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Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Posted by aaaaaaaa (My Page) on
Mon, Feb 28, 11 at 14:00

Hi All,

Here is the story.
I put my home in the market just 10 days ago for sale by owner(myself). The very same day a Realtor called me up and wanted me to take him as my agent. However, I nicely denied his offer and told him that I will keep him in mind and will get back to him if I am not successful. He did try to push hard on me but still I did manage to deny him for now.

I put up some "Sale By Owner" boards near the home, curbs, and the streets near by. Boards were bought at HD and Lowes ranging $8.98 to $2.98 (Big to small). Boards displayed my contact no.

Surprisingly, I saw that my boards placed in the street near the road divider were disappearing every day. At first I thought that may be city is removing it. If it is city, they would have contacted me at sometime by now. 4 boards vanished in 3 days.

I had to know who is behind this and put a camera facing the sigh from my home. Today, I did catch the culprit. It is the same Realtor who had contacted me before. I do have video him stopping the car at the sign board and pulling sign board out and getting in the car and driving away. He has covered his head with a hat and has a coat on him. So face is not clear however the physic is him. I had met him in one of the open houses in my area about 3 weeks ago.

What should I do now? I really do not want to intimidate this guy. Any reasonable suggestions/advice.

Thanks in advance.
Anna


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

report the theft to the police?


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

I would report him to the realtor ethics board in your state.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Did you ask permission to put those signs where you put them if they weren't located legally on your property? I'll give it to you that if it was that particular realtor removing your private signs, that's cheesy. I'd inform that particular agency he has been 'outed'. But, I have a sneaking suspicion you have been putting your signs on other people's property. Yes, the hell strips and berms likely belong to somebody. It's a common misconception that just because they are in easement for the utility companies, and snow removal/weed control/rubbish removal use, that just anybody has the right to poke a sign on them or do anything but legally walk or drive on a common public strip if there is one. That could be a grey area if you consider their removal theft.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

I'd call him up nicely, tell him you have video of him and that he has 10 hours to return your signs or pay for them. Don't put it in writing or anything, just a phone call. I'm sure he doesn't want video of himself on youtube.

In the meantime I'd check to see if you are allowed to put your signs up, our neighborhood does not allow it, however what he did was pathetic.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

calliope-I live in townhome. Previously, many other home owners have placed their "sale by owner" boards exactly where I am placing now. I did call the city today and was told that they were not the one who is removing them and even if they remove them they would return it to the owner with a verbal warning, which never happened in this case. I am not placing my signs on other people's property. It is on the road side curb and road dividers(forks--in the secondary street).

Although, I would like to talk to him nicely again I fear that may still intimidate him.

Anna

Anna


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

So....what's wrong with intimidating him?


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Who cares if you intimidate this moron! He's trying to pull a fast one at your expense. And it's not just about the cost of the signs it's costing you the chance to sell your home on your own.
If he's doing this type of stuff to you can almost bet he's doing it to others too. Call him up tell him you saw him remove the signs and he needs to return the signs to you. If any others come among the missing you will be calling his local ethics board!


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

If you call up laughing, like he's a goofy prankster, hopefully he'll be so embarrassed he'll stop. Let him know nicely. Dude, I got it on tape, stop stealing my signs and give them back, I can't afford this. Don't MAKE me put it on Youtube....

or just email him a link to this thread...LOL


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Actually, you do not own the dividers either. Here the city removes signs on boulevards and in public right of ways. Just put your signs on your property.

If he actually took your signs away, that is theft, but if he just pulled them up and put them there on the ground, that is ok too when you don't own the land.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Most municipalities prohibit placing of signs on the right-of-way (parkways between the sidewalk and the street, public property, etc.), and anything placed there is pretty much considered discarded property, legally speaking. In my town (I'm a town employee), signs are removed by the city and tossed in a dumpster, with no notification to whomever put them there. If the Realtor is indeed taking your signs, he's a jerk, but it's not really theft if they're on public property or the public right-of-way. To ensure the signs aren't messed with, you should just put one on your property or get permission from other property owners.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

"I am not placing my signs on other people's property. It is on the road side curb and road dividers(forks--in the secondary street). "

That would get your signs pulled up here.... it's illegal and a hazard to sight lines.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Sorry this agent is being a jerk. I'd confront him when he's removing them. I bet he would report you if he caught you doing it to his signs.

I've never heard of town employees saving signs & calling people.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

You have a video of theft occurring and you're worrying about intimidating the guy??? Yes, your signs may have not be located on land you own; however, your video shows that the guy stole the signs.

Why are you worried about his feelings? Are you going to hire him if your attempts at FSBO fail?


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

If you know what office he works at call his broker, and let him know that his agent is removing your signs. Many FSBO sellers end up using an agent and this guy is a moron if he doesn't realize that he is alienating a potential client with his shenanigans.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

I have a feeling that turning him in will black ball the seller with other agents; that is depending on the other offices & how much they like him.

