Legal FAQs for REALTORS® — Advertising
Telemarketing

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Can my unlicensed assistant call potential buyers and sellers and make an appointment for a licensed agent to talk to the prospect? (Updated Jan. 30, 2015)

No. This is often referred to as telemarketing, and only a licensed real estate broker or salesperson may make such calls. Both the Real Estate License Act and TREC rules make it clear that all solicitation work must be conducted by licensees.


Texas' new telemarketing law went into effect last week and created a statewide no-call list. Are REALTORS® required to obtain the no-call list when making cold calls? (April 3, 2002)

The telemarketing bill (HB 472) does not apply to a call made by a real estate licensee if the following conditions are met: 1. The call can not be made by an automated telephone-dialing system. 2. The solicited transaction can not be completed until a face-to-face sales presentation by the licensee occurs, and the consumer is not required to pay or authorize payment until after the presentation. 3. The consumer has not informed the licensee that the consumer does not wish to receive calls from the licensee.


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? (Updated Oct. 21, 2014)

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. 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.


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? (Updated Oct. 21, 2014)

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. 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.


My client was named the executor of his mother’s estate after she passed away, and now he’s planning to sell the house she owned. He hasn’t lived in the property, so he has no idea if there are any existing issues. Is he still required to furnish a Seller’s Disclosure Notice to potential buyers? (Updated Jan. 15, 2016)

No. Certain types of sellers, like an administrator or executor of an estate, are not required to provide a seller’s disclosure notice to prospective buyers. The seller should check the box in Paragraph 7B(3) to show that the Seller’s Disclosure Notice is not required. This situation is one of the 11 exemptions found in the Texas Property Code statute regulating seller’s disclosure notices. Click here to see the code, and scroll down to Section 5.008(e), which lists the exemptions.  Remember that even though this type of seller is not required to provide a disclosure notice, he must still disclose any known material defects. 


A title company has offered to reimburse me for the cost of the snacks I want to provide at my next open house. Can I accept? (updated April 1, 2015)

A title company could reimburse you for the cost of the snacks you provide at an open house if someone from the title company attends it to make a presentation or otherwise market services, since then the title company isn’t conditioning the snacks on receiving referrals. A title company providing snacks for your open house without offering normal promotional or educational activities could be seen as providing something of value to you for business referrals, which would be a violation of Section 8 of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).


Legal Disclaimer: 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.

While the Texas Association of REALTORS® has used reasonable efforts in collecting and preparing materials included here, due to the rapidly changing nature of the real estate marketplace and the law, and our reliance on information provided by outside sources, the Texas Association of REALTORS® makes no representation, warranty, or guarantee of the accuracy or reliability of any information provided here or elsewhere on TexasRealEstate.com. Any legal or other information found here, on TexasRealEstate.com, or at other sites to which we link, should be verified before it is relied upon.

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