For Sale Sign Laws

Reviewed April 2016

For Sale, For Rent, For Lease What Should I Know About Arizona’s Sign Laws?

In Arizona, homeowners’ associations (HOA) are prohibited from regulating or restricting the use of “for sale,” “for rent” or “for lease” signs on a property owner’s yard as long as the sign meets statutory requirements and the HOA does not prohibit or restrict leasing. Those requirements are: (1) the sign must be commercially produced; (2) the sign cannot exceed eighteen by twenty-four inches; and (3) the rider attached cannot exceed six by twenty-four inches.

The applicable statutes are:

33-441 For sale signs; restrictions unenforceable

A. A covenant, restriction or condition contained in any deed, contract, security agreement or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of any interest in real property shall not be applied to prohibit the indoor or outdoor display of a for sale sign and a sign rider by a property owner on that person’s property, including a sign that indicates the person is offering the property for sale by owner. The size of a sign offering a property for sale shall be in conformance with the industry standard size sign, which shall not exceed eighteen by twenty-four inches, and the industry standard size sign rider, which shall not exceed six by twenty-four inches.

B. This section applies to any covenant, restriction or condition without regard to the date the covenant, restriction or condition was created, signed or recorded. This section does not apply to timeshare property and timeshare interest as defined in section 33-2202.

C. This section does not apply to a covenant, restriction or condition in a deed, contract, security agreement or other instrument affecting the transfer or sale of an interest in real property that does not prohibit or restrict the display of a for sale sign or a sign rider on the real property.

READ THE COMPLETE STATUTE

33-1808 Flag display; political signs; caution signs; for sale, rent or lease signs; political activities

F. Notwithstanding any provision in the community documents, an association shall not prohibit or charge a fee for the use of, placement of or the indoor or outdoor display of a for sale, for rent or for lease sign and a sign rider by an association member on that member’s property in any combination, including a sign that indicates the member is offering the property for sale by owner. The size of a sign offering a property for sale, for rent or for lease shall be in conformance with the industry standard size sign, which shall not exceed eighteen by twenty-four inches, and the industry standard size sign rider, which shall not exceed six by twenty-four inches. This subsection applies only to a commercially produced sign, and an association may prohibit the use of signs that are not commercially produced. With respect to real estate for sale, for rent or for lease in the planned community, an association shall not prohibit in any way other than as is specifically authorized by this section or otherwise regulate any of the following:

  1. Temporary open house signs or a member’s for sale sign. The association shall not require the use of particular signs indicating an open house or real property for sale and may not further regulate the use of temporary open house or for sale signs that are industry standard size and that are owned or used by the seller or the seller’s agent.

READ THE COMPLETE STATUTE

33-1261 Flag display; for sale, rent or lease signs; political signs and activities; applicability

C. Notwithstanding any provision in the condominium documents, an association shall not prohibit or charge a fee for the use of, the placement of or the indoor or outdoor display of a for sale, for rent or for lease sign and a sign rider by a unit owner on that owner’s property in any combination, including a sign that indicates the unit owner is offering the property for sale by owner. The size of a sign offering a property for sale, for rent or for lease shall be in conformance with the industry standard size sign, which shall not exceed eighteen by twenty-four inches, and the industry standard size sign rider, which shall not exceed six by twenty-four inches. This subsection applies only to a commercially produced sign and an association may prohibit the use of signs that are not commercially produced. With respect to real estate for sale, for rent or for lease in the condominium, an association shall not prohibit in any way other than as is specifically authorized by this section or otherwise regulate any of the following:

  1. Temporary open house signs or a unit owner’s for sale sign. The association shall not require the use of particular signs indicating an open house or real property for sale and may not further regulate the use of temporary open house or for sale signs that are industry standard size and that are owned or used by the seller or the seller’s agent.

READ THE COMPLETE STATUTE


Statutory Challenges:

Since the enactment of the statutes in 2009 and 2002, respectively, opponents have challenged the statutes’ constitutionality and enforceability before both the Arizona Court of Appeals and the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings. Those challenges have proved unsuccessful, a fact best illustrated by the following two recent decisions:

Hawk v. PC Village Association, Inc.