In my opinion our house wasn't shown because we listed with an out of town agent. They didn't even come to her agents open house with food. Once we listed locally we had showings.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Yeah, Call him and tell him to stop. I think he will die of embarrassment.
Paul


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

I like the idea of a soft-worded call; I might even deliberately see if I could time the call so as to leave a voice message rather comfront him personally. Take it like a joke, but embedded in the ha-ha, should be an statement demand that a) you want the signs back and b) if it continues, the next call you will be to his broker to complain and show him the tape. I agree, his broker won't want to learn that you might have planned to list with his office, but now won't. And that you'll spread the word and put the tape on UTube.

BTW, It's not a joke, this agent is deliberately trying to see that you are unsuccessful, so you'll turn to him. Since he has already done this, as far as I would be concerned I would never, ever, list with him or his office.

Although it's commonly done (for all sorts of reasons: tag sales to lost pets to roadside death memorials) private signs in medians and shoulders can be traffic visibility and distraction hazards. You run the risk that if an accident does occur, that one or more parties attempt to deflect blame (and financial liability) on to you.

Do you know what kind of car this guy drives? I'd double check the fact that the car and person match up before I got publicly hostile about this. It shouldn't take much (amateur) detective work to figure out what he drives.

What an idiot this guy is!

L


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Roselvr wrote:
"I have a feeling that turning him in will black ball the seller with other agents; that is depending on the other offices & how much they like him.
In my opinion our house wasn't shown because we listed with an out of town agent. They didn't even come to her agents open house with food. Once we listed locally we had showings."

Turning him in will not cause agents to not show the home. Even us lowly, slime ball agents have morals... we hate a bad person just like the rest of y'all.
Roselvr, you probably got no showings because the out of town agent did not belong to the local MLS, and therefore your listing was never seen by the local agents. Usually, the simplest explanation is the correct one.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Living in a town like my old town; you pretty much knew who the slimy agents were. I used to be friends with one agent; there were 4 or 5 offices in my old town. I knew things that went on because of my ex friend. If the agent that removed the signs was friends with other local agents; yes, turning them in may not be a great idea if you want to sell your house.

As far as my old agent; she belonged to more local MLS then any agents I interviewed. It's why I picked her; she was the agent that did the most advertising; but she ended up slacking after a few months by hiring an assistant & passing us off to the assistant. She used to fax the local agents about the agent lunch; price changes; heck, she even drove to their office when no one came to the agents lunch


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

It doesn't matter that you may have placed the signs on property that doesn't technically belong to you. As long as its at street intersections, within public right-of-ways, directing potential buyers to your house, thats ok. People do it all the time. I don't know why people need to twist things around in defense of the shady realtor and point the finger at you for placing signs incorrectly.

The person that is clearly in the wrong is the shady realtor. I don't see why you need to downplay this either. This guy is an adult. He knew what he was doing. His intent was to limit your success at selling your own house. There is no excuse for this. What he did was clearly theft. Him being a realtor takes it to another level - this also makes him very unethical. The police in my area take this kind of thing very seriously. Stealing a sign whether its a real estate sign or a political election sign is considered THEFT, no question about it. I think it carries a $250 fine in my area. Hopefully your local police will also see this as a serious problem.

I would not give him the ability to correct this on his own. He has probably done this to plenty of other people and he will continue to do so. Your catching him in the act will not prevent him from doing this to others. Your trying to reason with him will not work. You can not reason with an unreasonable person, right?

I would report him to the police and to his realty company, and provide copies of the video to both. I would tell the real estate agency that if they don't fire him, you will then post the video on Youtube, or give it to your local television station and/or newspaper. I am sure they would not want that kind of attention. I would also contact the realty board or whoever issues real estate licenses and try to get them to revoke his license. I would also contact every other local real estate office and warn them about him so hopefully they will not hire him. He didn't care about cheating you out of the thousands of dollars you could save by avoiding a realtor's commission, did he? So why should you care about cheating him out of his salary or his livlihood? It does stink that you have lost some or your own money here, but if it was me, I would get much more satisfaction out of seeing that this jerk gets whats coming.

Don't worry about intimidating him or hurting his feelings or whatever. This guy needs to pay (and pay dearly) for what he did. After you turn him in and get the ball rolling, you now have documentation against him. Should he do anything else to you (which is doubtful), it makes it so much easier for you to prosecute him further. I would keep the camera rolling, and if he is dumb enough to do anyting else to you, maybe the next time around he will be looking at jail time.

Good luck


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

As long as its at street intersections, within public right-of-ways, directing potential buyers to your house, thats ok. People do it all the time

Just because people do it all the time, doesn't mean it's okay. Many, many towns and cities do not allow unpermitted signs in the public right of way.

I am not excusing the agent's behavior by saying that. As I said before, he is a moron if he is doing this. And most likely other agents in his area know that he is less than ethical. I wouldn't concern myself too much with making him angry. There are plenty of other agents that will be happy to work with the OP if that is what they eventually decide to do.

