The majority of my listings are expired property previously listed by other brokers. On occasion, they have not collected their lockbox or sign when it is time for my own, and while I can't typically remove their lockbox, I can put their sign on the side of the garage or in an innocuous place. There have been rare times when I have delivered the sign back to their office, but I seldom do that. I haven't found it to be helpful in my market.
I would NEVER take another broker's sign and leave it face down, put it in a hard to reach place, or take it back to my office. Who wants to put a sign in their car with ground crud, sluff through woods in dress clothes to get their sign, or, worst of all, have to go to a competitor's office to ask for their own property back? Not me. And even if I listed your old listing, I wouldn't do that to you.
This past winter I listed a home for a client who appeared to be a reasonable sort of lady. When the weather became severe, she took it off the market temporarily (We call that TOM around here, or temporarily off market) and then disappeared. I finally reached her daughter in late March, and the property was reactivated in late April. When it expired in late May, she elected to not extend me, which was fine- anyone who complains that their agent is a bum because he didn't sell a house in 4 weeks is welcome to move on. Nobody wins 100% of the time.
When I went to pick up my sign and lockbox, both were gone. When I called my ex-client, she tersely informed me that since since I didn't pick up my things right away, she had her new agent "take them away." She also said the other agent couldn't reach me, which I know is false because my sign has my office number and my web page address. I informed her of this rather obvious fact.
I got a call from the other agent who was on the smarmy side. If I wanted my sign and lockbox I could pick them up at her office. Bear in mind that this agent took my sign from a rather large wooded property with a 2-car detached garage and probably a dozen harmless places to place my sign if she cared to walk 30 feet. So now I have to make a second trip and deal with who knows who at the front desk to get my own stuff back. That is actually one of the reasons I don't deliver an old agent's sign back to them- even if I don't try to appear that way, it is perceived as rubbing it in. Not a very classy way of taking the baton.
This is not the most earth shattering thing, but it is a waste of time. I am forced to devote an extra trip to getting my own sign back- not much of a professional courtesy, and wasting another professional's time has no place these days.