Hawaii Real Estate | Hawaii Relocations | Hawaii Home Buying & Selling




I was commenting on Greg Nino’s post on Should Realtors Be Required To File Complaints On Fellow Real Estate Agents? A very poignant realization on how other agents affect not only their own business but others who are involved in the transaction.


It’s almost like we HAVE to check out the agent working on the other side of us before accepting an offer for our sellers, or even the client who is hiring the agent!


Bottom line is that a real estate agent KNOWS if they are licensed or not, and practicing real estate without a license falls on the head of the Principal Broker.  “The Principal Broker shall see to it that all licensees are currently licensed at all times during employment or association”.  Again, the real estate agent KNOWS if they are licensed or not.  Not sure how it works in other states but the CE credits play a huge role if your license will be renewed or not.


Other stuff you can lose your license or have heavy fines, jail time ------


In our real estate commission monthly newsletter they use real estate agents violations as an example of “what not to do".  The agent, the brokerage (who is responsible to ensure all their agents are licensed) get their names splashed all over the newsletter as well as the outcome (fines, suspension etc).  Your DUI can


If any Independent Contractor doesn’t pay their General Excise Tax (yes, we have an extra estimated tax to pay besides Federal and State) they most certainly will have free advertising as their name and charges are splashed all over the tax site, including the judgment of the case. 



Is it worth it?


Live your life right…


Your choices follow in real estate.




Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman  is a Realtor-Associate® and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) with Century 21 Liberty Homes in Mililani, Hawaii. With a sharp understanding that a listening ear is the key to a client's needs  she serves the island of Oahu (Honolulu County) and all Hawaii Military Relocations, Hawaii Retirees, Hawaii Job Transfers and Hawaii Residents, Home Buyers and Sellers.


 © 2007-2015 Celeste "Sally" Cheeseman's

Hawaii Real Estate and Relocation Blog.

All rights reserved.





Comment balloon 29 commentsCeleste "SALLY" Cheeseman • July 17 2015 05:06PM


Do it right...no amount is worth the loss of a license.

Posted by William Feela, Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No. (WHISPERING PINES REALTY) over 4 years ago

I have never seen the point of NOT doing it the right way the first time.  

Posted by Susan Haughton, Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results. (Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545) over 4 years ago

Sad that one has worries about a cloud over an offer because an agent is doing something illegal.  The Broker needs to be informed..and honestly should have already known that.

Posted by Brenda Mullen, Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!! (RE/MAX Access) over 4 years ago

There is the part of me that says file the complaint. Have to play by the rules. This is just not an issue for me

Posted by Bill Reddington, Destin Florida Real Estate (Re/max Southern Realty) over 4 years ago

Aloha Sally,

Thanks for the post! I will have to check out Greg's post as well.

a hui hou,

Posted by Kimo Stowell, REALTOR Associate® RS-76763 - Honolulu Hawai'i (HI Pro Realty LLC RB-21531 ) over 4 years ago

You make excellent points on this topic, Sally! 

I've worked with a few difficult agents on the otherside of transactions.  One way or another I have usually got through it.  When it is something that is bigger, and infringes on illegality or ethics, I have always let my broker handle it.

Posted by Myrl Jeffcoat, Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent (GreatWest Realty) over 4 years ago

 Good Saturday morning Sally. No, nothing is worth my reputation. Make it a great weekend in Hawaii.

Posted by TeamCHI - Complete Home Inspections, Inc., Home Inspectons - Nashville, TN area - 615.661.029 (Complete Home Inspections, Inc.) over 4 years ago

We all have a responsibility to protect our ethical standards.  If we don't then the code of ethics becomes worthless and our public reputation sinks further.  If we don't uphold high levels of integrity we lose the public trust and with that we may lose our business to FSBO via the internet!  File the complaint, it is your duty to the industry and the public.

