Buyer wronged by unlicensed agent?

Home Sale Hindsight

Q: I just got a notice from my state’s Department of Real Estate that the woman who sold me my home was not licensed at the time. They are asking me to testify in a disciplinary proceeding. How did this happen? Is there any chance I could recover any money from this case?

A: This probably happens more than you would think. How? Well, most often, a licensed broker or agent whose license has been suspended or, less culpably, has lapsed because they haven’t paid their licensing fees or kept up with their continuing education requirements is the "unlicensed individual" found performing acts requiring a license. This also happens commonly when an unlicensed assistant to a licensed broker or agent performs activities outside the scope of what is permissible, including (in most states) showing properties or drafting and explaining contractual documents to a buyer or seller.