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Frequently Asked Questions
For Real Estate Licensees

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FAQ’s - General Information
FAQ’s – Renewing and Maintaining Your Real Estate License

Continuing Education Requirements 

Renewal of License

Late Renewals

FAQ’s - Reasons for Denial of a Nebraska Real Estate License
FAQ’s - Real Estate Individuals & Entities

The Commission receives a broad array of questions related to real estate individuals and firms. To help you find the answer to your question, we have created the following categories of questions:

Real Estate Entities

Broker License

Salesperson & Associate Broker License

Commission Payments

Licensees Dealing in Their Own Property

Advertising

Open Houses

Agency Disclosure

Contracts & Offers

Earnest Money

Doing Business in Another State

Gifts

FAQ’s - Continuing Education

FAQ’S - Continuing Education – Student

FAQ’s - Auditing/Trust Account

Trust Accounts


ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - General Information
  • When do I need a real estate license?
    A real estate license is required when acting as a broker as defined in Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-885.01(1), which specifically states:           

      “Broker means any person who, for any form of compensation or consideration or with the intent or expectation of receiving the same from another, negotiates or attempts to negotiate the listing, sale, purchase, exchange, rent, lease, or option for any real estate or improvements thereon, or assists in procuring prospects or holds himself or herself out as a referral agent for the purpose of securing prospects for the listing, sale, purchase, exchange, renting, leasing, or optioning of any real estate or collects rents or attempts to collect rents, gives a broker's price opinion or comparative market analysis, or holds himself or herself out as engaged in any of the foregoing. Broker also includes any person: (a) Employed, by or on behalf of the owner or owners of lots or other parcels of real estate, for any form of compensation or consideration to sell such real estate or any part thereof in lots or parcels or make other disposition thereof; (b) who auctions, offers, attempts, or agrees to auction real estate; or (c) who buys or offers to buy or sell or otherwise deals in options to buy real estate”

    • What can an unlicensed person do in a real estate office?
      Below is the Commission’s Policy and Interpretation of what an unlicensed person can do and what activities would require a real estate license.  This can also be found in the Commissions Policies and Interpretation section of the License Manual .

      Use of Unlicensed Persons by Licensees
      Licensees, both brokers and salespersons, often use unlicensed persons, either employed or contracted, to perform various tasks related to a real estate transaction which do not require a license. Such persons, for example, are used as personal assistants, clerical support staff, closing secretaries, etc.

      The Nebraska Real Estate License Act prohibits unlicensed persons from negotiating, listing, or selling real property. It is, therefore, important for employing brokers and other licensees using such persons to carefully restrict the activities of such persons so that allegations of wrongdoing under the License Act or Rules can be avoided.

      Licensees should not share commissions with unlicensed persons acting as assistants, clerical staff, closing secretaries, etc. The temptation for such unlicensed persons, in such situations, to go beyond what they can do and negotiate or take part in other prohibited activities is greatly increased when their compensation is based on the successful completion of the sale.
      In order to provide guidance to licensees with regard to which activities related to a real estate transaction unlicensed persons can and cannot perform, the Commission establishes the following Policy:

      Activities which can be performed by unlicensed persons who, for example, act as personal assistants, clerical support staff, closing secretaries, etc., include, but are not necessarily limited to:
      1. Answer the phone and forward calls to licensees.
      2. Transmit listings and changes to a multiple listing service.
      3. Follow up on loan commitments after a contract has been negotiated.
      4. Assemble documents for closings.
      5. Secure documents, i.e. public information, from courthouse, sewer district,
       water district, etc.
      6. Have keys made for company listings.
      7. Write and prepare ads, flyers and promotional information and place such
       advertising.
      8. Record and deposit earnest money and other trust funds.
      9. Type contract forms under direction of licensee.
      10. Monitor licenses and personnel files.
      11. Compute commission checks.
      12. Place and remove signs on property.
      13. Order items of routine repair as directed by licensee and/or supervising broker.
      14. Act as courier service to deliver documents, pick up keys, etc.
      15. Schedule appointments.
      16. Measure property, if measurements are verified by the licensee.
      17. Hand out objective written information on a listing, other than at functions such as open houses, kiosks, and home show booths or fairs.

      Activities which cannot be performed by unlicensed persons who, for example, act as personal assistants, clerical support staff, closing secretaries, etc., include, but are not necessarily limited to:
      1. Host open houses, kiosks, home show booths or fairs, or hand out materials at such functions.
      2. Show property.
      3. Answer any questions on listings, title, financing, closing, etc.
      4. Discuss or explain a contract, agreement, listing, or other real estate document with anyone outside the firm.
      5. Be paid on the basis of real estate activity, such as a percentage of commission, or any amount based on listings, sales, etc.
      6. Negotiate or agree to any commission, commission split or referral fee on behalf of a licensee.

      Employing brokers, whether they are employing unlicensed persons or whether licensees under their supervision are using unlicensed persons as personal assistants or the like, are responsible for assuring that such unlicensed persons are not involved in activities which require a license and/or activities which violate this policy. Brokers should establish guidelines for the use of unlicensed persons and procedures for monitoring their activities. It is the responsibility of the employing broker to assure that unlicensed persons, either directly employed or contracted, or employed or contracted by licensees under his or her supervision, are not acting improperly.

