Hiring an Unlicensed Assistant

Hiring an Unlicensed Assistant

 

Rule changes from the Real Estate Council (REC) and the British Columbia Real Estate Association (BCREA) continually increase the ongoing administrative burden for Realtors. The barrage of paperwork is seemingly endless. While hiring an assistant will help to maximize your time, ensure your compliance, and keep you organized, the REC offers strict guidelines that outline exactly what an unlicensed assistant can and cannot do.

 

Ensuring assistants don’t inadvertently conduct activities that require a real estate license, here’s what the REC wants you to know before hiring an unlicensed assistant. 

 

Unlicensed Assistants Can:

*  answer the telephone, take messages, and forward calls to a licensee;

*  schedule appointments for the licensee (this does not include making telephone calls, telemarketing, or performing other activities to solicit business on behalf of the licensee);

*  secure public information from a courthouse, municipality, regional district, or other source of public information;

*  place or remove signs on property;

*  submit listings and changes, as approved by a licensee, to a multiple listing service;

*  have keys made for a brokerage’s listing;

*  unlock a property in order that it may be shown by a licensee;

*  draft advertising copy, promotional materials, and correspondence for approval by a licensee (correspondence must be signed by the licensee);

*  place advertising;

*  prepare and distribute flyers and promotional information under the direction of and with approval by a licensee;

*  act as a courier to deliver documents, pick up keys, etc.;

*  be in attendance at a property during a licensee tour which is not open to the public so long as the unlicensed assistant does not answer any questions or offer any information beyond what has been provided, in writing, by the seller’s brokerage;

*  gather feedback from licensees on showings;

*  complete contract forms with business and factual information at the direction of and with approval by a licensee;

*  witness signatures;

*  assemble documents for a closing;

*  follow up on a trade in real estate after a contract has been signed by

*  arranging and/or allowing access to property for a property inspector or appraiser, or

*  providing other similar facilitation services that would not other wise require licensing;

*  perform bookkeeping or office functions, including

*  record and deposit trust funds, including transaction deposits, security deposits and rents,

*  compute remuneration cheques and perform bookkeeping activities,

*  monitor licences and personnel files, and

*  office filing; or

*  perform other administrative, clerical, and personal activities for which a licence under RESA is not required.

 

Unlicensed Assistants Cannot:

*  host open houses, kiosks, or home show booths;

*  solicit buyers, sellers, landlords, or tenants;

*  show property;

*  respond to questions from anyone outside the related brokerage about information concerning listings or other contracts, titles, financial documents, closing documents, or other information relating to a transaction;

*  explain or interpret a Contract of Purchase and Sale or any form of service agreement (e.g., listing contract) with or to anyone outside the related brokerage;

*  negotiate or agree to any commission, commission split, or referral fee on behalf of a licensee;

*  present or negotiate an offer or any form of service agreement; or

*  perform any other activity for which a licence under RESA is required.

 

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