Efren Ortiz Marrero, The challenge is to find new dangers -Ayrton Senna

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Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

A non-licensed persona can be a staff member of a brokerage, but cannot represent themselves as an agent; it's fraud in CA.

Jun 20, 2017 06:17 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

If you have an inactive license it's illegal to represent yourself as an active agent with a brokerage.

Jun 20, 2017 07:05 AM
Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

 Third degree felony in Florida. 

      They can only act as an unlicensed assistant to a licensed agent or Broker.  Assistants must comply with laws and rules set by the State of Florida DBPR.

Jun 20, 2017 07:22 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

No. An inactive license is the same as no license.

Jun 20, 2017 06:55 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

This is not a common practice.  It is illegal in California and imagine that is true in every state.  

Jun 20, 2017 06:53 AM
Wayne Martin
Wayne M Martin - Chicago, IL
Real Estate Broker - Retired

No tickie, no washe! Be active or be gone unless working an administrative job not requiring a license.

Jun 20, 2017 06:19 AM
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Not on our watch or in our company.  A

Jun 20, 2017 06:15 AM
Jeff Pearl
RE/MAX Distinctive / LIC in VA - Lovettsville, VA
Full Service Full Time Realtor

I don't think so in most cases. There are some agents who put their licenses on inactive status for a variety of reasons.

Jun 20, 2017 06:14 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

See what Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, CRS says

Jun 20, 2017 07:32 AM
Kevin J. May
Florida Supreme Realty - Hobe Sound, FL
Serving the Treasure & Paradise Coasts of Florida

It's all fun & games until they try to get paid. The buck definitely stops there. Hence, it's not too common.

Jun 20, 2017 07:05 AM
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

Real life and textbook life can be quite different;  I wonder sometimes if the people writing the curriculum have actually practiced real estate.  LOL

Anyway, no, it is not a common practice, in fact, I have never personally heard of it happening at all.  I'm sure it does happen, but I don't have any direct experience. 

Jun 20, 2017 07:01 AM
Eve Alexander
Buyers Broker of Florida - Tampa, FL
Exclusively Representing ONLY Tampa Home Buyers

The DBPR in Florida did a mass hiring 2 years ago to go after "unlicensed activity".

They care more about snagging those that are doing real estate activities without a license more than they care about all the agents that are doing serious illegal stuff.


PS:  why do unlicensed people do it?  Because they can.  There are too many unscrupulous agent that will hire assistants to supplement their business by communicating with those that don't speak English.  So who is going to complain?  Certainly not those that hire them.

PSS: and yes, it is illegal in every state.


Jun 20, 2017 07:00 AM
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Engaged in real estate activities with an inactive license is consideration of the Texas Real Estate License.

Violation could any or a combination of the following:


Permanent loss of license

Requirement to attend additional course



Jail Time

Jun 20, 2017 06:27 AM
Michael Setunsky
Woodbridge, VA
Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA

Efren Ortiz Marrero An agent who is inactive is still licensed as a real estate agent; however, because they are not associated with a principal broker, they cannot practice real estate.

Jun 20, 2017 06:25 AM
Joe Pryor
The Virtual Real Estate Team - Oklahoma City, OK
REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties

Rarely have I seen that, if fact in 27 years I can recall only one that was intentional. One didn't realize his licensed had lapsed and had to do some extra education.

Jun 20, 2017 06:23 AM
Ryan Huggins - Thousand Oaks, CA
https://HugginsHomes.com - Thousand Oaks, CA
Residential Real Estate and Investment Properties

It is not something I have seen.  Like a driver's license, you cannot practice or claim to be affiliated with an agency as an agent if your license is expired or revoked.  You can be employed for non-agent tasks by a broker (setting appointments, advertising, calling leads, answering phones... with some exceptions).  That's CA law, Utah may be a bit different.


Thanks for breaking the mold by the way and not only having a profile pic, but responding to Thomas J. Nelson, Realtor, CRS's answer!

