An open house is going to cost HOW much??

Real Estate Agent with Real Estate Corp

The City of Palm Coast, in it's infinate wisdom has come up with a plan.  We have a sign ordinance here that doesn't allow signs advertising various things...unless of course it's politically connected and we're in an election year. 

The Realtors® and homeowners went to the City and pretty much said..."Hey.  Back off.  Times are tough, we need to be able to place signs to direct people to open houses since our streets are winding and difficult.   Hey.  Back off.  We want to be able to place signs for yard sales...times are tough and we want the leeway to direct people to the right location".   The City relented and put a moratorium on the ordinance.

Well, fast forward to today.  A City council member, who STRONGLY opposes any signs, has now come up with a plan.   And it goes like this:

$250 per address registration for an open house.

$30 per directional sign per open house.

No more than one sign per corner. (so if another Realtor® already has an open house registered for that day, you're out of luck)

City employees will place and remove the signs.

The City will start advertising the open houses on their website, which of course takes traffic off of the Realtor® websites.

There will be one day per month designated as open house day.

Say WHAT?   You're going to pay city employees overtime to place and remove the signs with an offset of the funds you collect??   You're going to interject government into private enterprise and advertise open houses on the city website??   You're going to put yourselves in the middle of the mix and what, hold arbitration hearings when you mess up or call and apologize to the homeowner?  You're going to decide, in a city that is known for visitors coming here looking to move here permanently or purchase a second home throughout the year, that only one day per month open houses will easily be found?

So, let's see.  That's $250 for the permit and at least $120 for the signs.  That's $370 to the city.  Add an additional $50 for the ad in the newspaper.  Let's see..beverages (at least water in this weather) and a little something for the visitor to munch on, another $20.   Total: $440

Missed clientel that may have come to the open house if it wasn't regulated to one day per month: PRICELESS

So, be prepared sellers in Palm Coast.  The price of selling your home may just go up. 

Comments (8)

Barry Bridges
Barry Bridges Weichert Realtors Bridges & Co. - Smith Mountain Lake, VA
Lake professional

One more time there is the elite politicians and then the rest of us slobs.

May 24, 2008 03:24 AM
Sharon Young
Ivy League Mortgage Philadelphia, Pa - Southampton, PA

WHAT?!?! That is worse than the Naples, Bonita Springs area. We also have ordinances against signs making it very difficult to have open houses. Most homes are in gated communities and they have rules about signs. But what you are talking about is absolutely ridiculous. I hope they don't pass that one!

May 24, 2008 03:28 AM
Cyd Weeks Real Estate Corp - Palm Coast, FL
Realtor Palm Coast, Fl

Sharon:  I can understand if its inside a gated community...that is the choice of those living there to regulate their community the way they wish.  But a city wide ordinance with the city personnel getting invovled in fees, advertising, placing signs, etc??   Crazy, isn't it??  

I wrote an email to all of the council members and the mayor expressing my lack of support and mentioned my displeasure with them behaving as if they are an HOA.

May 24, 2008 03:40 AM
Gregory Lohr
West Columbia, SC

What do you get when you cross Bureaucracy with Idiots?  Idiocracy.

I understand the need to control signs, as they totally out of hand where I live, but they have gone a bit too far where you live.

May 24, 2008 03:45 AM
Patty Carroll
Vancouver, WA

We have a sign ordinance were we are but there is no fees. Sounds like they have looked for a nre way to get revenue for the city. Wonder how many will participate?

May 24, 2008 03:57 AM
Mike Wong
Keller Williams Realty Southwest - Sugar Land, TX
Realtor: Commercial, Residential, Leasing, Invest

Wow. Seems like a local Realtors association should step in and see if there is a way to work with the city. I would expect mine to.

Jun 09, 2008 01:45 PM
Kimberly Dotseth
Blend Real Estate, broker/owner - San Diego, CA
Try Our "Cancel Anytime" Listing!

That is utterly ridiculous and so insane! Oh please god don't let the equally insane city council in San Diego read up on Palm Coast, Florida!  Because this will be their next stunt for sure.

We only ever use for all our open house advertising. It's a very clean, professional, easy to use site. We pay $10 for an ad that runs seven days.  You can add photos, virtual tour, link to your personal website and all your contact information is very easy for the open house visitor. I have had a lot open house visitors come to me from this site.  I know it's in San Diego and I talked to the owner who says they're expanding nationally and looking for five other cities.  We used to use the Union Tribune but one small open house ad starts at $132! Insane.  The death of papers is here, which is too bad because I read my religiously with coffee every morning.

Oh and about six signs. That's sort of our magic number. We have to be really careful where we put them to get maximum exposure and never on private property, no exceptions. That's just my rule.


Kimberly Dotseth


Green Box Homes

Jul 17, 2008 03:17 PM
Cyd Weeks Real Estate Corp - Palm Coast, FL
Realtor Palm Coast, Fl

Well, again, in their infinate wisdom, they have thrown the whole idea out...completely, totally, no compromise, just out goes the baby with the bath water.  We are back to the old city ordinance of no signs. At all.  Except on private property.  So, no signs on the street corners unless it's on someone's property and they allow you to put it there, no signs on the main road. 

I swear, you can't make this stuff up.  :)

Jul 18, 2008 04:29 PM