Not every real estate agent has a reality TV show selling properties in exotic locations. In fact, most are normal people like you who have built a satisfying career helping others find their dream homes or commercial properties.
The process of becoming a California real estate agent can be exciting and also tedious. You took hours of coursework, studied for your exam and submitted your application. It was worth it to have a job you enjoy and that has the potential for significant financial benefits. Despite how long it took to obtain your real estate license and build your brand and clientele, you could lose your license in the blink of an eye. The last thing you want to do is make a mistake that can cost you your career.
Actions that can put your license at risk?
You may think it will never happen to you. You practice due diligence for every client, and follow California's real estate laws as best you can. Still, in a typical year, nearly 6,000 agents in the state come under investigation for various reasons, and almost 900 end up losing their real estate licenses. Many of these realtors thought they were acting in the best interests of their clients. Some common reasons why agents lose their licenses include:
- Being careless with your bookkeeping can lead to serious mistakes or the impression that you are being dishonest.
- Some criminal convictions, even non-violent crimes or those unrelated to the real estate industry, may cause the licensing board to deny or revoke your license.
- Trespassing or using a client's property for your own purposes is a serious violation with severe and perhaps criminal consequences.
- Mishandling a client's money can include borrowing from it or depositing it into your personal bank account instead of putting it in escrow.
Perhaps the most common issue and one of the easiest mistakes to make is misrepresenting a property to a potential client. Most often, this is unintentionally stating incorrect information about a property to a potential buyer. However, failure to disclose is much more serious. A buyer has the right to know the condition of the home, and intentionally or neglectfully omitting important information about defects may place your license at risk.
If you are facing disciplinary actions from the California Department of Real Estate, your career may be on the line. It is important to secure help from an experienced attorney who can provide you a fighting chance to maintain your license and avoid the negative ramifications related to the accusations your face. An attorney with experience in professional licensing and criminal law can be a powerful ally.