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Python 2: 60 chars

while n:s="0+-"[n%3]+s;n=-~n/3;
print s or'0'

Generates the balanced ternary digit-by-digit from the end. The last digit is given by the residue n%3 being -1,0, or +1. We then remove the last digit and divide by 3 using Python's floor-divide n=(n+1)/3. Then, we proceed recursively with the new last digit until the number is 0.

A special case is needed for the input 0 to give 0 rather than the empty string.