The Voice for Real Estate 30: Sign Law Stopped

The Voice for Real Estate 30: Sign Law Stopped

Sep 8, 2015
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Can you put up open house and other temporary signs on the side of roads in your community? One community in Arizona tried to put restrictions on the signs of nonprofit groups until the U.S. Supreme Court slapped the rule down. Although it doesn’t affect real estate, the ruling is a win for REALTORS® because the local ordinance could have set a precedent for other types of sign restrictions. The ruling is one of the top stories in The Voice for Real Estate, NAR’s online news video for the week of Sept. 7. Other stories look at a list you can get from the federal government to find a certified drone operator to take aerial pictures or videos of your listings. And, despite volatility in the stock market recently, home sales are on track for a strong year.

Featured Segments:

  • Home sales stay strong - 0:24
  • Find a certified drone operator - 1:36
  • Supreme Court slaps down sign restriction - 2:18

Get more on all the topics covered in this video:

Voice for Real Estate 30: Transcript

Sign Law Stopped

Stephen Gasque Voice Over: 

Good news continues for home sales
Want to use a drone photographer? The federal government has a database to help
you find one
And the Supreme Court slaps down a restrictive sign ordinance
These stories and more on The Voice for Real Estate.
Hi, I’m Stephen Gasque of the National Association of Realtors.
Home sales continue their upward trend and even the stock market slide we saw
last week is unlikely to slow things down.
Home sales in July rose 2 percent and NAR’s forward -looking pending home sales
index also rose for the month. Sales are now on pace to hit almost 5.6 million this
year, up from 4.9 million sales last year. Strong economic fundamentals is behind
the gains, and NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun doesn’t think recent stock
market volatility will derail what’s shaping up to be the best year for home sales in
quite some time.
Not all the news is good, though. Tight inventories in many markets continue to put
upward pressure on prices, and that makes it hard for first-time buyers to get into
the market.
The Federal Aviation Administration is working to finalize a rule it released earlier
this year that will let many people operate small unmanned aerial vehicles, or
drones, for their businesses. That will be good for real estate, because drones offer a
promising way to take photos and videos of your listings. But, until that rule is
finalized, you must get a waiver—known as a Section 333 exemption—from the FAA
to operate a drone, and that’s a long and complicated process.
Even so, more than 1,300 individuals and companies have received that waiver, and
many of them specialize in taking aerial videos and photos. If you want to examine a
list of these approved drone operators to see if some of them have services you
might use, you can do that by searching “Section 333 exemptions” at FAA. gov.
What could be more common than to see signs on street corners or on the side of
roads directing you to an event of interest in your community? Well, thanks to a
ruling by the United States Supreme Court, at least one community—Gilbert,
Arizona—won’t be able to restrict these signs in the way it had tried to.
The city passed an ordinance placing limits on where and how long signs could be
displayed if they were advertising certain nonprofit organizations’ meetings. A
nonprofit group affected by the ordinance filed a lawsuit, but the law was upheld in
court and on appeal. The Supreme Court, though, said the ordinance violated free
speech rights and struck it down.
That ordinance didn’t impact the signs that real estate brokers and agents routinely
use to direct consumers to open houses, but the real estate industry in the area was
nevertheless watching the case closely because it could have created a troubling
precedent for other kinds of signs.
Heidi Quigley-Larke, president of the SouthEast Valley Regional Association of
Realtors in Arizona, explains why the ruling is a victory for real estate.
Sign restrictions is an issue that won’t go away anytime soon, because local
governments in other communities are weighing similar kinds of laws. We’ll be sure
to keep you updated as these issues come to the fore.
And that’s our show for the week of September 7. You can get more on everything
we talked about today at The Voice for Real Estate page on Thank you
for joining s and be sure to join us again as we bring you the latest news on The
Voice for Real Estate.

The Voice for Real Estate is NAR's video news series. Every month, host Stephen Gasque shines a spotlight on a range of topics, including legislative, regulatory, and legal updates, as well as recent research findings.
Each week, NAR Leadership and industry experts share tips and updates on the real estate industry during this unprecedented time.
Window to the Law is a monthly video series focusing on a legal topic of interest. Not just for legal professionals, Window to the Law covers topics applicable to legal compliance for real estate professionals, brokerages, and REALTOR® associations.
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