I say that a bit “tongue in cheek” but it does come as a result of my recent Broker renewal/exam class experience. The “cheater” used their notes (blatantly I may add) during the closed book test. Not just once, but again after being warned to put them away. Now understand, these tests are not super hard nor super easy. They are kind of middlin’ (is that a word?). Anyone doing a little studying in advance and awake during the review shouldn’t have a problem.

So this got me thinking.

The poor client that this “loser” agent is going to represent could have real issues! And I’d hate to be on the other end of the deal!

Makes us all look bad.

The rest of us take the time to keep current on the issues. In fact the Department of Real Estate mandates that every licensee (any agent or broker):

For subsequent renewals effective on or after 7/1/2011, all real estate brokers and salespersons must complete 45 clock hours of DRE-approved continuing education consisting of (direct from

  • Either 15 hours of continuing education courses in the following subjects: Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, and Risk Management OR one eight-hour survey course that covers the five mandatory subjects (Ethics, Agency, Trust Fund Handling, Fair Housing, and Risk Management);
  • At least 18 clock hours of consumer protection courses; and
  • The remaining clock hours required to complete the 45 hours of continuing education may be related to either consumer service or consumer protection courses.

For your job or profession do you spend 45 hours working on how to protect your client? It’s a serious matter.

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So is your agent doing what they have a responsibility to do?

So what can you do as a buyer or seller for that added level of comfort and trust?

Thankfully you can do a little “background” check of your own and here’s how (won’t take more than 2 minutes tops!):

  1. Go to the Department of Real Estate and check your current or proposed agent’s license ( works for Department of Corporations, Department of Financial Institutions, Department of Real Estate and the Office of Real Estate Appraisers as well). (If someone is not current or may have had disciplinary action, you’ll see it here. Plus they have to be licensed in California!)
  2. Head over to the National Association of REALTORS to check them out over there ( REALTORS work under a code of Ethics so make sure your agent is one!

See! Super easy.

If you don’t have an agent in mind you can scoot over there and check me out (Shane Zuspan) for a test run so you’re ready to “trust but verify” when you buy or sell your next home!

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Have you had any challenging experiences with an agent not being licensed or current? Let me know!



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