Searching Craiglist Makes My Stomach Churn-Real Estate Advertising 101

Real Estate Broker with CJ Realty Group, Inc.

Searching Craiglist Makes My Stomach Churn
Now most of realize that Craigslist has it's good points and it's bad.  Rental scams have been widely publicized and we all need to approach posting carefully.  However this evening as I was looking through Craigslist the advertising violations by agents actually made me feel ill.

In one case a single agent had posted at least 8 advertisements, cryptic at best, with NO identification of their status as a Realtor®, their brokerage or address.  They also had stolen borrowed 8 listings from other agents as well as their photos from the MLS.  Yet unlike a few other agents they made the mistake of using their name as part of their email address and it was an agent's name I recognized.  Just to be sure I checked our on-line real estate licensing information to see if they still had a current license.

Its tough enough in our current market to continue to show our value to buyers and sellers.  When agents blatantly disregard the rules we all agree to work by it makes us all look bad.  If you find major violations on Craiglist what do you do?  Do you contact the agent?  Do you call their broker?  Do you report them to your local association?  Just curious.

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Re-Bloggged 3 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Hans J. Schindhelm 08/12/2011 12:30 AM
  2. Hosai Nasir 08/02/2011 05:03 PM
  3. Donald Bradbury 08/02/2011 08:39 PM
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Comments 145 New Comment

Cindy Jones
Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
CJ Realty Group, Inc.

Georgia-horrible experience for anyone caught in a scammers web.  I had a client contact me about a rental he found.  I knew it couldn't be right and contacted the agent immediately.  CL took it down quickly when notified.

August 04, 2011 07:07 PM
Gerard Gilbers
Your Marketing Master
Stingray Performance Marketing

In Maryland ANY AD must contain the Agency's Name and phone number so that they may contact your broker if they have an issue with you. You, of course would want to have your name and contact information so that they could contact you. While I do not go on Craigslist much, I would email them and CC the broker/office manager - if it is not corrected then I would report it to the board. My board has even put out the the identification requirements are still needed in a TWEET!  

August 04, 2011 11:39 PM
Emily Mintz
Long & Foster, Realtors

The local board of Realtors may or may not pursue this violation, but the Real Estate Commission certainly will. If the violator has done this 8 times that you know of, this is intentional, not an error. An anonymous complaint to the REC will result in that agent and the broker receiving a warning with re-education, which is what we all want; that the violator learns what is and is not legal and acceptable and understands that others are watching his/her advertising practices.

Whenever I advertise on Craigslist (or anywhere else), I include not only my name, company, office phone number and direct line phone number, but also the statement Equal Housing Opportunity (or the logo, on sites that support it). All of this (except the direct phone #) is required in Maryland for all real estate advertising.

August 06, 2011 08:15 AM
Patty Mortara REALTOR, ABR, CRS | Hunterdon County (NJ)
Hunterdon Realty Group

It seems to be most apparent on Craigslist, but I see it in PayPerClick, in Newspaper Ads, the fact of the matter is that way too many agents do not understand or even have a copy of the licensing laws - which here in NJ outline what every ad must have.  I can see that some agents might want to use Craigslist to generate buyer leads, but then the ad has to be written about a type of house rather than a specific house. But using the MLS photos that are' yours is a major NO-NO -- another option is you can FLAG the ad on Craigslist. 


August 10, 2011 09:37 AM
Kasey & John Boles - Jon Gosche Real Estate
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties
Jon Gosche Real Estate, Boise ID

I'm sorry if this has already been addressed, but how do you know that they stole the listing?  I advertise other agents listings with their permission and I give them credit for the listing, but the link goes to my website.  I agree though, if they are blatantly misrepresenting or not advertising themselves as brokers or agents that is not right.

August 22, 2011 01:44 AM

Cindy Jones

Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News
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