      This policy does not include unlicensed persons who are acting under the exemption related to management of property as set forth in 81-885.04(4).

      Adopted February 12, 1992
      Amended November 15, 2001

  • How do I request verification of my Nebraska license history?
    Licensees sometimes need verification of their licensed status.  You may use the Request for Certification of Licensure Form, and submit it to our office.  Follow the instructions either on the form or on our website at http://www.nrec.ne.gov/licensing-forms/licensehistoryrecognition.html.  Please allow approximately seven to ten business days for the Commission to process your request.
    • What if my information on file with the Commission is out-of-date?
      You are required to report changes in your address and name.  You may use the Change of Address Form  online.  A transfer must be completed before you may begin working for a new broker. See the transfer instructions located on our website.

      To change your legal name, you may use Licensee Personal Information Form .  Supporting documentation may be required. 

      To change your residence address, you may use the Change of Address Form  online or you may use the Licensee Personal Information Form, and submit it to the Commission office.
    • How do I set up a Professional Corporation?
      Licensees may choose to incorporate under the Nebraska Professional Corporation Act.  Contact your attorney or financial consultant for the advisability of such option.  A professional corporation must submit an application (download form or submit form online) to the Commission for a Certificate of Registration certifying that each shareholder, officer, director and professional employee, except the secretary and assistant secretary, is licensed by the Commission and not otherwise disqualified to render services.  Filing of the Certificate of Registration is then made with the Secretary of State's Office.  Additional information on this process and the forms are available from the Secretary of State's Office.
      • What states do you have reciprocal agreements with? 
        We have several states we have reciprocal agreements with.  If there is a particular state you are interested in becoming licensed in please review the complete list located on our website www.nrec.ne.gov/licensing-forms/otherlicrecogntioninfor.html
        • I bounced a check to the Real Estate Commission, what should I do?
          The State of Nebraska, Treasurer’s office runs the checks through the financial institution, twice.  If the moneys are not available on the second run, the Commission receives notification from the Treasurer’s office.  The following section of law is relating to unpaid returned checks:
        • Section 81-885.14 of the Nebraska Real Estate License Act states, in part, as follows:
          "Any check presented to the commission as a fee for either an original or renewal license or for examination for license which is returned to the State Treasurer unpaid shall be cause for revocation or denial of license."

          If funds were not available, you will need to provide the following to the Commission office:
          • Submit a letter addressed to the Commission with an explanation giving fully the circumstances surrounding the issuance of the insufficient funds check.
          • The unpaid check amount with an additional $30.00 processing fee.  If the unpaid check was for a renewal of license, an additional late penalty fee may need to be added.  The Commission will only accept a money order, cash, cashier’s check or credit card for payment of an insufficient funds check.
      • Please be aware that the service for which the check was written will be reversed upon notification from the Treasurer’s office.  For example, if you were going to take the examination, you will be unable to until the appropriate documents have been received by the Commission.  Another example, if you were renewing your real estate license, your license would not be renewed until the appropriate documents are received by the Commission.
    ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - Renewing and Maintaining Your Real Estate License
  • If I am inactive do I need to renew my license?
    Yes, you need to renew your license by November 30 of the year it expires.  The license expiration date is December 31.  For additional information regarding renewing your real estate license please review the Renewal Procedures available on our website.
    • How do I renew online?
      -Go to http://www.nrec.ne.gov/licensing-forms/renewalprocedures.html
      -Click the link for the broker or salesperson information page
      -Read the instructions and gather the information you will need (license number, password, credit card and any other required information).
      -Click on submit form online or login at: https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-LicenseePortal/public/index
      • To complete the form online you need to follow the instructions on the form. 
        Once you have completed the form you must print out the “successfully submitted” page which provides you with the “Transaction ID Number”.  THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT!!

        If any additional information needs to be submitted in conjunction with your renewal form you may attach it as a pdf to the renewal form or you may either fax the information to 402-471-4492 or email to realestate.commission@nebraska.gov

        Please wait at least three business days after you have submitted your renewal form
        , and verify that you have been renewed at https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-LicenseePortal/public/index. If your renewal has been processed you will see that your expiration date has advanced.  If your expiration date has not changed you may contact our office.  If you submitted your renewal online, you will need to provide the “transaction ID number”. Please keep in mind that the website is updated at 10:30 a.m. each business day.
  • What does it cost to renew my license?
    Please review the Fee Schedule  on our website.  There is a $25.00 late fee for each month you are late beginning December 1.
    -Important note: The option to renew late expires on June 30. If you do not renew your license on or before the June 30 deadline, you will need to apply for relicensure.
  • What renewal form do I use?
    The correct online form is provided for you by utilizing the Licensee Login link.

