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Do neighborhood watch signs hurt sales?

LONGBOAT KEY, Fla. – Dec. 16, 2015 – The intention of neighborhood watch signs may be to show homeowners that neighbors have each other’s backs – but that may not be the message to homebuyers. The signs plastered on telephone poles and parks may actually be a homebuyer deterrent.
In Longboat Key, Fla., a debate is raging whether neighborhood watch signs are good or bad for property values. Former Mayor George Spoll argues that the signs can make an area look crime-ridden and can dent home prices and scare off potential buyers.
“I’ve had clients remark that it’s a peaceful positive gesture that the community is keeping an eye out,” David Zarghami of Keller Williams Realty told MySuncoast.com. But “others perceive it as: ‘Well why did they have to create the neighborhood watch? What was the issue that started that?'”
Would-be buyers may view the signs as a red flag.
“The fact that the sign is posted begs the question why and what has transpired,” says Cara Ameer, a real estate professional in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. “It’s definitely something that a buyer would notice and question regarding the safety and security of the neighborhood. If it is concerning for buyers who may hesitate on moving into the neighborhood, I think these signs could negatively affect property values.”
The verdict is out whether the signs make a difference.
“It would be hard to say that a watch sign on its own is a good or bad thing, but in particular contexts it could make a difference,” says David Reiss, research director at the Center for Urban Business Entrepreneurship at Brooklyn Law School. “If homebuyers have heard that crime is an issue there, neighborhood watch signs may give comfort that the neighborhood is doing something about it. On the other hand, if it’s a neighborhood that is not facing major crime issues, signs may be a confusing signal.”
Source: “Are Neighborhood Watch Signs Turning Off Prospective Home Buyers?” MySuncoast.com (Dec. 13, 2015) and “Are Neighborhood Watch Signs Killing Home Sales?” realtor.com® (Dec. 14, 2015)
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Source: Florida Realtors Feed

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