BY MINAS STYPONIAS
“A ‘real estate broker’ means any person, firm, limited liability company or corporation, who, for another and for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration, lists for sale, sells, at auction or otherwise, exchanges, buys or rents, or offers or attempts to negotiate a sale, at auction or otherwise, exchange, purchase or rental of an estate or interest in real estate.”
That’s part of the letter definition of what a real estate broker must be and the services they must provide in order to qualify to charge a fee for services rendered, according to the New York State Department of State (DOS).
However, a new trend has hit the real estate market where people calling themselves real estate “consultants” are approaching owners and landlords with the offer of real estate services to assist in renting their rental properties, but without a license as mandated by the DOS. Once they retain a listing for a rental property they market and show it as any true real estate agent would with the main difference being that they have no approved license to do so and often only perform this duty on their off-time from their actual jobs.
These individuals prey on the fact that most owners and landlords can be satisfied seeing a business card, which can be bought online through numerous companies, rather than the official licensing card that is provided to each real estate agent by the DOS. The official license shows a photo of the individual along with their name, ID number and the name of the broker for which they work.
When dealing with an unknown person, individual owners should always request to see this card prior to providing any property listings to this person. Real estate professionals work hard to perform their duties so please make sure you are actually dealing with one by requesting their DOS identification card and thereby protecting yourself by making sure you are dealing with a duly licensed real estate agent.