Do NOT miss the deadline, but if you do, all may not be lost.

This is a story with a pleasant ending, but they don't always go like this. During my career, which now spans greater than a decade, I've seen more than a handful of real estate agents fail to complete their 45-hour post licensing education requirement. The result of missing this deadline is automatic obliteration of that agent's real estate license. Poof, and it's gone. "Null-and-void" is the terminology used by the Division of Real Estate. It means that the license is history; as if it never existed.

Want to reinstate it? Sure, go ahead and register for the pre-licensing 63 hour course, because you'll need to attend that class again, re-apply to sit for the state exam, re-submit your finger prints, and be cleared by the FBI, all over again! Sound like fun? I didn't think so.

The majority of agents who allow their license to expire at this particular point usually do not re-engage, and simply resign as they move on to other things. I have also seen a few who have come back strong from this predicament and continued to pursue successful real estate careers.

But like I said, this story has a unique, happier ending. Let's call him "Steve".

Steve had been warned. Throughout the month of September, he'd been contacted by our office with the same warning: "Do NOT miss the deadline". He indeed missed the deadline. And his license disappeared instantly, with deals pending. He didn't realize the penalty could be so harsh, so fast, and so literal. He mentioned that there had been a bad car accident in his family and he traveled away for some time to support his injured family member. I assisted him on a phone call to the Department of Business & Professional Regulation (DBPR) to see if anything could be done, and this is where things got interesting.

The young lady put us on a brief hold and came back with this: "Did you know that we (DBPR) have a specific "Extreme Hardship" department that looks closely at each particular case?" She then recommended that Steve send an honest letter describing the hardship, with proof of the same. She said that there were no guarantees, but it was worth a try. Steve followed through with her suggestion, and to our amazement, his license was re-instated within three days. Wow. The re-instatement included a one-month window for him to complete his 45-hour post-licensing education.

I am always happy to learn new things, but I'm especially pleased to share this message of compassion, personal attention, and professionalism exhibited by the DBPR. All may not be lost indeed.

Pass it on!

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