    • If I filed my license renewal online, why doesn’t it show that it’s renewed?
      Please wait at least three business days after you have submitted your renewal form to verify that you have been renewed.  Login to your Portal at: https://www.nebraska.gov/apps-LicenseePortal/public/index. If your renewal has been processed you will see that your expiration date has been advanced.  If you have waited the three days and the expiration date has not changed you should contact our office.  If you contact our office with inquiries and have submitted your renewal online, you will need to provide the “transaction ID number”. Please keep in mind that the website is updated at 10:30 a.m. each business day.
  • Several licensees in the office renewed online the same day.  Why was only one accepted by the Commission office?
    If multiple licensees use the same computer to renew their license online, they must exit the browser between users.  Each licensee must be prompted to enter a license number and password since it is considered their digital signature.  If users do not exit the browser after submitting the renewal form, the correct digital signature does not appear, invalidating subsequent renewals.
    • Where do I renew my license?
      You may renew your license:
      1. online at http://www.nrec.ne.gov/licensing-forms/renewalprocedures.html Select your license type and choose the “submit form online” and follow the prompts.
      2. filing by mail or in person at the Commission office the form if requested.

      Be sure to sign the form and include the renewal fee and necessary attendant documents. 
      -If you file for license renewal in person, we recommend you not wait until the last 2 business days of November, when Commission staff are the busiest.
    • License Renewal Checklist
      We recommend that you print the License Renewal Checklist and use it to ensure that you have completed all the requirements for license renewal. 
      You may also call the Commission at 402-471-2004, during regular business hours.
      Mail your renewal application, attachments, and filing fee(s) or deliver them to the Commission office during regular business hours.  If delivering it in person, try to avoid the last week of the November, which is when we are the busiest.

      LATE RENEWALS

    • What happens if I don't renew before my license expiration date?
      If you do not file a complete renewal form before your license expires on December 31, your license is expired.  If your license has expired, you are no longer licensed to conduct real estate activities and must cease all activity for which a license is required.  You cannot be transferred or licensed on "active status" until the Commission has an opportunity to process your late-filed renewal form. - Late renewals may be renewed online or may be submitted by mail or in person at the Commission office.  Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant, unprocessed.
      If filing after the license expiration date (Late Renewal), include the following forms, documents and fees or renew using the Online System:
      -Renewal Application Form (The forms may be obtained by clicking here.)
      -Renewal fee (The License Fee Schedule may be obtained by clicking here.)
      -Late fee (The License Fee Schedule may be obtained by clicking here.)

       Remember, if renewing late or if your application is returned to you because it is incomplete, you are not licensed to conduct real estate activity until the completed application has been approved and processed.

      Should your license expire, you have until June 30 to renew.  After July 1, your license is terminated.  Once your license is terminated you must apply again as if applying for an original license.  The Commission has no authority to extend this timeframe. 
      If you continue to transact real estate business after your license expires i.e. January 1, you could face serious consequences which might include a civil (monetary) penalty, additional continuing education requirements and license suspension or revocation. 
    • May I have my late fee waived if I renewed late, due to not receiving my renewal notice on time?
      No, ***Failure to receive the renewal notice does not excuse your failure to renew on time.*** As a courtesy, in the Fall of each year, the Commission sends a postcard to the contact address of each licensee whose license is expiring. 
      • Can I get an extension on my license renewal?
        The Commission does not have the authority to change your license expiration date and/or "extend" your license period.  Any salesperson or broker who fails to file an application for renewal of a license and pay the renewal fee by the November 30 date, as provided in the Nebraska Real Estate License Act and Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-885.14(1), may file a late renewal application with all required information included and must pay, in addition to the renewal fee, the sum of twenty-five dollars for each month, or fraction thereof, beginning with the first day of December;  Provided that such late application is filed before July 1 of the ensuing year.  If you are seeking additional time to complete your continuing education (CE) classes you may renew on inactive status to allow for time to meet the education requirements.

    ANSWERS TO FAQ’s -Transferring Your Real Estate License

    General

    • What is a transfer?
      A transfer is when you change your license status.  For example: If you are currently on active status and would like your license placed on inactive status that is considered a transfer since you are “transferring” your license to inactive status.  If you currently work for a broker, and would like to go to work for a different broker, you would “transfer” your license from one broker to another broker.

      TRANSFERRING YOUR LICENSE

        • How do I inactivate my license?
          To inactivate your license you need to submit a signed letter requesting the license be placed on inactive status to the Commission office.  Also, your broker will need to complete the Termination of Affilation form and submit it to our office.

          You can remain on inactive status indefinitely as long as you continue to renew the license. However, if the license remains on inactive status for over three consecutive years, you will need to pass the licensing examination along with making up any continuing education deficiency and any other licensing requisites prior to transferring back to active status.

