A Legal Hotline for Your Real Estate Questions
800-873-9155, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Central, M-F excluding holidays
Call to get general answers to your questions about real estate laws and rules. Though hotline attorneys cannot give legal advice regarding specific transactions or situations, you can get general information about forms, brokerage, agency, license laws, listing, and more. Attorneys answer more than 19,000 calls on the hotline each year. Average hold times are under one minute.
450+ Answers to the Most Common Legal Questions
Legal Hotline attorneys have compiled answers to hundreds of the most common questions they hear on the hotline. Access these answers 24 hours a day, whether you need guidance on contracts and forms, advertising, agency, commissions, disclosures, landlord/tenant issues, fair housing, or other topics.
Legal Fund: Assistance that Helps You Even if You Never Use It
If you’re involved in a legal battle that could affect all REALTORS® in Texas, you may qualify for financial or legal assistance from the Texas REALTORS® Legal Fund. Even if you never find yourself in this situation, you still benefit. For example, with backing from the Legal Fund, REALTORS® successfully stood up to a patent troll targeting REALTORS® and prevailed against claims that a REALTOR® has a duty to verify the accuracy of square-footage data obtained from an appraisal district. Precedent-setting cases provide the best kind of protection, stopping a lawsuit from ever becoming a trend that spreads to the entire industry.
150+ Forms Exclusively for You and Your Clients
texasrealestate.com/realtorforms and through zipForm and other licensed vendors
Whether you work in commercial real estate, property management, farm & ranch, or residential, you have exclusive access to contracts, representation agreements, addenda, notices, employment/affiliation agreements, and commission-registration agreements to fit a variety of situations. These forms help you document the details you need to keep transactions on track and reduce your and your clients’ chances of trouble.
Model Policies for Privacy, Do-Not-Call, and Internet Use
Running afoul of consumer-protection laws—even unintentionally—can lead to big fines. Limit your exposure to complaints and violations related to using the internet, emailing, and calling prospects with Texas REALTORS® model policies.
Articles on Legal Topics that Matter to You
Texas REALTORS® staff and others write magazine and blog articles on important legal topics and forms. In addition to reading Texas REALTOR® magazine and the Advice for REALTORS® blog, you can use the search function at texasrealestate.com to find articles on specific topics. For example, keyword searches such as appraisal addendum, open house lawsuits, and forms changes will yield search results with articles on those topics.
Resources for Your Property Management Activities
The Texas REALTORS® Residential Property Management Resource—available to members for $149.99 plus tax—includes eight chapters of property-management information on topics such as evictions, security deposits, trust accounts, applications, and repairs. You also can download the free Texas REALTORS® Model Tenant-Selection Criteria Form.
A Response for Frivolous Claims Against You
Even though Texas REALTORS® successfully fought to exempt real estate brokerage activity from the Deceptive Trade Practices Act, you still could face demands based on the DTPA. If you do receive a DTPA demand letter, you or your attorney can use the form letter to respond. An online tool allows you to fill in blanks depending on your situation and generate a response letter.
Compliance for Your Brokerage
Texas Real Estate Commission rules require brokers to maintain written policies and procedures. The Texas REALTORS® Broker Responsibility Guide—exclusive to members at no cost—provides the information you need to comply with the rules. The Texas REALTORS® Model Brokerage Policies and Procedures Manual gives you instant compliance with TREC’s requirement to maintain written policies and procedures. It is available to members for $99.99 plus tax, and it includes free updates.
A Dedicated Staff Looking Out for Your Best Interests
The 10 attorneys on the Texas REALTORS® legal staff approach everything they do with you in mind. The legal team constantly looks for solutions to address legal threats to your business and provides you with tools to lessen your exposure to complaints, violations, and lawsuits.
Guides to Help You Comply with Copyright Laws
Infringing on someone else’s intellectual property rights can cost you money and time. Texas REALTORS® has model guides you can use to make sure you’re not improperly using photos or listing information. Also, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Safe Harbor Provision) Model Policy gives you the details you need to protect yourself from some other party’s infringing materials that appear on your website.
Local Associations: You Get These Benefits, Too
Most of the resources listed here are also available for the staff at local REALTOR® associations in Texas. If you have legal questions pertaining to your association, call 800-873-9155 and press 2.