How many times have I seen advertising claiming no down payment, lowest rates around, on and on. No indication of any conditions or fees. The feds are looking at these advertisements. And they should! The most alarming thing? Many of these ads are geared toward the military and the elderly.
I remember one time a consumer calling on an advertisement in a real estate circular. The home had already sold, and the person was irate at best. I tried to explain that print media has a short shelf life plus a long lead time. Forget that, the person felt that most print advertising for real estate was "bait and switch". We have never practiced bait and switch, but I have seen it.
Janna Rankin Scharf has brought this important information to our attention in her post below.
I just read an interesting and alarming article in Inman News. Federal regulators have been sending out warnings to real estate agents, builders and lead generators, stating that their advertising might be deceptive.
They are referring to advertising on websites, direct mail, Facebook and in newspapers. The questionable ads refer to financing, loan guarantees and interest rates. It's been a while since I've seen this topic come up so I read through the article to see what was happening.
I have to say, I was dismayed to see that veterans and elderly appear to be a particular target for misleading ads.
Consumers, as always, beware.
The FTC examined 800 ads and found troubling claims that could be misleading to consumers:
- Ads that offered a very low fixed mortgage rate without discussing significant loan terms.
- Ads containing statements, images, symbols and abbreviations suggesting that an advertiser is affiliated with a government agency.
- Ads "guaranteeing" approval and offering low monthly payments without discussing "significant conditions" on these offers.
This is also a very good refresher course for all of us in the industry. Shame on those who use these deceptive ads to prey on the vulnerable among us. The rest of us need to make sure we are not violating regulations simply because we don't know any better.
Janna Rankin Scharf provides a superior level of real estate services to home buyers and sellers in Coeur d'Alene and Kootenai County, Idaho. Visit Janna.ServingNorthIdaho.com to search for homes in the Coeur d'Alene MLS for anywhere in spectacular North Idaho.
No matter how grand or modest your real estate dreams may be, you can turn to me in confidence. Give me a call today and let me know what I can do to be of service to you!
Janna Rankin Scharf AB, GRI, CSP, CNS, CLHMS 208.651.9700
Andrea Swiedler, Realtor, Southern Litchfield County Real Estate
2017 President, Greater New Milford Board of Realtors
2017 Connecticut Magazine 5 Star Realtor
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
Litchfield County Regional Office,375 Danbury Rd, New Milford, CT 06776
© Andrea Swiedler 2009 - 2017
Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest. - Mark Twain