For Sale Signs

For sale signs proliferate in our residential areas. Typically, we think nothing of the signs. But they are big, blocky advertising signs helping to clutter our streets. I wonder if Ottawa regulates their size or placement?


above: Does Chad Clost really need his name up there twice, and in different fonts? Are Ottawa home buyers so dumb they can’t recognize a bungalow from the street?

I was surprised to find these, ah, more discreet signs while out of town:

fla jan 2013 588And no, that pic has not been photo-shopped. The sign really is that small.

And it wasn’t just in one locality. I saw a number of towns where for sale signs, or “available” signs, were on a severe diet compared to our obese placards.

fla jan 2013 248

 above: In this town, all the signs were the same size and shape regardless of the realtor, the oval sign on a substantial post shown above.

fla jan 2013 219

This oval sign is in the same neighbourhood as the sign in the preceding picture. Discrete, it doesn’t clutter the streetscape.

fla jan 2013 387The one shown here is a bit closer to the traditional swing board we use in Ottawa, but still significantly smaller.

I suspect the days of people driving endlessly around suburban crescents or city streets to discover a house for sale are long gone. I presume people use the internet, or real estate advertising, or are on computerized email lists,  to find houses for sale. I do understand a small placard outside a house, to reassure the searcher they have found the property they were looking for. The sign also gives one permission to stare at a house, criticise the landscaping or roof condition, and move on. And even a small sign will be noticed by neighbours who might be looking, have friends looking, or seeking comparables by which to value their own homes.

Have  the big swinging placards exceeded their best before date? Is it time to give them a shove to the dustbin of practices we could do without?




2 thoughts on “For Sale Signs

  1. I find the endless signs along all our roads far more of an eyesore. Each traffic bump, stop line and any/all array of parking limitation has it’s own signage creating the picket fence look on some streets.

  2. Ordinary stationary signs, no matter how tasteful, are SO passé – cutting edge dynamic people-signs are MUCH more effective in capturing the consumer’s attention – they’re the wave of the future.

    As long as the worker isn’t spotted slacking off (not holding up and waving the sign) he gets a princely $10.25 an hour (plus a $2 bonus for wearing the chicken costume).

    Zellers doesn’t have to pay the City’s temporary sign tax either, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone – surely such high-profile signs will entice an extra shopper or two an hour into Zellers to buy some tatty shelves.

    Dynamic people-signs remind me of the down-and-out walking sandwich boards from the great depression – a bit sad, but at least they provide much needed employment for our young people.

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