Michigan Real Estate Continuing Education Course Preview

Michigan Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, your legal updates continuing education deadline is October 31st!

With our on-demand video courses, we make it easy to complete your CE around your busy schedule. Here’s a preview from one of the Michigan Law Updates courses that’s available in our 6-credit hour course package! 


2020 Michigan Legal Update II Course Preview

Course Description: This course addresses the most recent regulatory rules and regulations that pertain to the real estate industry in Michigan. It provides an understanding and working knowledge of a license holder’s responsibilities and obligations related to rule changes, requirements, duties, violations and agency. This course sets out specific requirements and best practices.

After completing this course, participants will be able to:

  • Understand changes to Michigan laws and rules, including the legalization of recreational marijuana
  • Gain an understanding of noteworthy case law as it relates to real estate

SANDBAGS AND TEMPORARY MEASURES

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy announced a new Minor Project category that will make it easier for lakeshore property owners to get a permit for the temporary use of sandbags as immediate stabilization measures to protect homes and other critical infrastructure.

The Minor Project category will provide for faster permit processing for homeowners and a reduced permit fee of $100. Under the new category, a public notice will not be necessary for stabilization projects meeting review requirements.

EGLE emphasizes that sandbags are not a permanent solution to erosion problems and the bags eventually must be removed. Property owners should work with a contractor to design a more permanent solution, such as boulders, riprap, or even moving homes and other infrastructure farther inland.

Property owners who seek to take measures to protect their property from record high water levels still need to file a permit application through EGLE’s MiWaters portal. EGLE is expediting permits where there is a risk to structures, human health, and safety. In many cases, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also needs to review the permit application, which is filed jointly through Mi Waters.

Since Oct. 1, EGLE has issued more than 100 shoreline protection permits across the state. Of these, 60 percent were issued within three days of receiving a completed application. Between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, EGLE issued 730 permits for Great Lakes projects, some of which were non-emergencies. Fifty percent of the 730 permits were issued within 30 days of receiving an application and 21 percent were issued within 10 days.

In October of 2019 EGLE announced it would expedite permit applications to protect homes or structures that are in danger due to record high water levels. Permits can be approved within days of a completed application being filed, when under normal circumstances the process takes 60-90 days. The shoreline permitting process ensures a balance between protecting property and freshwater dunes and shorelines.

 


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Michigan Online Licensing Portal Update

On August 25, the Michigan Bureau of Professional Licensing (BPL) within the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) introduced a new online licensing system for Real Estate Professionals. This system aims to simplify the licensing process by embracing the internet and moving away from paperwork. With the Michigan Professional Licensing User System (MiPLUS), users can:

  • Apply online, track the status of their application, and receive electronic notifications
  • Renew and modify their existing licensing information
  • Verify the status of a licensed professional
  • File a complaint against a licensed professional or report a change in staff privileges

Here’s how to renew your license using MiPLUS:

You must use a desktop or laptop computer to complete the registration and renewal process.

  1. Login to MiPLUS.
  2. Click on the “Licenses” tab.
  3. Find your License Number under the “Record Number” column. Click on the “Renew License” link located under the “Action” column.

Here’s how to apply for a license using MiPLUS:

You must use a desktop or laptop computer to complete the registration and renewal process.

  1. Login to MiPLUS
  2. Click on Apply for License
  3. Accept disclaimer
  4. Click continue to application
  5. Choose Real Estate from the List
  6. Select which application you want
  7. Click continue Application

Here are some FAQs right from LARA and BPL concerning the new system.

Why is the Department moving to the new licensing system?

The new MiPLUS system will replace three main databases that BPL currently uses to manage licensee records. These systems are 20 years old and limit our ability to offer additional functionality and improve the customer experience.

Will the department still be mailing out renewal postcard notifications with the MiPLUS system?

Yes. They continue to mail out renewal postcard notifications.  In addition, renewal emails will continue to be sent as well.

Are license numbers changing? 

Some real estate broker numbers will be changing. They will be notified once records are migrated to the new system. You can always check your license number by clicking on “Verify a License” at www.michigan.gov/bpl.

Will my expiration date be changing?

