Buying and Selling Real Estate Leads: Legal Ramifications

Posted on: February 25, 2015 by Renato Cachina

Buying and Selling Real Estate Leads Legal Ramifications

Purchasing online leads, or selling them for that matter, is not a new concept for real estate agents. However, many agents and brokers ask themselves regularly, “Is it worth it?” Obtaining leads quickly and efficiently allows those in the real estate industry to remain competitive, given that they have a proactive, targeted strategy. However buying is not only expensive, it raises some interesting legal questions about Real Estate liability.

While many real estate agents and brokers boast the benefits of buying and selling leads on throughout RealtorMag, legal experts say that agents and brokers who use creative ways to buy or sell leads could find themselves facing legal ramifications due to laws that govern or protect privacy, kickbacks, and lending.

How can agents avoid these legal woes? Ben Kinney of Keller Williams Realty says that he requires his agents to review prospects’ past communications with the agents he has bought leads from. Kinney also ensures that he scrubs (compares) leads against do-not-call lists before contacting them.

Another tactic in buying leads that may keep agents out of hot water legally is only buying leads from real estate agents and brokers who obtain their leads through the websites of well-established, reputable real estate technology providers. The reason for this is because consumers who register to use these websites must give their consent to receive communication from agents.

Selling leads also comes with its own set of legal ramifications; agents should ensure they aren’t selling email addresses of leads that have opted out of receiving commercial emails from them, and should be wary of promoting lenders they sell leads too. Whatever their method for buying and/or selling leads, real estate agents should always make sure their operation complies with fair lending laws, the SAFE Act and the Gramm Leach Billely Act.

At ELM PL, we understand the unique risks faced by your clients in the real estate industry, as well as the Professional Liability risks faced by your clients in other various industries. Please contact us today for more information about our products and services at (888) 330-0696.

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