Substantive Changes to Real Estate Broker Licensing Law

February 14, 2012

Publication| Real Estate Services

On August 3, 2011, Governor Jack Markell signed into law Senate Bill 154, as amended, which completely rewrites the section of the Delaware Code addressing the licensing of real estate brokers and salespersons. This new legislation, together with new rules and regulations from the Delaware Real Estate Commission, became effective February 3, 2012. Although much of the legislation purports to be an effort to provide new language and terms that reflect current real estate practices and to make the legislation easier to read by practitioners and the public, in some instances the legislation can be read as substantively changing the law governing individuals who provide real estate services.
For example, the new legislation makes clear that a person providing property management services involving physical maintenance or administrative and financial matters is not subject to the requirement for licensing of real estate brokers and salespersons. While expressly excepting these activities from licensing requirements, the legislation also makes clear that the practice of leasing activities, which may be customarily performed by some property management companies, is regulated by the statute and requires appropriate licensing. The new legislation also suggests that mere marketing and advertising property for sale or lease is within the scope of regulated real estate services requiring appropriate licensing.

Other changes to current law are found throughout the statute and may affect individuals involved in real estate activities in Delaware, such as the establishment by the legislation of a new concept of imputed statutory agency for transactions involving the sale of one-to-four-family residential properties.

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