- Being careless with other people’s money.
Whether it’s moving money around, sloppy bookkeeping or borrowing from clients, money mistakes are the fastest ways to lose your real estate license. If the money isn’t yours, put it in escrow with the title company or a trust account… and then don’t touch it.
- Not telling the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.
Outright lying can get you in trouble, but so can misrepresenting yourself, embellishing and omitting crucial details—such as the true condition of a property or your relationship to the parties involved. Do these things frequently, or do them in a big way just once, and you could lose your license.
- Helping buyers commit mortgage fraud.
Mortgage fraud can be so subtle that it’s possible for people to stumble into it without realizing they’re breaking the law. Say the buyer doesn’t quite have enough cash for a down payment, so the agent works with the appraiser to overstate the home value and then reworks the details so that the buyer borrows more and applies the extra borrowed funds to the down payment. That’s mortgage fraud. You may think you’re helping your buyer achieve their dream of home ownership, but their dream could become your nightmare.
- Not being upfront about your criminal conviction.
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As the state guidelines explain, having a criminal conviction does not bar you from receiving a real estate license in Texas, but you will need to file a Request for Moral Character form. The Texas Real Estate Commission considers applicants with criminal backgrounds on a case-by-case basis after all other licensing requirements have been met. If you do not file the Request for Moral Character form and do not disclose your past conviction, the Commission could later decide to revoke your license for withholding that information.
- Not cooperating with investigators.
The Texas Real Estate Commission does not like to be ignored. Investigators can sanction your license just for failing to cooperate with an investigation. Talk to your lawyer first, and don’t assume the investigators will go away if you ignore them. They won’t, but your license might.
Losing your license for incompetence means more than just making some bad (but not illegal) choices. Investigators need to see either a pattern of screw-ups or a single action that is so serious that it can’t be overlooked. Incompetence violations typically include things such as forgetting to make tax or mortgage payments or repeated violations of fair housing laws.
- Failing to meet licensing requirements.
Forgetting to take continuing education classes or forgetting to pay renewal fees are both the dumbest and the easiest ways to lose your license. Agents do it all the time. Don’t be one of them.
BERTOLINO, LLP has been defending Texas real estate professionals for years. We use a creative, results-driven approach to help you get the best possible outcome in your case. We speak for you. Our results speak for themselves.
If you are facing allegations of professional misconduct or disciplinary action, contact us today or call (512) 476-5757 and schedule a case evaluation.
BERTOLINO LLP proudly represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.