Real estate agents are the frontliners in the trillion-dollar property market. They are the ones who generate revenue for the industry. They are also likely the ones to be in the middle of legal issues. These legal issues can cost agents thousands of dollars. It can also cost their careers. Being careful and knowing these laws should be your main priority as a future real estate agent.
Here are some general real estate laws you need to know so that they won’t cost you your career in the future:
Marketing and advertising are something you’ll be doing as a real estate agent. You’ll be doing it for the properties that are under your contract, and you’ll also be doing it for your services as an agent. However, remember that false advertising is not limited only to products but also to properties and services.
Any form of deception regarding the appearance, price, discounts, and much of a particular property is grounds for false advertising. This includes outdated pictures of particular properties for sale on the internet. So make sure that you don’t make the mistake of falsely advertising to your buyers because deception can be accidental as much as it can be incidental.
Fair Housing Act
The Fair Housing Act is one of the essential laws you’ll tackle daily as a real estate agent. Although this particular law may change depending on your state, the general idea stays the same: you’re not allowed to discriminate against buyers based on their race, color, religion, country of origin, gender, marital status, and disability. This isn’t just about selling a property but also about giving the necessary information to clients.
You’re not allowed to change particular information, such as the property’s availability and price, depending on your client. For example, you might offer the property at a much lower price to a friend of yours, while you offer it at an inflated price to people you do not know. It must be the same price points regardless of your relationship with a potential buyer. This act also applies to people who are planning to finance a property that you might own as a real estate agent.
As a real estate agent, it is your duty to inform potential buyers regarding the property’s environment. This includes the land underneath the property, the environment next to the property, and the materials used to build the property.
As per the lead disclosure law, you must tell potential buyers if the property you are selling contains any lead as this might be hazardous to inhabitants of the property. Furthermore, environmental laws also state that you must inform clients regarding environmental hazards near the property, such as soil erosion, contaminated water, and such. As a real estate agent, it is your responsibility to consult with inspectors to find out about these things. Failure to disclose this information can lead to potential legal issues in the future. This can cost you your license and ability to sell properties in the future.
It’s important to know that these laws may change depending on the state you got your license. As a realtor, you should consider consulting various professionals regarding property laws in your state.
As a real estate agent, consultation is one of your best assets for law and legal procedures. It helps you avoid legal issues specific to your state. It’s always good to consult a real estate attorney before you become an agent. This essential even if you went through the proper education and training you need to do as a real estate agent. Remember that some laws can differ greatly depending on which state you’re on. By consulting with professionals, you ensure that you won’t get caught off-guard by these state-depending laws.
One of the laws that change every state is eviction rules and procedures. Each state has different ways of legally evicting a buyer who has stopped paying their mortgage. Although you might not be responsible for evicting these buyers (the responsibility is usually left with the bank), you still have to know as a seller of properties. You’ll be one of the first people that the bank will contact to inform you regarding late payments from a particular buyer.
Being a real estate agent requires you to analyze a decent amount of information regarding the properties you’re about to sell. If you want to be a good real estate agent, you’ll have to go above and beyond when it comes to memorizing information you need to tell your client.
Furthermore, you must stay fair no matter what kind of client you have. If your client disrespects you as an agent, it’s better that you walk away from that deal before you lose your entire career. This is the safest bet because certain clients will exploit you for things you might know as a realtor.