Broker Conversations: Using Unlicensed Assistants

Many real estate firms and agents utilize the services of unlicensed real estate assistants. It is important to understand what unlicensed individuals can and cannot do when it comes to real estate transactions. Among the permitted activities stated in the Virginia Real Estate Board Regulations are:

  1. Performing general clerical duties, including answering the phones, responding to email, and providing information shown on an MLS listing
  2. Entry of MLS listing data and changes to listing data (if the assistant has his/her own authorized MLS assistant access)
  3. Loan application and commitment follow up after a contract has been ratified
  4. Placing signs on properties
  5. Scheduling appointments
  6. Preparation of contract forms for approval of the licensee and supervising broker
  7. Preparation of promotional materials and advertisements for approval of the licensee and supervising broker
  8. Ordering routine repairs as directed by the licensee

The VREB Regulations stipulate that the following activities require a real estate license and may NOT be performed by an unlicensed assistant:

  1. Showing property
  2. Holding an open house
  3. Answering questions concerning title, financing, closing, contracts, brokerage agreements, and legal documents
  4. The discussion, explanation, interpretation, or negotiation of a contract, listing, lease agreement, or property management agreement with anyone outside the firm
  5. Negotiating or agreeing to any commission, commission split, management fee, or referral fee

Compensation is also addressed in the VREB Regulations. Unlicensed assistant compensation may not be conditioned upon the sale or settlement of the property. The assistant must be compensated for their work at a predetermined rate that is not contingent upon the occurrence of a real estate transaction. For more information, visit DPOR.Virginia.gov.

For questions concerning cooperative compensation, ask your Broker or contact Peggy Lynch at plynch@RARealtors.com.