OREC Commission Comment

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Oklahoma Real Estate Commission

 September 2017

October Commission Meeting to be Held in Stillwater

Each year, the Commission likes to go "on the road" and take our meeting to a new location across the state.  This year, we are headed to Stillwater to have our October meeting.  If you ever wanted see what happens at a Commission meeting but didn't want to travel all the way to Oklahoma City, then this is the meeting for you!  As a bonus, all licensed attendees will receive a required Code and Rules continuing education credit at no charge!  Please join us at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 5 at the Ballroom on the 2nd floor of the Oklahoma State University Student Union, 301 Student Union in Stillwater. Parking is available in the Student Union Parking Garage, located on South Hester Street and University Avenue; daily parking rates apply.  Please arrive early to allow adequate time for parking.

Chairwoman's Corner


Theresa Stewart Smith, OREC Chairwoman

In August of each year the seven sitting Commissioners elect a Chair and Vice Chair to serve the next term. I’m excited and honored to have been selected the Chair of the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission for the upcoming fiscal year.  Congratulations to Steve Oliver on being selected as Vice Chair. Steve and I, along with the other Commissioners, look forward to serving Oklahoma.

We also welcomed a new Commissioner, Steve Burris. Steve is the Broker/Owner of Kevo Properties in Oklahoma and joins the commission as a Broker member.  We all look forward to getting to know Steve and having his leadership among us. Also, Stephen Sherman received a reappointment from Governor Fallin.  Stephen is an attorney in the OKC area and represents our lay member.  We are thrilled to have Stephen stay with the commission and share his many years of experience.   The only issue we are having with the group now is how to easily call upon a “Steve” at our meeting. With the New Steve, the reappointment of Old (not literally) Steve and Vice Chair Steve Oliver we are in the process of trying to rename them. Any ideas would be welcome.

On a daily basis, the Investigations Department at OREC receives requests to look into matters where a licensee has possibly violated one of the Oklahoma Code and Rules set forth by the state. Once the process has taken its proper course, any violation found to warrant the attention of the Commissioners is brought to a scheduled meeting for them to hear.  While a variety of code and rule violations come before us, when we begin to see the same issues presented to us it creates a discussion as to whether we need to look for ways to better train or guide our licensees. 

Last month in the Commission Comment it was brought to your attention the new law that will go into effect November 1, 2017 concerning the licensing of Brokers. This change is coming about for the very reason stated above. Seeing the same code and/or rule violations over and over in several areas led to a discussion with not only OREC commissioners but members of the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS.  Out of those concerns came the new law requiring a change in Broker status to now having a Broker Associate license and a Broker license. Hopefully material has been created and will be presented by our real estate learning institutions and instructors across the state which will produce fewer violations of the code and rules for our licensees. The commissioners and staff are committed to continuing to explore reasons for the violations we see each day and viable answers to allow better real estate service to the consumers in Oklahoma.

Currently there are two active committees serving at the Commission.  Contract and Forms Committee and Education Advisory Committee.  The Contract and Forms committee has been active for several years.  This group meets once a month to discuss not only the status of current contracts and forms presented for Industry use but also to explore new documents that may be needed. And the discussion among this group is never dull. I hesitantly accepted the opportunity to serve on this committee and have not regretted a minute.  This group works very hard to keep documents available for the licensees to better serve the consumer.

For many years an education committee made up of both commissioners and OAR representatives existed but was dissolved a couple of years ago.  Recent discussions by the commissioners and members of OAR proved a need for this group.  The current Education Committee recently met for the first time consisting of commissioners, OAR appointees and appointees by the past chair of the commission, Julie Tetsworth. The committee keeps on top of current issues, trends and consumer needs, transforming ideas into action.  Final approval of any forms, contracts or educational activities must have final approval of the commissioners.

Real Estate in Oklahoma is an ever-changing business.  Trends, traditions and law keep the industry fluid. The staff and commissioners at the OREC strive to stay aware and be open to discussion and change. We are interested in hearing your ideas and comments.  The OREC website, www.ok.gov/OREC, provides contact information for the staff and each commissioner.

License Regulation

Rule Changes Approved by Governor, Effective November 1

OREC's proposed rules dealing with associates' trust accounts and the Education Recovery Fund have been approved by the Governor with an effective date of November 1.  The rule changes include:

  1. A new rule specifying procedures in the event licensees must be assessed to replenish the Education Recovery Fund.  Currently, if the fund is unable to fulfill any valid claim, each licensee may be assessed up to $5.00 each fiscal year.  The new rule specifies that such a levy must be paid within sixty (60) days of the assessment, or the license will be placed on inactive status.  The Oklahoma Education Recovery Fund has paid out record amounts over the past three years due to three cases that had a significant impact on Oklahoma real estate consumers.  While the fund maintains a healthy balance, it's necessary to look ahead and be prepared to ensure that consumers financially harmed by licensees will always have funding available for valid claims.  

