Legal FAQs for REALTORS®
Use of the term REALTOR® in ads
As a REALTOR®, I'm entitled to use the term REALTOR® in my ads, but I understand there are certain requirements on how the term may appear. Can you elaborate? (updated Jan. 1, 2002)
Only members of the REALTOR® association may use the term REALTOR®. REALTOR® members may use the term REALTOR® only in connection with their real estate business. One may use the term REALTOR® only descriptively. One may not use the term REALTOR® as part of one’s name, but may use that term to describe the firm. The term REALTOR® should always appear in capital letters and the federal registration symbol, ®, should follow. Punctuation should be used to separate the firm name from the term REALTOR®. Do not hyphenate or abbreviate the term REALTOR®. Do not use descriptive words to modify the term REALTOR® (for example, Professional REALTORS®, Commercial REALTORS®, etc.).
May I use the term REALTOR® in the name of my firm? (updated Jan. 1, 2002)
No. A REALTOR® may use the term REALTOR® only descriptively. The term REALTOR® may not be used a part of firm’s name, but may be used to describe that the firm is a REALTOR® firm. For example, Alamo REALTORS®, Inc. is not a proper use of the term, but Alamo Real Estate, Inc., REALTORS® is a proper use of the term. In the second example, the term REALTORS® is not part of the name and is used descriptively, as evidenced by the comma and the placement of the term Inc.
May I use the term REALTOR® in my domain name? (updated Jan. 1, 2002)
NAR’s Legal Affairs Department answered this question as follows: "The term REALTOR®, whether used on the Internet, as part of the domain name, or in any other advertisement, must refer to a member or member’s company, may not be used with descriptive words or phrases, and should be separated from the member’s name or company’s name. Uses such as number1REALTOR®.com, firstREALTOR®.org, or REALTOR®properties.com are all incorrect. Uses such as johndoe-REALTOR®.com or abcrealty-realtors.com on the other hand are examples of what could be done with the term as part of a domain name."
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