Current through Register Vol. 56, No. 3, February 5, 2024
Section 11:5-6.1 - Advertising rules(a) Unless otherwise set forth herein, subsections (b) through (o) below shall apply to all categories of advertising including all publications, radio or television broadcasts, all electronic media including E-mail and the Internet, business stationery, business cards, business and legal forms and documents, and signs and billboards.1. Individuals operating as sole proprietors and licensed as employing brokers shall conspicuously display on the exterior of their maintained place of business their name and the words "Licensed Real Estate Broker".2. Firms licensed as corporate or partnership brokers shall conspicuously display on the exterior of their maintained place of business their regular business name and the name of the individual licensed as their broker of record and the words "Licensed Real Estate Broker".(b) All advertising of any licensed individual, partnership, firm, or corporate broker shall include their regular business name which for the purposes of these rules, shall mean the name in which that individual, partnership, firm or corporation is on record with the Commission as doing business as a real estate broker. All advertising by a referral agent, a salesperson or a broker-salesperson shall include the name in which they are licensed and the regular business name of the individual, partnership, firm or corporate broker through whom they are licensed. If such advertisements contain a reference to the licensed status of the person placing the ad, their status as a referral agent, a salesperson or a broker-salesperson must be indicated through inclusion of a descriptive term as provided in (e) below. A referral agent or salesperson may not indicate in any advertisement or otherwise that he or she is licensed as a broker-salesperson. 1. In all advertisements which contain the name of a referral agent, a salesperson or a broker-salesperson, the regular business name of the individual, partnership, firm or corporate broker through whom that person is licensed shall appear in larger print or be displayed in a more prominent manner than the name of the referral agent, salesperson or broker-salesperson.2. Where a webpage on the worldwide web established by a referral agent, a salesperson, a broker-salesperson, or a team of such licensees is not linked electronically to the webpage of the broker through whom the person or team is licensed, the webpage shall display the telephone number and may display the street address of the licensed brokerage office from which the individual or team operates as real estate licensees. That information shall appear in wording as large as the predominant size wording on the webpage.3. Where a webpage of an individual or team is linked electronically to the webpage of the broker through whom such person or persons are licensed, the webpage of the nonbroker licensee(s) shall display information which clearly indicates how to link to the broker. That information shall appear in wording as large as the predominant size wording on the webpage.(c) All advertising, with the exception of lawn signs placed on residential properties containing four or fewer units, shall clearly indicate after the licensee's regular business name that the advertising licensee is engaged in the real estate brokerage business. Except as prescribed by 45:15-17(j), examples of permissible language shall include, but are not limited to, "Realtor," "Realtist," "real estate broker," "broker," or "real estate agency". Examples of prohibited language when used alone shall include, but are not limited to, "realty," "real estate," "land sales," and "land investments." This provision shall not apply when the word "agency" appears in the advertisement as part of the licensee's regular business name or when the licensee has legal or equitable ownership of the property.(d) Any advertising which contains a home telephone number, cell-phone number, beeper or pager number, home fax number, or e-mail address of an individual referral agent, salesperson or broker-salesperson, or a team of such licensees, shall also include the telephone number and may include the street address of the licensed brokerage office from which the advertising licensee(s) operate. All such advertising shall also contain language identifying each number included in the advertising. For example, a home telephone number may be followed or preceded by the word "home" or the abbreviation "res." 1. No advertising shall represent that a location is a place at which the business of a real estate licensee is conducted unless that location is the licensed main office or a licensed branch office of the broker through whom the advertising licensee is licensed. Referral agents, salespersons and broker-salespersons shall not include in their advertisements any reference to a "home office."(e) The business card of any licensed referral agent shall indicate that this licensee is a referral agent by the use of the words referral agent or referral associate. The business card of any licensed salesperson shall indicate that this licensee is a salesperson by the use of the words salesperson or sales representative, or sales associate, or where permitted by law, realtor-associate or realtist associate. The business card of any licensed broker-salesperson shall indicate that this licensee is a broker-salesperson by the use of the words broker-associate, associate broker, realtor-associate or broker-salespersons. The business card of any licensed broker shall indicate that this licensee is a broker by use of the word broker or, where permitted by law, Realtor or Realtist.(f) Any advertising which refers to amounts of down payment, monthly payment, or carrying charges, or which indicates that a mortgage is obtainable (where the mortgage referred to is not already a lien against the premises advertised), shall contain the words "to a qualified buyer".(g) Any advertisement which sets forth amounts of down payment, monthly payment, carrying charges, taxes or mortgage money obtainable shall contain appropriate qualifying words such as "approximate" or "estimated," which qualifying words shall be clearly associated with the amounts set forth. If such amounts are mentioned the broker shall maintain written proof of the validity of these statements in the broker's files. Such written proof shall be maintained for a period of 12 months from the date upon which an advertisement containing such references shall have last appeared in any publication.(h) With the exception of magazine or newspaper advertisements published under municipality headings, any advertisement for the sale, exchange or rental of real property, or any interest therein, shall designate the geographical area containing that property by specifying the municipality within which that property is located.