Who needs to be licensed?

Asked by Anthony Perez, Northridge, CA Wed Dec 22, 2010

A husband and wife both go out showing homes together as a team, do both require a license?
The man does all the talking and the wife only shows the potential buyers wife the kitchen and baths and carries small talk.

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., , Outer Sunset, San Francisco, CA
Mon Jan 3, 2011
If you selling Real Estate you need a license plain and simple.
1 vote
Heather Paul, Agent, Santa Monica, CA
Tue Dec 28, 2010
If either one of them are speaking of Real estate and providing information about the property, THEY MUST BE LICENSED! I would seek out a different agent, if they are not both licensed yet acting in the capacity of a licensed real estate agent, this is illegal; even if one of the if licensed. I would recommend reporting it to their broker and the California Department of Real estate, there website is dre.ca.gov

Good luck, there are a lot of good agents out there, if these people are doing this, just imagine what if there was a problem and you had to seek legal action, it would be a nightmare for you.
1 vote
Dorene Slavi…, Agent, Torrance, CA
Mon Dec 27, 2010
Dear Anthony,
They both will need their California Real Estate licenses if they conduct Real Estate business.(showing homes to prospective clients would certainly qualify in my opinion). The laws for Real Estate are very specific,
I.E. During the holding of an open house, only a licensee may engage in the following:
show or exhibit the property,

I would recommend you visit the Department of Real Estate Website for California at http://www.dre.ca.gov to be sure.

P.S ,Feel free to call me with questions about getting your license my contact info is below. I'm always happy to help!
Web Reference:  http://www.doreneslavitz.com
1 vote
Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Sat Dec 25, 2010
Hi Anthony:

Based on your earlier question you are a Licensed contractor and Inspector.
Yes one of you needs a RE License.

Not clear whether your wife is a Realtor, in the event she is and you are working as a team
then she can quote price or in the case you are selling a home you built then you can.
From your questions and comment below it seems she is.

Due to your building and construction knowledge you can always talk about a home as an
expert and facilitate your wife who is / may be a Realtor.

If either of you are doing a Real Estate function of selling a home in CA, without a license unless
it is your own home or a home you built and have permission from the seller, it would be a problem
with the California DRE.

Check section 222.


Looks like someone is giving you the MLS key.

Good luck.
1 vote
Brenda Feria, Agent, Richmond, VA
Thu Dec 23, 2010
I believe that the public would assume that the wife had a license as well. Additionally, it is very difficult to listen to your husband about a house over and over and not be tempted to offer some assistance in recollecting the features of the house. A tour guide or a hostess may not give any information about the house, neighborhood, or clients. The wife does not "technically" have to have a license, but if I were a seller, I would want everyone showing my home to be a licensed realtor.
1 vote
Anthony Perez, Agent, Northridge, CA
Thu Dec 23, 2010
Dear Myra,

You sound a little agitated and a angry, I am a 21 year quality licensed contractor and home inspector that is only contemplating obtaining a license as I get a little older physical work is becoming more difficult, I am merely asking some general questions.

We all have a starting point....even you did at one time.

I appreciate the advice a little rough around the edges but appreciated.
Web Reference:  http://www.CAcertified.com
1 vote
Myra Gouger, Agent, Las Vegas, NV
Thu Dec 23, 2010
I will get to the license part in a minute, but here is what is wrong with your scenario. You are costing yourself sales while your wife is making small talk with the buyer's wife and you have them separated. You either must have just started in real estate or grew up not knowing how to close. When you show homes to a couple, you keep them together. If they need their parents, their aunts, uncles, their grandparents to help them make a decision, you keep the entire group together. When your wife is wasting time talking to their wife, you are not closing. You are acting as a tour guide. There is "wheel estate" and real estate. In "wheel estate" all you do is drive people around and make no sales. In real estate you actually try to make a living after driving them around. In the scenario you state, neither one of you might need a real estate license. So if you are driving people to a home, opening the door and talking about nothing, you both don't need licenses. However, if you want to actually get paid for the work you do and talk about the property price, write a contract, etc. then you need a real estate license. As for your wife, truthfully I would have to say she is in the way. She has no function to be there. This is not a social visit. You are making it a social visit. Have her go to real estate school, get a license and show her own homes. You will find you will both make more money as a team who sells real estate, than as tour guides and yakkers.
1 vote
Monique and…, Agent, Beverly Hills, CA
Wed Dec 22, 2010
Hello Anthony,

They both don't need a license if they aren't talking about real estate or about the house. If the husband is talking about a house he needs to have a license.