The Hawks filed suit against PC Village seeking declaratory and injunctive relief after PC Village removed from the Hawks’ property an industry standard “for sale” sign claiming that the sign was in violation of the association’s covenants, conditions and restrictions (CC&Rs). In response, PC Village argued that: (1) their CC&Rs supersede the statutes because there unconstitutional because they substantially impaired the association’s contractual rights.

Following briefing and oral argument, the Court of Appeals rejected PC Village’s arguments, holding that the statutes trump the conflicting CC&Rs. The Court similarly rejected PC Village’s contention that the statutes are unconstitutional.

Learn more information about Hawk and AAR’s involvement with the matter.

Hack v. The Ranch at Prescott HOA

The Hacks filed a claim with the Office of Administrative Hearings seeking a ruling on whether the Ranch at Prescott HOA can require a homeowner to utilize a certain type of sign frame when displaying an industry standard “for sale” sign.

In examining the issue, the administrative law judge first concluded: “A.R.S. § 33-1808(F) provides that the only types of regulations that a homeowners association, such as the Ranch, can impose on for-sale signs are that the signs be commercially produced standard size signs.”

The Court therefore held: “The Ranch’s requirement that property owners utilize a particular type of sign frame furnished by the Ranch is precluded by A.R.S. § 33-1808(F).” Accordingly, HOAs cannot dictate the type of sign frame a homeowner utilizes when posting an industry standard “for sale” sign in the homeowners’ yard.

As evidenced by these cases, Arizona courts continue to support and enforce Arizona’s “for sale” sign statutes, thereby protecting a vital form of commercial speech that assists property owners in selling their homes.

Printable Collateral

Download The Flyer

Download Pro Postcard

Download 2-Up Postcard

Three types of collateral are available for downloading and distribution to your clients.  Permission is granted for use only by Arizona REALTORS®. The flyer is 8.5″ X 11″, 1-sided & full-color. Both postcards are 8.5″ X 5.5″ — the Pro version is set up for a professional printer, while the 2-Up (2 on one sheet) is set up for economical printing (cut in half after printing).

Frequently Asked Questions

1Q: Can an HOA prohibit a real estate agent from placing a “for sale,” “for rent” or temporary “open house” sign on the property owner’s yard?

A: No, as long as the statutory requirements for the sign are met and the HOA does not prohibit or restrict leasing. [NOTE?—?This answer assumes that the agent is listing the property and has the homeowner’s permission to place the sign on the yard.]

2Q: Can an HOA prohibit a homeowner from placing a “for sale” sign on their yard in the event that the sign is not commercially produced or exceeds eighteen by twenty-four inches in size?

A: Yes. The “for sale” sign must be commercially produced and not exceed eighteen by twenty-four inches.”

3Q: Can an HOA require property owners to use a particular type of sign frame to display industry standard signs?

A: No. The sign may be attached to a sign frame that is L shaped, H shaped, etc. as long as the sign meets the statutory requirements.

4Q: Can a real estate agent combine the sign with the rider to create one larger sign?

A: No. The statutes prescribe the industry standard size for both the sign and rider.

5Q: Can an HOA require the use of a particular sign (i.e. an association approved sign)?

A: No. A.R.S. §33-1808(F)(1) provides that “[t]he association shall not require the use of particular signs indicating an open house or real property for sale” as long as the sign is industry standard size.

6Q: Can an HOA prohibit a sign that is located on the common areas of the planned community?

A: Yes. The HOA can prohibit a sign if it is located on the common areas of the planned community.

7Q: If the HOA’s CC&Rs were established before the statutes, do the CC&Rs control?

A: No. A.R.S. §33-441 supersedes and renders void that portion of an HOA’s CC&Rs that prohibit the display of a “for sale” sign and sign rider by a property owner on that person’s property.

8Q: If the subject property is not governed by an HOA, must the “for sale” and “for rent” signs adhere to the statutory requirements?

A: No. The statutory requirements pertain to property within an HOA.

