Real estate brokers deal extensively with the public, carrying out activities that require both professional skill and personal ethics and integrity. For that reason, the real estate profession is highly regulated by the State of California. Our Legislature has determined that it is in the public interest that brokers be licensed and subject to rules and regulations, which encourage skill and honesty.

The basic law regulating the real estate profession is the Real Estate Law, California Business & Professions Code Section 10000 et seq. The Governor appoints the Real Estate Commissioner, who is charged with carrying out the Real Estate Law as it applies to the licensing and discipline of real estate professionals. To carry out these duties, the Commissioner is given the legal authority to issue, and to alter, amend or repeal, any rules or regulations which he or she believes are reasonably necessary to carry out the law. Any person who is interested in the matter may challenge any of these regulations in court, by filing a declaratory relief action. California Government Code Section 11350(a). The Superior Courts are given the power to declare these rules or regulations invalid, if the Commissioner is unable to establish that they are reasonably necessary to carry out the law.

The Commissioner has the power to uphold its rules and regulations. He or she can do so, by prosecuting discipline actions against licensees or by seeking to enjoin violations of the law.

The Commissioner heads the Department of Real Estate (DRE), which is the state agency that exercises the powers of the Commissioner. It has a website, which is an excellent resource for information on real estate law. Among other things, this website provides free access to the full text of the various California states relating to real estate, as well as the regulations promulgated by the Commissioner.