Why oh why do so many agents/brokers omit their lic# on biz card & email?

13 Replies

at least here in CA, license law clearly states that 'first point of contact materials' - including BUSINESS CARD & EMAILS - must include their license# as well as an indication as to whether they are an agent, broker (or if eligible, 'Realtor') in no smaller font than the smallest other print on the material.

however, theres so many cards i've been handed and intro email msgs lately that still are missing the license# altogether!

obviously they cant be expected to include it in every email (or are they?) but at least the first yet is just not there sometimes in the first.

and a google search for CA real estate business cards shows me its not just a problem local to my city or demographics?

so, why do folks still risk it?

oh and is it okay for agents/brokers to email each one or another without ever including it?

Each state has different laws.

In GA license disclosure is not required for business cards but is for other items ( contracts ).

Rule 520-1-.09 (1) Media. This rule regulates advertising whether done personally by a licensee or through any media. The term “media” includes, but is not limited to, print, photographic, broadcast, and computer media including, but not limited to, such examples as newspapers, magazines, flyers, posters, business cards, billboards, radio, television, signs (including, but not limited to, office, directional, for sale, for lease, sold, or vehicle signs) , newsletters, and the Internet.

Required license numbers in offers and brokerage engagements. (License numbers are not required in advertisements, but they are not prohibited.)

Rule 520-1-.10 (1.1) License Numbers in Offers and Brokerage Engagements. A licensee preparing or signing a brokerage engagement or an offer to purchase, sell, lease, or exchange real property shall include the license number issued by the Commission of each firm and of each licensee participating in the transaction. The license number shall include both the single alphabetic letter and the six digit number issued by the Commission (for example, for Firms H000001, for brokers B000002, for associate brokers A000003, or for salespersons S000004).

GA Advertising

My guess in CA why they do not put on cards is the public is lazy and will complain less if the number is not listed on there. The state real estate commission for each state has limited staff to go over violations.

It's kind of like someone jaywalking in the street. That isn't going to be the focus for police departments as a top priority. So people might get away with jaywalking everyday more frequently even though there is a law against it.     

Originally posted by @Joel Owens :

My guess in CA why they do not put on cards is the public is lazy and will complain less if the number is not listed on there. The state real estate commission for each state has limited staff to go over violations.

It's kind of like someone jaywalking in the street. That isn't going to be the focus for police departments as a top priority. So people might get away with jaywalking everyday more frequently even though there is a law against it.     

i see. just dont understand how they get away with it on their prime document! 

i mean its one thing to occasionally steer folks from away from one demographic or another in choice of words verbally from time to time, as it would be hard to document in a violation claim.

but how would one get out of a violation claim based on their principal 'document' itself?!

big risktakers i say. 

perhaps they had the biz cards printed like 10yrs ago in bulk and never bother to invest in new compliant one nows that laws are more 'strict' so to say compared to what ppl could get away wif' a decade ago.

No need to have your RE license number on any marketing material here in Ohio.

Account Closed 

Just out of curiosity, what is your concern? That someone would be working with an unlicensed agent? I do not have my license number listed in emails or on my business cards, but do include it in my agency disclosure form that is given to my clients, once they decide they want to work with me.  I can always verify if someone asks for it.

We deal with the disclosure issue for our (investor) clients that are also licensed, so I've dealt with the disclosure & disclaimer requirements in quite a few states.  Our default disclosure/disclaimer method and language is based up CA BRE rules, so I'm very aware of those.  (P.S. Among the strictest requirements we've found is Ohio).  I'd also point out that the issue I'm talking about is the disclosure that is required when an investor is also licensed.  In many cases I've found that (licensed) investor clients were not even aware that they had to disclose if they are offering to BUY real estate (vs. agency/brokering it).

Now, given the forum we're in here, I'm guessing you're talking about disclosure on licensed sales rep materials (biz cards & emails) where they are offering to REPRESENT the buyer or seller.  I can't imagine a licensed person being unaware of the requirement to disclose and disclaim in that scenario.  And I can't imagine licensed people using business cards or email that does not have at least their BRE# on it!

Publishing your license number is not a requirement in real estate advertisements in Illinois.


 even just this past weekend in San Pedro at a couple open houses, i'm appauled by the number of persons representing themselves as agents/brokers yet can barely speak english (luckily i'm trilingual) and yet their biz cards simply state "REALTOR" or their emails simply state their name and their status (agent/broker) and their re brokerage's name but is clearly missing the lic#.

theres also 2 card i was handed that indicate the real estate professional is a 'Real Estate Salesperson' and has their Brokerage's name and LIC# but again, is missing the named Salesperson's license #

no license diclosure required in Colorado either at least as far as a number. 

I am curious why it bugs you so much. I became a lot nk ore successful when I stopped worrying about what others were doing and concentrated on what I was doing. 

Account Closed 

  been a CA broker now for just about 40 years never heard that you need your license number on your card.  I know you need your company brokerage name

But I have not been active in CA for 20 years or so .. but I keep my licnese active will take CE this month.. IN  Oregon no licnese number is needed.

I am also a NMLS licensed mortgage banker here in Oregon and WE DO need our licnese numbers on our bizz cards.

http://www.dre.ca.gov/files/pdf/forms/re858.pdf

Originally posted by @Dev Horn :

We deal with the disclosure issue for our (investor) clients that are also licensed, so I've dealt with the disclosure & disclaimer requirements in quite a few states.  Our default disclosure/disclaimer method and language is based up CA BRE rules, so I'm very aware of those.  (P.S. Among the strictest requirements we've found is Ohio).  I'd also point out that the issue I'm talking about is the disclosure that is required when an investor is also licensed.  In many cases I've found that (licensed) investor clients were not even aware that they had to disclose if they are offering to BUY real estate (vs. agency/brokering it).

It doesn't matter if you're an investor or not, if you're licensed in the State of Ohio and want to buy a house, you must disclose you're a licensed agent (even if your license is inactive).

Originally posted by @David Hunter :
It doesn't matter if you're an investor or not, if you're licensed in the State of Ohio and want to buy a house, you must disclose you're a licensed agent (even if your license is inactive).

 In most jurisdictions here in Canada an agent/broker is suppose to disclose they are a licensed when they buy or sell a property for themselves.   Even if they were to list a property for sale through another agent, it is supposed to be disclosed.

Now ... it doesn't always happen ... 

Originally posted by @Roy N. :
Originally posted by @David Hunter:
It doesn't matter if you're an investor or not, if you're licensed in the State of Ohio and want to buy a house, you must disclose you're a licensed agent (even if your license is inactive).

 In most jurisdictions here in Canada an agent/broker is suppose to disclose they are a licensed when they buy or sell a property for themselves.   Even if they were to list a property for sale through another agent, it is supposed to be disclosed.

Now ... it doesn't always happen ... 

Well, it needs to be disclosed in writing on the contract here.  You're right, I'm sure some people don't, but I wouldn't want to see what would happen if the buyer was licensed, didn't disclose, the seller sold the house lower than market and then find out the buyer is licensed... I smell lawsuit...

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