I am preparing a farming letter to solicit listings in a subdivision. What are the rules regarding advertising to a neighborhood in which properties are already listed for sale by another agent?
Standard of Practice 16-2 clarifies that the Article 16 prohibition against engaging in any practice inconsistent with the agency relationship of another REALTOR® is not intended to prohibit general announcements to prospective clients, even though some of those announcements reach other REALTORS®’ clients. General announcements include advertisements addressed to all possible prospects in a given geographical area.
What is prohibited by Article 16 are solicitations not part of a general mailing but directed toward owners identified through current listings, signs, or other sources of information required by Article 3 or MLS rules.
While there is no ethical rule requiring that farming letters that otherwise satisfy the requirements of Standard of Practice 16-2 include a disclaimer, many REALTORS® do include some form of disclaimer to make it clear to owners and their listing brokers that their general solicitation of listings was not intended to solicit the current listings of another REALTOR®.