If a firm is a business entity it shall be sufficient cause for reprimand or for the limitation, suspension, or revocation of the firm's license that any business representative of the firm, or anyone who has a financial interest in or is in any way connected with the operation of the firm's brokerage business, has been guilty of any act or omission that would be cause for refusing a broker's license to such person as an individual.
In addition to or in lieu of a reprimand or a revocation, limitation, or suspension of a license under sub. (3)
, the board may do any of the following:
Assess against a licensee a forfeiture of not more than $1,000 for each violation enumerated under sub. (3)
Require a licensee to successfully complete education or training, in addition to any education or training required for licensure or for renewal of a license under this chapter, as a condition of continued licensure or reinstatement of a license.
The board may assess against a licensee who is an individual a forfeiture of $1,000 for a violation under s. 452.25 (2) (a)
The department may seek judicial review under ch. 227
of any final decision of the board. The department shall be represented in such review proceedings by an attorney within the department. Upon request of the board, the attorney general may represent the board. If the attorney general does not represent the board, the board may retain special counsel which shall be paid for out of the appropriation under s. 20.165 (1) (g)
See also chs. REEB 15
, and 24
, Wis. adm. code.
Real estate brokers may engage in guaranteed sales plans if there is full disclosure and the broker does not engage in fraud, misrepresentation, or improper dealing. 61 Atty. Gen. 3.
Provisions in Executive Order 67 (1973), with respect to duty of real estate brokers to advise prospective purchasers of floodplain zoning status of property, do not constitute a new standard but suggest a course of action that the real estate examining board might take. The action to be taken would depend on the facts in each case. 63 Atty. Gen. 236.
Neither s. 440.20, 452.10 (2), 1977 stats., nor the rules of the department of regulation and licensing require the board to hold a hearing when a citizen files a verified complaint with the board requesting institution of disciplinary proceedings against a licensee. 68 Atty. Gen. 30.
Actions concerning licensees. 452.142(1)
Notwithstanding s. 100.18 (11) (b) 3.
, or 893.57
, an action concerning any act or omission of a firm or any licensee associated with the firm relating to brokerage services shall be commenced within 2 years after whichever of the following that applies occurs first:
An unconsummated transaction is terminated or expires.
The period of limitation under this section may not be reduced by agreement.
The period of limitation under this section does not apply to disciplinary actions initiated by the board.
History: 2015 a. 258
Except as otherwise provided in sub. (2)
, no license may be issued under this chapter to any person whose license under this chapter has been revoked until the expiration of a period determined in each case by the board or, in the case of revocation under s. 452.17 (4) (a) 2.
, a period determined in each case by the board of not less than 5 years from the date the revocation became finally effective.
Any person who engages in or follows the business or occupation of, or advertises or holds himself or herself out as or acts temporarily or otherwise as a broker or salesperson in this state without a license under this chapter shall be prosecuted by the district attorney in the county where the violation occurs or by the attorney general and may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 6 months or both.
Any person who otherwise violates any provision of this chapter may be fined not more than $1,000 or imprisoned for not more than 6 months or both.
Shall, for the first offense, suspend the license of the licensee for not less than 90 days.
Shall, for the 2nd offense, revoke the license of the licensee.
Fees and commissions. 452.19(1)
No licensee may pay a fee or a commission or any part thereof for performing any act specified in this chapter or as compensation for a referral or as a finder's fee to any person who is not licensed under this chapter or who is not regularly and lawfully engaged in the real estate brokerage business in another state, a territory or possession of the United States, or a foreign country.
If a licensee is associated with a firm, all fees or commissions and any part thereof for performing any act specified in this chapter and all compensation for a referral or as a finder's fee shall be paid to the firm.
History: 1981 c. 94
; 1983 a. 464
; 1985 a. 128
; 1989 a. 307
; 2015 a. 258
; s. 35.17 correction in (2).
Under s. 452.03 an agreement to pay a real estate brokerage commission to a person not licensed as a broker is void at its inception. Using a licensed broker who provides no actual services as a conduit for a fee to an unlicensed person does not create a co-brokerage arrangement authorized by s. 452.19. Badger III Ltd. v. Howard, Needles, Tammen & Bergendoff, 196 Wis. 2d 891
, 539 N.W.2d 904
(Ct. App. 1995), 94-2531
Limitation on actions for commissions.
No person engaged in the business or acting in the capacity of a broker or salesperson within this state may bring or maintain an action in the courts of this state for the collection of a commission or compensation for the performance of any act mentioned in this chapter without alleging and proving that he or she was a duly licensed broker or salesperson at the time the alleged cause of action arose.
A foreign corporation that contracts to sell a radio station without being licensed in this state cannot sue for its commission. The licensing requirement is not an unlawful burden on interstate commerce. Chapman Co. v. Service Broadcasting Corp. 52 Wis. 2d 32
, 187 N.W.2d 794
The prohibition against paying a commission to an unlicensed person acting as a broker is absolute and not conditioned on the innocence or lack of sophistication of the other contracting parties. Because a contract for a commission with a person not licensed as a broker is void from its inception, estoppel is not available to avoid the effect of the statute. Greenlee v. Rainbow Auction/Realty Co. 202 Wis. 2d 653
, 553 N.W.2d 257
(Ct. App. 1996), 95-1463
This section not applicable since broker as owners' agent was not attempting to negotiate the lease when conferring with his alleged principal in Wisconsin and therefore was not acting in the capacity of a broker in Wisconsin. Negotiation of lease occurred when broker met and conferred with prospective lessee either in Illinois or Tennessee. Paulson v. Shapiro, 490 F.2d 1
In any prosecution for violation of this chapter, proof that a person acted as a broker or salesperson is prima facie proof that compensation therefor was received or promised.
