A bill that could eventually allow the Idaho state government to regulate the font size of real estate agents’ advertisements advanced out of committee Wednesday.

Members of the House Business Committee approved the measure, which now heads to the House floor for more deliberation.

The bill, brought forward by the Idaho Real Estate Commission, would further clarify how real estate agents advertise their services. Commission Executive Director MiChell Bird told panel members the bill would bring clarity to an ambiguous area of Idaho law. State code already requires agents to list their names, plus the names of their brokers, on all advertising pieces.

Bird told the panel that some agents have “gotten lax” about how they display the broker’s name, and some agents may intentionally omit the required information.

The legislation introduced simply requires that realtors display the broker’s name “clearly and conspicuously” on advertisements. Thus the legislation wouldn’t likely end the existing ambiguity. It’s likely that the commission would need to write more regulations to clearly define how realtors display the broker information.

During the bill’s first hearing, Bird told the panel it’s possible the commission could regulate font sizes used on advertisements.

John Eaton, the government affairs manager for the Idaho Association of Realtors, endorsed the bill and said it brings some “common sense guidelines” for the industry.

Rep. Lance Clow, R-Twin Falls, lauded the measure as an aid to consumers during what are likely the largest financial transactions of their lives — the purchase and sale of homes and other real estate.

“I am going to support this,” Clow said. “It is people’s major investment.”

Join the discussion