What Unlicensed Assistants Can Do in Your State

Most states have guidelines for what tasks an unlicensed real estate assistant can and can’t do. You should check with your state real estate commission or licensing authority for the most current information.

See the table below to find out what your state law allows for unlicensed assistants.

For example, in Illinois, an unlicensed real estate assistant can perform the following tasks:

  • Answer the telephone, take messages, and forward calls to a licensee
  • Submit listings and changes to an MLS
  • Follow up on a transaction after a contract has been signed
  • Assemble documents for a closing
  • Secure public information documents from a courthouse, sewer district, water district, or other repository of public information
  • Have keys made for a company listing
  • Draft advertising and promotional materials for approval by a licensee
  • Place advertising
  • Record and deposit earnest money, security deposits, and rents
  • Complete contract forms with business and factual information at the direction of and with approval by a licensee
  • Monitor licenses and personnel files
  • Compute commission checks and perform bookkeeping activities
  • Place signs on property
  • Order items of routine repair as directed by a licensee
  • Prepare and distribute flyers and promotional information under the direction of and with approval by a licensee
  • Act as a courier to deliver documents, pick up keys, etc.
  • Place routine telephone calls on late rent payments
  • Schedule appointments for the licensee (does not include making phone calls, telemarketing, or performing other activities to solicit business on behalf of the licensee)
  • Respond to questions by quoting from published information
  • Sit at a property for a broker tour that is not open to the public
  • Gather feedback on showings
  • Perform maintenance, engineering, operations, or other building trades work and answer questions about such work
  • Provide security
  • Provide concierge services and other similar amenities to existing tenants
  • Manage or supervise maintenance, engineering, operations, building trades, and security
  • Perform other administrative, clerical, and personal activities for which a license is not required

    In Illinois, an unlicensed assistant may NOT perform the following tasks:

  • Host open houses, kiosks, home show booths, or fairs
  • Show property
  • Interpret information on listings, titles, financing contracts, closings, or other information related to a real estate transaction
  • Explain or interpret a contract, listing, lease agreement, or other real estate document with anyone outside the employing licensee’s firm
  • Negotiate or agree to any commission, commission split, management fee, or referral fee on behalf of a licensee
  • Perform any other activity for which a real estate license is required

Please click on a state below to find out what tasks are allowed by an unlicensed assistant working there:

Alabama Louisiana Ohio
Alaska - Pages 4,13,32-33 Maine Oklahoma
Arizona Maryland Oregon6
Arkansas Massachusetts Pennsylvania
California Michigan Rhode Island
Colorado - Section 3-13 Minnesota - Subd. 3, (d) South Carolina
Connecticut Mississippi South Dakota
Delaware3 Missouri - Page 3 Tennessee
Florida Montana - Page 8 Texas
Georgia Nebraska - Under "Use of Unlicensed Persons by Licensees" Utah 
Hawaii - Page 7 Nevada Vermont
Idaho - Guideline #17 New Hampshire Virginia7
Illinois New Jersey Washington
Indiana New Mexico Washington, DC4
Iowa New York West Virginia 
Kansas North Carolina5 Wisconsin 
Kentucky North Dakota Wyoming


1 Arkansas does not have any specific guidelines pertaining to the use of unlicensed real estate personal assistants but in their general License and Time-share Law they do outline both the exemptions to the license law (17-42-104) as well as license-required violations (17-42-301).

2 As per the division director of the Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies, the Colorado Real Estate Commission is considering revising its current position statement on unlicensed assistants at the October meeting and the revised position--once adopted--is expected to be available on October 2, 2012.

3 Delaware does not regulate real estate assistants and only regulates salespersons, associate brokers and brokers. Please refer to the definitions and exemptions sections to determine whether your assistant is performing any of the services that require a Delaware license.

4Designates states with information forthcoming from media relations or legal department or with information not available.

5 According to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission legal department, the law has been amended slightly to allow employees of vacation rental management firms the ability to offer reduced prices from a schedule of prices provided by a broker. The change can be found in section 93A-2(6) of the North Carolina Real Estate License Law.

6 From 2003: Oregon Real Estate License Law does not state what an unlicensed person may do; rather, in ORS 696.010(15) they specify the acts for which a license is required.  A person who performs any of the specified actions for another and for compensation, or with the intention, expectation or promise of being compensated, is required to have a license by ORS 696.020.  There are some exemptions set out in ORS 696.030, but they are limited in scope.

7This link will take you to Virginia's general real estate law site. According to the director of Delaware's Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR,) the 2012 General Assembly recently enacted new legislation that went into effect July 1, 2012, allowing the Real Estate Board to establish criteria for permitted activities of unlicensed employees. In response, the Real Estate Board of Virginia drew up regulations that are not yet in effect. The Board will vote to adopt these proposed regulations at its November meeting. However, even if regulations are approved, they would still need to go through Virignia's standard regulatory process,which  includes public comment and executive branch review. Because it cannot be determined how long this process might take, it is unknown when the regulations would become effective.

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.