The expiration date shown on any current valid license will not change. When you renew your current license for the first time in the MiPLUS system, your new license will have an expiration date that corresponds to the date you first received your professional license.

How do I learn how to use MiPLUS?

Visit www.michigan.gov/miplus to learn more about how to use the new system. This page includes information on how to register an account; how to apply for a license; how to renew your license; and how to modify your license information.

 


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Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Broker License

How do I get a Michigan real estate broker license?

  1. Complete 90 hours of approved real estate coursework within 36 months of application, unless licensed continuously.
    All potential brokers in Michigan must complete an approved 90 Hour course. Real Estate Training Institute offers this course online in HD video so you can fit it into your busy schedule. The onscreen instructor, Gwyn Besner is available to answer any questions you have while taking the course.
    Note: if you have been a practicing attorney for 5 or more years you only need to take 30hrs to become a licensed broker.
  2. Submit your real estate license application. Go to www.michigan.gov/icola to apply for a license. Upon accessing iCOLA, you will be asked to create an account, pay your license fee, and submit your license application electronically.
    Note: You must have at least 3 years’ full-time experience as a real estate salesperson, or equivalent experience before applying as a broker (Rule 205).
  3. Register with PSI and pay the $76 exam fee.
    To schedule your exam date, call PSI at 1-800-733-9267. Use the 24/7 Automated Registration System or speak with a representative between 7:30 A.M. to 8:00 P.M. ET. You will be informed immediately after the exam whether you passed or not. PSI will import your exam data into your iCOLA record within 48 hours of successful completion of the exam.

Where is the Michigan real estate broker exam offered?

  • Gaylord
  • Grand Rapids
  • Holt
  • Marquette
  • Southfield

What are the initial real estate licensing fees in Michigan?

Michigan operates on three-year cycles so initial licensing fees decrease each year. 2018 is the last year of a licensing cycle to fees are as follows:
Brokers & Associate Brokers: $71
Branch Office: $30

Who do I contact at the state level about getting a Michigan real estate license?

Contact Information

Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Board of Real Estate Brokers & Salespersons
Website:  http://www.michigan.gov/realestate
Phone:  517-241-9288

Licensing References

Michigan Real Estate – Frequently Asked Questions
Michigan Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons — Occupational Code


Licensing Resources

Should You Get A Real Estate License?

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson

Why You Should Upgrade to A Broker License

 


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Michigan Broker Faces Charges for ‘Ponzi-type Scheme’

A civil lawsuit was filed against Viktor Gjonaj real estate broker and founder of the firm in question Imperium Group LLC, which collapsed in mid-August after he stopped going to work. No fewer than six lawsuits have been filed against Gjonaj in recent weeks in Oakland and Macomb counties alleging he owes nearly $5 million to a variety of investors and contractors.

A series of Michigan real estate deals that Gjonaj did in Macomb, Genesee and Montcalm counties over the course of the last few years alleges that Gjonaj doctored purchase agreements to make it appear to investors as if they were buying ownership interests in properties around the state, when in fact they were already owned by the plaintiffs, Krstovski and Masakowski.

One lawsuit filed in Oakland County in August states that a loan was made to Gjonaj totaling $1.5 million to buy the Monroe Center retail strip mall. In another complaint, Gjonaj is alleged to have secured a $2.475 million loan from another investor in exchange for membership interests in five limited liability companies, including two — Manchester Wilshire LLC and JVD I LLC — in which neither Gjonaj or his companies had a membership interest, according to court documents.

Still another lawsuit claims Gjonaj hasn't paid for $197,000 worth of work on a $2.25 million mansion that was being built for him in Washington Township that was allegedly purchased with investor money.

Gjonaj’s response to the allegations at this time have been brief. He states that he “lacks knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief" on the veracity of some of the allegations in the August complaint, including: whether there truly was a Ponzi scheme; if Gjonaj has already left the country to avoid prosecution; and if he fraudulently altered (real estate) purchase documents in order to 'sell,' really defraud, unsuspecting investors, interests in those and other properties that did not exist or that Gjonaj did not own.

At this time the case has been brought before civil court and they are accepting additional complaints as they come in.

 


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