Supreme Court Ruling Could Kill All Open House Signs?

Services for Real Estate Pros with SMARTePLANS; Houston, Texas

Interesting article in Inman News today about a recent Supreme Court ruling that threatens to make open house signs obsolete.  It has to do with municipality's sign code and their ability to regulate the signs based on content. Previously real estate enjoyed an exemption that may be now gone. 


"....the  court ruled that any sign regulation must be content-neutral so as not to deny free speeach. A city can impose restrictions on the sign, type and placement of a sign --- but not the message."  Sam DeBord, Inman News


Potentially cities can no longer exempt realtors. So, if a city allows everyone to now put up signs ... the butcher , the baker, the hardware store now have as much right to plant a directional sign on the esplanade as an agent using a directional sign for an open house.... which will overrun the space and cause sign sprawl making rights-of-way cluttered and unmanageable. 


So the revese will likely now become the new norm .. instead of a few signs for exemptions that will now need to be defended in court.. for a city ... MUCH easier to go with NO SIGNS (for anyone)


It was argued that in these days of technology, smart phones and GPS ... realtors really don't need to post signage anymore --- consumers can easily navigate to the open house.


So how would  this affect your business if your municipality decides to go the NO SIGNS route ... because it is undeniably less expensive, less tedious and less time consuming to implement?


Thanks for Dropping By,


Judith, The SMARTePLAN Lady




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Raymond E. Camp
Howard Hanna Real Estate Services - Ontario, NY
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson Greater Rochester

Good afternoon Judith,

Personally the Feds shouldn't have their nose in the States business.

As I only occasionally get someone stopping because of the sign and have had only one sale it would not hurt.

Make yourself a great day.

Dec 04, 2015 02:02 AM #1
Ronald DiLalla
Century 21 Discovery DRE 01813824 - Anaheim, CA
No. Orange Cty Real Estate

Leave it to the government to screw things up..tks for sharing with us in AR land.

Dec 04, 2015 02:15 AM #2
David Gibson CNE, 719-304-4684 ~ Colorado Springs Relocation
Colorado Real Estate Advisers LLC - Colorado Springs, CO
Relocation, Luxury & Lifestyle residential

I hope that doesn’t come to fruition but we don’t have a lot of open houses in our market. In metro markets like Houston it would be a greater hardship.

Dec 04, 2015 10:30 AM #3
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

That's an interesting development.  It will be equally interesting to see if it becomes challenged in the future.  A lot of Open House traffic comes from those signs.  

Dec 04, 2015 11:22 AM #4
Ricki Eichler McCallum
CastNet Realty - Corpus Christi, TX
Broker,GRI,ABR, e-Pro, TAHS

I'm for doing away with Open houses anyway.  They rarely work in our area and I dont like spending a fortune for one or two lookers to come by if that.  For other areas, where open houses work, I think it is terrible for the agents.  I like the signs, they are helpful in directing buyers.

Dec 05, 2015 02:32 AM #5
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