This third post about why a municipality’s ban on for sale signs persists more than 30 years after Linmark focuses on the role of real estate agents and the local realtor’s association. (You can read the prior posts here and here.) These are the players best-positioned to legally challenge an ordinance that affects the sale of property. Moreover, the use of signs by one agency would likely create pressure for others to use them, which might make the practice in the Village tip in favor of signs.
When I first began examining the Village’s ordinance, I hypothesized that real estate agents have a financial incentive to comply with the ordinance because the perceived inability to use a for sale sign makes selling by owner extraordinarily difficult. I’ll begin with the economics of the ban, even though my research hasn’t been terribly revealing. Then I’ll turn to the norms of the local real estate industry, to which my initial hypothesis did not attribute enough significance. Read More