How to Change your Real Estate Office in Seven Steps

Are you wondering how difficult it is to change real estate brokerages?

It isn’t difficult at all.  Just follow the steps outlined below. If you are organized and schedule things appropriately, you will have virtually no down time in the Northwest MLS system or with the Department of Licensing. We can help you organize the process and can provide some tips for making it go faster.

Step 1: Make a plan for dealing with current listings and transactions.

Please keep in mind that any current listing contracts or buyer-agency agreements are actually between the client and your current brokerage. We can’t, and don’t, encourage you to ask your clients to cancel their contracts with your current brokerage.  Talk to your clients about your plans so they know where you are going and what their options are. If you have transactions in progress, you need to make sure that they get completed successfully, either by you or by another broker at your current company. The best course of action is to talk to your current managing broker about how they want to handle the transactions and also about how you will get paid if the transaction is expected to close after you leave the company. This is the most challenging part of the process because it may mean some uncomfortable conversations between your current managing broker and you. Don’t forget to address any bills you owe at your current office like desk fees, transaction fees, etc. Just keep things calm and professional at all times. Focus on the desires and needs of the clients and remember that you may be working with people from your old brokerage in the future.

Step 2: Have your current managing broker turn in your license to the state and notify the MLS.

When you leave your current company, the brokerage must ‘sign off’ on your license and return it to the state Department of Licensing. Make sure you get a copy of the signed off license before they mail it. Your current brokerage should also notify the NWMLS that you are leaving their company. We recommend you give your current broker a copy of the following form, already filled out and ready to sign. Get a copy after it is signed, also.

  • Form 122A – Broker/Broker Assistant/Clerical Change (This link requires that you are signed into the NWMLS website.


Step 3: Complete the state’s Real Estate License Transfer, Name Change, or Reactivation Application, and NWMLS forms, and send them to our office for the managing broker’s signature

You will need to complete the license transfer form and provide a copy of the license that your previous brokerage sent back to DOL. It just be signed off by your old managing broker, or you will not be able to practice real estate and you will need to go to Olympia to finish your license transfer, after your old license has gotten to them in the mail.

You will also need to complete several forms for the NWMLS, and have them signed by our managing broker/designated broker. Once signed, we recommend you hand deliver them to the MLS office, but you can also fax them.

The forms that need completed are these (you will need to be signed into the NWMLS website to access them):

  • Form 122A (Broker/Broker Assistant/Clerical Change)
  • Form 114 (Subscription Agreement)
  • Form 80 (Password Non-Disclosure Agreement)
  • Form 81 (Listing Input Authorization)


Step 4: Mail or hand deliver the license transfer application to the DOL and deliver NWMLS forms to the MLS office

As mentioned in step 3, we will need to mail the license application to the DOL. If the application is complete and includes a photocopy of your old license, signed off by the previous brokerage, you can legally begin work as of the postmark date.  This means do the paperwork during the week, not over the weekend. You can also hand deliver the paperwork to their offices in Olympia. You will need to do this if you did not get a copy of your signed-off license before your old brokerage mailed it in.

And, as mentioned in step 3, there are several forms that must be delivered to the NWMLS to make changes in their system. We recommend hand delivering them to avoid any delays.  Having a copy of the Form 122A signed by your old brokerage will help make sure the process goes smoothly. If you fax in the paperwork, it can take 24 hours before the changes go into affect.

Step 5: Update your Matrix Header and Email signature

Don’t forget to update your contact info and email signature in Matrix. You do this using steps described I the Updating Matrix Settings user guide available on the NWMLS website.

Step 6: Inform your past and future clients

Let your clients know you are ready for business in your new office. The most important thing you can do is take care of your clients. If you have listings that are coming over from your old brokerage, be sure to get the contracts and forms signed and listing into the MLS system. Update your email signature, business cards, and yard signs ASAP. We have generic office signs you can use while waiting for your new or updated ones. Our office can help you with business card, sign, and other marketing material designs if you would like. We even have tips for cost-effective ways to update your a-boards. We’ll also work with you to send out a postcard mailing to select market areas and your previous client to let them know about the change in company. Ultimately though, its up to you to keep your clients informed of the change.

Step 7: Connect to the Tellus Real Estate Solutions website and office backend

As soon as the licensing paperwork is complete, we’ll start getting you set up in our systems.  It will take a day or two, because we have a lot to offer.  You’ll get access to our internal company website, email, phones, and software. Most importantly, we’ll connect you to our various lead generation and management systems.

Welcome to Tellus Real Estate!

We are excited you are considering joining our company. We feel our brokerage has a great deal for our agents and hope you feel the same way. Contact us today if you have any questions or comments.

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