What kinds of marketing agreements can agents and brokers make with lender/title partners?

The National Association of Realtors released a list of 'do's and don'ts'
  • The CFPB has been "regulating by enforcement"; break the (possibly unwritten) rules and it will skip any warnings and jump straight to a fine.
  • Agents should always have "skin in the game" and should keep good records.
  • Never refer to a marketing partner as "preferred" or "exclusive."

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A new real estate agent just entering the industry is approached by a title partner who wonders if the agent would be interested in sharing marketing costs -- creating advertising materials that include both the real estate agent's and title partner's name and contact information, also known as co-marketing. Is this OK, or is it a violation of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA)? This week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) released some co-marketing "do's and don'ts," outlining what's permissible for agents. [gview file=""] The issues of referrals and co-marketing are "very front and center in the eyes of members," said NAR's associate general counsel, Ralph Holmen. "We just wanted to provide one more tool to help them understand what’s permitted and what’s not -- and, unfortunately, some of the gray areas." It's welcome guidance in a time when agreements between real estate entities a...