          To become active again, we will need a letter from you indicating the broker by whom you are willing to be employed and that broker will need to submit a letter indicating he/she is willing to employ you.  In lieu of these letters, you and your broker may fill out the transfer form and submit it to the Commission office.  See the Commission’s fee schedule for the current transfer fee.
      • I want to go inactive and work for a referral company, how can I do that?
        You cannot be on inactive status and work for a referral company, as this is considered licensed activity. You will need to be on active status, and we will need a letter from you indicating the broker by whom you are willing to be employed by, and that broker will need to submit a letter indicating he/she is willing to employ you.  In lieu of these letters, you and your broker may fill out the transfer form and submit it to the Commission office.  See the Commission’s fee schedule for the current transfer fee.  For additional questions regarding licensed activities, review the Commission’s Policies and Interpretations section on the Commission’s website.
        • If I'm making a change to my license, when can I go to work?
          The change or “transfer” of a license is effective on the date that the required paperwork has been completed and received by the Commission. The designated broker will be notified via mail once the transfer has been completed.  Your wall license will be mailed to the designated broker’s main office.  If you are the designated broker, the transfer notification will be mailed to you at the address you requested. 
          For a list of the items required to transfer your license please review the transfer checklist.
        • How long does it take to transfer my license?
          The Commission generally tries to review the required documentation within 48 hours of receipt.  The transfer cannot be completed until all of the required documentation is received by the Commission.  Once all of the required documentation has been received by the Commission, the designated broker will be notified via mail of the completed transfer.  For a list of the items required to transfer your license please review the transfer checklist.
        •  Can my paperwork be e-mailed?
          Transfer paperwork can be submitted to the Commission office via e-mail, however, since signatures are required on most of the paperwork, you would need to scan the document(s) in and send as an attachment(s).  If you are transferring to inactive status, the Termination of Affiliation form will need to be completed by your broker and submitted to the Commission Office.
        • Can I transfer my license online?
          Currently there is not a form online to submit a transfer request.  Transfer paperwork can be submitted to the Commission office via e-mail, however, since signatures are required on the paperwork, you would need to scan the document(s) in and send as an attachment(s). 
        • What is a “Notification to Current Broker” letter?
          This is a letter the transferring licensee addresses to his/her current broker.  In the body of the notification letter you must indicated that you will no longer be affiliated with them. This letter must be signed by the licensee requesting the transfer.  The original notification letter is given to the current broker and a copy of the notification is submitted to the Commission office.  When the Commission receives a copy of the notification letter, a pending transfer may be completed. 
        • Can I transfer my license using the renewal form?
          No, you cannot use your renewal form as a request to transfer your license.  The processes to transfer and renew your license are separate.  Such requests and appropriate fees need to be sent under separate cover.
        • What is the difference between the Receipt Card and the Wall License?
          The receipt card is a receipt for license fees and is small enough to carry in your purse or wallet. The receipt card includes your license I.D. number which is important when utilizing many online functions, obtaining Errors and Omissions Insurance and in registering for continuing education. 
          The wall license is 8 ½ “ X 11” in size.  Wall licenses are either blue or yellow-orange and will look like a graduation diploma.  The wall license is only issued when you originally received your real estate license.  Effective August 2017, the wall license is obsolete. .
    ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - Errors and Omissions Insurance
    • Who is the Commission offered insurance provider and how do I contact them?
      The Real Estate Commission, through a Requiest for Proposal process, contracts to make available, to all licensees, a policy of E&O Insurance under a Group Plan from a qualified insurance carrier through our E & O Program Administrator. Enrollment forms and additional information on this plan are sent to licensees annually. These materials can also be acquired by contacting the Commission Office. Licensees are not required to use the Commission's E & O Program Administrator, but are required to have E & O coverage as defined by Nebraska law in order to renew licenses on active status or to maintain licenses on active status. For more information on the required coverage, please visit the Errors & Omissions Insurance Information section on the Commission's website.
    • Do I need errors and omissions insurance if I renew on inactive status?
      You do not need to obtain errors and omissions insurance if your license is on inactive status. However, it is recommended that you contact your errors and omissions insurance provider prior to letting your coverage expire. You will want to discuss consequences of ending coverage and the possible purchase of an extended reporting endorsement, "tail" coverage.

    • Do I need errors and omissions insurance?
      Any applicant for issuance of an original license on active status or the renewal of a license on active status, shall not be issued such active license unless he or she has submitted proof, or had proof submitted, of Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance coverage to the Nebraska Real Estate Commission office. For additional information please review the "Fact Sheet" along with additional information available on the E & O Information Page.
    • When do I need to submit the "Certification of Coverage" form?
      Original applicants obtaining equivalent Errors and Omissions Insurance independently of the Group Plan available through the State Program Administrator must submit a Certificate of Equivalent Coverage form, signed by an authorized insurance representative, to the Commission office before original license issuance.
      Licensees who are obtaining equivalent E&O Insurance independently of the Group Plan, and whose E&O Insurance coverage corresponds with the calendar year, must submit with the license renewal form, or must arrange to have submitted, a Certificate of Equivalent Coverage which shows renewed coverage and is signed by an authorized insurance representative before their license will be renewed. It is the licensee's responsibility to make sure that all filing deadlines are met.
    ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - Reasons for Denial of a Nebraska Real Estate License

    Reasons for Denial of a Nebraska Real Estate License

    Criminal convictions, civil judgments, or disciplinary action involving any other professional licenses in Nebraska or any other state may result in license denial. 

    You ought to review the following state laws, also known as Nebraska Revised Statutes (Neb. Rev. Stat.), which may pose problems during the review of an application for a new license or an application for renewal of an existing license.