9Q: Do A.R.S. §33-441, A.R.S. §33-1808, or A.R.S. §33-1261 differentiate between HOA’s under board control and HOA’s under declarant control?

A: No. The statutes make no such differentiation and apply to all HOA’s.

Prospecting? Avoid These Danger Zones

Editor’s Note: The Code of Ethics turns 100 in 2013. AAR will be celebrating the code with monthly articles published under the caption, Code Talk, in the Arizona REALTOR® Magazine, discussing the various ways the code governs professional conduct and interaction with the consumer in every day transactions.

When it comes to obtaining new clients, real estate agents are at the top of their game. But, there are several commonly used prospecting tactics that can land agents in hot water. This month, we’ll take a look at some danger zones to avoid when it comes to prospecting and advertising and give you tips on the right and wrong ways to do it.

Zone 1: Giving It Away 

While prospecting for new clients, some agents consider using a game of chance (like a drawing for an iPad).  However, agents should make certain that they are not doing so in violation of Arizona law.  A.R.S. § 13-3301(4) defines gambling, in part, as “the act of risking or giving something of value for the opportunity to obtain a benefit from a game or contest of chance or skill.”  Giving business to an agent in exchange for entry into a drawing is likely considered “giving something of value for the opportunity to obtain a benefit.” Agents should therefore refrain from offering new clients entry into a game of chance in exchange for business.

In light of the above, the better practice is to offer the same benefit to all members of the public that attend the agent’s open house or respond to the agent’s advertisement. Jerome King, designated broker of Long Realty in Tucson, Ariz., offers this advice for erring on the side of caution, “If you’d like to offer a free Starbuck’s card at an open house, you should give a Starbuck’s card to everyone.” The giveaways must be without condition and universal across the board. Furthermore, keep in mind that Article 12, Standard of Practice 12-1 of the code of ethics states: “REALTORS® may use the term ‘free’ and similar terms in their advertising and in other representations provided that all terms governing availability of the offered product or service are clearly disclosed at the same time.”

Zone 2: The Claim Game 

“I’ve seen a lot of marketing attempts lately that focus on ‘the last five homes sold in this neighborhood’. And then it gives the addresses of five homes sold, but not necessarily the last five homes the agent himself sold,” said King. “It’s a great marketing tactic, but it has one flaw: If you weren’t involved in the transaction you can’t give the impression in your advertising that you sold these homes.” Article 12, Standard of Practice 12-7 states: “Only REALTORS® who participated in the transaction as the listing broker or cooperating broker (selling broker) may claim to have “sold” the property.” Armando Contla, GRI with Arizona Turquoise Realty in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. adds, “I’ve also seen people advertise a property that has already closed escrow” in an effort to gain prospective clients. This is also found when people ‘poach’ listings and post them to Craigslist or other internet sites.

If you’re looking to paint a picture of a specific neighborhood in your marketing collateral, you should leverage other data such as that on your MLS or from your local newspaper.

 Zone 3: Slippery Signs 

“Many REALTORS® are posting ‘For Sale’ or ‘For Lease’ signs in their own yards to gain the attention of potential buyers. The only problem is, the agent’s home isn’t really on the market. This is just a way to get prospects,” said King. Clever? Sure. Unethical? Definitely. Article 12 of the code of ethics strictly prohibits false advertising of any kind. King offers this solution, “If you want to post a sign in your yard attracting new clients, have it say something like ‘For information regarding real estate in this neighborhood, call …’.”

Contla said that he’s also seen For Sale By Owner (FSBO) signs popping up in agents’ yards, when the property is not for sale. “Appealing to unrepresented buyers with a FSBO sign is just another bait and switch tactic.”
Along those same lines, Contla says that many agents are putting “For Sale” signs in front of homes where the owner may not want it advertised. “We’re seeing this in rental properties where the owner may live out of state,” said Contla. “Agents think that a home won’t sell unless it has a ‘For Sale’ sign in front. But, you must make sure that you have the express consent of your owner to do so.”

 

Advertising Should Contain The Identity Of The Brokerage and Agent

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