California real estate is a complex topic and its purchase and sale is fraught with liability. The real estate license exists to provide consistent customer service and to protect consumers from fraud. It is your license to work.
It’s frightening to receive a license violation notice. It’s not just a disciplinary action, it’s a threat to your career. Like most bureaucracies, DRE has good intentions but it may not always understand your situation on a personal level. Your alleged real estate license violation may not be accurate or it may not include all the information necessary for judgment.
What Citations Are Most Common?
Considering the value of land in southern California, it’s fitting that DRE has a strict code with many possible violations. Some of the most frequent real estate citations include:
- Unlicensed activity or performing tasks without a supervising broker
- Failure to supervise (broker)
- Trust fund mishandling
- Misrepresentation or nondisclosure of facts
- Criminal conviction-related violations
What Might Happen after a Violation?
If you are issued a real estate license violation, you’ll receive a notification letter in the mail. This prompts your right to request a disciplinary hearing. It’s import to request this right, as it expires soon after the real estate citation letter is received. Depending on the violation, penalties may lead to a restricted license, suspended license or a revoked license. If you choose a hearing and disagree with the outcome, you’ll also have the option to appeal the decision afterward with a writ of mandate.
Should I Represent Myself?
A disciplinary hearing for a real estate license violation is similar to a trial. While you have the right to self-representation, a disciplinary action will affect your career significantly. An experienced attorney will guide you through the proper filings and assist your claim. Trade journal first Tuesday stresses the important of legal counsel in an editorial note in this 2015 article about disciplinary action in the field.
Expensive and complex transactions, like real estate, are more prone to litigious allegations by nature. It’s one of the unique challenges of the job. It’s true that real estate agents sometimes make mistakes. But sometimes the facts are misrepresented and an agent faces discipline when there is no legitimate violation. When you defend your real estate license, you defend your livelihood.