Reference: Georgia Association of Realtors “Staying Safe on the Job”
October 26, 2023
Georgia Law requires that the Broker review all advertising for sale, rent, lease or exchange prior to placement. The RE/MAX Around Atlanta Policy Manual reflects and emphasizes this requirement. Lack of a Broker review is one of the biggest violations of Georgia License Law and can result in an enforcement penalty imposed by GREC.
Associates must comply with any state laws and Georgia Real Estate Commission rules regarding advertising of property, real estate yard signs and personal promotion. All advertising must include the main office phone number and the number of the brokerage firm. The office name and main office phone number must appear at least as many times and in a font at least as large as the Associate’s name and phone number. All advertising must be submitted to the broker and approved in writing prior to being placed. Any advertising, personal promotion or listing promotion on social networking and other internet sites must comply with state laws and Georgia Real Estate Commission rules. Any profile or business page on any internet site must include the Company name and main phone number per GREC rules.”
A question often asked is how to handle internet advertising that has limited space. The answer is provided in the GREC Rules and Regulations 520-1-.09. You should include a link in the advertisement to a display that is in compliance with the rule, such as you own website’s Home Page or the RMAA website.
“When advertising in electronic messages of limited information or characters, a license shall provide a direct link to a display that is in compliance with this Rule.”
Help Us Help You!
Always have a member of the Broker Team review all advertising, including signs, social media, flyers, newsletters, web sites and anything else that can be interpreted as advertising. We’ll review and return it ASAP!
RE/MAX Around Atlanta Policy Manual (page 10)
GA Code 43-40-18(c)(1) Advertising
GREC Rule 520-1-.09
Unfair Trade Practices O.C.G.A. § 43-40-25(b)(1),(2),(11),(12) and (21)
Georgia Realtor Fall 2023, CE, License Law and Ensuring Compliance
October 19, 2023
A Written Agreement Is Necessary To Establish A Client RelationshipDuty Owed to a Client vs. a Customer
These facts are an actual Georgia case decided in 2022, Starks v. Carver, 360 Ga. App. 366, 861 S.E.2d 193 (2021). The Georgia Court of Appeals found the following:
According to Seth Weissman, General Counsel of Georgia Association of Realtors, this case helps answer the question many brokers have asked about whether a broker can be found to be a de facto client of a party through the broker’s actions, even when there is no written agreement establishing a client relationship. The answer to that question, based on this decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals, appears to be no.
Source: Georgia REALTOR® Magazine. Judicial Update 2022 Seth Weissman, author.
Broker A's Exclusive Seller Listing Agreement expires. Broker B lists the property under Exclusive Seller Listing Agreement the day following Broker A's expiration. Three days after Broker A's listing agreement expires, Broker A's agent takes an offer directly to the seller with knowledge of Broker B's Active Exclusive Listing Agreement. Broker A's agent tells seller to have Broker B's agent "hold off," even though Broker B's listing has been published in listing services for three days. Broker A's agent verbally tells seller that Broker A's listing has to be extended in order to present the offer. The seller then signs a counteroffer. The seller has no experience in real estate and is fearful of losing the offer. What are the legal and ethical issues regarding these actions?
ANSWER: Wow! This licensee needs a lesson in both Georgia license law and ethics.
First, once a property is listed with a new broker, the previous listing broker cannot do anything to interfere with the new listing agreement. Going to the seller and telling her to hold off on the existing listing agreement (which is already in effect) and to instead extend the previous listing agreement with the first broker is the same thing as telling the seller to cancel the new listing (even though it is only been a short period of time) and reinstate and extend the term of the original listing agreement. Such behavior violates OCGA 43-40 25(b) (13), (14) and (26). The first code section provides that a licensee can be sanctioned for “Inducing any party to a …brokerage agreement…to break such…brokerage agreement for the purpose of substituting in lieu thereof any other …brokerage agreement with another principal”. The second code section prohibits the first broker from negotiating the terms of the offer directly with the seller when the first broker knows that the property is now listed with a new broker. This code section provides that a licensee can be sanctioned for “Negotiating the sale …of real estate directly with an owner…if the licensee knows that such owner …has a written outstanding listing contract in connection with such property granting an exclusive agency or an exclusive right to sell to another broker…” The third code section prohibits a licensee from “Obtaining a brokerage agreement…while knowing or having reason to believe that another broker has an exclusive brokerage agreement with such owner…”
Code of Ethics
The Code of Ethics violations appear just as significant with possible violations of Standard of Practice 16-4, 16-9 and 16-13. The original broker should have contacted the new listing broker and worked through the new listing broker in presenting the offer.
Source: Georgia Association of Realtors Legal Helpline Q&A, Seth Weissman, General Counsel, GAR
Link to Source: https://garealtor.com/wp-content/uploads/Legal-FAQs-for-web-9.28.pdf
October 4, 2023
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