When it comes to marketing, REALTORS® come up with the most creative and entertaining ways to advertise their services and listings. While advertising is fun, it’s also necessary to do. That’s why it is important that REALTORS® have an understanding on licensing laws regarding advertising. Advertising is defined by Ohio Administrative Code 1301:5-1-02(H) as any manner, method, or activity by which a licensed real estate broker or salesperson makes known to the public properties for sale or lease or any services for which a real estate license is required. Methods of advertising include, but are not limited to: newspapers, magazines, radio, television, signs, internet websites, unsolicited mail, voicemail, email, fax, social media, blogs, business cards and property listing data base service.

It is important that REALTORS® present honest and truthful communication in their methods of advertising. The Ohio Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing regulates how advertising is to be conducted while the National Association of REALTORS® reinforces this concept through Article 12 of the Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice.

Article 12 states: 

REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS® shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional. (Amended 1/08)

Most recently, the NAR Board of Directors voted to amend Standard of Practice 12-1 to clearly prohibit members from advertising their services as “free” unless the members will receive no compensation from any source for the services. This change came in conjunction with a change in MLS Policy Statement 8.4: Services advertise as “free”, which prohibits MLS participants and subscribers from representing that their brokerage services to a buyer, client, or customer are free or available at no cost to their clients, unless the participant or subscriber will receive no financial compensation from any source for those services.

Other things to mindful of when advertising:

For more information on Advertising laws refer to articles provided by Ohio Realtors®:

White Paper: Advertising (ohiorealtors.org)

Legally speaking: What can I say in an advertisement? (ohiorealtors.org)

Legally speaking: Websites and compliance with Ohio license law (ohiorealtors.org)


Ohio Administrative Code: 

Rule 1301:5-1-02 – Ohio Administrative Code | Ohio Laws