Q&A: Real estate advertisement


From the Kokomo Tribune:

Q: We found out a couple of days ago that we had a real estate agent place a home sale ad without any type of indication in the ad that the listing was through an agent.

In fact, she told us she was not a real estate agent to get the newspaper’s private party rates.

What are real estate agents required to do in their advertising? Do we have any liability if we find out (or know) someone is an agent but doesn’t follow the requirements? 

A: Real estate agents must conform with advertising requirements as spelled out in the Indiana Administrative Code at 876 IAC 1-1-26, which states they aren’t supposed to advertise in a fashion that would imply that it is a private party sale of property instead of through an agent.

They aren’t supposed to run an ad with just a telephone number or post office box or address.

Advertising with the licensee’s name should include the principal broker or firm associated with the license, with the name of broker or firm in type larger than the licensee’s name.

It sounds like she did a no-no.

As for newspaper liability, there is none if the agent ignores the law.

The risk for the agent could be a loss of his or her license.

Contact Steve Key, HSPA executive director and general counsel, with media law questions at skey@hspa.com or (317) 624-4427.