Posted by Jim Joeriman, Helping Agents Reach New Heights (Coldwell Banker Riviera Realty, Inc) over 4 years ago

I actually was asked if I had a copy of my Home inspection license. At the inspection. Why? Because the last home they bought a few years before had an inspection done by an unlicensed inspector. He let it lapse and just never bothered to renew. The report was tossed out and the house was sold as is. Inspection contingency went out with the report since they passed their 5 day inspection window. It was a mess.

Posted by Scott Seaton Jr. Bourbonnais Kankakee IL Home Inspector, The Home Inspector With a Heart! (SLS Home Inspections-Bradley Bourbonnais Kankakee Manteno) over 4 years ago

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman - Well done. Warren Buffet said, "It takes 20 years to build a reputation and twenty minutes to ruin it."



Posted by Thomas F. Scanlon, CPA, CFP (Borgida & Company P. C., CPA's) over 4 years ago

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman I've come across this several times. Problem is they never had a license and are trying to act as a middle man putting buyer's agents and seller's agents together. It is also illegal to pay anyone a fee if they aren't licensed. This is commonly called "Bird Dog" fees.

Posted by Michael Setunsky, Your Commercial Real Estate Link to Northern VA over 4 years ago

Just another reason why the bar must be raised for our industry, Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman ... (and that includes Lenders too).  Should clients or other professionals involved in a transaction really need to be worried about something this basic??



Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) over 4 years ago

Good morning Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman,

Yes, I always check to make sure the other agent is licensed. I have had two occasions in the past with two offers. The agents forgot to renew their license.They were appreciative that I had mentioned and they were apologetic. I could not present the offer until their license was re-activated. We worked too hard to jeopardize our licenses.

Posted by Katina Hargrove 352-551-0308, Broker/Owner, GRI,SFR, REALTOR® (Stake Your Land Realty, Inc.) over 4 years ago

Too often I see brokers not file because, "we might have to do business with them again". Once we can get off this we need volume for the sake of volume quantity push, maybe we can get back to the qualitative approach.

Posted by Joe Pryor, REALTOR® - Oklahoma Investment Properties (The Virtual Real Estate Team) over 4 years ago

Hi Sally -  someone told me a story that an agent had complained about another agent, and she is being brought up on charges for defamation... but the funny thing is - the first agent has everything in writing.. so interesting tos ee how it plays out... At the end of the day, was it worth it?



Posted by Gay E. Rosen, As Real as Real Estate Gets! (Julia B. Fee Sotheby's International Realty) over 4 years ago

When I sat in of grievance and professional standard hearings, I cringed at some of the things agents DO and  DON'T do...I was content to correct them and move-on but many times my associates wanted BLOOD. Best advice? Stay ethics on!

Posted by Richie Alan Naggar, agent & author (people first...then business Ran Right Realty ) over 4 years ago

In PA the online license renewal site asks whether you have completed the required hours of CE.  Answering in the affirmative is required in order to have your license renewed - but your answer is on the honor system.  Later, random renewals are audited to confirm that the required courses were actually taken.  Fraudulent renewals could be fined or licenses revoked, possibly after transactions were conducted under an improper renewal.  Not at all worth the risk!

Posted by Brian Schulman, Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552 (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA) over 4 years ago

Sally, some people will never play by the rule and some just like rolling the dice without regard for the consequences. 

Posted by Kathleen Daniels, San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist (KD Realty - 408.972.1822) over 4 years ago

William, Susan, :  You got that right!

Brenda and Bill: there is nothing that could stand in the way of me doing the right thing.  Bottom line is...is we live our lives right every day and it seeps right into every aspect of our lives.


Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 4 years ago

Kimo:  I knew I'd heard something...it's been so long since I have been back in the rain...for good. You have surpassed all expectations of moving forward in the real estate industry as a dedicated professional. WELL WISHES AND LUCK IN THE COMING YEARS!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 4 years ago

Myrl!  YES! Both my Principal Broker and Broker in Charge give me invaluable advice that I cannot ignore!  Our Early Occupancy Agreement that  is DETAILED, to the point and exempts seller and seller brokerage and agents from any liability AT ALL.  Buyer HAD to have insurance, if the transaction goes past the closing date they pay XXX a day.

