Rental Scams and Violations Landing on FB Marketplace

The MLS Department is getting multiple complaints related to advertising violations on Facebook Marketplace. As MLS Subscribers, REALTORS® and Texas licensees, you are held to a higher standard related to the marketing of other brokers’ listings. It’s time for a review of these regulations and why this type of market is harmful for you and the consumer.

First, NTREIS MLS Rules and Regulations, in Section 7.11 provides the following: “Listed Property may be advertised only by the Listing Participant or owner(s), unless otherwise authorized in writing by the Listing Participant, regardless of the advertising means except as provided in Section 17 of these Rules.”

Second, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics in Article 12 includes the following Standards of Practice:

Standard of Practice 12-4:  REALTORS® shall not offer for sale/lease or advertise property without authority. When acting as listing brokers or as subagents, REALTORS® shall not quote a price different from that agreed upon with the seller/landlord. (Amended 1/93)

Standard of Practice 12-5:  REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTOR®’s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner either in the advertisement or in electronic advertising via a link to a display with all required disclosures. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/16)

And lastly, TREC Rules require the following in §535.155 Advertisements: (d) For purposes of this section and §1101.652(b)(23) of the Act, an advertisement that misleads or is likely to deceive the public, tends to create a misleading impression, or implies that a sales agent is responsible for the operation of the broker’s real estate brokerage business includes, but is not limited to, any advertisement: (13) about a property that is subject to an exclusive listing agreement without the permission of the listing broker and without disclosing the name of the listing broker unless the listing broker has expressly agreed in writing to waive disclosure.

Unfortunately, some of the advertisements reported are rental scams and more unfortunately, some of our members are posting those listings as well.

To be clear, there are more productive, ethical, and legal ways to obtain buyer and seller leads. Misleading buyers and sellers through these types of advertisements can lead to a public mistrust of our REALTOR® Community. Violating the MLS Rules and Regulations, the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, and TREC Rules may cost you financially and more importantly, may cost you your real estate license.

To report misleading social media postings, please contact the MLS Department at