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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Year-End Rush Is On for Agents to Take a Soon-to-Be-Outdated Mandatory Update Class

[Published Nov. 7, 2013, in the Jeffco editions of the Denver Post's YourHub section and in five Jefferson County weekly newspapers]

Every year, licensed real estate agents are required to take a 3-hour update class approved by the Colorado Real Estate Commission (CREC).  Although it is recommended that agents take this class early in the year, we agents tend to procrastinate and take the course in the fall — or as late as mid-December.

The trouble is that the primary content of the annual update course is an explanation of the contracts which became mandatory on January 1st.

Meanwhile, next year’s mandatory forms are released each September, and agents can take an optional CE class (as I did) as early as October teaching next year’s forms — while many of our colleagues are taking the mandatory course which is still teaching the soon-to-be-outdated forms!

The timing of the forms is the result of the state legislature’s calendar, implementing laws enacted by them and signed into law by the Governor, but not becoming effective until January 1st of the following year. (Each legislative session ends in early May.) 

With many new laws signed after the session ends, it takes until September for the forms committee of the CREC to develop the forms implementing those laws, plus making other improvements in wording, etc.

A few years ago, I recommended that the calendar be adjusted so that this year’s update class is only offered through September and that next year’s update class be taught starting in October or November.

Instead we have the current situation where this year’s contracts and forms are taught until New Year’s Eve, while other classes are teaching the new contracts which will become mandatory on January 1st.

Marcia Waters, the excellent Director of the Division of Real Estate, told me last week that such a change is not contemplated by the Commission at this time, although she would like to see all licensees take the class during the first half of the year.

We agents really do need to know the contents of the mandatory update class early in the year, but we are also human, so expect us to continue our procrastinating ways and not learn what we need to know until it is nearly obsolete.

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