Advertising Regulations (Section 10-30)

A sponsoring broker must include her business name and franchise affiliation in all advertisements.

Blind ads are prohibited. Blind ads are defined as advertisements relating to the sale or lease of any real estate, other real estate activities, or the hiring of other licensees that :

  • Do not indicate the brokerage firm name,
  • Do not indicate that the advertiser is a licensee
  • Offer only a box number, street address, or telephone number for responses.
  • Managing brokers must advertise as managing brokers.
  • In addition, pursuant to Section 10-40, every brokerage company or entity, other than a sole proprietorship with no other sponsored licensees, must adopt a company or office policy covering certain topics including advertising,

Ads prepared by licensees should at least include :

  • licensee name,
  • company name (as registered with the Department) and company city/state, and
  • the city or area of the advertised property.

A licensee must:

  • NEVER advertise in only her name,
  • ALWAYS include the firm’s name,
  • NEVER advertise another sponsoring broker’s listings without permission, and
  • ALWAYS keep advertisements up-to-date and clear.

Licensees must disclose to consumers their intent to share or sell consumer information that has been collected via the Internet or any other means of electronic communication. This disclosure must be conspicuous and timely.

Licensees advertising via the Internet or other forms of electronic media are forbidden to:

  • employ deceptive or misleading URLs or domain names,
  • frame the Web site of another real estate brokerage or multiple listing service without permission or with the intent or effect of deceiving the consumer, and
  • use keywords or other such tools to mislead consumers or deceptively guide or engage Internet traffic.

Advertising on the Internet

Ads prepared for the Internet must adhere to the following:

  • An Internet ad must include proper identification licensee name, company name, company location, and geographic location of property.
  • E-correspondence, bulletin boards, or e-commerce discussion groups require licensee name, company name, and company location.
  • Links to listing information from other Internet sites are permitted without approval unless the Web site owner requires approval for links to be added. Any such link must not “mislead or deceive the public as to the ownership of any listing information.”
  • As with other advertising, Internet sites are to be updated periodically and kept current.

In Internet advertising situations, the rules do not allow :

  • “advertising a property that is subject to an exclusive listing agreement with a sponsoring broker other than the licensee’s own without the permission of and identifying that listing sponsoring broker,” and
  • “failing to remove advertising of a listed property within a reasonable time, given the nature of the advertising, after the earlier of the closing of a sale on the listed property or the expiration or termination of the listing agreement.”

Advertising must contain all the information necessary to communicate to the public in an accurate, direct, and readily comprehensible manner.

Selling your own property
Selling or leasing your own property or a property in which you have an interest means you, as a licensee, must use the term “broker-owned” or “agent-owned” in all advertising and on listing sheets.

If the real estate firm’s sign is used in the yard, and the firm’s services are being used, then having the “agent-owned” or “broker-owned” notation on the sign itself is not necessary.

However, all written materials (listing sheets, ads, Internet ads) still must carry the “broker-owned” or “agent-owned” notation. The Illinois Real Estate License Act of 2000 provides that no matter how one lists an agent-owned property by owner or through a real estate firm the agent must take care not to confuse the public.

Finally, it is possible and permitted by the Department to list your own personal real estate with a firm other than the one at which you work if you so desire and if your sponsoring broker approves.

A licensee must :

  • ALWAYS disclose “agent-owned”
  • Place “agent-owned” on the home sign if FSBO

If a licensee advertises to personally purchase or lease real estate, disclosure of licensee status is required.

Phone book listings
Licensees must not place their own names under the heading “Real Estate” in a telephone directory or otherwise advertise their services to the public through any media without also listing the business name of the sponsoring broker with whom they are affiliated. This rule is consistent throughout all advertising media.

Compensation and Business Practice (Article 10)

  • Section 10-5 A licensee may not receive compensation from anyone other than her sponsoring broker. In turn, sponsoring brokers may compensate only licensees whom they personally sponsor (including licensed personal assistants). The one exception is a former licensee now working for another sponsoring broker but who is due a commission from work completed while still at the first firm.
  • Sponsoring brokers may directly compensate other sponsoring brokers (as in a cooperative commission arrangement for the listing broker to pay commission to the firm with the buyer).
  • Section 10-10 Disclosure of compensation is a significant issue. The Act holds that clients must be made aware of compensation, source of compensation, and the sponsoring broker’s policy on sharing commission with cooperating sponsoring brokers.
  • If compensation is being issued to an agent from both buyer and seller in one transaction, this must be disclosed. Any third-party compensation must also be disclosed.
  • If a licensee refers a client to a service in which the licensee has greater than 1 percent interest (title, legal, mortgage), the interest must be disclosed.
  • Section 10-15 – It is illegal to compensate unlicensed persons or anyone being held in violation of the Act.
  • To sue for commission in Illinois, one must be a licensed real estate sponsoring broker.
  • Funds from sellers or buyers always go through the sponsoring broker. She is the only one who issues compensation to brokers, managing brokers, leasing agents, or licensed personal assistants working under her.
  • No licensee may pay a referral fee to an unlicensed person who is not a principal to the transaction. A licensee may not request a referral fee unless reasonable cause for payment of the fee exists (a contractual referral fee arrangement).
  • Section 10-15 also states that a licensee “may offer cash, gifts, prizes, awards, coupons, merchandise, rebates or chances to win a game of chance, if not prohibited by any other law” to consumers as a legitimate approach to garnering business
  • Additionally, it is perfectly legal to share commission compensation with a principal to a given transaction.
  • It now is legal for a sponsoring broker to pay a corporation set up by the licensee, rather than the licensee directly, if desired.
Verified by MonsterInsights