Agents who include a list of recently sold homes in advertising must make it clear whether they had any role in the sale of those homes.
FACT. Failure to accurately label and disclose which home sales an agent was actually involved in may create a misleading impression, which is illegal under Texas law. Per TREC, an advertisement must clearly note which homes the agent was involved in the sale of or indicate the agent was not involved in any of the sales. An ad is misleading if the average person could reasonably infer agent involvement in a sale where there is none.
The NAR Code of Ethics goes a bit further and states that only REALTORS® who participated in the transaction may claim to have “sold” the property.
Keep in mind that brokers are responsible for ensuring that their sponsored agents’ advertising complies with TREC’s advertising rules.
I have seen numerous team leaders claiming credit for listings and purchases handled by other agents over the years to boost their resume and stifle competition. In my opinion, it is also a deceptive trade practice under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practice Act, Business and Commerce Code, Sec. 17.12. Misleading consumers by claiming credit for others work is a disgraceful national practice, It is good for NAR and TAR to snuff it out. Although, they should be much clearer in calling out the bad behavior.
We don’t need another settlement with the Justice Department to straighten it out.