One of the most popular member benefits for REALTORS® in Texas is the association’s Legal Hotline. You can speak with an attorney to get information about a broad range of real estate topics, including contracts, ethical obligations, and state and federal laws.
It’s important to keep in mind that the association’s attorneys do not represent you or your clients as legal counsel and are therefore unable to provide specific legal advice. Sometimes, this can lead to frustration when callers can’t get an answer to a specific question. Here are the types of questions that our attorneys can and cannot answer.
Examples of Questions Hotline Attorneys Can Answer
- What contracts and forms are available?
My seller needs to stay in the house a few days after closing. Which form should I use?
- Explaining a provision in a contract.
Under the Third Party Financing Addendum, what is the deadline for my buyer to terminate if the property doesn’t appraise?
- What are the duties and obligations imposed by TREC rules or the Code of Ethics?
Are sales agents required to include their broker’s name on all their advertising?
Examples of Questions Hotline Attorneys Can’t Answer
- Asking for specific legal advice.
My buyer wants the seller to make several repairs identified in the inspection report, but the seller is refusing to make any repairs. What should my buyer do?
- Advice on what choice you or your client should make in any specific situation.
Attorneys can discuss available options and the risks associated with each option, but the choice remains with you or your client.
- Asking if a specific action complies with or violates the law, a TREC rule, or the Code of Ethics.
Can I send you my advertisement for you to tell me if it complies with TREC rules?
- What to write in a form.
Can you give me language to write in Special Provisions?
What should I write in a repair amendment?
Can you tell me what amount to put in the lender’s appraisal addendum?
- Asking hotline attorneys to settle a dispute between parties.
My buyers terminated during the option period, but the sellers are refusing to give them their earnest money back. My buyers get their earnest money back, right?
Texas REALTORS® attorneys can certainly explain the earnest money and termination option provisions in the contract. But they cannot determine which side wins a legal dispute in a specific transaction, even if the answer seems like a no-brainer.
If you or your client needs legal advice regarding a specific situation, hotline attorneys will direct you or your client to consult with your own legal counsel. While Texas REALTORS® hotline attorneys can’t provide legal advice, they can provide you with a wealth of information to help you and your clients make better informed decisions.