    81-885.12. License; when granted.
    (1) Licenses shall be granted only to persons who bear a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, and competence to transact the business of broker or salesperson in such manner as to safeguard the interest of the public and only after satisfactory proof of such qualifications has been presented to the commission. No license shall be granted to an applicant who will be conducting business through a corporation, partnership, or limited liability company unless any stockholder, partner, or member having a controlling interest therein, if any, bears a good reputation for honesty, trustworthiness, and integrity.
    (2) When an applicant has been convicted of forgery, embezzlement, obtaining money under false pretenses, larceny, extortion, conspiracy to defraud, or any other similar offense or offenses or has been convicted of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude in any court of competent jurisdiction of this or any other state, district, or territory of the United States or of a foreign country, such untrustworthiness of the applicant and the conviction may in itself be sufficient ground for refusal of a license.
    (3) The commission may in its discretion deny a license to any person who has engaged in the real estate business without a license.
    (4) When an applicant has made a false statement of material fact on an application, such false statement may in itself be sufficient ground for refusal of a license.
    (5) Grounds for suspension or revocation of a license, as provided for by the Nebraska Real Estate License Act, or the previous revocation of a real estate license shall also be grounds for refusal to grant a license.

    81-885.18. Application; refusal; hearing; decision.
    (1) If the director of the commission, after an application in proper form has been filed with the commission, accompanied by the proper fee, refuses to accept the application, the director shall give notice of the fact to the applicant within twenty days after his or her ruling, order, or decision.
    (2) Upon written request from the applicant, filed within thirty days after receipt of such notice by the applicant, the commission shall set the matter down for a hearing to be conducted within ninety days after receipt of the applicant's request.
    (3) The hearing shall be at such time and place as the commission shall prescribe. At least twenty days prior to the date set for the hearing the commission shall notify the applicant and other persons protesting, and the notice shall set forth the reasons why the director refused to accept the application. Such written notice of hearing may be served by delivery personally to the applicant and protesters or by mailing the same by registered or certified mail to the last-known business address of the applicant and protesters.
    (4) At the hearing the applicant shall be entitled to examine, either in person or by counsel, any and all persons protesting against him or her, as well as all other witnesses whose testimony is relied upon to substantiate any protest or denial of the application. The applicant shall be entitled to present such evidence, written and oral, as he or she may see fit and as may be pertinent to the inquiry.
    (5) At the hearing all witnesses shall be duly sworn by the chairperson of the commission, or any member thereof, and stenographic notes of the proceedings shall be taken. Any party to the proceedings desiring a copy of the stenographic notes shall be furnished with a copy upon the payment to the commission of such fee as the commission shall prescribe, if the request is made within ten days after the date of any order issued by the commission.
    (6) The commission shall render a decision on any application within sixty days after the final hearing on such application and shall immediately notify the parties to the proceedings, in writing, of its ruling, order, or decision.

     

    ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - Real Estate Individuals & Entities

      Real Estate Entities

      • What is the law on branch offices?
        Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-885.19. License; form; pocket cards; issuance; broker's branch office; license; fee.
        The commission shall prescribe the form of license. Each license shall have placed thereon the seal of the commission. The license of each salesperson and associate broker shall be delivered or mailed to the broker by whom the salesperson or associate broker is employed and shall be kept in the custody and control of such broker. It is the duty of each broker to display his or her own license and those of his or her associate brokers and salespersons conspicuously in his or her place of business. If a broker maintains more than one place of business within the state, a branch office license shall be issued to such broker for each branch office so maintained by him or her upon the payment of an annual fee to be established by the commission of not more than fifty dollars and the branch office license shall be displayed conspicuously in each branch office. The broker or an associate broker shall be the manager of a branch office.

        Title 299, Chapter 2, Section 012.  A branch office is any location, other than the main office of a real estate business, where:
        1) one or more licensees spend a substantial amount of time transacting real estate business
        requiring a license; and 2) such licensee(s) advertises that they can be contacted for real
        estate business purposes; and 3) such licensee(s) maintains what would, in the normal
        business context, be considered a business office. Nothing in this Section should be construed
        to include the advertising of a home phone number and address by a licensee in the alphabetical
        listing of subscribers section, or white pages, of the telephone directory to come within the
        branch office definition. A model home utilized as an office on a temporary basis would not be
        considered a branch office.
        If you are interested in setting up a branch office, please visit our website at http://www.nrec.ne.gov/licensing-forms/branchlicensinginfo.html

        Broker License


          Salesperson & Associate Broker License

          • Can I work for more than one broker at the same time?
            This scenario is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. There must first be a written agreement between the two brokers for whom a licensee will work. A copy of the legal agreement would need to be submitted to the Commission office for the Director's review. The agreement should clearly differentiate between any different duties, geographic areas of the state, etc. as they apply to the licensee's activities with each of the brokers. The agreement should also address how consideration is to be paid the licensee. The letter or legal agreement requesting such arrangement would need to be signed by the designated brokers of both companies.