  2. Current OREC rules prohibit an associate from opening, maintaining, or being a signer on a trust account when providing licensed activities; however, the Commission has long held that if the associate is performing an activity that doesn't require a license – for instance, an associate managing personally-owned rental property – then the associate may have their own trust account.  There has been confusion regarding this rule in that some brokers have interpreted it to mean associates may never operate their own trust accounts. The proposed rules clarify this exception for associates' opening, maintaining or signing on trust accounts only on personally-owned rental property. 

You can view a complete copy of the proposed rule changes by clicking here.

New Disclosure Form Effective November 1

Along with the new rule changes taking effect, a new Residential Property Condition Disclosure Form will go into effect November 1.  USE OF THIS FORM PRIOR TO NOVEMBER 1, 2017 WILL CONSTITUTE A VIOLATION OF THE Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act.  Changes to the form are as follows:

  • Updated Question 4 will now read "Are you aware if the property is located in a floodway as defined in the Oklahoma Floodplain Management Act?" and will be answered with the yes/no check boxes.
  • New Question 37 will read "Are you aware of any wells located on the property?"
  • New Question 38 will read "Are you aware of any dams located on the property?  If yes, are you responsible for the maintenance of that dam?"

The new disclosure form will be available on the OREC Web site on November 1.  

Team Registration to Begin November 1

Real estate team names have become a common marketing tool within the real estate industry, but also becoming common are the many consumers who cannot tell you the name of the actual real estate office they are working with, because they only know the team name.  SB 266, with an effective date of November 1, creates a registration process for teams, and all team names will be searchable on the OREC website.  All teams will be required to register and pay a fee for registering with the Commission.  A few quick clarification on how the process will work under proposed emergency rules:

What is a Team?
A  team is any two or more licensees who work under the supervision of the same broker, work together on real estate transactions to provide brokerage services, represent themselves to the public as being part of team and designated by a team name. 

When should teams register with the Commission?
The team name registration process will begin November 1. If a team name is currently being used, it should be registered on November 1. Please do not register any team name with the Commission prior to November 1.  The team registration form will be available on that date, and no team registration will be accepted without the official form.  If you attempt to register a team prior to November 1, your registration and fee will be returned to you. If a team is created after November 1, 2017, the team name should be registered before any licensed activities are performed by the team (including marketing and/or advertising.) The broker is responsible for making sure that all team names within their brokerages are registered with the Commission. 

I've already registered my team name with the Commission as a Trade Name, do I still need to register it as a team name?
Yes. If your team meets the definition above, you will need to register your team name with the Commission. 

Are there restrictions on team names?
All team names must be approved by the broker, and any team name advertising must always include a broker reference in close proximity to the team name. The broker's reference must be prominent, conspicuous and easily identifiable. Current restrictions do not allow a team name that can be construed as that of a firm's name; however, with team names now being registered, this restriction will be removed through the emergency rulemaking process.  Additionally, the broker shall not allow any team name identical to an associate's corporation or association formed for the purpose of receiving compensation, and no team name may be identical to a licensed real estate entity (an office that's an association, corporation or partnership licensed by the Commission.) 

How much will team registration cost?
The registration fee proposed in emergency rules is $100 per team. 

How often should teams register?
The team registration process is one‐time only. 

What if two different teams register the same name?
Team names must be unique, and no two teams may have the same name. 

What if a competitor tries to steal my team name?
It shall be a violation of the Code & Rules for a broker to knowingly register a team name that is not used within the brokerage. 

Does OREC need a listing of team members or team leader(s)?
No. OREC's main objective is to unite team names with their brokerages – the registration process will include identifying the entity (brokerage) the team is associated with, and the managing broker. Team members and team leads do not need to be identified. Consumers and other licensees will be able to search a database of team names to determine which brokerage the team is associated with. 

How do we terminate a team registration?
The broker is responsible for notifying the Commission when a team name is no longer being used, and an appropriate form will be provided by the Commission.

New Broker Associate Licenses Effective November 1

OREC currently offers three license types: provisional sales associate, sales associate, and broker.  Broker is the highest license type, and refers to the licensee who supervises an office and/or other associates. Currently, anyone who has held a license for two years can become a broker, whether or not they have handled any real estate transactions. SB 266, effective November 1 strengthens the requirements for obtaining a broker’s license by including actual experience; anyone applying for a broker's license must provide documentation verifying ten (10) transactions within the past five (5) years or the equivalent as determined by the Commission.  Additionally, broker applicants must take the Broker in Charge course prior to licensure.   SB 266 also defines a “broker associate” license for someone who chooses to license as a broker, but does not elect to supervise other associates.  These provisions will protect the public by providing more experienced licensees and greater transparency in the real estate transaction. 

