Okay, so pour yourself a strong cup of Java, pull up your iTunes, and enjoy the next installment of the ActiveRain Community Guidelines 'EXPANDED' version!
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This next guideline must've been inserted by our corporate lawyers. It sounds too much like one of those 'fine print' disclaimers...
- Do not violate any laws of your local jurisdiction. This includes all Fair Housing related laws.
Seems pretty straight-forward and obvious, right? One would think so. But ya know, as I observe our members conversing with one another, whether through their blog posts, or commenting on other member's articles, sometimes people say the 'darndest' things!
One area that tends to annoy me is in our "Q&A" Feature (it's one of the tabs right up above there).
In the past, when I've accessed this feature, I've gone straight to my home State of Washington, for the purposes of answering any questions left there by consumers. However, many times when I've done this, I find that the answers have already been provided by a fellow member from another State!
Now if it's a question that's general in nature, like "Who brews the strongest cup of coffee?" or "What's the best thing to use for crab bait?," then no problemo. Anyone can feel free to pipe in.
But if it's a specific real estate related question, why would you want to expose yourself to the potential liability of speaking 'out-of-turn?' I mean, seriously, we all have enough liability as it is, right?
For me, the basic rule of thumb is plain as rain - "If you're not licensed in a particular State, or you don't practice/offer services in that State, don't answer the question!" As basic as the question may seem, or regardless of how much you genuinely want to help out, don't answer.
Remember, that whatever you write/publish on the Internet can or will be used against you in a court of law!
And additionally, ALWAYS keep in mind the Federally protected classes, and not to use any words/language in your posts or comments that could be perceived as being discriminatory.
~ Now get out there and sell something!!! ~