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JULY 21

Connecticut Advertising Regulations
by
Christopher O. Ashe
JULY 21, 2006

It is important that real estate agents be aware of the real estate license laws of Connecticut with regard to advertising. We usually think of advertising in a somewhat limited way as those things we pay for such as newspaper or magazine ads. Connecticut ’s definition of advertising is much broader. The definition is “all forms of identification, representation, promotion, and solicitation disseminated in any manner and by any means of communication to the public for any purpose related to real estate activity.”  If you are communicating about real estate in any way with a member of the public you are engaging in advertising according to Connecticut statute so it is important to know what you can and cannot legally do. Here are some important points to remember.

  • Any advertising you do must be truthful and not misleading. Be sure to check your facts when you make a statement about a property.

  • A salesperson cannot advertise property in her or his own name. They must always advertise in the name of their employing broker or agency.

  • Ads cannot be structured so that they look like a non-agent placed them. They must clearly indicate the property is being offered by a real estate professional.

  • Even when a property is not “listed” with the MLS and is being offered privately, if the owner is an agent this must be disclosed.

  • An agent can advertise the listings of another firm only with permission of the listing firm and the listing firm must have the permission of their seller client. (It doesn’t require written permission)

  • Internet advertising of another firms listings must be updated at least every 72 hours and must clearly state that it is not listed with the advertising broker.

  • You cannot modify the listing of another agency without their permission.

  • If you are going to allow other firms to advertise your listings your seller/clients must agree to this.

  • Unsolicited telephone marketing can only be done between 9:00 A.M. and 9:00 P.M. and com-ply with all of the do-not-call regulations.

  • An agent cannot place a “For Sale” sign on a property without the written consent of the property owner

Electronic advertising  Connecticut has carefully not defined electronic communication so that it applies to all of the technology we have now (web sites, Blogs, email, faxes, text messaging, etc) and anything that might be invented in the future.  Here are some important points about electronic communication.

  • Every page of a web site and every electronic advertising communication must have:

    • The agent’s name and office address

    • The name of the broker the agent is affiliated with

    • All states where the agent holds a real estate license

    • If specific properties are being advertised you must include the date on which the information was last updated

  • Any type of broadcast electronic marketing must have a clear no cost opt out system.

Please note that these are the Connecticut regulations. There are also federal laws that impact telephone and fax communication that should also be taken into account. Advertising is an activity we all engage in and under the Connecticut definition of advertising most of what we do is regulated. Be sure that you are in compliance because the ultimate penalty for breach of Connecticut license law is loss of license.

Christopher O'Brien Ashe ABR, GRI, PSCS

Educator, Coach, Consultant, Speaker, Mediator & Peace Worker