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Home 'For Sale' signs no longer have tubes with fliers in front

This house near 32nd Street and Union Hills in Phoenix recently sold for $240,000. The For Sale sign is still up because the new owner is about to put the home back on the market with an asking price of $335,000. (Bob McClay/KTAR)

PHOENIX -- If you drive around and look at houses with "For Sale" signs in front of them, you might notice something missing.

Many homes for sale used to have a mailbox-like tube right next to the sign. Inside that tube were paper fliers that you could pull out and read about the price and all of the details of the house you're standing in front of.

Not anymore.

"The tube is permanently empty now," said Valley Real Estate expert Dean Wegner. "A typical flier would have 3 to 5 photos at best. Now you can go online and look at a single-page website for that listing, and it will have between 20 and 30 pictures of that property."

The tubes were a real pain for real estate agents.

"Gas, driving out to properties, the empty tube, the maintenance. Realtors never enjoyed having those out there," said Wegner. "But it was a must on every listing. You had to have fliers out front."

He says that home buyers are more used to checking out properties on the internet. Because of that, more Realtors have decided to go "paperless."

If you see a For Sale sign and pull over to take a look at a house, have your smart phone with you. That's because there's an app that can tell you all about the house.

"The Realtor.com [app] is free, and it's unbelievable what it can do," Wegner said. "You can stand in front of a property. It will GPS. It will pull it right up, and tell you the price, the square footage, the year it was built, the property taxes, and it will have 20 or 30 full color pictures of that property."

We saw a two story house for sale near 32nd Street and Union Hills in north Phoenix, but couldn't find it on the Realtor.com app. It turns out the house was no longer for sale.

We called the Realtor, who confirmed that the house had already been sold for $240,000 dollars. That is $72,000 less than its estimated value on Zillow.

The Realtor told us her sign is still up in the yard because the new owner is about to put the house up for sale again.

This time, the asking price will be $335,000.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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