You need a license for that. July 29, 2008 10:48 AM   Subscribe

This question needs to be deleted or at the very least anonymized.

The OP is asking advice, albeit unwittingly, on how to break real estate law.
posted by konolia to Etiquette/Policy at 10:48 AM (56 comments total)

So you're calling attention to it on MetaTalk rather than privately e-mailing the mods?
posted by brain_drain at 10:52 AM on July 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


As I understand it, one of the main criteria, when it comes to deleting questions about illegal activity, is whether it's likely to get the site in trouble. That's why questions about illegal drugs often stay, and questions about mp3s and file-sharing are kind of a gray area, and questions about where to find a crack for Photoshop are deleted. Is this question likely to get the site in trouble?
posted by box at 11:05 AM on July 29, 2008


mp3s and file-sharing are kind of a gray area

Go Team Gray!
posted by burnmp3s at 11:08 AM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


I dunno, a valid answer could be "go through XYZ real estate service, and make sure your commission is properly declared on your taxes".

Nothing illegal there.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:09 AM on July 29, 2008


I put it here not to embarrass the OP, but because this is an area that many people aren't aware of. Actually on second thought I am more in favor of leaving the question up but making it anonymous to protect the OP.
posted by konolia at 11:10 AM on July 29, 2008


blue_beetle, if you yourself do not have a real estate license it is illegal to be given a finders fee. So not even using a realtor would help out the OP.
posted by konolia at 11:11 AM on July 29, 2008




Cartelize labor!
good catch and this should be anonymized
posted by grobstein at 11:30 AM on July 29, 2008


The OP asked for it to be anonymized. For the record we will not anonymize an AskMe question if someone else asks for it, it pretty much has to be the OP.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:30 AM on July 29, 2008


pwnd
posted by matteo at 11:33 AM on July 29, 2008


Its been closed not anonymised so the question is still there and its related to the poster not anonymous.
posted by adamvasco at 12:04 PM on July 29, 2008


I thought it should have been left up - the OP certainly did not indicate that he wanted to break the law, just make some money. The OP clearly had no idea it was illegal (at least IMO) so while it's embarrassing to ask a question about something that's illegal, I don't think the OP's intent was to break the law. And no need to anonymize it - there's no law against asking about real estate. The question breaks no laws and if the poster decides to take a fee for selling a home without a license then his asking the question is irrelevant. It's not like cops trawl MeFi looking for potential criminals. right?
posted by GuyZero at 12:24 PM on July 29, 2008


Should've been anonymised in retrospect, but as the OP didn't know it was illegal, I understand why it wasn't. That said, it's not like it's really hard to get a real estate license. For "life-changing" money, take a correspondence course and be done with it.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:58 PM on July 29, 2008


I'd like this comment to be "anonymised", because I'm typing it while fucking a goat. Thanks.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 1:07 PM on July 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


Isn't it one of those 'ignorance of the law....' deals?
posted by fixedgear at 1:17 PM on July 29, 2008


the quidnunc kid: "I'd like this comment to be "anonymised", because I'm typing it while fucking a goat. Thanks."

[Scene: JULY 2038]
[Son of Quidnunc Kid is typing into Google2, formerly known as the Internet Archive. Just for a lark, he types his dad's old alias into it. He clicks on an link oddly named "MetaTalk."]

SON OF QUIDNUNC KID:
[blinks] What the hell?
posted by WCityMike at 1:23 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


That said, it's not like it's really hard to get a real estate license. For "life-changing" money, take a correspondence course and be done with it.

Obviously you have never sat a Real Estate exam. You know, the thing you have to pass in order to get a Real Estate license....a lot of folks don't pass it the first time.
posted by konolia at 1:30 PM on July 29, 2008


[blinks] What the hell?

*thinks*

Well, that does explain the hooves, horns, and absurdly good sense of balance I have...
posted by quin at 1:42 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Obviously you have never sat a Real Estate exam. You know, the thing you have to pass in order to get a Real Estate license....a lot of folks don't pass it the first time.


Wait... I thought you just have to make sure you brush up, then down; wax on, wax off; then crane kick your way into a sweet commission, an antique car, and hot chick with a perm... No one said anything about a freakin' EXAM!
posted by Debaser626 at 1:48 PM on July 29, 2008


Since when did you need a real estate license to engage in acts of bestiality? I'm confused.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:50 PM on July 29, 2008


"Since when did you need a real estate license to engage in acts of bestiality? I'm confused."

You don't think they wear those gold blazers 'cause they look nice, do you?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Obviously you have never sat a Real Estate exam. You know, the thing you have to pass in order to get a Real Estate license....a lot of folks don't pass it the first time.

