When selling my own property, must I disclose that I am a real estate licensee?
Alabama Real Estate Commission Rule 790-X-1-.03 (2) provides that any person who elects to become licensed as a broker or salesperson may advertise property of which they are the owner in the same way as any private party. However, such a licensee must abide by all of the other provisions of the license law and Rules of the Commission even in dealing in their own property. Secondly, when RECAD was passed, in one of the provisions of the obligations of licensees, Section 34-27-84 (a)(6) we find that in order to act on behalf of the licensee or his or her immediate family, or on behalf of any other individual organization, or business in which the licensee has a personal interest, you must have given prior timely written disclosure of this interest to all parties in the transaction. (A mere disclosure that you hold a license is not sufficient.)
What if I am on inactive status, do I still have to comply?
The above section of the law and the cited rule only says "licensee" and does not differentiate between active and inactive, it just says "licensee." Therefore, it follows that a licensee of the Alabama Real Estate Commission is a licensee, just as a doctor is a doctor at all times.
My company has set up a separate referral company and I am considered inactive. I do not actively list or show property. Therefore, I am considered inactive with the local Board or Association of Realtors. What is my license status with the Commission?
Under the set of circumstances above, you still hold an active real estate license as far as the Commission is concerned. You have the legal right to do any act that the license law and rules cover, however you have agreed with your qualifying broker to not actively list and show real estate.
Must I have an active real estate license to rent and lease apartments?
No. Several years ago, the Alabama Legislature took persons acting as manager for an apartment building or complex out from under any requirement to be licensed and removed the restriction that a resident manager must live on the premises. (Section 34-27-2 (b)(7) of the license law.) However, if a licensed real estate company decides to manage the apartments, the Commission will expect compliance with the law and rules to include depositing the security deposits in a trust account and running the rent and repairs through a trust account.
My broker refuses to pay me the commission I have earned. How do I file a complaint with the Alabama Real Estate Commission?
The Alabama Real Estate Commission has no jurisdiction to order any broker to pay a commission. Your agreement or contract with the company is all you have to collect your commission. You will have to take them to the proper state court.
I want to transfer my license and my broker refuses to return my license to the Commission. He claims I owe the company money and I dispute that. What do I do?
The old broker cannot stop you from transferring to another company or going on inactive status. Section 34-27-34 (3)(b) indicates that any salesperson or associate broker who desires to change his or her qualifying broker shall give notice in writing to the Commission and shall send a copy of the notice to his or her qualifying broker. The new qualifying broker shall file a registration form assuming liability for the licensee and on payment of $25, a new license will be issued. The Commission will then get the old license from the qualifying broker through Rule 790-X-2-.21 (2) which states that the qualifying broker is responsible for the immediate return of any license certificate which is in need of any change.
I have given up my real estate license and moved out of state but a transaction I worked on is about to close. Can my former qualifying broker still pay me my commission?
The answer is, yes. The acts that required you to be actively licensed (listing, showing, negotiating) were done while you held an active license. Therefore, you still can be paid.
I have a criminal record. I think that the offense was a misdemeanor, but it might even be a felony. Am I eligible to obtain a real estate license?
In Section 34-27-32 of the Alabama Real Estate License Law, the statement is made, "The Commission may reject the application of any person who has been convicted of or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude." The key word is "may." Just about every month someone with a criminal record asks the Commission for permission to be licensed. Some just write a letter and some actually have a hearing before the Commissioners, but in both instances the Commissioners make a decision on whether or not to allow them to be licensed. They must determine, in their judgment, if the person would be trustworthy and competent to transact the business of a broker or salesperson in a manner that safeguards the interest of the public. (Section 34-27-32 (a)(1). By the way, the question is not only was there a felony involved, a misdemeanor of a type that would be considered by the courts as "moral turpitude" "may" exclude you from eligibility. Such things as shoplifting and issuing worthless checks are misdemeanors but are also considered offenses of moral turpitude.
I don't have an Alabama real estate license, but I am licensed in another state. What must I do to participate in selling Alabama real property?
Section 34-27-3 indicates that you may co-broke with an Alabama licensee by executing a written co-broker agreement with an Alabama broker on each piece of property. This agreement is filed with the Alabama Real Estate Commission. By signing such an agreement you agree to abide by Alabama law and you agree that civil actions may be commended against you in Alabama if the need should arise. Alternately, you may choose to obtain an Alabama real estate license by reciprocity if you are going to frequently deal in real property situated in Alabama.
Do I have to renew my license if it is on inactive status?
Yes, you must renew your license every two years just like anyone else. Far too many people think that since the Commission is "warehousing" their license they don't have to do anything. They fail to notify the Commission of their new residence addresses and let their license lapse. Later they decide to get back into real estate and think they can "reactivate" but they have no license to activate. It is similar to your driver's license. If you choose not to drive for a while and don't renew your license, you get to take the driver's license exams and start over.