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New licensing law forces local MLS to scrap over 80 forms

In the eternal quest for our Department of Licensing to make our lives and the lives of our clients simpler and clearer, the new licensing law in the State of Washington has forced the NWMLS to revise about half the forms real estate Brokers use everyday to conduct business.

Thankfully we live in a digital age where most of these forms can be easily downloaded but this does not eliminate the mountains of useless forms that Brokerages are forced to keep “in house” and are now being shredded or thrown away in favor of the new ones. I’d love to see the exact number…as in tons…of paper that was used to make these now extinct forms…but I digress.

Due to the change in the vernacular, in particular the name change from agent to broker, many of these forms saw only minor revisions for clarity purposes only (which somehow makes things feel all the more wasteful). However, one of the more noticeable changes is a direct result of the new licensing law that allows real estate teams to operate under an assumed name. This may make things clearer for the client when working with a real estate team that holds a license with a Brokerage. Pretty dry stuff but important none the less.

There is a State mandated transition course that goes over (most of) this that you are required to take…kinda?

Here’s the fun part for many Brokerages…Some of the working professionals haven’t gone through the required transition course that explains these changes yet, even though the licensing law went into affect nearly 2 weeks ago! As a run-up to this major change in our licensing law, all licensee are required to attend a 3 clock hour transition course however, there is (or was) a loop hole for some. If your renewal fell on or before June 30th, you didn’t need to attend this class as part of your renewal and furthermore, need not attend this transition course at all until your next renewal in 2 years. In essence, we have a fair number of real estate professionals currently writing deals and taking listings on forms they’re not fully familiar with! A little like closing the barn door after the horses have gotten out, isn’t it?

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Written By

Patrick Flynn is a 13 year Veteran of this Real Estate fray and a blogger on mySeattleblogs and is active in various social networks. Like many writers at Agent Genius, Patrick wears a few hats other than a Broker's lid- he is also a Certified Real Estate Instructor for the State of Washington and has enjoyed delivering 1,000+ hours of clock hour and non-clock hour approved courses in his career. Patrick has also been a Designated Broker since 2003 and revels in being able to coach and mentor fellow real estate professionals.



  1. Daniel Bates

    July 13, 2010 at 1:31 pm

    Why would brokerages be “forced” to keep forms on hand? I’m sure that most do, but the word “forced”, seems an odd choice. I might have a few forms printed out around the office, but I always do contracts on the computer. Seems like the MLS should have just put together some helpful videos or online classes that could have resolved everything rather than required education.

  2. Jo Soss

    July 13, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Patrick, being a very small brokerage and one that just opened in December I only had printed forms that came in my “broker box” that was given to me at the time I opened. I do though realize that offices like WRE or ReMax must have had a ton of forms to recycle and like you I thought – how wasteful. As for the transition course – I think that we should have all had to complete it within 90 days of law. I am still trying to get use to everyone being “brokers”.

  3. Atlanta Rental Homes

    July 13, 2010 at 11:03 pm

    I wonder if this is actually good or bad for the housing market and our economy

  4. Patrick Flynn

    July 14, 2010 at 8:56 am

    Thank you all for your comments-Daniel, I’m sure “forced” may not be the exact word but I know we are working very hard to get the amount of printed forms the Brokerages need on hand for their agents to be at a minimum. And Jo, I agree every licensee should take the transition even if their renewal was before June. I had one agent who was signed up for a class I had scheduled in early June and then found out from our front desk person he didn’t need to take it because his Birthday was in late June…he cancelled! Atlanta Rental Homes-I’m not sure this has any impact on the housing market or our economy but one never knows!

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