Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 696.020:License required to conduct professional real estate activity, including advertising. License law statutes and rules apply to personal transactions by licensees. 

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 696.020 prohibits engaging in, among other things, advertising real property without having a valid real estate license. At first blush, this provision of state law would seem to affect real estate licensees very little. The statute, however, can cause considerable trouble if you miss a license renewal or change offices. If you miss a renewal, or if there is a gap between when your license is turned in and re-issued when changing offices, you become an unlicensed person until your license is re-issued. If you have any ads running or otherwise hold yourself out as an agent during that unlicensed period, you will have violated ORS 696.020. Your own ads can become evidence of unlicensed real estate activity.

Another way ORS 696.020 affects advertising is by imposing license law duties, including those that apply to advertising, to personal transactions. With limited exceptions discussed in the administrative rule section of this topic, advertising to sell your own home is no different for rule violation purposes than advertising to sell your clients home. That means being just as cautious with your advertising, and what you say to people, when dealing on your own behalf as when dealing on behalf of others. In fact, it might be a good idea to be more cautious because of the self interest involved.

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 696.200: Brokers, unless associated with another broker, must have a place of business designated by a business sign in the broker’s licensed name.

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 696.200: The statute that requires real estate brokers and organizations to maintain a place of business, also affects advertising rules.  Not only do brokers and companies have to have a place of business but they must designate that place by a sign bearing the licensed name. Business signs are mandatory under Oregon real estate law.  When your place of business changes, you must notify the Real Estate Agency.  In addition to notifying the Agency, the broker must physically remove his office signs.  Licensees cannot use a name on a business sign other than their licensed name.

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 696.301(1): Misrepresentations or false promises, in advertising or otherwise, are grounds for discipline.

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 696.301: The statutory provision under which the Real Estate Agency disciplines licensees, is by far the statute with the most effect on advertising rules.  There are fifteen separate provisions of ORS 696.301.  Two of those 15 have a very direct bearing on advertising.

ORS 696.301(1) makes material misrepresentation and false promises license law violations.

Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 696.301(6): Misleading or untruthful advertising of any kind is grounds for discipline.

ORS 696.301(4) makes knowingly or recklessly published materially misleading or untruthful advertising a direct license law violation. Together, these two statutory provisions form the underlying “honesty” premise that supports the administrative rules that govern how real estate licensees advertise property and hold themselves out to the public. Administrative rules affecting advertising is the next subject in this topic.