(i) No licensed individual, limited or general partnership, firm or corporation shall advertise or use any form of application or make any inquiry which expresses directly or indirectly any limitation, specification or discrimination as to race, religion, creed, color, sex, affectional or sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, ancestry or as to whether a person has a disability as that term is defined in 11:5-6.4(k).(j) Any use of an insignia, emblem, logo, trade name or other form of identification in any advertising or other public utterance, either by a single licensee or any group of licensees, which suggests or otherwise implies common ownership or common management among such licensees, shall be prohibited except in the case of branch offices controlled by a single broker or licensee and duly licensed as branch offices pursuant to the provision of 45:1-1 et seq. Nothing herein provided is intended to preclude or inhibit the use, advertising or display of any insignia, emblem, logo or trade name of any bona fide trade association by any licensee provided that such licensee is a member of such trade association. 1. Any franchised licensee using in any advertising the trade name of a franchisor shall include in such advertising in a manner reasonably calculated to attract the attention of the public the franchised licensee's regular business name.2. Any licensee including the franchisor using the trade name of franchisor in any advertising shall also include in a manner reasonably calculated to attract the attention of the public the following legend or a substantially similar legend: "each office is independently owned and operated", except in the following categories of advertising: i. "For sale" signs located on the premises of specific properties for sale;ii. Small "spot" classified advertising by a licensee in newspapers, magazines or other publications advertising properties. A small spot classified advertisement is defined as an advertisement which is no more than one column wide and 20 lines long and which describes no more than two properties; a line is defined as a standard newspaper classified advertising line of the newspaper, magazine or other publication in which the advertisement is published;iv. Advertising placed or distributed by offices which are wholly owned by the franchisor, which contains the office address and contains language which identifies the office as being wholly owned or the franchisor.3. The intent of this subsection is to further promote the general purpose of the Real Estate License Act of ensuring that all individuals, firms or corporations are clearly identifiable to the public as the licensed brokers who are financially and otherwise responsible to the consuming public for their real estate brokerage activities. It is not the intent of this subsection to limit or otherwise inhibit the operation of branch offices as set forth in 45:15-12 and sections 18 and 19 of this subchapter, nor is it the intent of this subsection to prevent the franchising of any group of licensees provided such franchising or other association is not inconsistent with the purpose of the Real Estate License Act as expressed herein.(k) Any advertising by any licensed individual, partnership, firm or corporation referring generally to membership in any real estate multiple listing service operation shall specify the complete name of the listing service in which membership is held, except in the following categories of advertising: 1. "For sale" signs and small "spot" classified advertising of any licensee as described in (j) above;(l) Any home warranty offer contained in any advertisement shall comply with all Federal and State warranty legislation, including the New Home Warranty and Builder's Registration Act, P.L. 1977, c.467, 46:3B-1 et seq., and the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, P.L. 93-637, 15 U.S.C. §§ 2301 et seq. Such advertising shall specify clearly whether the warranty is by inspection or non-inspection of the premises, whether the warranty is mandatory, and who is responsible for payment for the warranty. No advertisement shall contain an offer for a warranty unless a warranty may be secured for the property being advertised.(m) Except as herein provided, licensees may include offers of free, discounted or other services or products in advertisements or promotional material. No offering of free, discounted or other services or products, including the offering of a free appraisal, shall be made by a real estate licensee in any advertisement or promotional material or otherwise where the promotion or offering involves a lottery, a contest, a game or a drawing, or the offering of a lot or parcel or lots or parcels, or where the consumer is required to enter into a sale, listing or other real estate contract as a condition of the promotion or offer. 1. Nothing herein shall be construed as prohibiting the use of such words as "included" or "included in the purchase price" in reference to items included by the owner in the sale of any real property or interest therein.2. The prohibition upon licensees making offerings of free, discounted or other services or products as set forth in (m) above applies to all such offerings which confer a monetary benefit upon consumers. Examples of free or discounted products or services which would be prohibited if offered in a manner proscribed by (m) above include free or subsidized homeowners warranties, property, radon and pest inspections, surveys, mortgage fees, offers to pay other costs typically incurred by parties to real estate transactions, and coupons offering discounts on commissions charged by brokerage firms.3. "Appraisal" as used herein is given its technical meaning as a study and analysis by an appraiser authorized by law to perform appraisals of New Jersey real estate to ascertain fair market value by using a process in which all factors that would fix price in the market place must be considered. A comparative market analysis or study is not an appraisal as herein defined. Any written comparative market study or analysis (CMA) provided by a licensee to a consumer shall include a statement indicating that the CMA is not an appraisal and should not be considered the equivalent of an appraisal. The said statement shall appear in print as large as the predominant size print in any writing reporting the results of the CMA.4. Subject to (m) above, whenever a licensee participates in a promotion or offering of free, discounted, or other services or products which confers upon the recipient a monetary benefit of greater than token value, which for the purposes of this rule shall mean a value of more than $ 5.00 retail, the licensee shall provide written disclosure to the recipient of