In real estate, the multiple listing service, or MLS, is a database that contains all the pertinent information for each property for sale. If you’ve ever looked a real estate listing, you’ve probably noticed that it’s an alphabet-soup of acronyms and abbreviations. For real estate professionals, the acronyms become a second language, but for most buyers they just look like letters. One such real estate listing acronym that trips up buyers is “DPR,” which references state professional regulatory agencies.
What Is a DPR?
The DPR listed on an MLS sheet stands for either Department of Professional Regulation or Division of Professional Regulation -- the regulatory body of each state that oversees the awarding and maintenance of different professional licenses. In some states, it’s called a Department of Financial and Professional Regulation or Department of Business and Professional Regulation, but regardless of what it’s called, it fulfills the same basic function.
What a DPR Does
The DPR administers the licensing for a variety of industries, including real estate. The real estate division of a DPR runs the board of real estate licensing for each state, which creates the rules that regulate real estate transactions, as well as real estate licenses. A real estate agent goes through her state’s DPR to find approved real estate training courses, apply for a license and register for the real estate exam. An agent also uses the DPR to maintain her license through recertification and continuing education programs. A DPR typically also runs the licensing programs for real estate brokers, real estate appraisers and real estate schools in that state.
Why the DPR Matters
Because real estate transactions involve large sums of money, states rely on DPRs to regulate the real estate industry to protect consumers. Regulating the real estate industry also prevents homeowners from buying potentially dangerous homes. The DPRs create laws that require sellers to disclose issues like lead-based paint, radon, mold and structural issues. The DPR develops the process to become a real estate agent in that state, assuring that each agent goes through the proper training and testing phases. Many DPRs also have a consumer complaint division where home buyers and sellers can submit any issues they had with a real estate agent and prevent future consumers from having the same problems.
Why the DPR is in the Listing
Some real estate listings include the DPR so that the consumer knows which agency to contact if she has any issues with the real estate listing. Each state’s DPR determines what kind of information can and cannot be included in a real estate listing. If a consumer finds a discrepancy, she can contact the proper authorities at that state’s DPR. Including the DPR on the real estate listing can also assure a consumer that the agency will have her back in her real estate transactions.
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