If a person has signed contact and is no longer happy with it they are wondering if they are legally allowed to change it. In the field of real estate, this can be easier than a person thinks.
In the state of Wyoming, a real estate agent was found to have been engaged in authorized and inappropriate actions of removing information on a signed for. The state law said this was even minor modifications were in violations of the law. This can lead to a lot of trouble and an agent may even lose their license.
The exact definition of unauthorized practice will vary from state to state. Some states have specific laws. A real estate professional must know the specific law in their state and the regulations so they do not even accidentally cross the line. The law does not take into account something was done by accident and there will still be penalties.
According to Article 13 from the Realtors Code of Ethics, it is in violation to go against the law and the NAR members will be sent to a lawyer with any questionable violations. The realtors need to be aware of the ethical obligations in this field.
There are some ways that a realtor can protect themselves and avoid mistakes that may violate the law.
A realtor should never make their legal document for their client. They should use forms agreed by the state and federal Realtor association. These forms are approved and will help a realtor stay protected. This form should not be edited. Names, locations, and dates should not be placed on the legal documents.
If edits do need to be made they should be done by an attorney. This is the legal obligation of the realtor and will protect the agent. A fee should not be charged to the client for preparing legal forms. It is unlawful in many states to prepare these legal documents over the internet.
Do not interpret legal terms on a contract. A real estate agent should not provide legal advice because they do not have the qualifications to be a lawyer. Only people with specific knowledge and degrees should provide this advice.
As real estate documents become more complex clients will often ask the agent for their interpretation. This should not be done. Under the code of ethics that agents are held to they should advise the client to contact an attorney to speak about the document.
This is not done to be difficult. The agent can get in a lot of trouble. They can face fines, a license suspension, and they may even lose their real estate license. They should tell the people they are working with to contact an attorney for questions on a legal document.
By following this advice a real estate agent will protect themselves in legal and ethical situations. By having the client contact an attorney they are more likely to complete a successful real estate transaction.