            Commission Payments

          • May I pay a referral fee to an unlicensed person?
            No. Referral fees may only be paid to persons licensed under the Nebraska Real Estate License Act, or to a nonresident licensed in his or her regulatory jurisdiction.  Referral fees must be paid by the designated broker to a designated broker and not by an affiliated licensee to another affiliated licensee.  Please review the following section of the license act:
            Neb. Rev. Stat. §81-885.06. Action for recovery of compensation; prohibited, except to licensed brokers, associate brokers, or salespersons.
            No action or suit shall be instituted, nor recovery be had, in any court of this state by any person for compensation for any act done or service rendered, the doing or rendering of which is prohibited under the Nebraska Real Estate License Act to other than licensed brokers, licensed associate brokers, or licensed salespersons. A licensed broker may bring an action in the name of a partnership, limited liability company, or corporation if the broker operates under any of such business organizations.
            • Can the Commission call my broker and get my commission check corrected (or paid)?
              No. The Real Estate Commission is prohibited by rule to enter into disputes between licensees over payment or division of commission. Payment of commissions between licensees is a matter of contract law, not license law. Such issues are generally controlled by company policies and employment or independent contractor agreements between the licensees. If disputes arise and cannot be resolved by direct negotiations, licensees must resort to arbitration or the courts for settlement.
            • Can I file a complaint with the Commission against another company in order to collect my share of a commission?
              No. The Real Estate Commission is prohibited by rule to enter into disputes between licensees over payment or division of commission. Payment of commissions between licensees is a matter of contract law, not license law. Such issues are generally controlled by company policies and employment or independent contractor agreements between the licensees. If disputes arise and cannot be resolved by direct negotiations, licensees must resort to arbitration or the courts for settlement.

              Licensees Dealing in their Own Property

            • May I sell my house without paying my broker a commission?
              Although this may be addressed in your Independent Contractor Agreement, generally if you are the seller and you are selling your own home, and it is not listed with your designated broker’s real estate company, then you would not be liable to your broker for the payment of a commission.  You should disclose to your broker in writing your intention to sell, buy, lease, or exchange property for your own account. Whether you pay a commission under such circumstances depends on what agreement you reach with your broker.
            • Do I have to identify myself as an agent to sell or rent my own property?
              Yes. The Rules and Regulations of the Commission require that licensees disclose in all forms of advertisements, the interest the licensee has in the property.  The disclosure could read "Seller/Owner is a licensed broker (or salesperson) in the State of Nebraska” or similar type disclosures. 

            Advertising

            • Since I am an independent contractor, may I do my own advertising?
              No. The Rules and Regulations of the Commission requires affiliated licensees to advertise under the name of the broker or the name under which he or she does business in the State of Nebraska as registered with the Secretary of State’s Office and recorded with the Commission.
            • Are addresses required on "For Sale" signs?
              No, addresses and/or phone numbers are not required by license law or rule or regulation. However, licensees should check to see if this requirement is a business policy adopted by their designated broker. What is, absolutely, required is that advertising include the name under which the broker is doing business.

              Open Houses

            • I am holding an open house in a new subdivision. May I give a door prize or free gift to each and every prospective purchaser that attends?
              Yes.  In October 1996, the Commission’s rule pertaining to the prohibition of offering inducements was repealed.  Licensees should be careful to treat every prospective purchaser the same so that there is no basis for claims of discrimination. Licensees may NOT give consideration to anyone for referring prospects to the agent, this woudl be considered paying a referral fee to an unlicensed person and is a violation of the License Law. Also, licensees may wish to contact the State Department of Revenue to ensure they are not conducting a lottery when offering inducements.
              • May we hire unlicensed hostesses to sit in open houses and pass out brochures with information on the houses?
                No. Open houses must be hosted by a person who possesses an active Nebraska real estate license.  Below is a part of the Commission’s Policies and Interpretations section which can also be found on our website.
                Activities which cannot be performed by unlicensed persons who, for example, act as personal assistants, clerical support staff, closing secretaries, etc., include, but are not necessarily limited to:
                1. Host open houses, kiosks, home show booths or fairs, or hand out materials at such functions.
                2. Show property.
                3. Answer any questions on listings, title, financing, closing, etc.
                4. Discuss or explain a contract, agreement, listing, or other real estate document with anyone outside the firm.
                5. Be paid on the basis of real estate activity, such as a percentage of commission, or any amount based on listings, sales, etc.
                6. Negotiate or agree to any commission, commission split or referral fee on behalf of a licensee.

                Agency Disclosure

              • May I tell a purchaser that I will represent him or her instead of the seller?
                Licensees must first check with their designated broker to ensure that the designated broker offers limited Buyer Agency in their Designated Broker Agency Policy.  If so, then in cases where the firm exercises the appointment of agents option in the law and the licensee is not identified in the listing contract as an agent for the seller, then the agent must necessarily serve as a buyer's agent. If the buyer has entered into a written exclusive agency agreement with a different buyer's agent, then this licensee has no role and should direct the buyer back to his/her exclusive buyer's agent.

                Contracts & Offers

              • Should offers be changed by the listing agent when essentials are left out of the offer by a selling agent?
                Changes to a contract may be made by the listing broker with the consent and approval of the seller(s).  This, in essence, is a Counter-Offer to the buyer(s).  Any changes in the contract should be initialed and dated by the seller(s). The buyer(s) may make additional changes to this contract thus countering back to the seller(s). As in the previous illustration the buyer(s) should initial and date. This process goes back and forth until the contract is no longer amended and is acceptable to all parties.