the promotional material or offering. The disclosure shall state in a clear and conspicuous manner:i. That a consumer is not required to enter into any sale, listing or other real estate contract as a condition of their receipt and use of the free, discounted or other services or products included in the promotion or offer;ii. Whether the consumer is required to perform any action to qualify to receive the free, discounted or other services or products offered and, if so, what specific action(s) the consumer must perform in order to do so. For the purposes of this paragraph, a consumer's attendance at any listing presentation, informational session or other meeting is considered to be an action by the consumer; andiii. In the event that delivery of the offered services or products does not occur at the time that the disclosure is provided to the consumer, the date by which the services or products will be delivered to the consumer if the offer is accepted. If the delivery date is unknown to the licensee at the time the offer or promotion is extended to the consumer, the written disclosure to be provided by the licensee to the consumer shall so state.5. In the event that a licensee has received, or will receive, compensation for participating in a promotion or offering of free, discounted, or other services or products, the disclosure required under (m)4 above shall also state the compensation the licensee has received or will receive. Should the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act of 1974, 12 U.S.C. §§ 2601 et seq., be applicable to the arrangement between the broker and the person paying the compensation to the broker, the disclosure shall be in the form and substance required by that Act.6. The written disclosure referenced in (m)4 and 5 above shall be provided to consumers no later than when the promotion or offer is extended by the licensee to the consumer. i. For the purposes of this subsection, an offer or promotion is extended to a consumer when the free or discounted product or service is delivered to the consumer, or when written confirmation of the consumer's right to receive the free or discounted product or service at some future time is delivered to the consumer.7. No licensee may utilize a marketing or promotional program which requires, as a condition of the consumer's receipt of a free or discounted product or service, the taking of any action by the consumer prior to the delivery of the disclosure(s) referenced in (m)4 and 5 above other than an action necessary to accomplish the delivery of the disclosure to the consumer.(n) No licensee shall publish or cause to be published any advertisement or place any sign which makes reference to the availability of a specific property which is exclusively listed for sale by another broker unless the licensee obtains the prior written consent of the broker with whom the property is exclusively listed. Such consent shall not be given or withheld by the listing broker without the knowledge of the owner. 1. With regard to information on listings disseminated through the Internet by licensees other than the listing broker, listing brokers shall be deemed to have given the consent referred to in (n) above with the knowledge of the owner where: i. A written listing agreement contains the seller's authorization for information on the listing to be posted on the website of the broker, or of a multiple listing service to which the broker belongs, or of another party to which the broker or such an MLS submits information on listings; andii. The website on which the listing information shall initially appear has instituted no measures to prevent other parties with websites from utilizing an electronic link to enable consumers to view that information while remaining in the website of the other party.(o) No licensee shall indicate in any advertisement that a property has been sold, or that they participated in the sale of a property, until a closing has occurred at which title to the property was transferred from the seller to the buyer. 1. For the purposes of this subsection, the term "advertisement" shall include communications to other licensees through notices submitted to a multiple listing service or otherwise.2. In the time period after a contract prepared by a licensee emerges from Attorney Review or a contract not subject to Attorney Review is fully executed and delivered to all parties, but before a closing occurs at which title is transferred, unless such a contract is canceled and the seller authorizes the listing broker to renew efforts to market the property, any advertisement of the property which is the subject of the contract shall include the term "under contract."(p) Advertisements by licensees may, but are not required to, include a statement indicating that the advertiser is licensed by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission. Any advertisement by a licensee that includes a reference to licensure by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission shall immediately thereafter also include the following statement: "Licensure does not imply endorsement," which statement shall be included in the advertisement in a clear and conspicuous manner. 1. The foregoing shall not apply to the displays which, pursuant to 45:15-12, are required to conspicuously appear on the exterior of every place of business maintained by New Jersey real estate brokers and to include the name of the broker and, in the case of business entities licensed as brokers, the name of the individual licensed as its authorized broker, and the words "Licensed Real Estate Broker."(q) Any advertisement which includes any reference to a commission rate or compensation amount charged by the advertising licensee's brokerage firm or by one or more other brokerage firms shall also include the following statement: "In New Jersey commissions are negotiable." The said statement shall be included in the advertisement in a clear and conspicuous manner.(r) No advertisement shall contain false, misleading or deceptive claims or misrepresentations. In all advertisements which make express or implied claims that are likely to be misleading in the absence of certain qualifying information such qualifying information shall be disclosed in the advertisement in a clear and conspicuous manner.(s) No person licensed as a referral agent shall include in any advertisement any content stating or implying that he or she is authorized to engage in real estate brokerage activity beyond that which he or she is permitted under 45:15-3 or 11:5-6.1 0.(t) On all advertisements, except business cards, referral agents shall include the following statement in a clear and conspicuous manner: Services limited to referring prospects to broker.
N.J. Admin. Code § 11:5-6.1Administrative Change, 48 N.J.R. 494(a).