A summary of the changes between a Broker's license and a new Broker Associate license:

Broker's License as of November 1, 2017

  • refers to a broker who actually supervises associates and/or an entity and has a sub‐license type of Broker Manager, Proprietor Broker or Branch Broker
  • requires two years of licensure within the past five years as a sales associate or broker associate (the year of licensure as a provisional sales associate will no longer count toward the two‐year minimum licensure to be a broker)
  • 90 hour broker course required (if already taken for Broker Associate license, do NOT have to retake course)
  • Broker in Charge course required prior to licensure
  • must have documentation verifying ten real estate transactions within the past five years; "transaction" means any activity or process to buy, sell, lease rent, option or exchange real estate, including but not limited to soliciting, advertising, showing, presenting offers or counteroffers and entering into/closing agreements
  • must pass the broker exam (if already taken for Broker Associate license, do NOT have to retake exam)

Broker's Associate License as of November 1, 2017

  • refers to someone who has traditionally held a broker's license but doesn't supervise and works under the supervision of a broker
  • must have two years licensure within the past five years as a sales associate or provisional sales associate
  • 90 hour broker course required
  • must pass the broker exam

What's the fee for a broker associate license?

The fee proposed in emergency rules is $195 for a three year license, which includes a $5 per year Education & Recovery Fund Fee.


You will renew your license as usual. You are grandfathered in to the new requirements and will not have to provide proof of transactions. However, if your license lapses, you must follow the reinstatement procedures as outlined in the Code and Rules. As with any renewal, you will need to complete the appropriate forms and pay the appropriate fees.


You will have to meet the current continuing education requirements prior to licensure (BIC course and two out of the six required topics totaling six hours.) You do not have to provide proof of transactions. As long as the current inactive license doesn't lapse, this requirement will remain the same before or after November 1.


You will renew as a Broker Associate rather than a Broker. New renewal forms will be available for this purpose after November 1 – however, you will not renew until your current license term is completed. As with any renewal, you will need to complete the appropriate forms and pay the appropriate fees. If you later want to upgrade your license to Broker, you will need to provide proof of ten (10) transactions within the past five (5) years.


You will need to complete the appropriate forms and pay the appropriate fees. The Broker in Charge course will be required upon license renewal.


You will need to apply for a Broker's license, successfully complete the Broker in Charge course, and provide proof of ten (10) transactions within the past five (5) years. As with any new application, you will need to complete the appropriate forms and pay the appropriate fees.

Education and Events

New Education Advisory Committee

OREC's newly reformed Education Advisory Committee has been hard at work over the summer months.  This group has already met to review exam questions, and has met again to discuss potential changes to OREC's Code and Rules pertaining to instructors, schools and courses.  Many thanks to our volunteer members:  Commissioner Steve Oliver, Claremore; Mack Barnes, Midwest City; Mary Huckeby, Ada; Sue Rosa, Edmond; and Cathy Whiteside, Enid.

Reminder to Instructors

Instructors, please remember to make sure you have a current approved status before providing courses, especially courses you may have not offered for some time.  If you teach a course without the appropriate removal, your students may not receive continuing education credit.  

Industry Updates


Thank You Mike Cassidy

After serving on the Real Estate Commission for eleven years, Commissioner Mike Cassidy of Edmond ended his term on June 30, 2017. His expertise, knowledge and insight have been valuable to all Oklahoma real estate licensees.  The State of Oklahoma thanks him for his invaluable service.


Welcome Commissioner Steve Burris

Commissioner Steve Burris of Oklahoma City was appointed by the Governor and began his term on July 1, 2017 with a term ending June 30, 2021.  Commissioner Burris is from Congressional District 3 and serves as a Broker member. Mr. Burris founded Kevo Properties in 2010 and has more than 100 agents in Oklahoma City, Tulsa and Frisco, TX.  The Commission welcomes Commissioner Burris and looks forward to working with him.

New Contracts Released November 1

The Contract Forms Committee - made up of representatives from the Oklahoma Real Estate Commission, Oklahoma Association of REALTORS and the Oklahoma Bar Association - has been hard at work this past year working on revisions to some of OREC's contracts and forms.  If approved by the Commission at their October 5 meeting, these changes will be effective November 1; updated forms will be posted on OREC's Web site.  Watch for a special edition of Commission Comment coming in October that will detail all of the changes and updates!

Update on PayPal Scam

Earlier this year, OAR learned that some of our licensees received fraudulent text messages that appeared to be from OREC. These text messages indicated the Commission was requesting a payment of some kind,  and included a link to a PayPal account.  Thanks to swift notification from our licensees, we were able to contact PayPal security quickly.  After researching the issue we learned that our database was not breached in any way, shape or form. Only 37 people received the text, and we suspect their cell phone numbers were pulled from other public real estate sites.  As a reminder, OREC will never contact you via text message requesting payment through a PayPal (or similar) account.  

If you ever have questions regarding the authenticity of any communications from our office, please feel free to contact us at 405-521-3387, 866-521-3389 or orec.help@orec.ok.gov

Disciplinary Actions

Watch for updated Disciplinary Actions in the next issue of Commission Comment.