Frequently asked questions: Real estate

Licenses

When will you send me a managing broker’s license?
We’ll mail your managing broker’s license when you complete your first renewal after July 1, 2010. It will take until July 2012 for all associate brokers to receive managing broker licenses.
May I be endorsed as the designated broker of 2 firms I own?
Yes, you may be endorsed as the designated broker of 2 firms if they are separate entities with individual Unified Business Identifier (UBI) numbers.
May I be endorsed as a designated broker of 2 firms owned by different people?
Yes, if you’re properly licensed as an active managing broker, you may be endorsed as a designated broker for more than one firm, regardless of the ownership of the firm, as long as the businesses are separate entities with unique UBI numbers.
May I be endorsed as a designated broker of 2 franchised firms?
Although the law, RCW 18.85, states that an individual may act as a designated broker for more than 1 firm. it doesn’t involve oversight of the various business models where the broker endorsement may possibly be used. You should consult with your legal counsel for guidance in many of these situations.
How can I be endorsed as a designated broker of real estate offices at multiple locations when I have only 1 UBI number?
You can establish 1 or more branch offices under the same name as the firm. Complete the proper application and pay the correct fee. Then we’ll issue a separate license for each branch office showing the location of the real estate firm and the particular branch.
If my firm’s license expires before my managing broker’s license with a designated broker endorsement, may my affiliated licensees continue to work as long as my license is active?
No, all affiliated licensees will be licensed to a firm. Licensees must be actively licensed to an actively-licensed firm at all times. If the firm’s license expires, all affiliated brokers and managing brokers may no longer conduct real estate brokerage services.
If my managing broker’s license with a designated broker endorsement expires while my firm’s license is still active, may the firm’s affiliated licensees continue to work?
No, even though all active real estate licenses are issued in the name of the firm, all firms must grant the authority to act on the firm’s behalf to a properly-licensed managing broker endorsed as the designated broker.

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Supervising and delegating duties

Do branch managers need a delegation agreement with their designated broker?
Yes. WAC 308-124C-130: Branch manager responsibilities describes responsibilities the branch manager will be held accountable for, but doesn’t cover all the activities the designated broker may delegate to the branch manager. Therefore, a delegation agreement should be in place between the designated broker and branch manager. Some examples of delegation are provided in the WAC.
As a managing broker, may I supervise the training of new licensees for my firm?
Yes, you may supervise the training of new licensees if you and your designated broker have signed a written delegation agreement that includes authorization to supervise training. You will also want to know if part of your training supervision duties include responsibility for the heightened supervision of licensees with less than 2 years experience, as required by WAC 308-124C-125(9)(c).
What duties may a designated broker delegate to managing brokers?
You may delegate, in writing, some or all of the following duties:
  • Safe handling of client funds.
  • Maintenance of trust accounts and trust account records.
  • Maintenance of transaction records.
  • Supervision of brokers and other managing brokers licensed to your firm.
For more information, see WAC 308-124C-125(8):Designated Broker Responsibilities and WAC 308-124C-130(12): Branch Manager Responsibilities.
Can a designated broker delegate the signing of property management agreements and addendums?
Yes. Designated brokers may delegate the responsibility of signing each property management agreement or addendum to a managing broker or branch manager. (See WAC 308-124C-125(8)(b):Designated Broker Responsibilities.)
Are there standard delegation forms we have to use?
There is no standard format or language required for a written delegation of duties. It should use language agreed to by the participants and/or their legal counsel. The written delegation is an agreement between you, the designated broker, and your delegated managing brokers.
What do I do with the copies of the written delegations after they are completed and signed?
The designated broker must maintain a record of the firm’s managing brokers, and keep copies of the written delegations for our review upon request.
May I use short sale negotiators who aren’t real estate licensees to talk to lenders about what price they will take?
No, any individual who is directly or indirectly negotiating with a lender must hold an active real estate license or be appropriately licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions. Negotiators are considered to be indirectly negotiating real estate sales with the lender, and:
  • Must hold active real estate licenses.
  • or
  • Be appropriately licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions, and work under the authority of their designated broker.
Unlicensed short sale negotiators are considered to be conducting unlicensed real estate activity. They may be ordered to cease and desist, and fined up to $5,000 per violation. If you use unlicensed short sale negotiators, you can be charged with aiding or abetting unlicensed activity and are subject to disciplinary action.
Can someone who works for a managing broker, but isn’t licensed as a broker or managing broker, do property management of homes they don’t own?
Yes, if they limit their activities to:
  • Delivering a lease/rental agreement.
  • Receiving a check made out to the real estate firm.
  • Showing a rental unit or executing rental agreements under the direct instruction of the managing broker.
  • Providing information about the rental unit.
  • Assisting with the administrative, clerical, financial, or maintenance tasks.
The unlicensed person can’t advertise or tell the public that they are providing property management services, or hold or authorize disbursement of trust funds. For more information, please see RCW 18.85.151(12).

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Doing business

How often does the interest need to be paid to the state from the earnest money trust account for real estate sales?
The bank will submit the funds to the state at least quarterly. The real estate office should keep appropriate records and ledger information on file. For more information, see RCW 18.85.285 and WAC 308-124E-105 (9).

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