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. What can the Board do about brokers who refuse to split their commission with me 50/50?
A. The Board does not have any regulatory authority over the commission splits between real estate agents nor is that provided for in the relevant licensing law. The licensing law is silent on commission splits between brokers and, therefore, such matters are left to the brokers involved in a purchase and sale or leasehold transaction involving real estate.
The Board recognizes that some agents believe it should have jurisdiction over disputes concerning commission splits but that is a philosophical point of view and one for the legislature to address should it see the need to do so. The Board would like to note, however, that it is probably wise to keep in mind that commission splits are likely best left to the brokers involved in a transaction, because they have the most knowledge of what actually occurred in the transaction. This may be the reason that the licensing law is silent when it comes to broker commission splits.
Q. What do I do as a salesperson who has worked for more than one broker so that I can take the broker examination?
A. First, remember you can only work for one broker at a time as mandated by the licensing law. If, however, you have worked for more than one broker at different times then the most recent broker has to sign the Broker Certification on the back of the Education Certificate that you obtained from the educational provider when you complete the broker pre-licensing education. The Education Certificate will be in the Candidate Guidebook provided to you by the educational provider and its instructions note that you need to obtain a letter(s) signed by the other broker(s) with whom you were affiliated. The letter from the other broker must note the broker’s name, license number and that you were, in fact, affiliated with the broker for a beginning and ending time period specified in the letter. You must obtain at least three years of experience as a licensed active salesperson affiliated with a licensed active Massachusetts broker. Those letters along with the completed Education Certificate and Broker Certification are collected by the Board’s examination service when you pass the brokers examination. Should you stop working and allow more than two years elapse then you cannot count your prior affiliation experience towards the three year requirement.