Here’s the latest from the California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE)’s quarterly digest of all things real estate.

The commish waxes historic

2017 is CalBRE’s centennial, and Commissioner Wayne Bell treats readers to a brief history of California’s real estate law and early commissioners.

Interested in how CalBRE functions in its day-to-day? Check out our recently updated digest on CalBRE’s functions and stats:

CalBRE email notifications

Since 2015, CalBRE licensees have been required to provide an email address to CalBRE upon licensure or renewal. CalBRE doesn’t make this information public record, but they do send licensee alerts and other important announcements via email.

To update your email address, visit CalBRE’s eLicensing portal here:

If you’re not getting emails from CalBRE, make sure to add these addresses to your safe senders list:


(They’re a bit slow in getting those domains updated.)

So you’re getting a CalBRE audit!

If you only read one section in the Summer 2017 CalBRE Real Estate Digest, make it this one – CalBRE’s provided you with a checklist of documents you should be keeping on file in case of an audit.

While CalBRE focuses on bigger brokerages for sweeping audits, every licensee may be subject to review for compliance with real estate law.

Since trust fund violations are most common, make sure you have your trust fund situation locked down — there’s a reason CalBRE requires licensees to take a Trust Funds course before every renewal.

For more information about CalBRE audits, read our brief overview of the audit process:

Current first tuesday students can read up on trust funds in Realtipedia, Volume 15 Agency, Fair Housing, Trust Funds, Ethics and Risk Management, “Trust Funds” section. Not a current student? You have to renew sometime – our courses are available here:

Broker licensing tips

To become a broker, you need both:

  • two years’ full-time experience as a sales agent, or equivalent experience [Calif. Business and Professions Code §10150.6]; and
  • eight college-level real estate courses. [Bus & P C §10153.2]

We often get questions about what qualifies as alternative experience. CalBRE will accept experience as a(n):

  • escrow officer;
  • title officer;
  • real estate loan officer;
  • a subdivider, contractor or speculative builder if you performed duties relating to the purchase, finance, development, sale or lease of the real estate;
  • appraiser; and
  • real estate licensee from another state.

Have additional questions, or ready to take the next step and enroll in courses? Call us at 951.781.7300 — we’re definitely easier to reach than CalBRE.

Shy? Visit our website instead — we’ve got lots of resources to help you get your broker license:

Fictitious business names and team names

Okay, we know this one is confusing – the legislature passed a slew of laws about this a couple of years ago, and it’s been a bit tricky keeping it all straight.

Here’s the quick and dirty version of how fictitious business names work:

  1. Choose a fictitious business name. Choose carefully — common sense and other rules apply.
  2. File the fictitious business name in the county where your main office is located, and any other counties where the fictitious business name will be used.
  3. Add the fictitious business name to the associated CalBRE broker or corporation license.

A sales agent may also file for a fictitious business name. They do so as an individual, and attach the fictitious business name to their broker’s license.

For CalBRE fictitious business filing rules and forms, see CalBRE Form RE 282.

Team names are less formal than fictitious business name filings, are used ONLY by sales agents and don’t need to be reported to CalBRE. However, their use is also subject to CalBRE rules.

Team names:

  • must include a surname of one of the member of the team;
  • must include the term “group,” “team” or “associates”;
  • may not include “brokerage”, “broker” or any term indicating an entity independent of an employing broker; and
  • must identify the responsible broker by name or license number and name.

New rehabilitation rules

Finally, CalBRE has updated their criteria for setting rehabilitation requirements for applicants who have been denied a license and licensees who have been disciplined. It may now require more vigorous proof of rehabilitation for more serious offenses, before a license is granted or reinstated.

For a general review of license reinstatement, see our article here:

That’s a wrap – read the full Summer 2017 CalBRE Bulletin here, and see you next time.