Does it annoy you when you see an open house sign that stays up from Friday evening all the way till Sunday night? How about seeing a sold sign on a property in your area that’s been up for a couple of months after the property is sold?
While I am in real estate, i’m also an active member the community where my wife and I are raising our two children. I understand agents wanting to show their achievements when they’ve sold a home (myself included) and I also understand them wanting to showcase their properties that are actively for sale.
At the same time, the homeowner version of me gets fed up when I see open house signs that are up from Friday evening until Sunday evening. What bothers me even more is that there are agents who use this as a marketing opportunity and put up open house signs when they don’t even have a home for sale!
There is an active and growing voice in our industry which would like to eradicate the agents who take advantage of the rules. I’ve stayed silent for a long time, but can no longer ignore the nonsense that I see on a daily basis. So…. I’m going to share a useful piece of information with you!
Both the City of Mississauga and the City of Toronto have bylaws surrounding sold signs and open house signs. Open house signs are only permitted to be put up prior to, and directly after an open house. If there’s an open house being held from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. the sign needs to be put up shortly before the open house and need to be taken down shortly after the open house. They definitely shouldn’t be there at 9pm.
Regarding sold signs, agents are allowed to have a for sale sign on a property, but once a property is sold, the sign has to be removed. You can view the City Bi-Laws Below:
City of Mississauga Sign Regulations
Signs displayed in the City of Mississauga are regulated by Sign By-law 54-2002. Signs displayed in contravention of the By-law will be removed by City staff and/or charges laid against the agent, broker and property owner pursuant to the Provincial Offences Act without further notice.
By-law provisions include, but not limited to:
- Real estate signs are not permitted to be displayed on public property, including public fences between municipal streets.
- Directional “house for sale” signs are not permitted.
- Real estate signs cannot exceed 1 m2 in area on residential zoned properties and 4m2 on non-residential zoned properties.
- Only one (1) real estate sign is permitted to be displayed per street line.
- Banner signs are prohibited.
- The display of a sign or advertisement on a vehicle or trailer parked or located for the primary purpose of displaying the sign or advertisement is prohibited.
- Open house signs are not permitted to be displayed on traffic islands or medians.
- Open house signs are only permitted to be displayed during the hours of the open house.
- “Coming Soon” signs are not permitted.
- “Sold” signs are not permitted. (This includes the current practice of placing sticker or other “sold” indicator on a “for sale” sign. The Mississauga by-law only allows signs advertising the sale of a property and once it is sold it is no longer for sale.
City of Toronto Sign Regulations
“An open house directional sign may only be displayed during the hours that the open house to which the sign relates is open and operating.”
Signs in the City of Toronto are regulated by Chapter 693 of the Municipal Code. Click here to review the sign by-law guidance material. The full Municipal Code section relating to signs (Section 693) can be found here on the City’s website.
Note: Section 693-22, Clause 3 of the Municipal Code (provided above) indicates that Open House Directional signs “may only be displayed during the period between sunset and sunrise”. TREB has contacted City representatives to inform them of this apparent error in language. City staff have indicated that this is an unintended error and is in the process of correcting it.
I’m not advocating being a rogue resident. Calling the city for every single for sale sign you see with a sold sticker on it within 24 hours would be a little crazy. But, we should all work together to stop the nonsense and disregard towards the people who live in a community and have to put up with excessive marketing thrown at them. If you see that somebody is taking advantage of having signs up in your community, don’t feel ashamed or scared to call the city to let them know. They have, and they will, remove the signs. Unfortunately, it may be the only way some people will learn their lesson:)