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Facebook listings: take a legal look before you leap

State laws, MLS rules may prohibit use of other brokers' listings
Published on Aug 2, 2010

Real estate brokers and agents risk violating state real estate licensing laws, multiple listing service rules and the National Association of Realtos' Code of Ethics if they display listings from another broker on Facebook or other social networking websites, according to an attorney who advises multiple listing services and real estate trade associations.Brian N. Larson, a Minnesota-based attorney and author of the blog MLS Tesseract, advises that brokers generally can't advertise another broker's listings without their permission.Although local MLS rules may permit brokers to display a reasonable number of single copies of property listings data to prospective buyers, a Facebook post to the general public is likely to violate the rule, Larson said.To qualify as a permitted display under IDX (Internet Data Exchange) rules, a website must belong to a broker who is a member of the MLS -- a requirement that Facebook cannot meet. Facebook is also unlikely to satisfy the requirements of V...

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