dumpster - and invited me to come and look through the pile.  "Well,"  I said to her.  "I'll be the well-dressed lady ruffling through your garbage in the next few minutes." 

I untangled masses of yard sale signs and FSBO signs, but of course my sign wasn't there - because it's floating around in the abyss with Matt's black and purple plaid sock.



Wayne Zuhl
Remax First Realty II - Cranford, NJ
The Last Name You'll Ever Need in Real Estate


Great post!  You put a smile on my face, thank yoU!

Hopefully your signs and socks will turn up soon.

Jun 03, 2013 05:39 AM
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Burlington, MA
Metro Boston Homes For Sale

Tara, why does someone need to do that? Anyways, I have the virtual OPEN HOUSE signs online and never use good sign for directional arrows - they serve the purpose and ugly enough for anyone to steal them!

Jun 03, 2013 06:21 AM
Jimmy Faulkner
Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage - Wantagh, NY
The Best Of St. Augustine

I do personalize my directional signs & this gives me a better chance of keeping them from being stolen. You will still lose signs becasue people are people.

Jun 03, 2013 06:46 AM
Shelley Rowton
Move To Realty - Austin, TX
ABR, RSPS - (512) 507-5779 MoveToRealty of Austin

I've had plenty stolen and it doesn't matter what they look like or where they are.  People just have very little respect for our industry and the cost of doing business that we bear.  Of course, I've discovered plenty shredded on the side of the road courtesy of the county tractor.

Now let's talk about my steel signs that the neighbor behind my two lots for sale keeps taking.  He thinks I'm too dumb to know that he is the one that cut a driveway through the cedars to the gate in his back yard.  Duh.

Jun 03, 2013 07:29 AM
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Mainly our community HOA Boards see that our signs are picked up. As some of these personalized signs are either Real Estate Co. signs or signs paid for by us, this is disappointing. Guess it is just part of being in the RE field. :)

Jun 03, 2013 07:44 AM
Connie Harvey
Pilkerton Realtors - Brentwood, TN
Realtor - Nashville TN Real Estate

Tara, we don't seem to have that problem here. What happens instead is that the Realtor never returns to pick it up. I guess they have thousands of them and just don't care about the cost.

Jun 03, 2013 07:56 AM
Susan McCall - - Compass Realty Solutions
Compass Realty Solutions - Portland, OR
Listing and Buyer's Agent
I think the signs go the same place as that sprinkler head in my parking strip every year. It takes another trip to the hardware store and som bucks. Oh, and yes the time to do it. I gave up on the signs after.$50 worth of them disappeared in a very short time. I too have bribed homeowners and they still disappear.
Jun 03, 2013 08:35 AM
Adrian Willanger
206 909-7536 - Seattle, WA
Profit from my two decades of experience

Tara-this has always been one of life's mysteries.  I've walked throw many ditches and bushes looking for missing signs.  I think you're right on with your assesment of how they disappear. 

Jun 03, 2013 08:54 AM
Brian Schulte
Allison James Estates & Homes - Sierra Vista, AZ
SFR, Sierra Vista, AZ

Am still laghing and tyiping as best I can. Thank you for the post and kzeep smilin'


Jun 03, 2013 09:27 AM
Carla Muss-Jacobs, RETIRED
RETIRED / State License is Inactive - Portland, OR

If it's on public property, my guess is the city is removing them.  We don't have directional signs here, unless the agent asks an owner to premit them to put on up, it's in the public right of way, and the city may be tossing them.

Jun 03, 2013 10:34 AM
MichelleCherie Carr Crowe .Just Call. 408-252-8900
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Yes, I've had the same issue before-no idea why people want to steal my signs...

Jun 03, 2013 02:15 PM
Jan Green - Scottsdale, AZ
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

That's amazing!  I understand what you mean though.  I had a short sale sign rider go missing.  I just wonder, what on earth they are doing with them!  Good luck!

Jun 03, 2013 02:18 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Tara, the most sensible thing I can think of was that the signs are in the public right-of-way along the streets, and not inside that line... which would put them on someone's property.  Also, if you, or anyone tends to over-do it by putting out too many signs... they tend to disappear.

So sorry.  I can only guess how frustrating it must be.

Jun 03, 2013 02:58 PM
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

So sorry to hear about all of this.  Based on all the comments, it sounds like it may be the city/county removing them.  Isn't there some law that they own the first # of X feet in.  So maybe if they are placed beyond that marek they will stay.  You may want to give that a try.

Jun 03, 2013 07:01 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Debbie, in counties that I have lived in, the county or the state own the "right of way" as far as roads and streets are concerned.  In a typical neighborhood... the city usually, or often owns the land up to the inside edge of any sidewalk, or where a sidewalk would be.  That makes it city property, and opens it to whatever laws the city passes.

Most directional signs you see are in this right of way.  They are not far enough from the road to be on private property, so thus they can be pulled if the city chooses to pass that kind of law.

I am not sure if I am stating this well enough so that it makes sense.  Sorry if it doesn't.  LOL.  It's early!

Jun 03, 2013 08:55 PM
Andrew Mooers | 207.532.6573
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Maybe you need to electrify the signs...(smile) Give them a taser effect.

Jun 03, 2013 09:29 PM
Carolyn Nelson
Realty One Carolina, LLC - Burlington, NC
Your Triangle to Triad Real Estate Expert!

In this area, I have seen trucks and vans drive around on Monday - Friday removing signs from the side of the roads, intersections, etc. Of course, they take photos just in case their is a dispute regarding the location of the sign to avoid paying a fine. I find some of the larger signs very hazardous and often makes it difficult for drivers to see traffic coming from both directions. Smaller directional signs are not an issue and I was guess it is either the wind, HOA, or another property owner with a home for sale.

Jun 03, 2013 09:44 PM
Karen Anne Stone
New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth Real Estate

Carolyn, I have seen many builders who, when allowed to put up three signs, or even a half dozen, put up TWENTY.  You get five or six builders doing that same thing, and you begin to see why cities and counties remove ALL of the signs.  It ends up looking so trashy.

Jun 03, 2013 11:25 PM
Bryan Robertson
Los Altos, CA

My guess is that it's an agent playing dirty pool or a neighbor who doesn't like signs.  I've seen both in neighborhoods and in both cases they feel their personal agenda is above the law.  I hope you get this solved.

Jun 04, 2013 07:20 AM
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

Man's inhumanity to man.

Neighbors remove them during the night.
Neighborhood kids remove for fun.
Authorities remove and fine when they can.
Competitors remove and hide them in their garage to take to county landfill.

Fact is, they don't hurt anyone.
We have way too many sign regulations.

Life isn't always fair.

Jun 08, 2013 08:55 PM