It is not too early!
Real estate licenses expire on May 31, 2012. While that sounds a long way off, it will catch many of you unprepared! Every two years there are far too many renewal slip-ups that result in unlicensed practice, and for the unlucky, fines. Look for a related article to be published in PAR’s JustListed in the next several months that will compliment this article and provide additional tips on staying compliant. This article focuses on the potential downfall of brokers who do not assure that renewing salespersons have completed their continuing education requirements.
Renewing licensees must certify to the Commission that they have satisfied the continuing education requirement. The Commission will initially take your word, but will randomly sample a sufficient number of licensees to determine actual compliance. Failure may lead to discipline of not only of the licensee, but also the broker! Brokers, you are aware of your obligation to supervise the licensed activity of your salespersons? Then you are aware that they must satisfy continuing education requirements of the Rules and Regulations and therefore you have an obligation to assure that your licensees have done what they are suppose to do.
A policy I suggested at the last renewal period is to require all of your affiliated associate brokers and salespersons to provide you with documents relating to all continuing education credits earned. If you require your licensees to provide these to you, you are in a much better position to defend any claim that you failed to properly supervise the continuing education of your associates.
Brokers, keep in mind that new licensees completing their continuing education requirements for the first time, are required to satisfy two of three modules: the 7-hour general module and either the 7-hour commercial or 7-hour residential module. The balance of your licensees may elect the approved courses as they deem appropriate.
NOW IS THE TIME TO HAVE YOUR LICENSEES PREPARE THEIR RENEWAL APPLICATIONS AND DEMONSTRATE THE SATISFACTION OF THEIR CONTINUING EDUCATION REQUIREMENT. In this way you may determine who does not have the full complement of courses. Waiting until the last minute is dangerous. The Commission has a means by which waivers and extensions can be granted, but only if you act early. Get on the stick or, alternatively, call me after it is too late!
Copyright © James L. Goldsmith, Esquire, CALDWELL & KEARNS, P.C., 2012
All Rights Reserved
Jim Goldsmith is an attorney with Caldwell & Kearns and serves as general counsel to PAR. A substantial portion of his practice is dedicated to providing advice and counsel to real estate licensees. He and his firm represent and defend real estate salespersons and brokers in civil lawsuits and licensing claims across the Commonwealth. Jim also defends REALTORS® in disciplinary hearings conducted by the Real Estate Commission. He routinely counsels employers on employee relations issues and is one of the voices of the PAR Legal Hotline. He may be reached at www.realcompliance.com.