                Earnest Money

              • How long can I keep earnest money before I take it to the office?
                The best business practice is immediately.  However, the license law requires that earnest money be deposited into the broker’s trust account within 72 hours or before the end of the next banking day, after an offer is accepted, in writing, unless other wise provided in the purchase agreement.
              • How should a broker disburse earnest money that the buyer (or seller) is demanding?
                If there is a dispute over the return of any earnest money, the licensee must obtain the written consent of all parties having an interest in the funds authorizing the broker what to do with the earnest money.  Without the written consent, the broker must hold the earnest money in the trust account until one of the parties to the transaction files a civil action against the other party, in which case, the broker may then pay the earnest money to the Court.

                Doing Business in Another State

                Gifts

              • May I give gifts to clients and customers who do business with me?
                Licensees may give gifts to persons to entice the person to do business with the licensee.  However, giving any form of compensation or consideration to a person after they have done business with the licensee may be considered paying a commission to an unlicensed person.
              • May I pay a fee or give a gift to a person who refers a prospect to me?
                Only if the person has a real estate license on active status, in Nebraska or his or her state of residence, in which case, the gift must be given by the employing broker to the person’s employing broker, who in turn would give the gift to the person who made the referral.  IF the person who made the referral does not possess a real estate license, this giving of any form of compensation or consideration would be considered paying a commission to an unlicensed person. This would be a violation of the License Act for the licensee and the unlicensed person who accepts such a consideration would be guilty of conducting licensed activity without a license and he/she would be guilty of a Class III misdemeanor.
    ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - Continuing Education
    • What is an "Education period?"
      Education periods begin the January following licensure and continue every two years after that, synchronous with the license term. After the initial calendar year of licensure, licensees will renew their license for two years. Licensees will not be able to renew for subsequent two-year license periords without first meeting their education requirement.
    • What are the Continuing Education Requirements?
      Licensees are required to complete 18 clock hours of continuing education prior to renewing their license every two years. Of these hours, at least "6" hours must be in designated subject matter. These courses are indicated with the letter "R" in the four-digit course content number that is assigned to the course. (See Meeting the Designated Subject Matter Requirement for more information.) Continuing education programs may be substituted for all or part of the Broker approved training requirement. However, the reverse is not true i.e. broker-approved training will NOT substitute for the 12 hour continuing education component. While ther is no prohibition against dublicating broker-approved training, continuing education credit will not be granted when activities or substantial activity content is duplicated within 4 years. However, "R" courses are an exception to this rule and may be duplicated in subsequent continuing education periods but NOT in the same continuing education period.  The course content number is used to determine duplication of content between courses.
      CHECK YOUR CONTINUING EDUCATION HISTORY
    • How do I report my Continuing Education Courses to the Commission?
      Licensees are no longer required to send in certificates for proof of completion of continuing education. The education providers have 10 days, by law, to submit verification lists to the Commission for automated upload into licensee data files.  In order for you to get proper credit it is essential that you provide the educator with your accurate license I.D. number.  When you renew your license you are issued a receipt card by the Commission.  This receipt card, which contains your license I.D. number, is mailed to licensees in December after they have renewed their license for the upcoming two years.  This receipt card is issued to ALL renewed licensees (active and inactive) and is credit card size for ease of storing in your wallet.  You are encouraged to carry the receipt card with you to refer to when you need your license I.D. number.
      NOTE: licensees will still be required to submit certificates for courses taken through providers approved in jurisdictions other than Nebraska, as well as appraiser continuing education.
    • Where can I find a list of approved broker-approved training?
      Licensees should consult their broker regarding broker-approved training opportunities. Licensees can verify that their broker's approved training has been recognized by the Commission by referring to a list of recognized training on the Commission's website or contacting the Commission office.
    • How do I report my broker-approved training to the Commission?
      Licensees are no longer required to send in certificates for proof of completion of continuing education including broker-approved training. The education providers have 10 days, by law, to submit verification lists to the Commission for automated upload into licensee data files.
    • My broker does not intend to make training available to us, what should we do?
      Continuing education may be substituted for all or part of the six hours of  broker-approved training.  Therefore, you should take the additional hours in continuing education subject matter and submit it just as you do your continuing education.  NOTE:  While continuing education may substitute  for broker-approved training the reverse is NOT true, broker-approved training will not substitute for any of the 12 hours of continuing education (six of which must be in designated “R” subject matter).
    • Do I have to attend my broker's approved training?
      The answer to this may depend on the terms of your employment contract with your broker, however, the Real Estate License Act does not require you to attend your broker’s approved training. Continuing education may be substituted for all or part of the six hours of  broker-approved training.    NOTE:  While continuing education may substitute  for broker-approved training the reverse is NOT true, broker-approved training will not substitute for any of the 12 hours of continuing education (six of which must be in designated “R” subject matter).
    • Can I renew my license without submitting my education credits?
      To renew your real estate license on active status you MUST have eighteen hours of continuing education on file with the Commission office prior to submitting your renewal.
      To renew your license on inactive status your education requirement can be waived.
  • I didn't have my education complete so I renewed on inactive status and waived my education. I want to have an active license now, what about my education requirement?
    When you waived your education it created an education deficiency that you must address before your license can be transferred back to active status.  You will have to complete 12 hours of continuing education with six of these in “R” courses taken since the beginning of your most recent deficient period.  You will not be required to make up broker-approved training hours because you have not had a broker to direct such training.
  • Can I have some of my Continuing Education credits waived for other education I attended?
    All Continuing Education credit required to renew your license must be pre-approved with the Commission to be applicable. There is no provision in the License Law for retroactive approval of a program.
  • Can I get credit for attending continuing education in another state?
    Nebraska will accept continuing education taken in another jurisdiction as long as it is approved by another real estate regulatory body.  If the course completion certificate, itself, does not identify the jurisdiction’s approval and the number of hours for which it is approved the licensee will need to submit some documentation of the approval along with the course completion certificate.  Such documentation may be obtained from the course provider.  

