A homeowner in California has filed a class-action lawsuit against NRT and Coldwell Banker Real Estate, subsidiaries of Realogy, alleging they violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by making unsolicited, automatically dialed calls to consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The homeowner listed a property on the MLS but had it removed after it did not sell. In the complaint, the homeowner states he received unwanted, autodialed calls from Coldwell Banker and NRT agents to his cellphone, which was not associated with the publicly listed property information. His cellphone is on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The complaint alleges the real estate companies instruct agents to cold call consumers and provide the agents with numbers, analytics, scripts, and preferred pricing on technology services, including autodialers. The class-action lawsuit stretches to anyone who has received unsolicited calls from the companies in the past four years. It seeks a jury trial and from $500 to $1,500 in damages for each violation.

Texas REALTORS® members can access model cold calling policies on texasrealestate.com. NAR also has resources about telemarketing and cold calling.

Calling Expired Listings

You should check the National Do Not Call Registry before soliciting expired listings or homes for sale by owner.

National Do Not Call Registry rules allow for calls to individuals you have had a prior business relationship with that ended in the past 18 months. For example, you can call the owner of one of your own listings that expired 10 months ago even if the owner is listed on the National Do Not Call Registry. However, if the owner asks to be put on your own company’s do-not-call list, you may not call him.

In addition to the National Do Not Call Registry, Texas real estate agents should also be aware that Texas has two types of “Do Not Call” lists which are sponsored by the Texas Public Utility Commission: the Statewide “Do Not Call” List and the “Electric No Call” List. The Statewide List is for residential numbers and the Electric List is for business numbers. Texas telemarketers are prohibited from contacting listed numbers via calls and/or text messages. However, there are several exceptions, one of which applies to state license holders, including real estate agents. Real estate license holders may contact consumers on the lists if: calls are not made by an automated device; the transaction cannot be completed without face-to-face contact; and the consumer has not informed the license holder that he or she does not wish to be called.