Say it needs some “tender love and care“, say it’s a “lived in” home, call it whatever you want- as real estate appraisers, we come across a lot of properties that clearly need a little fixing up.
Good real estate agents want to do more than just help their clients find a property, they want to find their clients a home. When we come across features of a house that need repairs, obviously we note it in the appraisal.
This is where most experienced real estate agents like to swoop in with the classic line: “Don’t worry, I got a guy.” The agent hands over a business card, the client calls the exterminator/plumber/electrician/whatever was needed, and the problem is solved. It’s just that easy, and it’s always been that way.
Well not anymore.
The most recent updates to the Real Estate Commission Regulations brings a new requirement with it that some other states have already adopted. Agents are now required to verify whatever vendor or service provided they reccomend has all the up-to-date permits and a valid state license. An electronic link must be provided so any third party can verify this, as all referrals also must be submitted in writing.
This applies to more than just referrals to clients. Brokers, inspectors, contractors of any kind… any profession remotely related to real estate that requires a license, you need to write your recommendation down and include a link to their license to prove you’ve done so.
So… what does this mean?
It really is time to start double-checking all your contacts. We recommend that you compile a list of all the vendors and service providers you’ve worked with (provided you want to keep doing so) and let them know: “I would like to recommend you to others, but I can’t do so without proof that your licensed. Can you send me a digital copy or link so I can continue giving you business?” No reputable business would say no to that.
This may not seem so important- after all, if you made a referral without doing this, how would anyone know? Well… the property in question could end up as part of a court case. The next time the property is appraised, someone might ask how your client picked their contractors. Honestly, situations where someone has to define who recommended what in real estate are unlikely- but they can, and do happen.
Dropping names or trading business cards is done so casually during real estate transactions most people don’t think twice about it- but if you want to protect your wallet, your job, and your reputation- if you haven’t already- it’s time to pick up the phone.
If you choose to refer us to one of your clients, we’ve included a link below verifying our current licenses in accordance with this Maryland law. PDF Link: The Real Estate Appraisal Group State License
Jonathan Montgomery Founder and President of the The Real Estate Appraisal Group.He has been a real estate professional since 1998. He’s been a broker, and investor and now serves as an appraiser. He currently works as an appraiser, doing real estate appraisals in Washington D.C., Southern Maryland, and Northern Virginia.
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