Steve Ryan, MAR General Counsel
Margy Grant, MAR Associate General Counsel
Q. I have recently seen a number of homes for sale posted on some well-known community post websites. I know that at least one of these homes is currently listed with a real estate firm but the posting makes no reference to the firm. The email address listed in the ad belongs to an agent at another firm in town. Doesn’t the law require that the firm’s name be in the advertisement?
A. Yes. Whether the property is being promoted in the newspaper or on the internet, State regulation requires that the name of the brokerage firm must appear in the advertisement. State regulation 254 CMR 3.00(9)(a) States as follows:
(9) Advertising. A broker shall not advertise in any way that is false or misleading.
(a) Broker Identification. No broker may advertise real property to purchase, sell, rent, mortgage or exchange through classified advertisement or otherwise unless he/she affirmatively discloses that he/she is a real estate broker. No broker shall insert advertisements in any advertising publication or other means where only a post office box number, telephone, facsimile, electronic mail number or street address appears. All advertisements shall include the name of the real estate broker.
Q. A listing of mine closed last week and, pursuant to the request of the new owner, I removed my sign. I drove by the home the other day and saw that the co-broker’s “sold” sign in the front yard. Isn’t that false advertising?
A. No. As the cooperating broker, she may place her “sold” sign in the yard after the closing with the permission of the new owner. Standard of Practice 12-7 of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics states the following:
Only REALTORS® who participated in the transaction as the listing broker or cooperating broker (selling broker) may claim to have “sold” the property. Prior to closing, a cooperating broker may post a “sold” sign only with the consent of the listing broker. (Amended 1/96)