It is up to the city officials to remove improper signs, and I doubt if they are required to try to track down the person who put up the sign and return it to them.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Terriks is correct. It's generally illegal to place signs in the public right-of-way, it's not theft when someone removes the sign and, in fact, it's the person who put the sign there who is breaking the law and subject to a fine. That's most likely why the idiot Realtor feels comfortable removing them.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

I again today contacted my city zoning dept and was told that I could place 1 sign without balloons in the nearest corner of street from my home. This is legal.
Seeing other home owners in the past, I had placed one sign without balloons(5 total, 1 each after other vanished) on the street divider near the entrance of my complex. At that time I was not aware that it is illegal. I will try what the city suggested this weekend with camera rolling.
Realtor could have called my city and complained against these illegal boards instead of removing it by himself. In which case his purpose would have been served legally.
I cannot complain about him when I am not right in the first place. We will see this weekend.
I will not hire this Realtor, after knowing what he has done to me.

I will update. Thanks for you input guys, I appreciate it.
Anna


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

But she (OP) said she checked with the city. They would have told her if she did anything wrong.
In many, many cities there are many many signg illegal--garage sales--on boxes, telephone poles etc and even open house signs stuck all over. The city usually won't do much unless it is a traffic hazard or the "right" person complains.
We had problems in the rural area we came from, and I just let certain people know about it, and it stopped.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Good luck, Anna. Your best revenge will be selling your home!


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

It's not whether or not SHE did anything legally wrong by posting them in the right of way, it's whether the realtor legally wrong by removing them. If they weren't legally there in the first place, it's kinda hard to punish him for taking them down....
(Still makes him kind of a jerk though.)


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Sorry, but you guys are way too soft. This is why bad people get away with things. Because nobody is willing to take a stand and stop them.

There is no way I believe this guy took the signs down because he was concerned about traffic safety or because they were posted illegally. His intent was purely malicious. You have the ability to hold him accountable, but now it seems like you are not going to do anything about it. So if you're not going to do anything about it, why go through the trouble of video-taping it, or why complain about it here? Vowing to never give him business is great, but do you think he really cares? You are only one home owner among tens of thousands (or however big your community is). The average person only buys or sells maybe 3 or 4 houses over their whole life time. Is losing your business really going to affect him? Do you think that is going to prevent him from doing this to others?

I see official realtor "for sale" signs and signs for new housing subdivisions placed at street corners all the time. I am certain none of them do the research to see who legally owns that land or to ask permission. A private person placing a FSBO sign is no different. It is a sign of temporary nature, and most people do not mind these signs as long as they are posted responsibly and as long as they don't stay there forever.

As for what badgergrrl just said about it being kind of hard to punish someone for taking an illegally placed sign.........well it sort of makes sense, but then again no it doesnt. Selling drugs is illegal isn't it? With this kind of logic, doesn't it mean if you buy drugs, you can get off the hook because it wasn't supposed to be legal to sell in the first place? Know what I mean?

Hey guys I am really sorry if I sound way too mean or hard-nosed or whatever. I just don't appreciate all the scummy people out there who are always taking advantage of others. When I am able to do anything about it so that I can make the world a better place, you can guarantee I will. It not only irritates me the huge number of scummy people that seem to exist, it may irritate me even more the number of people who just allow things to continue happening.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

ditto to every word of casrag's post above.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

If a homeowner or citizen violates city code, that's between the city & the homeowner;
it isn't anyone else's place to enforce the code, & it doesn't make it okay to steal.

If this guy is an independent broker, tell him not to do it again;
tell him that if it happens again, you'll post your video on facebook & send a copy to the state real estate commission.

If he works for a brokerage, call the owner/broker or managing broker & tell him/her the same thing.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

"If a homeowner or citizen violates city code, that's between the city & the homeowner."

That's entirely true........but if you are violating a code anyway, and then calling a law enforcement official to complain, guess how much attention your complaint is going to get. It's an example of people living in glass houses throwing stones.

I had already stated that a call to the brokerage to complain about the theft/vandalism and downright cheesy antics of an agent is called appropriate, cas66ragtop. That's not exactly siding against the poster. I think it's a rotten thing to do, and speaks to that person's ethics and by default, speaks to the agency for whom he works. It's bad press. That being said, if you limit your signs to your own property, and he does it again, that's a criminal offense and your bark has some teeth in it.

The poster seems like a decent person who is trying hard to get a job done. I wish them the best of luck and am sorry it is happening to them.


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RE: Removing SaleByOwner sign boards.

Funny thing is that the creep will be contacting YOU soon - He'll ask "how are you doing," and try to get you to sign on with him again.

Try to get another video of him, so you have at least 2. Then march into the real estate office, ask for his boss/manager/owner.

Here are the KEYWORDS you should use: SABOTAGE, INTIMIDATE, HARASS, HORIZONTAL VIOLENCE....these are "lawsuit" type of keywords that should get someone's attention!

Now, perhaps you are a more non-confrontational person than I, so maybe you would be more comfortable with sending a letter, where you could speak your mind, and make your point. Be sure to write that you are expecting a response.

Shame on him!!!


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