This case examines a scenario in which a real estate licensee engaged in advertising in violation of Virginia Real Estate Board regulations by utilizing a mass-mailing advertisement which failed to include the licensee’s name and failed to include the licensee’s firm’s name. When a real estate licensee engages in advertising, the advertising must be under the direct supervision of the principal or supervising broker, comply with any applicable disclosure requirements, and include the licensee’s firm’s name.
On May 26, 2006, Sarah Liddell was issued a real estate salespersons license by the Virginia Real Estate Board.
On April 2, 2022, the Board received a written complaint from Sean Charleston regarding agent Sarah Liddell.
In January 2022, Liddell mailed advertisement postcards offering real estate services in Virginia. Liddell listed The Liddell Team, a telephone number, and a web address in the advertisement postcard for contact. Liddell did not include her name nor her firm’s name in the advertisement postcard.
In April 2022, Liddell became aware there was an error in her advertisement postcard once a letter was received from the Department. Liddell told investigators that she had hired an advertising company to update her postcard advertisements and an error in updating the advertising template had made her name and the firm’s name illegible due to the color utilized (white lettering against a white background).
Liddell, upon becoming aware of the error, returned to the same advertising company to update the color used on her postcard advertisements such that her name and her firm’s name were legible.
Liddell told the Board that the template used for her advertisement was brand new and that she owns the error that occurred. She further states the error was not done intentionally or with malice.
Liddell was found to have violated 18 VAC 135-20-190.B of the Code of Virginia. Liddell was fined a monetary penalty of $300.00 and $150.00 in Board costs, for a total of $450.00. Furthermore, Liddell must complete six classroom hours of Board-approved post-license education within six months.
Published February 2024