Real Estate License - Do I Need A Broker?

8 Replies

Hi Everyone. I am contemplating getting my Georgia Real Estate License prior to starting my house flipping business. My questions is do I have to affiliate with a Broker in order to buy and sell my houses only. Also, can I get access to the MLS without going through a broker?

The Georgia Real Estate Commission Website ( http://www.grec.state.ga.us/infobase/tableofconten... ) states the following regarding "Inactive Licenses": 

"INACTIVE STATUS

Any individual who successfully passes a licensing examination may apply to the Commission to place his or her license on inactive status rather than affiliating with a broker. In this case, the applicant must still pay the appropriate license fee and subsequent renewal fees as they are due. The post-license educational requirements still apply to a salesperson who applies for inactive status. An active practicing licensee can switch to inactive status by filing a change application with the Commission.

The license law provides that a licensee on inactive status may perform the acts of a licensee only concerning property he or she personally owns. [O.C.G.A. 43-40-12(g)] However, even in this situation involving personally owned property, the inactive licensee remains subject to the provisions of the license law requiring disclosure of his or her licensed status in real estate sales contracts and leases; in advertising to sell, buy, exchange, rent, or lease property, and in handling any earnest money or security deposits. Whenever an individual places his or her license on inactive status, that licensee has not surrendered his or her rights to a license. The individual retains those rights and the attendant responsibilities and may reactivate the license without requalifying as an original applicant. A licensee on inactive status may not perform the acts of a licensee for a fee for a licensed individual or company or for an unlicensed individual or company. (See the Section 3.10 of this chapter, "Licensees May Not Work for Unlicensed Persons," for a more detailed discussion of this issue.)"

This excerpt makes me think that I do no necessarily need a broker if I am only going to be representing myself in buy and sell transactions for my properties. However, everything I've read seems to say that I have to be affiliated with a broker to do this and to access the MLS.

Any help with this matter would be appreciated!

Yes you will need to associate with a broker. You might also need to join your local realtor board as well. (That varies from board to board)

Russell Brazil, Real Estate Agent in Maryland (#648402), Virginia (#0225219736), District of Columbia (#SP98375353), and Massachusetts (#9​0​5​2​3​4​6)
(301) 893-4635

Suggest you work with a investment property realtor initially.  No time for that this, and that to learn a new profession. If lucky you may be able to recruit a realtor on your team.

You do not need a license to buy and sell your own properties you only need a license if you intend to represent others

John Thedford, Real Estate Agent in FL (#BK3098153)
239-200-5600

Thanks for everyone's responses.

Sorry John, I should have been more specific. I am looking to buy and sell on the MLS. I want to be able to represent myself in those transactions and retain a portion of the commission. The license would also be convenient in that I could view houses found on the MLS without another agent present. I also want access to the wealth of knowledge on the MLS for data mining purposes without having to go to an agent each time I need information.

Hi @Chad Fowler ,

To get legal access to the MLS, you need to be part of the local board of Realtors. The MLS, and all the resources it comes with is owned by NAR, the Nation Association of Realtors, and so does the term Realtor. It is in fact trademarked. You join NAR by joining your local association.

I'm not certain, but you may need a valid and active license in your state to be a member of the local board of Realtors, and pay their annual dues. 

You can buy, sell, rent Real Estate without a license. However, in order to earn a commission, you NEED a license. 

Your biggest benefit of having a broker mitigating liability. Most come with Errors and Omissions (E&O) Insurance.

Hope this helps.

Tom,


Thanks so much. The information about about needing a license to be a member of the Board and the Broker having E&O insurance to limit my liability makes a lot of sense and are things I had not thought of. Thanks again.

Originally posted by @Chad Fowler :

Thanks for everyone's responses.

Sorry John, I should have been more specific. I am looking to buy and sell on the MLS. I want to be able to represent myself in those transactions and retain a portion of the commission. The license would also be convenient in that I could view houses found on the MLS without another agent present. I also want access to the wealth of knowledge on the MLS for data mining purposes without having to go to an agent each time I need information.

I am a Real Estate licensee in Georgia. I am also a Realtor. In Georgia, you do not have to be a Realtor. Realtor is just a trade association for real estate licensees. You are not required to join a local board of Realtors unless your Broker requires it. At my former broker, I was required to be a member of the local Realtor board. I was also not allowed to represent myself on sell or buy side of transaction. They always wanted me to use another agent in the firm.

Just make sure that you associate yourself with an investor friendly Broker who will let you represent yourself in a transaction. Ask the Broker if you have to join the local board of Realtors. In Metro Atlanta area you have to be under a Broker who subscribes to FMLS and GAMLS (two major MLS services) to get access to these services. In metro Atlanta you get your access to these listing services via your Broker. This may be different in other parts of GA so you may want to ask a real estate agent in your town. Good luck with your license exam.

(404) 992-4713

Bijal,

This is exactly the information I was looking for! I’ll start researching to find an investor-friendly broker. Thanks for your help!

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