Have your SPOUSE get their RE license... - Posted by Tyler

Posted by Redline on June 22, 1999 at 21:42:22:

Hey look, no offense - my message wasn’t meant to be a shot at you or what you’re trying to do at all. All I meant to do was to clear up what I was talking about.

I was talking about realtors getting access to the MLS - something I know a little about. The way your message was written, it sounded like you thought I was talking about non-realtors getting access to the MLS - which I know nothing about.

Sorry for the confusion,

Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Tyler

Posted by Tyler on June 20, 1999 at 14:14:22:

Has anyone done this?

Are there legal disadvantages to this?

How long does it take, or how difficult for someone to get their license and open their own RE firm?

I have never been personally interested in getting my license because of some of the ways it ties your hands in regards to the law. HOWEVER-

I’ve been thinking how nice it would be if my spouse had her license! We could get MLS access at home (er, at “her office”), be able to get into any vacant house without having to call a REALTOR (very convenient), she could make my offers (obviously working in my best interest), and she (WE) could make an extra 3% on every deal that is listed (need I say more).

I know this is no new revolutionary concept…but it’s new to my business. I’m wondering if anyone is successful with this approach, and if there are any legalities that I should be concerned with. I will also note, that the only reason we would pursue this is for the benefit of MY business. She has no desire to work in the RE world as an agent.

Thanks in advance…


Spouses as Agents - Posted by Carmen

Posted by Carmen on June 21, 1999 at 16:11:58:

I am a spouse of a person who owns a Real Estate Investment Company (C-Corp) in Florida, in which I have no interest.

I am a realtor. To become a realtor, you must go through 63 hours of courses ($300+), pass a test ($80+), and continue to have your license active with a broker for at least one year before you can become a broker. You must also pay for the MLS access and be a member of the Board of Realtors ($600/year). The normal split between broker/licensee is 50/50. That means you’d really only get 1.5%, unless you get a really nice broker who ups your split. After becoming a broker, then your split would be 3% all to yourself, if another realtor sells the house. If you sell the house you list (a plus - MLS exposure), then you get the entire 6%. That’s another 70+ hours of school, and another test. ($400+).

My husband’s company, of which he is an “employee,” puts in offers on properties. I act as the “selling agent” on occasion. We never put offers in in my husband’s name (in which case, I would have to sign mortgages in Florida as the spouse).

I, of course, must disclose that I am a realtor when I present offers to other realtors. However, when presenting offers to non-listed (FSBO) properties, according to the Board of Realtor’s attorneys, legally I do not need to disclose this. However, under the Code of Ethics, that is a fuzzy area. I was told by the Ethics Committe, that they “highly recommend” that this information be disclosed, and they require you to disclose your “true position” to the owner or agent if you are performing a service “in the interest of yourself or your immediate family” (but the “disclosure” does not have to be in writing). Recently, a realtor got fined specifically for not disclosing this information (a total of about $4K). I’m sure he’s not the first. So, for this reason, I may have to rethink this and present a statement saying that although a realtor I am not acting in that capacity for this specific transaction, for CYA in the unlikely event that someone finds out that I am a realtor and then decides that he wants to file a complaint against me for not disclosing this as he believes that gave me an unfair advantage in purchasing his house for dirt cheap.

I happen to love the MLS, and am glad I have it at home at all hours of day and night. However, it may not be necessary to go through all this rigamarole - check with your county’s Board of Realtors and find out if they will let you join as an “associate” member - and get the MLS at home without becoming a realtor. You can do this in Broward County, Florida (for about $800/year). I’m not sure about anywhere else.

Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Redline

Posted by Redline on June 21, 1999 at 12:32:20:

Tyler - I don’t know what state you’re in, but here in NJ for example, you just don’t get your RE license and open up shop. To open up a “RE Firm” you must be a licensed broker. You don’t get to be a licensed broker unless you’ve already been a FULL time 3 year licensed RE agent (25 years part-time doesn’t count) in good standing having sold $x amount of RE. Have you checked on this?


Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on June 20, 1999 at 20:01:56:

I got a license myself. I don’t really think it matters who has the license. My wife has ownership to my investment corporation anyway.

There are some disclosures and legal loopholes, but to me the advantages or having a license far outweigh the disadvantages.

Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Rene Perrin

Posted by Rene Perrin on June 20, 1999 at 18:28:58:

Check with your state laws. In NJ, you would have to disclose this just as you would if you were an agent. No real advantages.


Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Tyler

Posted by Tyler on June 21, 1999 at 13:45:05:

That’s what I was afraid of. So at the very best, she would have to work for another RE company and be active with them in order to get the perks (MLS access, etc.)? This wouldn’t really help because I would be the one on the MLS computer anyway…not her. So if we couldn’t do it from our own office, I’m not sure how much that would help.

