In the State of Virginia, the Virginia Real Estate Board (REB) is explicitly tasked with administering the State’s real estate transaction recovery fund. Aside from that, they are also responsible for regulating the brokerage industry and licensing real estate practitioners.

In the state of Virginia, all changes made by the Virginia General Assembly can affect the Real Estate Board. Still, although the Virginia General Assembly and the Virginia DPOR do plenty of important work, the Virginia Real Estate Board is the main regulatory body and all their actions are directly relevant to Virginia real estate license holders.

In Virginia, once a claim has been received by Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, staff are mandated to review the file to determine whether the claimant meets the eligibility requirements established by state law.

Once the claimant is deemed eligible based on the staff review, the claim file along with a recommendation for payment will be sent for review by the full Real Estate Board at its next regularly scheduled meeting, where the Board will make a final decision on whether to approve the claim and for what amount.

However, anytime a respondent licensee decides to exercise their due process right to a hearing, or if questions concerning actual monetary loss or eligibility exist, claims are referred to an Informal Fact – Finding (IFF) Conference to gather additional information.

Have it in mind that the primary purpose and focus of any IFF Conference, the administrative proceeding where a Board member presides, is to analyse and determine the actual loss the claimant incurred as a result of the actions of the licensee and/or any eligibility issues involved.

In the State of Virginia, only the actual loss, along with attorney fees and court costs, will be considered. Special damages, consequential damages, punitive damages, etc. will not be considered.

Note that Board members reserve the right to ask questions about the claim and the information provided. Following the presentation of this information, the Board member makes a recommendation as to the amount of monetary relief, if any, to approve.

In addition, the recommendation and claim file is then reviewed by the full Board at a regularly scheduled meeting, where the Board makes the final decision on whether to approve the claim and for what amount.

For clarification purposes, note that it is difficult to clearly state a general time frame for all these processes because each claim is different. Factors influencing the speed and efficiency of the process include whether all required documentation is included with the claim form and if the civil action has been completed.

Also note that IFF Conferences are typically held monthly to hear Recovery Fund claims, and the Board itself meets approximately every eight weeks to review Recovery Fund claim recommendations.

Responsibilities and Duties of the Virginia Real Estate Board

The REB is always comprised of nine members. Of these nine members, seven must be real estate license holders, and two must be consumers and members of the general public (NOT real estate licensees). The REB administers the real estate license law relevant to brokers and salespersons in Virginia. The REB’s main responsibilities include:

  • Administering the Virginia Real Estate Transaction Recovery Fund
  • Establishing and enforcing standards of conduct for Virginia real estate license holders
  • Issuing Virginia real estate licenses and regulating the license renewal process
  • Investigating license violations and imposing sanctions
  • Regulating real estate schools that provide pre – license and/or continuing education courses (that includes Aceable!)
  • Enforcing the Virginia Fair Housing Law
  • Develop a residential property disclosure statement form for use in accordance with the provisions of the Virginia Residential Property Disclosure Act (§ 55.1 – 700 et seq.) and maintain such statement on its website.
  • The Board also develop and maintain on its website a one – page form to be signed by the parties acknowledging that the purchaser has been advised of the disclosures listed in the residential property disclosure statement located on the Board’s website
  • Inform licensed brokers, in a manner deemed appropriate by the Board, of the broker’s ability to designate an agent pursuant to § 54.1 – 2109 in the event of the broker’s death or disability.
  • Determining license fee amounts and distributing important notices to Virginia real estate license holders
  • Receive a copy of every notice served on a licensee, which is expected to have an affidavit stating the acts of improper or dishonest conduct of the licensee.

Conclusion

The Virginia Real Estate Board (REB) is the Virginia DPOR board tasked with administering the State’s real estate transaction recovery fund. The Virginia DPOR is the state’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. Specifically, the Virginia DPOR is an executive branch agency under the Secretary of Commerce and Trade. This agency is generally tasked with overseeing the licensing of professionals and enforcing laws regarding professional conduct in industries where the health, safety, or well – being of the public is at stake. Real estate is one of those industries! Note that the Virginia DPOR is pretty substantial. It includes 19 boards that regulate more than 30 professions. The Real Estate Board just like it was stated above is always made up of nine members as follows: seven members who have been licensed real estate brokers or salespersons for at least five consecutive years before their appointment and two citizen members. The terms of Board members do not exceed four years and the Board is always expected to elect a chairman from its membership and also adopt a seal by which it shall authenticate its proceedings.

Ajaero Tony Martins