Natalie’s Comments at the Real Estate Commission Meeting

June 16, 2022

Not a single comment that I have made at this meeting was responded to.  There is no action specified to deal with these issues.  All of these 5 issues affect all 40,000+ licensees in Washington State.  This is taken from the audio transcripts from the meeting.  My current comments are in italics.   Link to DOL transcripts:  https://www.dol.wa.gov/business/realestate/meetingsminutes.html

Good morning. My name is Natalie Danielson. I own Professional Direction, known as clockhours.com real estate school.

1.Managing Brokers Testing problems with PSI/AMP and the DOL

I want to bring up that there’s some serious issues with the PSI/AMP testing company for the Managing Broker’s exam and that there’s only a 30% pass rate. Your agenda said that this is an issue brought up in March. I’ve brought it up in every commission meeting that I’ve been to, which I think is about 95% of the meetings for the past four plus years. So, it’s not a new item. You can look back at the agendas.  I’m concerned because NONE of the questions get answered.  I am concerned about that.

The commission stated that they are going to have a “listening session” with PSI/AMP on July 7 and July 12th and only schools would be invited.  This is being planned by PSI/AMP.  There was no discussion about how it would be handled or whether the problems getting scheduled for the Managing Broker test with DOL will be discussed. As of June 30, 2022 there is no information on any listening session. There is no email to send questions or problems.

I would like to make a list of questions that we need to get answered at the listening session.  For example, the statistics from PSI are not available. I need to know who to email the list of questions to.  Supposedly somebody named, Tanya?, is in charge and taking over or something like that. So it would be helpful to know who to email and that something gets done.   You must listen to the people that are having the problems.  I’m really serious about that.

I think that there’s something wrong with their algorithm. If you look at, when
people take the test, (people are taking it like 20 times). and you look at a spreadsheet of their scores, there’s something wrong. And I think there’s something wrong with their algorithm.

For example, Brokers have done spreadsheets of their scores on each section.  They will get 100% on agency the first test.  The second one they might get 40%.  The third test they might get 90%.  The fourth test they might get a low score.  They either know agency or they don’t.

It’s really hard to get scheduled. So, we’ve been talking about customer service
on the phone with DOL. Well, PSI is just as bad.

And to top it off, PSI/AMP keeps losing the agent’s test scores. They go to take the test and they’re not given part of the test or half of the test. They’re given a Vermont test?

There’s serious problems with people trying to take the test and there’s no customer
service with PSI/AMP.

The problems with getting Managing Brokers registered, tested, and a decent test must be dealt with by the Dept of Licensing and not just kept putting it off to the next commission meeting…. FOR YEARS.  This is not new!   Let’s be done with it.

I have brought up the problems for years with the Managing Brokers test and the way the required courses do not prepare an broker to take it.  There is no customer service.

Now, maybe the motivation is the money that the Department of Licensing is
making. If an agent pays $210, it went up, to take the test and now they’re
taking it. 4, 5, and more than 6 times!   Brokers are spending thousands of dollars on that test. We need to see the statistics.

  • How many people are taking the test?
  • What are the real statistics of who passes the first time?
  • How many times are people taking the test?
  • How many reported problems with the testing company?
  • How does WA state compare with the other states with PSI/AMP?
  • Why is there no sample test when the RCW requires WA to have one?
  • How much money is the DOL making from this poor pass rate?
  • In 2017 the pass rate was 80%.  Then PSI and AMP merged and it dropped to 30%.

All of these questions have been asked for the past 4+ years at every meeting.

The DOL and AMP is making a ton of money!  Is there some fraud involved?

It’s $210 to take the test.  It is the same fee if they take just one part of the test.

If a broker takes it twice it is $420.

If a broker takes it 6 times it is $1260.

Maybe that is the reason that this issue just gets put off. I think it’s got to be looked into by the government…..  Maybe beyond the Department of Licensing because it’s been not being dealt with.

2.  Communication  The DOL just won’t answer the phone or emails.
I think that we have a serious problem with communication. It all sounds really good here at the meeting…., except when you listen to those phone discussions.  We have a serious problem with communication. Like it’s no big deal that 40% of the calls are “abandoned?”. And the 60% that get answered were probably on the phone for two hours.  It is like listening to a teenager’s excuse. It is unacceptable.

They are three months behind in their response to emails.  This is the same as reported at the December 2021 commission meeting which was over 6 months ago.

3. Commission meeting agendas

At the commission meetings now, there’s no budget, there’s no disciplinary action. There’s no trends nothing to tell the industry what’s happening. And there’s virtually no statistics. The age of brokers not a good enough statistic worth putting up there on the screen.

The public should be able to access detailed agenda’s for the DOL commission meetings, any handouts and detailed reports.

4.Fair Housing Implementation

According to Tim Allen at DOL, everybody who was supposed to renew June, July, or August, got an email saying that they didn’t have to take care of fair housing classes until their June, 2024 renewal. I think there’s a problem on that. So maybe there’s something I don’t know. And I don’t think I got that list serve.

That certainly does not match up with the way the Fair Housing requirements were presented to the schools, at the zoom meeting for the curriculum, on the two page FAQ’s sent out by Tim Allen, and on the Dept of Licensing website currently.  I wrote a letter about this to DOL with no response.

5. New Scam… Lifetime listing for cash or pay 6% of market value

And lastly, the biggest scam happening right now. It’s on TV. I can’t believe nobody even mentioned it here at the meeting.  Supposedly the Department of Licensing investigations is to be looking into it. It’s a scam where Home Options is offering people cash for a future listing.. Let’s say you own a house and you have equity in your house. You just go online and type in your address of your house and information. They will send you a check for up to $2,000 in return for you signing a listing agreement that has no ending. And if you do list with someone else any time until you die, you owe 6% of the market value of your house to this company.

So, it’s an unending listing agreement that people cannot sell their house. They’re basically buying borrowing money to sign a contract. If they die, their estate is tied to that contract for the next. And if the estate doesn’t comply with the contract  in 60 days, they owe this company a penalty or something for not signing the contract.

I know that Bob Ferguson at the Attorney Generals office  is supposed to be looking into it. I know that there’s a state Senator looking into it and why wasn’t it brought up today? It’s been on TV twice and I’m concerned that you’re just avoiding it. And this is the real estate commission meeting. I mean, it’s been on TV!

So supposedly the DOL is involved in this. I would say that at the next commission meeting, the Dept of Licensing have a full report on this and what’s happening and how they got a real estate license. And if there’s anything that can be done from the licensing division.

There you go,

Natalie Danielson