Jun 20, 2017 10:53 AM
Lyn Sims
Schaumburg, IL
Real Estate Broker Retired

No it's not common & I better not see it or they will get reported immediately. Jail time & fines are a deterrent.

What's the benefit to saying this is rampant? It's not.

Jun 20, 2017 09:02 AM
Lynnea Miller
Bend Premier Real Estate - Bend, OR
Premier Real Estate Service in Central Oregon

In Oregon there are fines if the real estate agency discovers someone is acting as an agent without a license.  If they have broken the law during their activities, there may be criminal prosecution as well.

Jun 20, 2017 08:58 AM
Sandy Padula & Norm Padula, JD, GRI
HomeSmart Realty West & Florida Realty Investments - , CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Not a common practice to my knowledge and it is a criminal offense to act as a licensed agent and not be one.

Jun 20, 2017 08:53 AM
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Practice medicine performing surgery w/o a license or revoked license?

Jun 20, 2017 08:23 AM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel


Jun 20, 2017 08:14 AM
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co Notary Services retired RE Broker

It is NOT common in our area. I have not even heard of an inactive agent in our area handling leads or even selling their own home Efren Ortiz Marrero .

Jun 20, 2017 08:12 AM
Gabe Sanders
Real Estate of Florida specializing in Martin County Residential Homes, Condos and Land Sales - Stuart, FL
Stuart Florida Real Estate

I don't know.

Jun 20, 2017 08:09 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Sounds like a foolish thing to do, why would they want to?

Jun 20, 2017 08:08 AM
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

I know of someone like this and do not know how they get away with it.


Jun 20, 2017 07:59 AM
Kathleen Daniels, Probate & Trust Estate Specialist
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
Probate Real Estate

It happens ... however I would not say it is common.  

Jun 20, 2017 07:55 AM
Kasey & John Boles
Jon Gosche Real Estate, LLC - BoiseMeridianRealEstate.com - Boise, ID
Boise & Meridian, ID Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

If they are inactive as in just hanging their license somewhere but not selling real estate that is ok. If they are truly inactive and their status is as such with the real estate commission it is illegal to sell real estate. Some states have "referral only" brokerages where the agents can keep their license active for a nominal fee to receive referrals. What does the actual scenerio say? -Kasey

Jun 20, 2017 07:44 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

with an inactive license, they should not be representing themselves as an agent....

Jun 20, 2017 07:28 AM
Nathan Gesner
American West Realty and Management - Cody, WY
Broker / Property Manager

I've never run across an inactive agent acting as if they are affiliated with a Brokerage.

Jun 20, 2017 07:07 AM
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Well here in Louisiana, it is a problem for those practicing without a license. Last quarter the State published two cases. Lock em up!

Jun 20, 2017 03:40 PM
Harry F. D'Elia III
Avant Garde Residential Management Services - Phoenix, AZ
Investor , Mentor, GRI, Radio, CIPS, REOs, ABR

better to say low when inactive

Jun 20, 2017 11:18 AM
Annette Lawrence , Palm Harbor, FL 727-420-4041
ReMax Realtec Group - Palm Harbor, FL
Making FLORIDA Real Estate EZ

"....act as though they are affiliated...."

You really need to be more clear.

It is possible 'acting' means you found on the Internet a page with x'agent and the broker. That's because once on the Internet it is there FOREVER!

However, posing as an UNLICENSED PROFESSIONAL is always frowned upon by every State, county and local authority. 

Is it common practice? In the kingdom of real estate agents it IS common practice to make assumptions without asking questions.

Jun 20, 2017 10:52 AM
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Playing with perception is tight-roping the ethics line thus you will fall

Jun 20, 2017 09:40 AM
Toronto, ON

In my jurisdiction, if you have an active licence then you are affiliated with a brokerage.  If you do not have an active licence then you are not licensed to conduct real estate trades or other activities governed by the relevant legislation.  Refer to the legislation to determine the repercussions.

Jun 20, 2017 09:07 AM