Wisconsin Real Estate Conduct & Ethical Practices

Instructor: Brittany Willis

I have been a licensed Real Estate Agent for six years and currently hold a license specifically as an Associate Broker.

In this lesson, we will explore conduct and ethical behavior of real estate licensees in Wisconsin. We will look at violations of law and statutes. We will also take a look at what a licensee should do, and impairment of a licensee.

Violations of Law and Convictions

Licensees are prohibited from violating the law. A licensee who is convicted of a crime has 48 hours after judgment to send a copy of the complaint to the board. The board will examine the circumstances and determine if the crime is related to the real estate practice of the licensee.

Refusal to license or termination of the license for any offense related to real estate is allowed by Wisconsin law and not considered discriminatory. The board can issue disciplinary action for the conviction of any crime. It is lawful for the board to revoke a license for a felony conviction even if it is not related to the real estate business.

Violations of Statute

Licensees are required to follow state statutes. Violations of state statutes are subject to disciplinary action by the board.

It is a violation of Wisconsin State Statutes to advertise falsely including giving false information and a false portrayal of interest in a property.

It is a violation to enter into an agreement with a party that has an active agreement with another licensee. A licensee should always contact the firm representing the individual and not the person.

It is a violation to refuse to present written offers. A licensee should present all offers promptly.

It is a violation to enter into a net listing agreement or accept compensation from anybody other than the firm or the client.

It is a violation to recommend a service for which the licensee will be compensated a referral fee. This does not apply to referral fees among licensees.

It is a violation to engage in a transaction where the licensee or firm holds an interest in the property without the written consent of all parties.

It is a violation to do business as a licensee without first disclosing licensee status.

It is a violation to enter into a tie-in agreement. A licensee may not require a party to perform some other transaction as a condition of the current transaction.

It is a violation to disclose the terms of a buyer's offer to another prospective buyer.

Obligations of a Licensee

A licensee should inspect accessible areas of the structure and surrounding land to check for obvious material adverse facts. The licensee must disclose in writing material adverse facts not known by a party. If a licensee has information that a material adverse fact may be possible, the licensee should disclose such in writing and suggest an expert investigate. An adverse fact is something that affects the value of the property or reduces the structural integrity or creates a health risk or information that a party will not meet the obligations of the contract.

Licensees are required to provide a copy of agency disclosures to the parties before engaging in services. Licensees must cooperate as required by Wisconsin state law. Licensees should respond to any requests from the board or department within 30 days. The board refers to the seven-member real estate examining board created within the department of safety and professional services. The board or department may request documents needed to issue a license or any documents that may be required after a conviction or information concerning an investigation


Licenses who are impaired may not perform services. Impairment may be due to a mental disorder or emotional disorder. A licensee who is under the influence of drugs or alcohol is considered impaired and incompetent to perform real estate services.

Licensees should never perform services unless competent to do so or if the licensee obtains assistance from another competent person. If assistance is used, the person assisting should be identified and the assistance provided should be documented.

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