By Joseph Autilio Executive Director, Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons
Answers to agents’ questions regarding real estate licensing in Massachusetts.
Q. How does a salesperson report their work experience?
A. There are several ways to report. You can report your affiliation with a licensed Massachusetts broker to the Board on your licensure application if you have the immediate prospect of such an affiliation. The relevant law requires the affiliation for salespeople to work. Specifically, a real estate salesperson must affiliate with a broker and work for at least three years before the salesperson can become a licensed broker. After completing the three-year work affiliation requirement, salespeople must complete the 40-hour broker educational curriculum developed by the Board and successfully pass the broker examination. The Board also requires brokers to report their affiliated salespeople, and this is done by simply notifying the Board in writing of such affiliation or the termination of a previously reported affiliation.
Another reporting mechanism required by the Board’s regulations is for brokers to provide a signed certification on a salesperson’s educational certificate that is obtained from a Board approved education provider. That educational certificate essentially does two things: First, the education provider certifies that the salesperson has completed the Board approved 40-hour broker pre-licensing education. Secondly, on the back of that certificate, the affiliated broker notes the time period of the salesperson’s affiliation with the broker. That affiliation certification is very important in satisfying the licensing law’s three-year salesperson affiliation requirement.
Sometimes salespeople and brokers have a falling out for business and personal reasons resulting in a broker’s refusal to report the affiliation of the salesperson on the back of the educational certificate. Moreover, some brokers operate on a misunderstanding that they can simply refuse to sign the certification even though the salesperson was affiliated with them for at least three years. It is a broker’s duty to sign the affiliation certification if the salesperson has affiliated with them and to report the period of affiliation. Neither the Board nor the licensing law is putting a broker in the position of providing a character reference for the affiliated salesperson. All the relevant law seeks, by way of the broker certification, is verification of the time period of the salesperson affiliation and nothing more.
Q. Can I renew my real estate license online?
A. Unfortunately, agents cannot currently renew online, though that will be available to licensees in the future. The Board obviously has a web page which is a part of its parent agency, the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure (DPL). DPL and its Board’s are working toward selecting a vendor to enhance its web presence which will include online license renewals. This project is much bigger than the Board can cover in one article and it involves all DPL Boards. For now, rest assured that the Board is working towards online license renewal for real estate agents.