Joseph Autilio, executive director of the Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, answers agents’ questions regarding real estate licensing in Massachusetts.
Board’s Work with Agencies
Q. Does the Real Estate Board have a relationship with other governmental agencies to assist in its goals?
A. The Real Estate Board has relationships with a number of governmental and quasi-governmental agencies. For example, the Real Estate Board through its licensing agency, the Massachusetts Division of Professional Licensure, can access the criminal records of candidates for licensure in the Commonwealth. These candidates, in accord with the relevant law, authorize the Board to check for any criminal records with the Commonwealth’s Criminal History Systems Board. This assists the Board in making licensing decisions pursuant to its licensing statutes. Those statutes do not prohibit someone with a criminal conviction from licensure, but they do permit the Board to assess criminal convictions to determine whether it should decline to issue such a license based upon a lack of good moral character that is demonstrated by a particular conviction.
The Board also has a long-term relationship with the Massachusetts Board of Bar Overseers (BBO), the governmental entity under the state’s Supreme Judicial Court which licenses and regulates the practice of lawyers in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts licensing law permits, in relevant part, attorneys licensed in good standing in the Commonwealth to become licensed as real estate brokers. Naturally, aside from insuring that such attorneys are in good standing, the Board has a continuing interest in any disciplinary action taken by the BBO against Massachusetts lawyers.
The Board also has a very important relationship with the Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General. The Attorney General would defend the Board in litigation brought against it and the Board works cooperatively in such situations. Additionally, the Attorney General has been very helpful to the Board in the drafting of its pre-licensing and continuing education curricula on fair housing and the Board is currently discussing its desire to obtain information on real estate agents who are the subject of complaints to the Attorney General concerning alleged violations of the Commonwealth’s Fair Housing Laws.
Q. I have a personal dispute with my affiliated salesperson. Must I sign her work affiliation certificate for her to ultimately become a broker?
A. Yes, provided that your salesperson has worked the requisite time as a real estate salesperson. Keep in mind as of June 1, 2011, the requisite work affiliation time increased to three years pursuant to a change in the licensing law made in Chapter 307 of the Acts of 2010.
This can be a troubling matter for the broker, salesperson, and sometimes the Board for there are situations where a broker and salesperson have personal disputes that affect the certification of work affiliation. The Board relies upon brokers to report the requisite work affiliation of their salespeople via the certification.