Real estate brokers and sales agents must have a license issued by the state to engage in their chosen profession. Brokers and agents must go through training and meet strict requirements to obtain and maintain their licenses. Unfortunately, there are many ways for a person to lose a real estate license and, along with it, the ability to earn a living.
Sometimes, losing a real estate license can be due to criminal misconduct on the part of the license holder, but at other times, individuals can lose their license because of carelessness. Being aware of the responsibilities states impose upon real estate brokers and sales agents can help people to avoid licensing problems.
The role of real estate brokers in most states does not end when a buyer makes an offer to purchase a seller’s property. Brokers or sales associates supervise the signing of a sales agreement and the good faith deposit is held in trust by the broker. Problems arise for brokers who fail to live up to their responsibility of holding trust funds separate and apart from their own money.
Commingling can lead to an enforcement agency such as the Texas Real Estate Commission taking action to revoke or suspend a broker’s license. Brokers can avoid the risks associated with handling other people’s money by using the escrow services of the title insurance company involved in the real estate transaction.
The laws pertaining to the information a broker or real estate agent must disclose to a buyer about a particular piece of property vary from state to state. Brokers and agents should be aware of the disclosure requirements in their state and obey them to the letter of the law.
Disclosing too much information about a property’s condition can be as much of a risk to a real estate professional’s license as failing misrepresenting or concealing a property’s condition. Knowing the requirements and limits of a state’s disclosure requirements and putting all disclosures made to a buyer or seller in writing are essential to avoiding licensing issues.
Another disclosure issue arises in the situation when real estate professionals become involved in a transaction as a buyer or seller. It is not illegal for a broker or agent to make an offer to purchase or sell property as long as they disclose their status as a real estate professional. As with other disclosures, doing it in writing is the best way to stay out of trouble with state licensing officials.
Some states prohibit or severely restrict convicted felons from holding professional licenses. Texas, for example, limits convictions for which a real estate license might be revoked to crimes involving moral turpitude. Other states, such as New York, include all felony convictions.
Getting a real estate conviction is serious in all states. When facing legal accusations, it is best to consult with a legal representative who knows how to fight the U.S. legal system. Speak with Rand Mintzer today by calling 713-862-8880.