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New real estate sign fee hits Realtors

For-sale-by-owners exempt from $200 charge

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Real estate agents in Westford, Mass., now must pay a fee for posting their signs. The building department in Westford set a new fee schedule in March that includes a new $200 per year real estate sign fee. In the nearby town of Chelmsford, the annual real estate sign fee is $150. A local newspaper, the Westford Eagle, reported that the fee is charged to real estate agencies who place temporary signs on private property, while homeowners who are selling their own homes are exempt from the fees. The Westford town manager's office had no comment Friday about the new fee, which is listed on the town's Web site. Some Realtors in the area of Westford, a bedroom community of about 16,400 residents in Northeastern Massachusetts, aren't too happy about the new fees. "Several of our members called, concerned about (the new fees). We are in the process of researching it," Anne Rendle, CEO for the Northeast Association of Realtors. The group has about 1,400 Realtor and 200 affiliate member...