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 4 years ago

Hey Mr. Thornton! Thanks much and make it a great day in Nashville!

Jim: Yes, if one runs across that situation, then of course, we should protect our industry!

Oh, well, at least YOU had all your credentials and have a great story to tell about WHY a professional LICENSED home inspector is needed!  I had one client who insisted he did not need a home inspection.  I offered to pay too!  He just insisted that this townhouse was the place he wanted and that never set well with me. 8 years later...he's still a happy homeowner. Go figure

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 4 years ago

Hi Celeste,

If I spend time and money to keep my license active and running, why others would get the same benefit of commission without it?

When a Realtor request a lockbox because they don't have supra, most of the times their license are no update, active or else.

It is not fair.. sorry...

Posted by AndreaBFerreira CRS - SRS - CLHMS, Miami Dade, Broward and Palm Beach County in FL (Keyes Co. ) over 4 years ago

Sally, it's hard to recover a reputation once it's lost. it's not worth gambling with under any circumstances. One foolish choice can ruin a lifetime of good work.

Posted by Mike Cooper, GRI, Your Neighborhood Real Estate Sales Pro (Cornerstone Business Group Inc) over 4 years ago

     In Florida, anyone can go online to the Department of Business and Professional Regulation, and click on "Verify a License".   It is so easy.

     By the way, practicing Real Estate without a license in Florida is a FELONY.

Posted by Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 4 years ago

We can verify anyone in WA, however, all I am concerned with is my client.  If the other agent is not Licensed here I am nit worried their broker is responsible.

Posted by Ken's Home Team LLC. | 360.609.0226 | Portland, OR & Vancouver, WA Real Estate Team, - SOLD IS OUR FAVORITE 4 LETTER WORD - (Ken's Home Team LLC.) over 4 years ago

I can't imagine any state in the US not having legislated a requirement that in order to earn a commission in a real estate transaction, you must be licensed.  That is the heart and sole of our industry - whether you are a REALTOR or not - and is what public trust is based upon.

As far as a brokerage paying a commission to an unlicensed broker or "referral agent", the onus is on the paying broker.  If you don't know who you are paying the commission to, ask for a copy of their license or look them up in the state licensure database.  In MA, it is unlawful for a broker to pay a commission to an unlicensed individual.  Therefore the responsibility is on the broker paying the commission.

As Chairman of Professional Standards for our REALTOR board, I stand behind the Code of Ethics and the Code of Excellence of NAR and support and encourage all licensees and the public to help maintain the integrity of our membership by reporting any suspected acts of unethical behavior involving a REALTOR and another licensee and/or with a member or anything that could raise a question about the public's trust in the REALTOR's behavior or actions.  Period.

Posted by Martin Kalisker, Professional Standards & Legal Assistant (Greater Boston Association of REALTORS) over 4 years ago

Martin...first of all...LOVE THOSE PUPS! Actually, one can look up who is licenced nationwide through www.arello.com although it is not accurate for dates etc. if the state is intermittent. However, as I research those that I refer to I try and locate their local licensee verification site.  Anyone can pretend they are licensed...or even pretend who they are here on ActiveRain. Bottom line is ....I stand by every statement you have said and it IS the responsibility of ALL of us to ensure that we are protecting the public! Wow...this brings up a whole lot of questions.


KEN:  IT DOES MATTER who I work on the other side of regardless if I am representing the buyer or seller.  I do NOT want to be liable for a transaction involving an unlicensed agent and I do not want to be associated with someone who is cheating our system and industry!

Posted by Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman, (RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE (Liberty Homes) over 4 years ago

Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman 

It's simply not worth risking your reputation that takes time to build but boy can it go down the toilet fast. We are seeing more plucizing of various kinds of violations - our state board publishes names and photos of those found guilty of ethics violations each month on the state website (access by member only).

And it's easy to verify a real estate license in California plus check for any disciplinary action at www.BRE.CA.gov


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (Solutions Real Estate ) about 4 years ago

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