I'm sure it puts the actuary exams to shame.
posted by Kwantsar at 2:08 PM on July 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


What a ridiculous law that only real estate agents can get a finder's fee. I hate those sort of laws that were clearly written by, promoted by and enacted by (via proxy legislators) some business interest that wants to turn their occupation into a cartel.
posted by Falconetti at 2:27 PM on July 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


and questions about where to find a crack for Photoshop are deleted

They should be deleted because people that can't find a crack for Photoshop shouldn't be allowed to give Matt five bucks.

questions about illegal drugs often stay

So, I'm in Seattle, and I'm looking to score some ...

posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:37 PM on July 29, 2008


So you're calling attention to it on MetaTalk rather than privately e-mailing the mods?

Repeated for emphasis.

Seriously, this call-out is bad and you should feel bad.
posted by Caduceus at 2:38 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


Unless we're just trying to draw out everyone's hidden psychoses and bestial tendencies, there's really no reason to keep this thread open.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:50 PM on July 29, 2008


But I haven't commented in it yet...

Alrighty then, close away.
posted by baphomet at 2:53 PM on July 29, 2008


I'm glad there's a link to the question with the poster's name still intact!
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:10 PM on July 29, 2008


Obviously you have never sat a Real Estate exam. You know, the thing you have to pass in order to get a Real Estate license....a lot of folks don't pass it the first time.

A lot of people don't pass their driving test the first time either. Getting your license is pretty trivial. In my graduating class Real Estate was the fall back career. I never once heard "I'd love to sell Real Estate but I just can't pass the exam!"

Being successful at it, making a good living, that's another thing all together.
posted by justgary at 3:11 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


What a ridiculous law that only real estate agents can get a finder's fee. I hate those sort of laws that were clearly written by, promoted by and enacted by (via proxy legislators) some business interest that wants to turn their occupation into a cartel.

There's a lot more to real estate than telling someone a house is for sale. There are a bajillion ways to get sued if you don't know what you are doing, for one thing. And it's not really that easy a way to make a living, either.

I never once heard "I'd love to sell Real Estate but I just can't pass the exam!"

For a lot of people this really is a hurdle. There's a lot of math, a lot of legal stuff-again, this isn't like selling hot dogs from a roadside stand.
posted by konolia at 3:31 PM on July 29, 2008


Which of course, makes my brain do this:

"Deeds? Deeds? Getcher deeds here! I got mortgages for condos, duplexes, and ranch! Deeds! Anyone need a deed? Mustard, relish and onion. I got a Tudor, and brownstone. Deeds, getcher deeds here!"
posted by quin at 3:40 PM on July 29, 2008


For a lot of people this really is a hurdle.

No one said it was like selling hotdogs. Anyone with reasonable intelligence can became a realtor. Only a small fraction will become good at it. That's not an insult. That's the truth (as it is with a lot of professions).
posted by justgary at 3:47 PM on July 29, 2008


The OP is asking advice, albeit unwittingly, on how to break real estate law.

Pretty sure there's no such thing as "real estate law," other than as a subset of Louisiana state law, and U.S. Federal law, both of which appear to allow what OP wants to do (see the zillions of LA FSBO lisitings out there on the web). The statute konolia quoted in AskMe was about running a real estate business without a license, which is an entirely different subject.

Just sayin'.
posted by turducken at 3:59 PM on July 29, 2008


Turducken, my husband has been in the real estate business for over a decade, and trust me, you cannot give a referral fee to someone without a real estate license. Because if you could, realtors would be doing it! (Because car salesmen do!)

You CAN as a private citizen sell your own home but you cannot give a referral fee for finding you a buyer to a private citizen. Just like you can't pay your neighbor for cutting your hair if he or she doesn't have a license for haircutting.
posted by konolia at 4:10 PM on July 29, 2008


(Not saying people don't do it-but it is the height of foolishness to tell people you are doing it. And of course I do not recommend it.)
posted by konolia at 4:12 PM on July 29, 2008


Ha ha. Getting all twisted out about some question on AskMe, while the RE biz itself is a foul steaming swamp of corruption.
posted by telstar at 5:02 PM on July 29, 2008


Just like you can't pay your neighbor for cutting your hair if he or she doesn't have a license for haircutting

Next you'll be telling me I'm not allowed to clean viruses off computers without an engineering degree.