I’ll have to do some checking with the RE Board here in my state…

Thanks for the info


Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by JohnG

Posted by JohnG on June 20, 1999 at 23:30:56:

How much of your time do you spend on your own business of buying and selling and how much do you spend with your customers ?
It seems to me like it would be a hard balance to keep - that is each day you would have to be acting as an agent or a buyer/seller of your own properties.
How do you find it ?

Disclose what? - Posted by Tyler

Posted by Tyler on June 20, 1999 at 21:30:27:

Are you saying that my wife would have to disclose that it is her husband that is making the offer? I don’t see why this would be the case…but I haven’t thoroughly read through the laws on the matter.

Also…when I am making offers to purchase, I don’t have to tell them that I’m a Realtor or broker. In all reality it SHOULDN’T matter to a seller, but I know that in an imperfect world it’s only human nature for sellers to avoid the “R” word.

To me, that’s a distinct advantage right there. At the very least, it’s one less potential red flag to deal with.

From what I understand, once a broker, you also must put “dealer” or “broker” in any and all ads you run(Lease Option, For sale by owner, I buy Houses, etc.). I feel that has the potential to scare off the skeptical type as well.

Again, these are just my thoughts on the matter. Maybe you could elaborate on your point a bit…



Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Redline

Posted by Redline on June 21, 1999 at 15:07:56:

Yes she would probaby have to work for somebody but I access the MLS from home exclusively. You can buy the software from (most) MLS’s and go online anywhere - so that’s not an issue.

Also be aware another person (the broker) will now be making money on your deals.


Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Redline

Posted by Redline on June 21, 1999 at 13:54:19:

Tyler, well if your state is like mine and she becomes a salesperson working for a broker - she can STILL access the MLS from home (most likely). I think more (if not all?) the systems are accessible via software that can be loaded anywhere … you just usually have to buy it from the MLS and it’s like $200 by me. I get the MLS in my house - hardly ever go to the office.

Keep in mind, however … that her broker is going to get paid a piece of everything she sells - including all your deals. Don’t know if that matters to you.


Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on June 21, 1999 at 14:47:38:

I don’t act on other’s behalf. I have never had a listing or been a buyer’s broker except for my own deals. I might consider it if I came across one, but I never actively look for these. Most RE agents have nothing more than a job. Commissions are just another form of paycheck in my eyes. I already I have full-time job with a title company. I don’t need another one.

Re: Disclose what? - Posted by Jim IL

Posted by Jim IL on June 20, 1999 at 22:44:59:

I too thought about sending my wife to get her liscense.
I originally thought that if it was me (me alone not her) that had an interest in the deal, then disclosure was a moot point.
But, after having done some research into the matter, I learned that she and I cannot remain seperate in business matters.
Even if I get the title to the home in my name, she still by law has an interest, and we must disclose that an agent/broker has interest in the home.

We did eventually decide that it was just best to not get a liscense in the family, and instead pursue finding good quality open minded agents to work with.
So far, so good.
We have talked to and delt with dozens of agents, and are currently working with 3.
Two of the agents, still do not seem to “get it” totally, and they send us as many bad leads as good ones, but we can screen out the bad ones ourselves. The only added cost is the extra paper for our fax machine they seem to enjoy wasting.
But, our third agent is truly heaven sent, and she sends us weekly leads, and sometimes even FSBO’s she runs accross.
She is even an investor herself, and I’m in the process of convincing her that she needs to buy one of the FSBO’s we found, from me.
So, before you run out and take on the expense of getting your spouse liscensed, try to find a good agent to work with first.

Good luck,
Jim IL

Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Babesy

Posted by Babesy on June 21, 1999 at 23:12:56:

Am I understanding your post? You can get the MLS software in your area? I checked with the Maricopa County Board of Realtors to see about getting MLS access when I secured my Mobile Home Dealer’s License, and was told it would cost me almost $1,000 in miscellaneous fees to get MLS access.

There are several of us who would be most appreciative if you could elaborate on how to go about getting their software.

Many thanks.

Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Redline

Posted by Redline on June 22, 1999 at 11:43:54:

This thread is talking about people who get their RE license and want to access the MLS. Once you’re a realtor, to get access from home should be relatively easy. Alot of MLS groups sell software to emulate the proper terminal so you can access from home, laptop, etc. This has nothing to do with non-realtors. Sorry!


Re: Have your SPOUSE get their RE license… - Posted by Babesy

Posted by Babesy on June 22, 1999 at 21:13:12:

Excuse me…
Where I live, there are mobiles on land, not in parks, and that is considered REAL ESTATE. Now, as a licensed dealer/broker of mobiles, the REALTORS don’t want to deal with me, because they say it is REAL ESTATE, yet I have a buyer that I am working with. She wants to purchase one on land, you know - REAL ESTATE. I have run into this enough, that I think access to the MLS (IN THIS CASE) would be an advantage. THEREFORE, I did try to obtain access even though I am not a REALTOR. Thus, I posted my experience about getting MLS access AT HOME and not in a REAL ESTATE BROKER’S office. And I still think the Board of Realtors should work with me, and those in my position (there are a lot of us) on this. My .02