Published by Kartik Subramaniam
Reading Time : 4 minutes
The real estate industry offers a wide range of career opportunities. Many roles within our great industry will require you to get a real estate license and pass the real estate exam, but some still need to. An example of a role that doesn 't require a real estate license is the position of unlicensed assistant.
Unlicensed assistants support licensed real estate agents and brokers in their day-to-day activities. In this article, I want to explore the scope of work that unlicensed assistants can perform in the real estate industry, specifically in California, and how they contribute to the success of a real estate business.
In California, the Department of Real Estate (DRE) regulates the activities of real estate professionals. Unlicensed assistants can work in the real estate business. Still, they must understand the limits of their roles, as performing tasks that require a real estate license without being properly licensed could lead to legal consequences. The DRE has provided guidelines for unlicensed assistants to help clarify their roles and responsibilities in the industry.
Unlicensed assistants may assist in cold contacting potential prospects through phone calls or electronic and social media channels. Their primary role is to gauge the interest of the person answering in using the services of a licensed real estate broker. If the respondent shows interest, the unlicensed assistant must refer them to a licensed agent or schedule an appointment with the licensed individual. It is important to note that unlicensed assistants cannot attempt to induce a prospect to use a broker's services.
With the property owner's consent (an important piece to the puzzle), unlicensed assistants can help licensed agents at open houses by placing signs, greeting the public, providing factual information from preprinted materials, or arranging appointments. However, only a licensed agent can show or exhibit the property, discuss terms and conditions, or engage in any conduct related to solicitation of the property.
Unlicensed assistants can prepare comparative market analyses under the supervision and approval of a licensed agent. These analyses provide insights into the value of a property by comparing it to similar properties that have recently sold, helping clients make informed decisions.
A Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) is a method used by real estate professionals to estimate the market value of a property by comparing it to similar properties in the same area that have recently sold or are currently on the market. The primary purpose of a CMA is to help sellers determine an appropriate listing price for their property or to help buyers assess whether a property is reasonably priced.
A well-conducted CMA will provide a range of possible values for a property rather than a single, specific price. It's important to remember that a CMA is only an estimate of value, and negotiations between the buyer and seller will ultimately determine the final sale price.
Unlicensed assistants can provide factual information to the public from materials prepared by licensed agents. However, they cannot engage in communication that involves solicitation concerning a specific property, transaction, or product.
Unlicensed assistants can schedule appointments for licensed agents to meet with clients or parties involved in a transaction. They can also arrange and order reports and services from third parties, such as pest control inspections, roof inspections, title reports, appraisals, credit checks, or repair work.
With the property owner's consent, unlicensed assistants can be present to grant access to individuals inspecting or working on the property. However, any information about the property required by the inspector must be provided by the broker, associate licensee, or principal unless it comes from a pre-approved data sheet.
Unlicensed assistants can design and prepare advertising materials related to the real estate transaction as long as the content is reviewed and approved by the broker or associate licensee before publication.
Under the supervision and direction of a licensed agent, unlicensed assistants can prepare and complete documents and instruments for a real estate transaction. However, the licensee must review or approve the final documents before being presented to clients or parties involved in the transaction.
Unlicensed assistants can mail, deliver, pick up, or arrange for the mailing, delivery, or picking up of documents or instruments related to the transaction. They can also obtain signatures from principals, parties, or service providers. However, they should refrain from discussing the documents' content, relevance, importance, or significance with clients or parties involved.
Unlicensed assistants can accept, account for, and provide receipts for trust funds received from principals or parties involved in a real estate transaction. This helps ensure proper documentation and tracking of funds throughout the process.
Unlicensed assistants can communicate with principals, parties, and service providers about the status of reports, services, or other information related to a transaction. They can provide updates on when reports will be delivered when services will be performed, or if the services have been completed. However, they should refrain from discussing the details or implications of the information provided.
Under the guidance of a licensed agent, unlicensed assistants can review transaction documentation for completeness or compliance. The broker or associate licensee must make the final determination of whether the documents meet the requirements.
Unlicensed assistants play an essential role in supporting the operations of real estate agents and brokers. By understanding and adhering to the guidelines set forth by the Department of Real Estate, unlicensed assistants can provide valuable assistance while ensuring they remain compliant with industry regulations.
It is important for real estate professionals, both licensed and unlicensed, to stay up-to-date on the latest guidelines and legal requirements as these can and do change over time. By doing so, they can protect their businesses and clients while providing a high level of service in an ever-changing industry.
Unlicensed assistants can perform various tasks to support licensed real estate agents and brokers. They can assist with cold contacting potential clients, open houses, comparative market analyses, communication, arranging appointments and services, accessing properties, advertising, document preparation, delivery and signing of documents, handling limited aspects of trust funds, and communicating with principals and service providers. By understanding the limitations of their role, unlicensed assistants can contribute significantly to the success of a real estate business while ensuring they stay within the bounds of the law.
My admittedly biased view is that everyone working in the real estate business should have a license, and ADHI Schools is the best place to fulfill these requirements.
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