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Here are some important links and information that will help you in understanding the rules related to Advertising as a REALTOR® and Real Estate Broker in Oregon. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our office.

Being a REALTOR® is not a vocation

Compliance with the Context of Use limitation in the case of oral communication requires forethought and continued awareness that the term REALTOR® does not describe a vocation or profession. For example, when asked what he does for a living, an unthinking member may answer incorrectly, “I am a REALTOR®.” Obviously, the speaker does not mean that he makes his living as a “member.” Unfortunately, the response makes sense only if the listener assigns to the term REALTOR® the meaning “real estate broker.” Thus, by the answer given, the member has incorrectly used the term REALTOR® and, in the process, may have contributed to a misunderstanding of its meaning.

A response that is sure to clarify the registered status and special meaning of the term REALTOR® is, “I am a real estate broker and a REALTOR®.” If asked to clarify the distinction, the member can provide an explanation of the fact and nature of membership, including the binding commitment of the member to the Code of Ethics.

In addition, because the term REALTOR® may only be used to identify members of NAR, it is not permissible to use the MARKS in reference to non-members such as “non-REALTOR®” or “non-REALTORS®.” Such individuals should simply be referred to as non-members.

Never modify REALTOR® with a descriptive term

The term REALTOR® may never be used in connection with a descriptive word or phrase. Because adjectives may suggest an improper vocational meaning and also tend to distort the consistent understanding and image of the MARKS, thereby undermining their identifying function, members and Member Boards are expressly prohibited from using descriptive words or phrases in connection with the MARKS. This prohibition includes use of geographically descriptive terms like the names of cities, states, and places and is set forth in Article V, Section 7 of the NAR Bylaws.

Wherever the MARKS are used – on business cards, flyers, websites, domain names, usernames, social media profiles, email addresses, or anywhere – they cannot be used adjacent to a descriptive word or phrase.

The following examples are all improper uses because they use a descriptive term in connection with a MARK:
Consult a professional REALTOR®
Doe County’s leading REALTOR®
Your local REALTOR®
Your international REALTOR®
Commercial REALTOR®

Article 12 of the Code of Ethics

REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS® shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional. (Amended 1/08)

Case Interpretations of Article 12

Standard of Practice

Standard of Practice 12-1

REALTORS® may use the term “free” and similar terms in their advertising and in other representations provided that all terms governing availability of the offered product or service are clearly disclosed at the same time. (Amended 1/97)

Standard of Practice 12-2

REALTORS® may represent their services as “free” or without cost even if they expect to receive compensation from a source other than their client provided that the potential for the REALTOR® to obtain a benefit from a third party is clearly disclosed at the same time. (Amended 1/97)

Standard of Practice 12-3

The offering of premiums, prizes, merchandise discounts or other inducements to list, sell, purchase, or lease is not, in itself, unethical even if receipt of the benefit is contingent on listing, selling, purchasing, or leasing through the REALTOR® making the offer. However, REALTORS® must exercise care and candor in any such advertising or other public or private representations so that any party interested in receiving or otherwise benefiting from the REALTOR®’s offer will have clear, thorough, advance understanding of all the terms and conditions of the offer. The offering of any inducements to do business is subject to the limitations and restrictions of state law and the ethical obligations established by any applicable Standard of Practice. (Amended 1/95)

Standard of Practice 12-4

REALTORS® shall not offer for sale/lease or advertise property without authority. When acting as listing brokers or as subagents, REALTORS® shall not quote a price different from that agreed upon with the seller/landlord. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 12-5

Realtors® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that Realtor®’s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner either in the advertisement or in electronic advertising via a link to a display with all required disclosures. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/16)

Standard of Practice 12-6

REALTORS®, when advertising unlisted real property for sale/lease in which they have an ownership interest, shall disclose their status as both owners/landlords and as REALTORS® or real estate licensees. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 12-7

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)

Standard of Practice 12-8

The obligation to present a true picture in representations to the public includes information presented, provided, or displayed on REALTORS®’ websites. REALTORS® shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that information on their websites is current. When it becomes apparent that information on a REALTOR®’s website is no longer current or accurate, REALTORS® shall promptly take corrective action. (Adopted 1/07)

Standard of Practice 12-9

REALTOR® firm websites shall disclose the firm’s name and state(s) of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner.

Websites of REALTORS® and non-member licensees affiliated with a REALTOR® firm shall disclose the firm’s name and that REALTOR®’s or non-member licensee’s state(s) of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 1/07)

Standard of Practice 12-10

REALTORS®’ obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes Internet content, images, and the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits REALTORS® from:

  1. engaging in deceptive or unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites;
  2. manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing and other content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result;
  3. deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic; or
  4. presenting content developed by others without either attribution or without permission, or
  5. otherwise misleading consumers, including use of misleading images. (Adopted 1/07, Amended 1/18)

Standard of Practice 12-11

REALTORS® intending to share or sell consumer information gathered via the Internet shall disclose that possibility in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 1/07)

Standard of Practice 12-12

REALTORS® shall not:

  1. use URLs or domain names that present less than a true picture, or
  2. register URLs or domain names which, if used, would present less than a true picture. (Adopted 1/08)

Standard of Practice 12-13

The obligation to present a true picture in advertising, marketing, and representations allows REALTORS® to use and display only professional designations, certifications, and other credentials to which they are legitimately entitled. (Adopted 1/08)