Rules vary when hosting open house Resale Homes Report

A local real estate professional recently asked about hosting an open house event in a master-planned community. She wanted to know if most planned communities allow homeowners and their Realtors to advertise and hold such events.

It’s a good question, especially here in Southern Nevada, where an increasing number of us live in planned communities governed by homeowner associations (HOAs).

The short answer to this question is that it varies. Different municipalities, communities and associations have different rules about hosting an open house to help sell a home.

As municipalities go, Henderson officials have led the charge by creating their own rules for open house signage. They have put limitations on the number of signs that can be used and where they can be located. In fact, they allow only five signs for each property and only one sign per intersection. Landscaped greenways between the curb and sidewalk are generally the preferred location for an open house sign.

If your property is governed by, or is a part of an HOA, you will need to check with the association to determine its specific rules. Keep in mind that you may also be in two or more HOAs, so check with all of them. Pull out your billing statements and find the number for the management company or companies that handle your associations. This is important, as each association has its own set of rules, such as only allowing A-frame signs; or mandating that such signs must include the property address. Some even require the real estate agent’s name and phone number to be on the sign.

The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) has been working with North Las Vegas and Boulder City to create what will hopefully become a standardized sign policy to be used by all of the local municipalities. Until then, follow these 10 steps to keep yourself out of any trouble:

1. Use common sense.

2. Use signs for directional use and not as mini billboards.

3. Signs should not be placed in bike lanes or sidewalks.

4. Contact all associations that govern that property.

5. Get the approval of all property owners before placing signs on private property.

6. Verify the size and shape of signs to be used (A-frame, etc.).

7. Signs need to include the address of the property where the open house is being held.

8. Make sure your real estate agent includes his or her name and phone number.

9. Signs must not obstruct the view of motorists or interfere with traffic.

10. Signs must be removed immediately after the open house.

So long as people use common sense about where they place these signs, Henderson and the other municipalities will likely continue to allow home sellers and their Realtors to continue using such signs for directional use.

However, if there are continued abuses, such as blocking sidewalks, bike paths or handicapped ramps, we may lose this privilege altogether.

Devin Reiss is the president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR) and has worked in the real estate market for more than a decade. GLVAR has more than 17,500 members. To ask Reiss a question, e-mail him at ask@glvar.org. For more information, visit www.lasvegasrealtor.com.

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