Today I want to talk about a pet peeve of mine that I need to speak up about. It involves estate agents that slather the area with unsightly sales boards advertising their properties for sale or let. On its face, it might not seem like something to jump upon the soapbox about, so let me explain.

First, let me say that mostly I am talking about those agencies that slap up sales boards indiscriminately. It especially irks me when I see a board nailed to some poor, innocent tree that has never given anyone a bit of trouble. This smacks of a complete lack of environmental awareness and is, in my estimation, completely inappropriate.

Second, the Town and Country Act requires that agents remove boards 14 days after a property has been let or sold. Irresponsible agents who leave up boards or plaster properties are simply involved in gratuitous self-advertisement that blights our communities. It is simply a means for cheap advertisement, without regard for the law.

Finally, these boards can be a serious health and safety risk. I have personally seen some of these boards fall and hit people either because they were put up insecurely or because they’ve been up so long they are no longer safe. Sales boards are not meant to remain standing or hanging as permanent advertisement for an agency. They are meant to tastefully inform residents that a property is up for sale or let and encourage interest in the property. A sales board tells an interested party whom to contact.

As a responsible member of the community, I encourage smart, tasteful advertising tactics. Experienced, ethical agents understand that this really is the best marketing strategy for any estate agency. Using gauche advertising methods does speak to your reputation and sales methods – negatively. Many potential sellers will not want their property similarly blighted and will go with a more mature estate agency to sell their homes.