Can I call a FSBO seller on the do-not-call list on behalf of my buyer?

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10/23/2014 | Author: Editorial Staff

Can I call a FSBO seller who is on the National Do-Not-Call Registry if I have a client who is interested in the property?

Yes. Since the call is not a solicitation, you may contact a seller marketing a for sale by owner property about your client’s potential interest—even if the seller’s number is on the National Do-Not-Call Registry. As a buyer’s representative, you may only discuss your client’s interest in the property, and you cannot use a purported client’s interest as a way to solicit the listing.

A real estate professional is prohibited from initiating a telephone call to a FSBO whose number is listed in the National Do-Not-Call Registry in an attempt to obtain the listing or to solicit other business. (Read more about National Do-Not-Call rules and soliciting listings.) The rules prohibit anyone from making telephone solicitations to numbers registered in the database, and a call initiated to obtain the listing constitutes an impermissible solicitation.

TAR offers model policies to help you comply with do-not-call rules and other regulations, such as faxing and email, in addition to several other model manuals. Recently updated, these model guides are available for members in the Risk-reduction Tools section of

Categories: Legal
Tags: legal faq, fsbo


Antoinette Brady on 10/25/2014

From what I can see, we have to pay for access to the list of numbers on the DNC, and then it is pay-per-area code. Here is where I got that information from: . I went to the URL that Zeke left and it was a header with a blank page for me. I also found this on the TAR website- I believe it is a free sentry for the DNC list which brokers can sign up for and give their agents access to the Registry:

Bob Micklos on 10/23/2014

Ben, if you’re scared find another occupation.  Try telemarketing.  That way, you don’t have to see ANY people.

The most common comment I get, from FSBOs/consumers, is “We took the house off the market/and/or fired our agent, because we couldn’t get what our agent said we could, and now the real estate people won’t stop calling.”

Zeke on 10/23/2014

Never mind my question. Found it. You can access the DNC list here:
More info/definitions/etc. here:

Bottom line: If we’re calling to solicit a listing, we’re considered a “seller” (if we’re calling to solicit on our own behalf) and are bound by the DNC rules. But if we’re calling as a representative of a buyer client, we’re OK (exempt).

Zeke on 10/23/2014

So… again: Where do we get the numbers in the DNC list so we’ll know not to call them? Does anyone know?

Ben Bryant on 10/23/2014

You’re a riot, Bob Micklos! If you can’t do better that that don’t waste your time leaving a remark. Add value, not stupid remarks. Telephone calls are an acceptable tool to make initial contact these days, especially with safety issues involved. Most people won’t answer doors when unexpected/unknown visitors are ringing the doorbell!

Bob Micklos on 10/23/2014

Try knocking on their door.

If you aren’t willing to put that much effort into it, why should they hire you?

Brigitte Mueller on 10/23/2014

If I have a client who wants to know about a FSBO he/she is interested in I will call the FSBO and let him/her know I have an interested buyer and if we could work together. So far I have not one owner telling me no they always agreed if the buyer wants to write an offer they would pay me my commission. (in writing) The owner wants to sell and the buyer wants to buy. The the original question was, can we call a FSBO on the DNC list?

Ben Bryant on 10/23/2014

It’s ludicrous that there’s a Do Not Call registry and list. but NO CLEAR, EASILY AVAILABLE number or web site for persons such as REALTORS and anyone for that matter, to call or long on to and verify if someone IS or IS NOT on the DNC list! There used to be an easily accessible site, but not any more. I found one site, but it was Canadian only… not for United States verification. Show me or tell me where this can be found? Appears to be another U.S. Government screw up! Imagine trhat!

Joe Lumbley on 10/23/2014

@Kay.  No, Kay, it’s not difficult to understand.  It IS a bit difficult to take seriously when we’re all surrounded by folks who violating the law with absolutely NO response by the government to enforce the laws.  The purpose of my original response to you was to point out that there is nothing that says that Realtors(r) have special “rules and regulations established for Realtors(sic)” as your post indicated.  The only rules and regulations we are subject to are the Canons of Ethics of the Board of Realtors, the terms and conditions of the Texas Real Estate Licensing Act,  and to the laws and regulations that apply to all citizens, not just Realtors(r) and/or licensees.

Kay on 10/23/2014


I’m not talking about the code of ethics. I’m talking about as Realtors we are not suppose to call anyone on the Do-Not-Call registry to solicit business. This is what the
Article is about. Yes I know we ALL get calls that are unsolicited but that does not make it ok for us to do the same. The registry really only works if a complaint is made about a caller.  Once a number is added to the list telemarketers have 31 days to remove it from their call list. As Realtors calling to solisit for business we are considered telemarketers.  I don’t see why this is so difficult for so many people to understand. Get a list from Federal Trade Commission and if that number is on the list, don’t call it. Just that simple.  Remember that if a complaint is made it is possible that not only you but your broker can be fined up to $16,000.

Ivan on 10/23/2014

I get a kick out of online advertisers calling me to tell me how important my online ads or google ranking are.

“Then why call me?  You has obviously discovered that what you are selling doesn’t work, so you’re trying cold calling.”

Joe Lumbley on 10/23/2014

I’ve heard that the DNC rules have been modified by a clause similar to the False Claims Act that will allow an individual to sue illegal callers rather than wait for the FTC or other agencies to do their jobs.  If true, that’s a good move.  It doesn’t do much good for us to threaten violators with “I’ll call Uncle Sam on you” if Uncle Sam doesn’t really care about prosecuting violators.

Steve Hicks on 10/23/2014

The best way to be sure the FSBO is on the Do Not Call list or not, is to call them and inquire, are you on the do not call list? Then you may proceed with the listing or sale which ever is right.

Becky on 10/23/2014

I believe that having a DNC list is great. However, like some others have said, most of us still get those solicitation calls. I do understand why we as realtors need to be careful however, there needs to be a little responsibility place on the FSBO owners as well. They can easily place on their sign, ad and whatever else they use as advertising, Realtor Need Not Call!! It that easy!

Joe Lumbley on 10/23/2014


I may be showing my ignorance here, but I know of NO rules and regulations established by or for Realtors(r) regarding this matter.  The Canons of Ethics are completely silent to this matter.  Maybe you’re confusing the guidance that the Board of Realtors provides on general matters with the rules and regulations that they have established.  Can you provide a source showing where these rules and regulations can be found?

Tom on 10/23/2014

@ Kay, with all due respect, sincerely, this is 100% about the do-not-call registry.

Brigitte Mueller on 10/23/2014

I agree with Joe! The “do not call list” is a joke. Every day I receive soliciting calls. Nobody stops calling even if you take the time telling them you are on the list and don’t want another call.

Zeke on 10/23/2014

How do we find out if a FSBO seller is on the DNC list?

Kay on 10/23/2014

@Joe, this is not about violating the Do-Not-Call Registry , but violating the rules and regulations established for Realtors.

Joe Lumbley on 10/23/2014

I’ll start to believe that they’re taking the do not call list seriously when I stop getting robocalls beginning with “Hi this is Amy from Account Services”.

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

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