Agent teams banned from using 'real estate' in names by another state

Rules enacted in South Carolina are part of nationwide push to rein in teams
  • South Carolina has banned the use of 'real estate,' 'realty' and related terms in team names.
  • The ban has floored some agent teams, who say it was added, along with other rules governing teams, to a state real estate bill at the last minute.
  • Supporters of the advertising restrictions for teams say they're necessary to protect consumers from being mislead.
  • The South Carolina team rules were reportedly added at the insistence of the state real estate commission.

Stephen Cooley says he’s sunk millions of dollars into marketing his team, the “Stephen Cooley Real Estate Group,” for 20 years. The name appears on his team’s moving truck, billboard and myriad paraphernalia. But a bill recently passed by South Carolina is threatening to undermine the brand he’s worked so hard to build and, he says, could cost him tens of thousands of dollars.