Where’s your Sign?  Real Estate Sign that Is!

Have you had a real estate sign end up in the sign graveyard?  Did you know?  Many local municipalities like:

  • City of Albuquerque
  • City of Rio Rancho
  • Los Ranchos de Albuquerque 
  • Village of Corrales

have rules that regulate placement of real estate signs, open house signs and property directional signs.  Get familiar with the sign ordinances in the areas you work so you don't waste time and money having to replace or retrieve signs that have been confiscated.  Below are the guidelines for real estate sign placement in some of our common market areas.

City of Albuquerque – Download a copy of the City of Albuquerque General Sign Regulations.  Real estate signage is addressed in Section C, Part 4b under Regulations Applicable to Signs in  All Zones.

In summary:

  • One temporary real estate sign is allowed for developed or undeveloped areas less than 2 acres.
  • Two signs are allowed for developed or undeveloped areas over 2 acres.
  • All signs must be removed within 7 days of complete sale or lease.
  • Four (4) temporary directionals not exceeding three (3) square feet in area and three (3) feet in height are allowed on private property on approach routes to an open house.

Illegal signage may be removed by the city.  Sign location will determine which city department removes the sign:

  • Illegal signs improperly placed on traffic signals, traffic signs, arroyos/bridges, sidewalks, utility poles and public right of way areas may be removed and disposed of by the Department of Municipal Development.  Contact them at 311 or 505-768-3830.
  • Illegal signs located in landscaped/non-landscaped street medians may be removed and disposed of by the Solid Waste Management Department.  Contact them at 311 or 505-761-8100.
  • Illegal signs placed in parks in city limits may be removed and disposed of by the Parks and Recreation Department.  Contact them at 311 or 505-768-5353.

City of Rio Rancho – Access the Rio Rancho Municipal Code, Chapter 156 Sign Regulations

In summary:

  • Temporary signs for a specific reason/purpose (real estate signs) do not require a permit.
  • Temporary signs cannot impair or obstruct access to public sidewalks, streets or driveways or other type of “street furniture.”
  • No signs can be located on medians, trees or other utilities.
  • Up to ten (10) open house signs permitted on private property.
  • In the event your signs are confiscated by the City of Rio Rancho, the city will attempt to contact the owner of the signs, if their contact information is available. Confiscated signs will be taken to the City’s Quantum yard at 500 Quantum Rd NE.  To inquire about confiscated signs, the City of Rio Rancho Code Enforcement can be reached at 505-891-5862.

Remember, smaller jurisdictions like the Village of Los Ranchos and Corrales both have ordinances that require permits for real estate listings.  You can read about those requirements here.

Many local communities in gated areas or communities governed by a Home Owners Association have their own rules that outline the types of real estate signage that they allow in their neighborhoods.  If you are actively working one of these areas, be sure and check with their local governing board or covenants to make sure you are following their rules for real estate signage. 

Finally, municipality requirements differ from SWMLS rules and SWMLS does not have an opinion on the size of signs. 

Kellie Tinnin, Training Administrator, Greater Albuquerque Association of REALTORS®