Legal Blog

The Legal Blog brought to you by NVAR's Professional Standards department helps you stay on top of the latest rules and regulations in the industry.

Check back often to keep up with latest information.

Avoiding Pitfalls in the World of Social Media

Sep 16, 2016

Standards and Ethics

Keeping In Line While Going Online:
Avoiding Pitfalls in the World of Social Media

By Sarah Petcher, NVAR General Counsel

Social media has become a new medium through which Realtors® can reach broader audiences and potential clients. Many Realtors® have a Facebook page, use Twitter and LinkedIn or write a blog. As your use of these technologies expands, it is very important to keep in mind a few do’s and don’ts.

Question: Are there rules for Realtors® that apply to blogs, Facebook and other similar interactive Web sites?

Answer: If you operate a blog, be mindful of the following: While there is some case law indicating that bloggers are not liable for information posted by third parties on their blogs, NAR has taken a different approach. A new Standard of Practice, SOP 15-3 states:

“The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about competitors, competitors’ businesses, and competitors’ business practices includes the duty to publish a clarification about or to remove statements made by others on electronic media the Realtor® controls once the Realtor® knows the statement is false or misleading.” (Adopted 1/10)

As a Realtor®, you therefore have a higher level of duty than a member of the public. If you operate a blog, you must delete false or misleading comments or publish clarifications about them as soon as you have determined they are false or misleading.
  • Standards and Ethics