Ohio Division of Real Estate: Preparing for brokerage audits
On April 14, 2014
By Anne Petit, Superintendent, Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing
As a means to help our licensees comply with Ohio real estate license law and to keep them working, the Ohio Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing has decided to kick-start its brokerage audit process after putting it on hold for the past few years. This decision is in agreement with the directives set forth in Gov. Kasich’s recent Common Sense Initiative.
We believe that working proactively with out licensees through positive instruction, when appropriate, instead of reactionary, punitive discipline will be beneficial to the Division, its licensees and Ohioans in general.
How will you know if the Division selects your brokerage for an audit?
You will receive a telephone call from a Division investigator if you have been selected for an audit. Brokerages selected for a compliance audit are chosen at random from those companies in the Division’s database that have not had an audit in the past 36 months. During this initial conversation, the investigator will work with you to schedule a data and time to conduct the audit. The investigator will then send written confirmation of the scheduled audit along with a list of the items the Division will inspect during the audit.
How long will the audit last?
Compliance audits can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, depending on the size of the brokerage. Most single office brokerage audits take just a few hours.
What can I expect after the audit?
The Division will notify the brokerage in writing of any discrepancies found during a compliance audit and will allow the brokerage a reasonable amount of time to correct them. Once the Division receives documentation from the brokerage verifying that the discrepancies have been corrected, the investigator will send correspondence to the brokerage indicating that it has come into compliance.
How can a brokerage prepare for a compliance audit?
There are several preparatory measures you, as a broker of the company, can take to ensure that the audit is successful. First, take a deep breath and relax! Although the audit may reveal discrepancies between your business processes and Ohio real estate license law, the Division’s main goal is to work with you to help you comply with the law. The most important key to a successful audit is cooperation with the investigator conducting it. Click here for an audit overview and checklist.
If you have any additional questions about the broker audit process or need additional information, please contact the Division’s enforcement section at (614) 466-4100.