The Minnesota Department of Commerce requires that real estate agents identify themselves as real estate agents and identify the real estate company they are with, in all advertising.
That includes advertising on social media, or in the newspaper or on a flyer and applies to all agent advertising.
When an agent posts on Facebook that a house is coming on the market soon and provides pictures of the house she is advertising it.
That means she has to identify herself as a real estate agent and identify the company she is with. She can’t just put “text me with any questions” and leave her phone number.
Agents who do not comply with this particular rule usually end up with a fine if they get caught.
As far as laws go this one isn’t as big of a deal as robbing a bank but you have to kind of wonder. Is the agent breaking other laws? Is she aware of what the laws are?
Is her broker providing any supervision or guidance? The broker is responsible for the agent’s actions and can be sanctioned by the department of commerce if one of his/her agents fails to provide the name of the real estate company in the advertisement.
Potential home buyers who are asking questions in the Facebook group do not understand that they are talking to a real estate agent who is representing the sellers.
Real estate agents are required by state law to give consumers an agency disclosure at first substantive contact.
There are home buyers and sellers who love the facebook groups for getting and giving inside information. I think they are a great place to violate fair housing laws and get around state laws too.
Technically there are no secret agents in real estate.
It is alright for homeowners to advertise their own home for sale and answer questions about it.