Definition of "False advertising"

The  Rivera Team real estate agent

Written by

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La Rosa Realty LLC

Unfortunately, we encounter false advertising daily. False advertising refers to deceptive or misleading ads and commercials that fail to showcase a product’s or service’s genuine attributes. 

What do false ads convey?

Ads play a significant part in our lives. They inform us, product consumers, about a specific item’s features. Besides, they affect us in our purchasing decisions. Nevertheless, these advertisements can sometimes be far-fetched, incorrect, unreliable, thus misleading. 

Illustrations and descriptions presented therein might not match the provided services or available goods. In short, they showcase reality in a distorted way. In addition, the merchandise does not have the aspects and characteristics they claim to possess, which can harm, for instance, our health. These characteristics may refer to a product’s ingredients and actual size. Frequently, you can learn about the exact price that contains additional fees not included in the ad.

How can we prevent buying faulty products based on false advertising?

We must carefully examine the products’ labels, quality, and price as a precaution. Besides, we must search for reviews online or otherwise before buying them. As citizens, we have the right to get valid and unambiguous information for any item we wish to purchase. Moreover, we can request additional detailed information from the salesperson, business association, and the home seller. All selling agents have to provide product descriptions that do not mislead customers. 

False advertising exposed

Once they discover the existence of a false advertisement, businesses and sellers must correct misunderstandings and offer satisfactory reimbursements for wronged customers. Let’s suppose an agent presents a service, real estate, or a product in an erroneous, thus deceitful manner. Then customers have the right to report the case to the consumer protection agency or other authorities in charge. 

Authorities can enforce businesses to take down or correct misleading ads. The official course can also lead to sanctioning the company if deemed necessary. Please consult the ASEAN Committee on Consumer Protection (ACCP) website for further information!

False advertising in real estate

Local real estate agents and brokers employ advertisements to attract more property sellers and buyers. Sometimes, they resort to misleading information to take advantage of potential customers’ inexperience. Nevertheless, they must respect state and federal laws regarding false advertising. Otherwise, victims of false advertising and real estate fraud can sue the party who harmed them. Generally, the aggrieved party will recover, at least, any financial losses in the process.

In real estate, the definition of false advertising means any form of online publicity or offline ads meant to and resulting in potential clients’ misinformation. Therefore, it may define falsehood and fabrication of a property’s incorrect aspects. Besides, hiding particular details about a house constitutes false advertising. A house presentation should cover square footage, size, structure, and history of improvements. Most importantly, it should showcase the property’s roofing, plumbing, fencing, and foundation in a realistic fashion.

Bait and switch as false advertising

Let’s see some examples of misleading advertising in real estate. A house seller markets or publicizes their property deceptively, disclosing incorrect information on purpose. Secondly, an agent can entice a buyer with an attractive deal. Later, the same agreement proves manufactured, and it does not comply with reality. Often, the price goes higher than initially presented. This questionable practice is what agents call the ‘bait and switch strategy. Many jurisdictions have labeled it unethical and deemed it illegal.

Another example is when the seller or agent unleashes the inner poet within and starts advertising a property using exaggerations, metaphors, and fancy descriptions. The presentation is meant to color the real estate’s price and excellence in each scenario. For sure, the narrative does not confirm reality.  

Preventive real estate measures against false advertising

Besides federal and state laws, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) outlines a definitive Code of Ethics to safeguard client protection and acceptable business practices. Most precisely, Article 12 prescribes all real estate advertisements to be factually accurate. Additionally, realtors must disclose their brokerage’s name when advertising.

In the end, the foundation of it all should be the trust shared between the agent and their clients.

Comments for False Advertising

Jeff Luedloff Jeff Luedloff said:

Listing agent stated in property description that offer would be reviewed on April 30th. House was listed on Sunday April 22nd. They accepted an offer on Tuesday the 24th. He told me I could submit a backup offer. I did. He has not responded as requested that he received the back up offer. He has since change the wording in the add to read that they will review offers as received. We thought we had time, this seem like a clear case of fraudulent advertising on the MLS. What can I do?

Apr 26, 2023  21:16:14

Real Estate Agent

Hello Jeff! We advise you to contact the listing agent in question and settle this misunderstanding with them in amicable terms. Misunderstandings can happen, but solutions can be only at arm's length. They can also offer you another property listed.

May 15, 2023  07:57:04
Anna Szymanska Anna Szymanska said:

My son was going to buy a house in California. The property was advertising as 9,700 sq without any easements. Since he was planning to put a fence he ordered a surveyor to show the property lines. The surveyor find out the 1/4 of the property goes through neighbors property even the house. After all this we find out that the seller agent advertised the property on other re webs where the lot size was different: 6700, 10,260, 9700. My son was willing to go forward until the seller remove the neighbors fence from his property. The seller told my son that everything will be done in two weeks. On the last day my son went there to check if the fence is removed and ready to sell. But nothing was done, the neighbors did not know that they have to move the fence. Because of this my son resigned to buy this house. My question is: Can we ask the sellers, sellers agent/broker to refund of money for all inspections? This is almost $6000

Jul 20, 2020  09:19:48

Real Estate Agent

Hey, Anna! We are sorry to hear that and unfortunately, the issue at hand is quite a difficult situation you are in. The only way to find out if getting a refund is possible or not is to get in touch with a real estate attorney. An attorney would be the right person to ask in this situation.

Aug 04, 2020  12:41:51
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