Licensed Personal Assistants

1: Can I use an unlicensed person to serve as a host or hostess at an open house?

A: A real estate license is required of anyone who assists in the procuring of prospects for the sale of real estate. Because the purpose of an open house is to capture prospects to buy the house, generally only licensed persons should represent the brokerage at an open house. An unlicensed person may be present only to greet persons and may not answer any questions or provide any information.

2: Can an unlicensed person solicit business for the brokerage by providing information on the brokerage and brokerage services to potential clients and customers?

A: No, this activity requires a real estate license.

3: Licensed personal assistants: What can they do?

A: A personal assistant who is licensed as a salesperson is legally permitted to do all of those things that any licensed agent does. This would include showing homes, going on listing presentations, preparing or explaining terms of an offer to purchase or lease, soliciting listings or buyers during telemarketing or “cold calling”, etc. Any of these duties, however, may be limited by the brokerage or agent that hires the assistant.

4: Unlicensed personal assistants: What can they do?

A: Personal assistants who are not licensed may perform duties that would be considered secretarial or administrative in nature. According to the Division of Real Estate these could include:

  • Sitting silently in open houses as a security measure
  • Calling other brokerage firms to set showing appointments for the agent
  • Calling owners of properties listed with the agent’s own brokerage, to schedule showings, closings and inspections
  • Acting as a courier for contracts and other documents

5: Unlicensed personal assistants: What can’t they do?

A: According to the Division of Real Estate, unlicensed personal assistants are prohibited from doing the following:

  • Providing potential clients with information on the services offered by the brokerage firm
  • Calling “for sale by owners” and owners of expired listings to determine their housing needs or interest in re-listing
  • Explaining terms of home warranty programs, which may be part of a purchase offer
  • Responding to questions posed concerning contracts or other documents
  • Giving out pre-printed property information over the phone, including asking price, address and number of bedrooms
  • Passing out information sheets, verbally providing property information and responding to questions at open houses
  • Calling property owners to gather information on their home or the type of home they’re looking for, providing information on listed properties and requesting names of other potential sellers or buyers.