New Canaan to Pilot 6-Month Ban on Real Estate For Sale Signs

This article was written by Mike Dinan and originally appeared on sister site

‘For Sale’ signs in New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

‘For Sale’ signs in New Canaan. Credit: Michael Dinan

New Canaan’s pervasive ‘For Sale’ signs next month will disappear from hundreds of properties on the market, following a decision from the organizing bodies for real estate professionals.

The “trial ban” on real estate signs will run from July 1 to Jan. 1, according to Janis Hennessy, president of the New Canaan Board of Realtors.

The decision was made by members of the Board as well as the New Canaan Multiple Listing Service, “to further improve our already beautiful town,” Hennessy said in a release.

“At the end of that time we will re-examine the issue,” Hennessy said.

“Millennials and other potential buyers shop for real estate online and we believe they will be able to find New Canaan homes without these signs. We have seen how eliminating the signs has improved the look of other towns in Fairfield County without impacting the real estate markets. New Canaan Realtors believe it is worth a try here in the ‘Next Station to Heaven’ as well.”

The question of whether to implement a ban, such as a longstanding one in Greenwich, has been battered around New Canaan for some time. Saying the sheer number of ‘For Sale’ signs undermines the town’s attractiveness and ability of some property owners to sell, advocates for the change are cheering the decision.

“I think this is an excellent first step, that the Realtors are looking to benefit the town,” said John Engel, a Realtor with Halstead. He added that “this is good for values, good for New Canaan values, good for our sellers and good for the real estate community as well.”

“I’m feeling so good about this volunteer effort on half of the Board of Realtors. I hope it’s the beginning of a trend in lower Fairifeld County. The other elite towns are sure to follow.”

Under the New Canaan Zoning Regulations, a real estate sign may only contain the words ‘for sale’ or ‘for lease,’ followed by ‘by broker’ or ‘by owner,’ followed by a contact number and no other identifying words, symbols, logos or characters (see page 33).

The Board of Realtors last month had sent out a survey asking for opinions on New Canaan real estate signs, whether responds were in favor of a permanent or temporary ban, keeping them or have no opinion on the matter.