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. As a salesperson do I need to report my affiliation to the Board?
A. Yes. Actually pursuant to Board Regulation 254 CMR 2.00(6)(a) and (b) the Board decides the form of the affiliation reporting and requires your affiliated broker to report your affiliation. Specifically your broker needs to send a letter to the Board noting that you, as a real estate salesperson, are affiliated with him/her. Your broker also needs to note your name, license number and when the affiliation commenced. Your broker also needs to note their name and license number. Occasionally salespeople have reported the affiliation and the Board accepts these affiliation reports as well. The Board currently is limited in its database concerning how much data it can capture and keep as a historical record, but it can, at a minimum, note a current salesperson affiliation with a broker.
It’s important to note that licensed salespersons may not work without affiliation with a licensed Massachusetts broker. Salespeople must not only affiliate with a licensed Massachusetts real estate broker to work but if they wish to ultimately become licensed as brokers, they must be affiliated with a broker for at least three years. The relevant licensing law permits the Board to define what work time period satisfies the three-year affiliation requirement and the Board regulation cited herein defines such affiliation to constitute at least 25 hours per week, mindful of the nature of the realty business.
It is important to report the affiliation given the statutory and regulatory requirements but also as a practical matter. Keep in mind that if there is a dispute between a salesperson and broker questioning the affiliation, the lack of any reporting does not help in answering whether an affiliation actually exists. Additionally, given the Board’s mandate to regulate the professional and deal with consumer complaints against agents, the lack of affiliation reporting hampers Board investigations both in terms of locating affiliated licensees and determining their affiliated realty establishments which may have some connection with a consumer complaint.
The act of reporting salesperson affiliation is not difficult, and keeping it up to date with the Board is important for the consumer, for the salesperson, for their affiliated broker or broker realty establishment, and for the profession and its integrity.
Q. Do brokers have to report affiliations to the Board?
A. There is no specific requirement for brokers to report their affiliation with other licensed Massachusetts brokers particularly, because, unlike salespeople, they can practice independently and are bonded. However, the Board will record them in its database and would encourage brokers who have affiliated agents to report those affiliations whether the agents are licensed as salespersons or brokers in the Commonwealth. The reporting of broker affiliations, along with those of salesperson, provides a comprehensive knowledge of all affiliates.
The Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons office in Boston can be reached at 617-727-2373.