As a licensed real estate professional, you are a one-stop-shop for client advice. The people who hire you to list their properties or help them buy real estate will expect you to know everything from the timetable for closing to the approximate value of a property you just saw for the first time.
Clients may ask you about how to become landlords or which remodeling projects will have the biggest return if they want to flip a property. Sometimes, the questions they have will be legal in nature. They want to know about the law or their rights. They may want to know if their plans comply with federal and state laws or potentially violate the law.
Can you, a real estate professional familiar with the local market and the law, give your clients legal advice?
No, even licensed real estate professionals cannot provide legal advice
No matter how many years you have helped people buy and sell real estate and how frequently you have heard about or read articles on different aspects of real estate law, you still do not have the formal legal training that an attorney does.
Lawyers go through specialized education intended to help them understand the interpretation of the law and provide guidance to their clients about specific legal matters. Many real estate professionals will face questions that have to do with the legality of certain behaviors or the rights of buyers and sellers.
If you try to answer legal questions or provide legal guidance to your clients, they could potentially report you for that behavior. You could face accusations of professional misconduct and potentially put your real estate license at risk.
How do you navigate legal issues with real estate transactions?
You can avoid overextending yourself and possibly endangering your license by establishing a working relationship with an attorney who practices real estate law. When you have an attorney that you trust and frequently work with, you can call them immediately when a client has a question.
That way, you can give your clients the guidance they need and the certainty that the information you have provided came directly from an attorney with the license and education necessary to truly understand the law. Understanding what you can and cannot do as a real estate professional can help you provide top-tier service and advice to your clients.