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Selling this spring? Stash the signs

By Marilyn Kennedy Melia
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There’s no debating it: Political rhetoric is everywhere, thicker than ever this election year.

While homeowner associations often limit the number of signs an owner can display, in many neighborhoods free speech translates into a thicket of front-yard signs promoting candidates.

If you’re selling a home, it’s wise to establish a political-free zone, to the extent you can.

“You simply should never have a political sign in your front yard if you have a ‘For Sale’ sign,” says Kevin Posey, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Alexandria, Va.

Displaying a sign, whether for a local or national candidate, risks prompting an immediate negative impression from buyers who don’t have like-minded views, says Posey.

Buyers are more attracted to a home they can visualize living in, one that seems like it is already their own, Posey points out.

“Don’t even display politically sensitive things in the house,” he advises. “I have a collection of political campaign buttons. If I were selling I would be sure to put it away, out of sight, even though the collection has buttons from both parties.”

While sellers can eliminate political statements on their own property, neighboring homes displaying signs and stickers with partisan leanings can dissuade buyers, too.

“In one case I’ve seen, a buyer was set to visit a property but left because the neighborhood had signs,” says Jamal Asskoumi, CastleSmart.com.

If you have a good relationship with your neighbor, it may be possible to ask them to take down the sign, at least until you sell, says Posey. “You might be able to approach them and say, Look, it is good for both of us if I sell my house quickly and at a good price.”

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