Monique Carrabba
The Carrabba Group
Keller Williams Hollywood Hills
(323) 899-2900
1 vote
Deborah Brem…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Fri Jan 7, 2011
I am a member of REBAC (Real Estate Buyer's Agent Council) and an Accredited Buyer Agent.
Your question is asking from one point of view, i.e. does each "technically" need a license.
I believe a better point of view is, "What does the buyer think?"
If the buyer in this case goes out with the couple, and asks questions, even seemingly innocuous ones like "what do you think of this bathroom?" or "what's this neighborhood like?", the buyer may in fact believe that BOTH parties are his agent. This can create an "implied agency" even when none is intended.
Succinctly, agency may be referred to as the relationship between a principal and an agent whereby the principal, expressly or impliedly, authorizes the agent to work under his control and on his behalf.
It would seem to me that the licensed agent would be taking on EXTREME risk by working alongside an untrained, unlicensed spouse. "Small talk", as you call it, can be full of some of the biggest bombshells, and are a way of passing information relied on by the client. Further, what the client reveals to his agent may be of a sensitive nature, not to be shared with someone untethered by the constraints of fiduciary duty. Besides, it's JUST NOT PROFESSIONAL.
For the best representation of the client, for the safety of the licensee, and for the betterment of the industry as a whole, the licensed/unlicensed (husband/wife) combo is a no-no.

Deborah Bremner
The Bremner Group at Coldwell Banker
REALTOR, 00588885, ABR, CDPE, eAgent, CSP, SFR, HRC, CRE
(O) 310-571-1364 DIRECT
(D) 818.564.6591
0 votes
Beverly McAf…, , San Diego, CA
Mon Dec 27, 2010
I am assuming that if you are a team then you both have a license in which case the man can carry on the conversation with the potential buyers husband and the wife can show the potential buyers wife the ktchen, bath etc....But it is not necessary for both to have a license if the one who doesnt have one only opens the door and the other does the talking....
0 votes
Richard Schu…, Agent, Los Angeles, CA
Sat Dec 25, 2010
When in doubt, yes! Eventually this would cause a problem for both of you.
0 votes
Judi Monday,…, Agent, Green Valley, AZ
Thu Dec 23, 2010
Hi Anthony,

Interesting scenario--not sure why the wife would be involved. We are professionals and this really doesn't sound like professional behavior. Our job is to sell homes not engage in small talk nor separate the potential buyers who should be interacting with each other as they walk through the home so the licensed agent has a feeling for what isworking for them and what's not in order to get to a sale.
0 votes
Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Dec 23, 2010
Contact the State OR brokers office regards to your question. Many states have laws of employees who work in a brokers office OR agent assistance.

Lynn911 Dallas Realtor & Consultant, Loan Officer, Credit Repair Advisor
The Michael Group - Dallas Business Journal Top Ranked Realtors
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Dec 23, 2010
It depends on several factors, including whether the buyer is harmed by the wife's presence.

As a practical matter, unlicensed people comment on houses in front of "the public" all the time; if a friend of mine walks into my open house and comments on the new windows, are they somehow violating license law?

Frankly, I think it's more important for new agents to get the big things right - to recognize when they are offering advice outside of their area of expertise.
0 votes
Tim Moore, Agent, Kitty Hawk, NC
Thu Dec 23, 2010
It in conceivable that the wife merely rides to a house and opens the door and never mentions the price, or features of the house therefore she would need a license to avoid violating the law. It seems like a strange way to show homes and I bet there is a need for a license by both.
0 votes
Phil Rotondo, Agent, Melbourne, FL
Thu Dec 23, 2010
Under the above scenario, only 1 needs to be licensed.
Web Reference:  http://www.321property.com
0 votes
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