RE Assistant on Call Legal Considerations

State of Missouri
Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration
Division of Professional Registration
Missouri Real Estate Commission
Statutes:RSMo 339.010 – 339.855(rev. May 2007)
Board Rules:  20 CSR 2250-1.010 – 2250-10.100

339.180 Practice without a license – endangering welfare of others – injunction, procedure.
1.It shall be unlawful for any person or entity not licensed under this chapter to perform any act for which a real estate license is required. Upon application by the commission, and the necessary burden having been met, a court of general jurisdiction may grant an injunction, restraining order or other order as may be appropriate to enjoin an entity from:
(1)Offering to engage or engaging in the performance of any acts or practices for which a permit or license is required by this chapter upon a showing that such acts or practices were performed or offered to be performed without a permit or license; or
(2)Engaging in any practice or business authorized by a permit or license issued pursuant to this chapter upon a showing that the holder represents a substantial probability of serious danger to the health, safety or welfare of any person with, or who is considering obtaining, a legal interest in real property in this state.

20 CSR 2250-8.020 Broker Supervision and Improper Use of License and Office
(1)Individual brokers, designated brokers, and office managers/supervising brokers shall be responsible for supervising the real estate related activities including the protection of any confidential information as defined under 339.710.8, RSMo of all licensed and unlicensed persons associated with them, whether in an individual capacity or through a corporate entity, association or partnership […].
(2)A broker shall not permit licensed and unlicensed persons affiliated with the broker to –
(A)Establish and carry on real estate brokerage business for their own benefit, directly or indirectly, where the broker’s primary interest is the receipt of a fee or other valuable consideration for the use of the broker’s license by others; or
(B)Where the broker has no control or only nominal control of the business affairs conducted under the broker’s license or is only nominally associated with the business.

20 CSR 2250-8.050 Clerical Personnel
(1)The activities of unlicensed clerical or office employees of a broker shall be limited to the duties normally attributed to these positions. Unlicensed persons shall not do, or attempt to do, any of the activities set out under 339.010.1.(1)-(10), RSMo.

In English, Please!

In Missouri, the license law indicates what requires a license. If any of these acts to follow is performed for a client (or a customer) then a license is required (339.010 Definitions):
(1)Sells, exchanges, purchases, rents or leases real estate;
(2)Offers to sell, exchange, purchase, rent or lease real estate;
(3)Negotiates or offers or agrees to negotiate the sale, exchange, purchase, rental or leasing of real estate;
(4)Lists or offers or agrees to list real estate for sale, lease, rental or exchange;
(5)Buys, sells, offers to buy or sell or otherwise deals in options on real estate or improvements thereon;
(6)Advertises or holds himself or herself out as a licensed real estate broker while engaged in the business of buying, selling, exchanging, renting or leasing real estate;
(7)Assists or directs in the procuring of prospects, calculated to result in the sale, exchange, leasing or rental of real estate;
(8)Assists or directs in the negotiation of any transaction calculated or intended to result in the sale, exchange, leasing or rental of real estate;
(9)Engages in the business of charging to an unlicensed person an advance fee in connection with any contract whereby the real estate broker undertakes to promote the sale of that person’s real estate through its listing in a publication issued for such purpose intended to be circulated to the general public;
(10)Performs any of the foregoing acts as an employee of, or on behalf of, the owner of real estate, or interest therein, or improvements affixed thereon, for compensation.

An unlicensed individual working under the supervision of a licensed real estate broker may not:
Negotiate binding contracts
Advise anyone as to the negotiation of an offer
Sign any document contracting the supervising broker to the general public
Advise anyone to the pricing of a listed property
Assist in the procurement of a prospect for a real estate transaction (via direct contact with the prospect)
Have any communication, oral or written, directly with the public that falls under any of the statute definitions of advertising (339.010.5 RSMo and 20 CSR 2250-8.070 paragraph 1). This does not prevent the assistant from creating flyers, postcards and mailers from data supplied by the directing licensee; nor does it prevent the assistant from working with publishers and their advertising departments in preparing and finalizing any published advertising from copy generated by the directing licensee.
Answer questions posed by a consumer about a specific property, listed or unlisted.
Lead any consumer to believe that the assistant is licensed.

Summary of above:
An unlicensed individual may perform any and all tasks requested by the supervising broker as far as their efforts never become evident to a client or customer of that broker (it is presumed that the supervising broker will not require the non-licensed assistant to perform any act blatantly in violation of license law so as to risk the broker’s license and business). Also, the assistant may directly assist a client or customer with technical support, such as navigation through a website containing information about real estate and the market, as long as the support remains technical and not specific to property or market.