    If it is hoped the course will qualify as an “R” course the licensee will need to be able to provide a time-allotted outline to verify that a full three hours (or six to meet the full requirement) was devoted to any ONE of the following subject matter:  Fair Housing/ADA, Ethical Decision-making/Code of Ethics, BPOs/CMAs, Environmental Hazards, Agency Relationships, or Contracts.   Licensees are encouraged to contact the Commission, prior to taking these courses, if there is any question with regard to recognition of these courses.
    • I am a resident licensee in another state, can any of the education I have already completed for my resident state licensure be applied to the renewal of my Nebraska license?
      If you are a non-resident of Nebraska and currently hold a real estate salesperson or broker license in your jurisdiction of residence and have met that jurisdictionÍs continuing education requirement, the Nebraska Commission will ask you to affirm that fact on your license renewal form and will not require further evidence of continuing education from you.

      If you are a nonresident Nebraska licensee and do not hold a real estate license in your resident jurisdiction, you will need to submit 18 hours of education to the Nebraska Commission as prescribed by the Commission. Nebraska will accept continuing education taken in another jurisdiction as long as it is approved by another real estate regulatory body. If the course completion certificate, itself, does not identify the jurisdictionÍs approval and the number of hours for which it is approved the licensee will need to submit some documentation of the approval along with the course completion certificate. Such documentation may be obtained from the course provider.
  • After I complete my CE for one period can I start classes for the next CE period?
    The law requires a total of 18 clock hours, with 12 hours of continuing education (CE) credits and 6 hours of in designated subject matter be taken DURING each 24 month period of licensure.  One cannot "warehouse" credit for a future educaiton period. Each period begins on January 1 and you must supply the required education during the license period and prior to renewal in November of the following year.
  • ANSWERS TO FAQ’s - Auditing/Trust Account
    • Trust Accounts

      • May I have an interest-bearing account for earnest money and security deposits?
        Nebraska law requires that all trust funds be deposited into a non-interest bearing trust account.  If buyer and seller agree in writing, earnest money may be transferred to an interest bearing account.  Authorization must include, who will receive the interest.  As far as security deposits, they are normally held in a non-interest bearing trust account.  If both the management agreement and the lease agreement specify that the security deposits will be maintained in an interest bearing account, it may be done.  Again the authorization must specify who is to receive the interest.
      • What kind of record keeping do I need?
         All new brokers are supplied with a copy of the Trust Account Manual which will go into detail on the minimum requirements for bookkeeping and maintaining records. Please review the Trust Account Manual Information page on the Commission's website.
      • How much of my own money can I keep in a trust account?
        The amount of “Broker Equity” maintained in the trust account should be kept to a minimum.  This may be the amount the bank requires to maintain in order to avoid service charges.  Maintaining too much of the Broker’s money in the account could destroy the nature of the trust.
      • Do I need separate trust accounts for rental property?
        The Commission only requires that you maintain one trust account.  For simplicity of bookkeeping, you may want a separate account for property management; especially if you have a lot of sales and management activity.

      Property Management

    • What is Property Management?
      Property management is the management of either residential, commercial of farm accounts.  This will include, leasing, collection of rents and security deposits and disbursements to vendors and to owners.  The extent of duties will vary from company to company depending on the management agreement or the listing to lease.
  • During the term of the lease, who's property is the security deposit?
    The security deposit belongs to the tenant during the term of the lease.  If it is being held by the owner, it still belongs to the tenant with the owner accepting the liability for the security deposit.
    • Must the designated broker review all rental agreements?
      The designated broker is responsible for the actions of the licensees' underneath him/her.  You may review the agreements or delegate the authority to someone else.  This does not relieve the broker of the responsibility.
    • Who is responsible for supervising property management employees?
      An employing broker is responsible for all acts of associate brokers and salespersons of the entity, and the designated broker must supervise the associate brokers and salespersons.  No salesperson or associate broker may conduct property management if the broker does not supervise the activity.
  • How should payments from tenants be handled?
    The lease and management agreement should dictate how and to whom the rent will be paid.
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