Open Houses are a near weekly event in Belwood, Belgatos and Surmont – and all of Los Gatos, really!

The town of Los Gatos has a sign ordinance (rule) that the open house signs are supposed to be of the "generic" variety. They may have simple arrows on them, or the words "Open House", but they are not to be personalized. Open House directional signs should not include the agent’s name, the brokerage’s name, or anything else. Additionally, they are not to be the large placard type signs – but the more minimalistic sized ones you see around town.

Each city near Los Gatos has different signage rules, so it can be confusing to agents as to what is allowed where. In Cupertino, NO signs are allowed except on the property itself!

Once I had a listing I was holding open in Cupertino. I was very aware of the sign restrictions, but my listing was a corner lot, so I figured I could put signs on both sides.  I placed one directly on the main front lawn of the home (between the sidewalk and the house) and another on the side, between the sidewalk and the street.

To my utter amazement, a code enforcement officer drove up, while my clients looked on from the driveway, and took my sign to his truck and sped away. Apparently in Cupertino, what I did was wrong.  The next day I had to go and pay $5 to get it out of hock. I was not a happy agent, and my sellers were very unhappy with their city too. (Wouldn’t he have been a good soul to have just told me to move it 3 feet?)

I wanted to relay this story because the Los Gatos rule about open house signs is really not all that strict. Signs can be green, black, maroon, blue – you name it. But the town doesn’t want a junky look. So no big ads for the agent or the brokerage within the town boundaries.

If you happen to visit an open house where the agent does not know of our ordinance, it’s not a bad thing to nicely let him or her know. It is confusing with each town having different rules, but Los Gatos is wise, I think, in wanting to de-commercialize the open house signage a bit. It makes a prettier town for all of us when the signs used here are the correct ones.

Author