Certifications as evidence. 452.22(1)
Copies of all documents, orders, resolutions and certificates made, executed or granted by the department or board, and of all papers filed with the department when certified by the secretary or his or her designee, under the official seal, shall be received in evidence in all cases the same as the originals.
The certificate of the chairperson of the board or his or her designee to the effect that a specified individual or business entity is not or was not on a specified date the holder of a broker's or salesperson's license, or that a specified license was not in effect on a date specified, or as to the issuance, limitation, suspension, or revocation of any license or the reprimand of any licensee, the filing or withdrawal of any application or its existence or nonexistence, is prima facie evidence of the facts stated in the certificate for all purposes in any action or proceedings.
Disclosures, investigations and inspections by brokers and salespersons. 452.23(1)
No licensee may disclose to any person in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of real property information, the disclosure of which constitutes unlawful discrimination in housing under s. 106.50
or unlawful discrimination based on handicap under 42 USC 3604
, or 3617
A licensee is not required to disclose any of the following to any person in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase, or rental of real property:
That the property was the site of a specific act or occurrence, if the act or occurrence had no effect on the physical condition of the property or any structures located on the property.
Except as provided in sub. (3)
, information relating to the physical condition of the property or any other information relating to the real estate transaction, if a written report that discloses the information has been prepared by a qualified 3rd party and provided to the person. In this paragraph, “qualified 3rd party" means a federal, state, or local governmental agency, or any person whom the licensee or a party to the real estate transaction reasonably believes has the expertise necessary to meet the industry standards of practice for the type of inspection or investigation that has been conducted by the 3rd party in order to prepare the written report.
The location of any adult family home, as defined in s. 50.01 (1)
, community-based residential facility, as defined in s. 50.01 (1g)
, or nursing home, as defined in s. 50.01 (3)
, in relation to the location of the property.
Except as provided in s. 452.24
, any information related to the fact that a particular person is required to register as a sex offender under s. 301.45
or any information about the sex offender registry under s. 301.45
A licensee shall disclose to the parties to a real estate transaction any facts known by the licensee that contradict any information included in a written report described under sub. (2) (b)
In performing an investigation or inspection and in making a disclosure in connection with a real estate transaction, a licensee shall exercise the degree of care expected to be exercised by a reasonably prudent person who has the knowledge, skills, and training required for licensure under this chapter.
An independent inspection by a qualified third party operates to relieve a broker from liability for disclosures related to the physical condition of the property. Conell v. Coldwell Banker, 181 Wis. 2d 894
, 512 N.W.2d 239
(Ct. App. 1994).
Sub. (2) (b) relieves a broker from the obligation to disclose information disclosed in a 3rd party report. Sub. (2) (b) does not apply to a separate affirmative act of negligence and does not preclude a broker's liability for a breach of other duties. Johnson v. Neuville, 226 Wis. 2d 365
, 595 N.W.2d 100
(Ct. App. 1999), 98-1680
Disclosure duty; immunity for providing notice about the sex offender registry. 452.24(1)
If, in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase or rental of real property, a licensee receives a request from a person to whom the licensee is providing brokerage services in connection with the sale, exchange, purchase or rental for information related to whether a particular person is required to register as a sex offender under s. 301.45
or any other information about the sex offender registry under s. 301.45
, the licensee has a duty to disclose such information, if the licensee has actual knowledge of the information.
Notwithstanding sub. (1)
, the licensee is immune from liability for any act or omission related to the disclosure of information under sub. (1)
if the licensee in a timely manner provides to the person requesting the information written notice that the person may obtain information about the sex offender registry and persons registered with the registry by contacting the department of corrections. The notice shall include the appropriate telephone number and Internet site of the department of corrections.
History: 1999 a. 89
; 2015 a. 258
Criminal convictions and disclosures. 452.25(1)(a)(a)
Notwithstanding ss. 111.321
, and 111.335
, and except as provided in pars. (b)
, no applicant who is an individual may be issued an initial broker's or salesperson's license if the applicant has been convicted of a felony.
If an applicant has been convicted of a felony described under par. (a)
; the applicant has completed the confinement portion of his or her sentence, if the applicant is serving a bifurcated sentence, or has been released from prison to parole or released upon the completion of his or her sentence; and 3 years have elapsed since the date on which the confinement portion was completed or the applicant was released, the applicant may apply to the board for a determination as to whether the applicant is suitable to be granted a license.
If an applicant applies for a determination under par. (b)
, the board may require the applicant to provide any information that is necessary for the investigation and shall make a determination by doing all of the following:
Reviewing any supplemental information provided by the applicant bearing upon his or her suitability for licensure as a broker or salesperson.
The number or pattern of felonies or other similar incidents that gave rise to the felony conviction.
The circumstances surrounding the felony that may have a bearing on whether the applicant might repeat the behavior that was the subject of the felony.
The applicant's activities since the felony, including employment, education, participation in treatment, payment of restitution, and any other factor that may be evidence of rehabilitation.
With respect to a determination under par. (c)
, the applicant bears the burden of demonstrating his or her suitability for licensure.
If the board makes a determination under par. (c)
to allow an applicant to be granted a broker's or salesperson's license, the applicant shall be granted the license if the applicant satisfies all other requirements for granting the license.
This subsection does not apply to the renewal of a license.
No applicant may be issued an initial broker's or salesperson's license, and no applicant may renew such a license, if the applicant has violated par. (a)
and failed to pay any forfeiture assessed by the board under s. 452.14 (4r)
for that violation.
Association with firm; independent practice. 452.30(1)(1)
No licensee may provide brokerage services on behalf of a firm unless all of the following apply: