Great article and a good reminder about making sure to follow the real estate marketing guidelines set by the DRE. I talked to one of the attorneys about the MARS Disclosure to make sure I understood for our clients sake. I've heard it directly from the attorneys who deal with these sorts of issues at the DRE...."you don't even want to open up the can of worms and have the DRE poking around in your files, who knows what else they'll find."
Look what happened to Gen. David H. Petraeus. I think I've made my point. LOL
I just read an interesting and alarming article in Inman News. Federal regulators have been sending out warnings to real estate agents, builders and lead generators, stating that their advertising might be deceptive.
They are referring to advertising on websites, direct mail, Facebook and in newspapers. The questionable ads refer to financing, loan guarantees and interest rates. It's been a while since I've seen this topic come up so I read through the article to see what was happening.
I have to say, I was dismayed to see that veterans and elderly appear to be a particular target for misleading ads.
Consumers, as always, beware.
The FTC examined 800 ads and found troubling claims that could be misleading to consumers:
- Ads that offered a very low fixed mortgage rate without discussing significant loan terms.
- Ads containing statements, images, symbols and abbreviations suggesting that an advertiser is affiliated with a government agency.
- Ads "guaranteeing" approval and offering low monthly payments without discussing "significant conditions" on these offers.
This is also a very good refresher course for all of us in the industry. Shame on those who use these deceptive ads to prey on the vulnerable among us. The rest of us need to make sure we are not violating regulations simply because we don't know any better.
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