In the increasingly competitive real estate market, brokers and agents utilize many forms of creative advertising and marketing to reach existing and prospective clients. Although technological advances and the popularity of the Internet have presented new marketing media for real estate brokers and agents, the real estate industry and its advertising remain highly regulated. Advertisements and marketing tools that are not carefully worked and tailored toward certain legal regulations can trigger liability for both the broker and agent. Potential liability for incomplete, discriminatory, false, or imprecise advertisements can arise under contract, Truth in Lending regulation, and fair housing laws. In addition to such legal liability, false or misleading advertisements also can trigger Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing sanctions such as suspending or revoking a broker’s or agent’s license, fines and reprimands. Accordingly, the purpose of this analysis is to provide a general outline of regulations affecting real estate advertising and to illustrate potential advertising pitfalls. Such guidance should enable those placing real estate ads to exercise their creativity and to explore new media within the existing legal confines.
REVISED : OCTOBER, 2014