Could losing your real estate license be easier than you think? Just like other professionals, realtors are held to a high standard by both the National Association of Realtors and the California Bureau of Real Estate. What might put your real estate license in danger?
1. Educational shortcomings
You’re required to complete 45 hours of continuing education every four years in order to renew your license. The educational requirements are very specific, so make sure you check them far enough in advance that you can complete the necessary materials.
2. Criminal convictions
With a few exceptions, you’re required to disclose all convictions, whether misdemeanors or felonies. At that point, the Bureau of Real Estate will decide whether your crime relates to your duties as a realtor in any substantive way.
Crimes involving money, such as theft, fraud, tax evasion, bribery and embezzlement, are most likely to result in a problem for your license. Realtors are involved in large financial transactions, so they need to be above reproach where money is concerned.
However, other criminal convictions may also be problematic. Any crime that could be deemed a moral failing, like lying to government agents, drunk driving and drug possession, could also cost your license.
3. Lying to customers
Anything from intentionally overstating the estimated selling value of a house in order to convince a potential client to sign for your services to neglecting to disclose important information to a buyer (like home repairs that were done without a permit) can put your license and your livelihood in jeopardy.
4. Oversharing online
Social media can trip up people in all kinds of professions — and realtors are no exception. Keep in mind that nothing you say in an online message board, forum, chat or platform is really private.
Be careful airing your frustrations about other real estate agents or complaining about commissions. That could be an ethical issue that troubles the Board.
Similarly, don’t share another agent’s listing on your own social page, even though you might be tempted to do so after going to another agent’s open house. That’s a violation of the other agent’s exclusive rights.
If you have concerns about keeping your realtor’s license, an attorney who handles professional licensure defense issues can help protect your rights.