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Reporting Affiliates and Affiliate Experience

by Joseph Autilio Executive Director, Massachusetts Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons | Mar 04, 2014
Answers to agents’ questions regarding real estate licensing in Massachusetts.
Q. As a broker, why do I need to report my affiliated real estate agents?

A. First and foremost, a salesperson must be affiliated with a licensed Massachusetts Real Estate Broker to work, and that broker is responsible for the real estate activities of their affiliated salesperson. The salesperson affiliation and broker responsibility requirement is contained in the licensing law, Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 112, Section 87RR.

The requirement that brokers report on the affiliation (and termination of any affiliation) can be found in Board Regulation 254 CMR 2.00(6)(a). The regulation of the Board states, in essence, that the Board designates the form in which an affiliation is reported in three ways. First, when a new licensed salesperson already has waiting a broker with whom he/she will affiliate then the licensed salesperson must disclose that on their licensure application. Secondly, the Board has an “Affiliation Notice” online at its website for real estate brokers to disclose their affiliated salespeople or the termination of a previously reported affiliation (see: Lastly, the Board will accept a letter or email from brokers reporting an affiliation or termination, provided the broker notes his/her name and license number, the name and license number of the affiliated salesperson, and the date the affiliation commenced or was terminated.

While the relevant law and regulations provide for the notice of salesperson affiliation there is a practical side to this. Namely, given that licensed salespeople cannot work independently, it makes good sense that the Board have information on the affiliation of salespeople with brokers. It also makes good sense that the public have access to such information along with the Board’s investigators who deal with complaints brought against real estate agents.

In earlier articles, the Board has noted the problems associated with addressing consumer complaints against agents who fail to provide their current mailing address. Similarly, when affiliation information is not provided, or is incomplete, it impedes the investigation and causes unnecessary delay. As is the case with the failure to report current addresses, the Board is now imposing licensing penalties – including fines – if brokers and salespersons fail to report their affiliation and the termination thereof.

Q. If I wish to become a broker, does my affiliation experience as a salesperson count forever?

A. Remember that a licensed real estate salesperson needs to be affiliated with a licensed Massachusetts broker for at least three years while working for at least a 25 hour week. If you’ve worked for three years and continue to be affiliated/working, then  you can use the experience. However, if you stop working as a real estate salesperson and more than two years elapses then your prior work experience, regardless of how long, can no longer be counted.