As Atlanta continues to grow, the opportunities in commercial real estate do so as well. As a result, many individuals and sometimes businesses, that do not otherwise operate in the area of real estate may find themselves in the middle of a real estate transaction.
In other words, you may have brought two parties together, and now feel that it is only right for you to receive a commission, referral fee or other compensation as a result of your efforts, contingent upon the success of the transaction.
However, in the State of Georgia, without a Broker's license, your pursuit of compensation can amount to a crime, that is - acting as an unlicensed real estate broker. This crime may be punishable with penalties and fines, even if you've never received any compensation from the transaction.
Before inserting yourself into a real estate deal in Georgia in which you negotiate terms on behalf of a party, or procure prospects, with the anticipation of receiving some compensation, it is important to ask and know the answers to the following questions:
- What constitutes a Broker under Georgia law?
- What activities require a Broker's license?
- What rights would an individual forfeit by acting as a Broker without a license?
- And, what is the intended purpose of the Georgia laws regarding Brokers?
Here's the valuable takeaway: If you have brought together a real estate buyer and seller, or landlord and tenant, or have been involved in contract negotiations involving real estate, and expect to receive any form of compensation (no matter how it is labeled), you must be a licensed real estate Broker. If not, you may find yourself with an unenforceable claim or agreement or, much worse: guilty of a crime.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.