I absolutely disagree that there is any downside at all for the OP in having that question visible (though deleted), since it's perfectly clear that she (like most of us, I'm sure) had no idea that what she was proposing to do was illegal, and backed off instantly as soon as she was helpfully informed of this. To me, that looks like really good AskMe.
posted by flabdablet at 5:07 PM on July 29, 2008


Speaking of real estate, why, of all places, would anyone start a commune on Staten Fucking Island?
posted by jonmc at 6:35 PM on July 29, 2008


this isn't like selling hot dogs from a roadside stand

Actually that isn't as simple as people seem to think, either. There are health and safety inspections, business licenses, dealing with vendors, and of course taxes. A well-liked hot vendor here was recently shut down by the IRS, in fact.
posted by TedW at 6:54 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


What a ridiculous law that only real estate agents can get a finder's fee. I hate those sort of laws that were clearly written by, promoted by and enacted by (via proxy legislators) some business interest that wants to turn their occupation into a cartel.
posted by Falconetti at 2:27 PM on July 29


This is true. It's probably more difficult to become a cosmetologist than a realtor, and cosmetologists don't force you to type out cosmetologist as COSMETOLOGIST®.

Check out this shit: http://www.aaronline.com/documents/trademark.aspx Heads-up, realtors: wishing don't make it so. Oh, look at the time: I'm late for an appointment with my DOCTOR®. Then I have to rush home so I can consult with my PLUMBER® because all this capitalizing and ®ing made me VOMIT® in my TOILET®.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:04 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's illegal to get a referral fee for setting up a land sale unless you're a realtor? Really? That's outrageous. I encourage everyone everywhere to go out and break this law with impunity. If I can represent myself in court LEGALLY, why the hell can't I broker a real estate transaction without some smarmy glad-hander in a gold polyester jacket stepping in and taking their cut? Realtors have more say over their market than LAWYERS do? How is that even possible? What the fuck have we become?

Everybody wants a free market until they don't.

Fuck a bunch of realtors.

Don't mind me, I'm just grumpy tonight.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 7:31 PM on July 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


There's a difference between a real estate agent and a realtor. Having said that I think it is silly to put the trademark there so I don't bother.
posted by konolia at 7:55 PM on July 29, 2008


BitterOldPunk, you can sell your own house. You just can't give other regular people money for helping you do it.


Just don't forget the termite report. And the appraisal. And the other pile of legal paperwork you have to take care of without missing something so that the other party can't sue the pants off you if there is a problem.

I don't want to be a realtor myself because I'd have a constant stomach ache.
posted by konolia at 7:59 PM on July 29, 2008


Just like you can't pay your neighbor for cutting your hair if he or she doesn't have a license for haircutting

Wait, what?
posted by numinous at 8:01 PM on July 29, 2008


Speaking of real estate, why, of all places, would anyone start a commune on Staten Fucking Island?

Everywhere else is just too goddam expensive?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:02 PM on July 29, 2008


I thought Staten Island was just a turnaround point for the free ferry that people ride out to get nice views of lower Manhattan. People actually disembark there?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:18 PM on July 29, 2008


The statute konolia quoted in AskMe was about running a real estate business without a license, which is an entirely different subject.

Turducken, konolia didn´t quote that statue, and it´s quoted to point out that the OP would not have any way of enforcing the boss´s agreeing to pay her. Quoting every single way in which the OP could potentially break the law in the thread would have been a bit excessive.
posted by yohko at 1:35 AM on July 30, 2008


Just like you can't pay your neighbor for cutting your hair if he or she doesn't have a license for haircutting.

Oh god please don't let that be true.
posted by public at 6:31 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


:'(
posted by public at 6:34 AM on July 30, 2008


Son of Quidnunc Kid ....

...starts a sentence that, goat or not, can end only in tragedy.
posted by y2karl at 9:29 AM on July 30, 2008


Since this thread's still open, I'd like to point those of you who think it's ridiculous that you can't legally pay your neighbor for cutting your hair to a very scary Randroid collective very worthy organization.
posted by Kwantsar at 11:24 AM on July 30, 2008


In some places (Alberta), it is legal for a Realtor to pay a one-time referral fee to someone that isn't a licensed industry member. If a person receives many referrals (how many? that may be debatable) then it is their own responsibility to be licensed.
posted by jeffmik at 12:09 PM on July 30, 2008


In fairness to the "Randroids" a law specifying a minimum markup on gasoline is pretty dumb. But that's not the same as a real consumer protection law. Those protect people from dying and stuff.
posted by GuyZero at 1:11 PM on July 30, 2008


I wonder if anyone's ever been successfully prosecuted for paying a referral fee to a "regular citizen". Certainly seems like there'd be any number of obvious great lines of defense.
posted by felix at 2:40 PM on July 30, 2008


I don't know, but I bet you could lose your real estate license for it. And that by definition kicks you out of the business.
posted by konolia at 2:42 PM on July 30, 2008


I think that the reason Alberta changed the regulations is because it was fairly difficult to define the difference between a referral fee and a thank you gift. The new rules allow advertisements such as "refer your friend to me and I will pay you $--- on close". The Government of Canada's Competition Bureau made a big deal at the time (October 2006) of these changes.
posted by jeffmik at 9:31 PM on July 30, 2008


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