ADVERTISING ANOTHER AGENT’S LISTINGS

ADVERTISING ANOTHER AGENT’S LISTINGS

Can one salesperson advertise another salesperson’s listings? The general answer is “NO” subject to the following exceptions.

Permission.

A salesperson who is also a “Realtor®” is subject to NAR’s Code of Ethics. A salesperson who is also a member of a Multiple Listing Service is subject to the MLS Rules.

Standard of Practice rule 12-4 requires “authority” to advertise a listing. Standard of Practice rule 12-4 states:

“Realtors® shall not offer the sale/lease or advertise property without authority.”

MLS rules are similarly drafted. MLS rule 2.7 prohibits any salesperson from advertising another salesperson’s listing without “consent.” Rule 2.7 states:

“A listing shall not be advertised by any Participant, other than the listing broker, without the prior consent of the listing broker.”

Based upon these rules, a salesperson may not advertise another salesperson’s listing without prior consent of the listing broker.

Exceptions.

While listing brokers are sometimes irritated to see their listings advertised by another salesperson, it is a victimless crime. The seller never complains and arguably benefits from having their listing advertised by other people.

The more exposure that the listing receives, the better. But this doesn’t change the fact that advertising someone else’s listing violates Standard of Practice 12-4 and MLS rule 2.7. There are some creative ways to advertise another’s listing without violating the law.

First, simply request permission to advertise from the listing broker. Many listing brokers will grant consent as more exposure benefits their seller. Once you have consent, in writing (i.e. e-mail), then you comply with MLS rule 2.7.

Second, an agent is permitted to show other people’s listings to known “potential buyers” such as to friends on Facebook. Friends on Facebook are a limited group who are likely to be “potential buyers.” However, a general post on Facebook would probably violate the law.

Third, there is no violation for “commenting” on a listing if you include in your comment a link back to the listing agent’s cite containing all of the listing agent’s contact information. This way it is clear that you are not advertising the listing as your own. It is important that all of your on-line activities comply with NAR’s “true picture” test, which states:

“Realtors® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.”

Although a general post on Facebook or other advertising normally would violate the law, a creative option is for the agent to preface the advertisement with one of the following comments and include a link back to the listing agent:

“Check out the incredible price of this property”
“Check out the incredible remodeled kitchen on this property”
“Check out the most expensive property in town.”

When prefaced with one of these comments, coupled with a link back to the listing agent’s cite, is likely permissible.

What can a Listing Agent do about unauthorized advertising.

If you are a listing agent, and find an unauthorized advertisement of one of your listings on Facebook, Craigslist of elsewhere, you can take the following steps:
1. Send a Cease and Desist letter by certified mail to the offending broker and/or
2. File a complaint with MLS/ local board of Realtors®.

Summary.

In summary, you generally cannot advertise another broker’s listing without violating the law. However, you can ask the listing broker for permission, you can advertise to your own friends on Facebook, and you can comment on another broker’s listing provided that you include a link back to the listing broker.

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