Jeff Sibbach

After 15 years in real estate, Scottsdale, Arizona-based Realtor Jeff Sibbach of Realty One Group’s Sibbach Team is no stranger to dealing with homeowner associations (HOAs) and the rules they create for their individual communities. But after having over $250 worth of open house signs thrown away at the request of the Desert Ridge Community Association in December, Sibbach is at his wit’s end.

“It’s a constant battle, and it’s a double-edged sword to talk about it,” he said. “When they start stealing the signs, we have to start saying something, right?”

Sibbach became aware of the issue after a seller called him asking where the open house signs for her property were. After the call, Sibbach’s business partner, Phil Sexton, went to Desert Ridge to check on other for-sale properties and found a landscape worker piling open house signs into the back of a pick-up.

Sexton filmed his interaction with the worker who said the Desert Ridge HOA hired him to collect the signs that didn’t follow the association’s guidelines.

In the nearly-eight-minute video, the worker explains that open house signs must have the brokerage’s name, the agent’s name and an address or phone number, and it must be encased in a metal A-frame — no plastic or wood allowed.

After his conversation with the landscapers, Sexton sent a number of emails to Desert Ridge Community Association residential community manager Carmello Mussara to get clarification about open house sign guidelines.

What are the rules, exactly?

In the first email to Mussara, Sexton attached the two types of signs The Sibbach Team uses and asked if the kinds of A-frames they used were within regulation. In response, Mussara wrote this message, as obtained by Inman News:

Thank you for the email and the photos. The black a-frame is an approved sign that may be placed out for sales in the Desert Ridge Community, the second white frame is not considered an approved sign, but may be placed in the homeowner lot should you wish. Please note that signs are not permitted to be installed in the common area of the Association…