Realtors face numerous professional challenges in the competitive Florida market. If you are striving to make the most of your real estate career, one problem you should not have to face is preventable legal mistakes. Following are common missteps it’s best to avoid.
Getting your name out there can be trickier than it first appears. Marketing can hurt more than it helps if you commit errors such as:
- Robocalling: Automated telephone advertising campaigns can land you in hot water if they infringe upon consumer rights, including Do Not Call lists and other provisions of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). When in doubt, make one call at a time, or entrust your marketing to a known and reputable agency.
- Intellectual property infringement: Using photographs can enhance the appeal of an advertisement, but you must own the rights to such creative works before using them in a campaign. Make sure to get written permission before using copyrighted photographs or look into signing up for a stock photography website that lets you license photos for relatively inexpensive fees.
- Deceptive ads: Speaking of photos, they should be accurate depictions of the property with no embellishments or deletions. Removing an unsightly object with editing software may only be intended to enhance photo aesthetics, but might actually lead to a claim of misrepresentation.
Defects discovered after the sale of the property can result in accusations targeted at the seller and the realtor. Sometimes these omissions are innocent mistakes on the part of the seller but, nonetheless, an undisclosed crack or utility easement could compel the buyer to take legal action. When in doubt, err on the side of too much disclosure rather than too little.
Failing to act when trouble arises
If you have reason to believe you are under investigation by the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) and the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC), make sure to respond with the urgency such a situation requires. A proactive response could help you eliminate or at least mitigate the damage this matter has on your career.