You have not talked to your broker or manager about the subject.
You have not checked out the Realtor® Resource Center.
You do not have paperwork prepared.
When can I call the PAR Legal Hotline?
Call only between 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m. These hours have been selected to provide flexibility to agents who work different schedules, while keeping all calls within regular office hours. Every effort is made to return calls on the day they’re made, so you might get a call back outside of those hours depending on how many calls are handled that day. Though you might get a return call after hours, please do not call the Hotline outside of these posted hours.
Who can call the PAR Legal Hotline?
PAR members only. The Hotline is a service for PAR members only. Do not give the number to your clients, to non-Realtor® licensees or to friends who are having trouble in a transaction. The only exception to this rule is that the Hotline will accept calls from your legal counsel if he or she has a relevant question. Remember that PAR is paying for the attorneys’ time out of your member dues, so calls by non-members will redirect your dues money to someone else’s benefit.
Know the issue. The caller should have a full understanding of the situation and be able to answer relevant questions from the Hotline attorney. If it’s your transaction, you should probably call yourself, or maybe with your broker/manager, if that would be helpful. Asking another agent or administrative staff to call when they don’t have the specifics means it will probably be an incomplete question and therefore an incomplete answer.
What should I do before I call the PAR Legal Hotline?
Make the call more effective (for you and the Hotline attorney) by having all the necessary information at your fingertips when you make the call. And if you won’t be at your desk, try to take any necessary information with you so you’ll have it when the call is returned.
Paperwork, paperwork, paperwork. If you are asking about a clause in contract, have the document available. “It says something like…” won’t get you as good an answer as “Let me read this to you….”
Have you tried… One of the questions you’re likely to be asked by a Hotline attorney is “Have you talked to your broker or manager about this?” They may have had a similar experience in the past, or your question may be one that comes down to brokerage policy, so that’s a good place to start.
Use your resources. Many of the most common questions can be answered in whole or in part by reviewing resources already available from PAR. Even if you can’t find an answer, reviewing these resources may help you get a better feel for the questions to ask.
JustListed has published thousands of articles since launching in 2008, many of which cover legal and transactional issues. There’s even a “Best of the Hotline” series. Try searching by a few keywords to see if an article is available.
PAR’s Realtor® Resource Library collects links and resources on many common topics.
If you have a question about forms usage, try reading PAR’s guidelines for that particular form. Just go to the standard forms page and login to see the guidelines, which are also a members-only benefit.
What should I know about calling the PAR Legal Hotline?
Hotline attorneys do not represent you. The role of the Hotline is to provide general answers to common problems that occur in your business, not to write contracts, provide opinion letters or negotiate with a cooperating broker who just doesn’t see things your way. If you are wrestling with a substantive issue that could affect a transaction or if you are seeking to defend a complaint or lawsuit, you should always seek advice from your own attorney or from your broker’s counsel.
The answers provided on the Legal Hotline should be considered general information about real estate and the law and not legal opinions of the attorneys or PAR. The responses given are based solely on the facts presented by the caller, which are presumed to be accurate for purposes of giving the caller an answer.
The Legal Hotline is not meant as a substitute for your own private legal counsel, nor is it meant to be used as a means of conflict resolution in any dispute. The Hotline is meant solely for the use and benefit of PAR members. Callers should not try to counsel their clients on legal matters based on a call to the Hotline. They must never give the Hotline number to clients; instead, tell clients to seek their own attorneys.
Answers from the Hotline should not be quoted (or even worse, misquoted) in legal documents or proceedings, ethics or arbitration hearings or in correspondence to other persons regarding a dispute. Hotline attorneys do not take sides in any dispute but may refer callers to other resources, like mediation, for dispute resolution assistance.
Callers may not fax or email documents to Hotline attorneys but may refer to PAR Standard Forms used in a transaction of interest. Callers should, of course, maintain a courteous and civil tone at all times.