Provisions regulating real estate brokers were first enacted in 1921. Current statutory authority is found at A.R.S. §§32-2101 through 32-2199.05.
The purpose of the State Real Estate Department is to protect the public interest through licensure and regulation of the real estate profession in Arizona (A.R.S. §32-2102).
The Department issues licenses and provides oversight for real estate brokers and salespersons, real estate schools, residential developments, timeshares, cemeteries, and membership campgrounds. The Department is responsible for investigations, enforcement and compliance. In addition the Department provides a venue for homeowners and homeowners associations to resolve disputes. www.azre.gov The Department is directed by the Real Estate Commissioner, who is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the Governor.
The Real Estate Advisory Board provides recommendations to the Commissioner and is also required to provide an annual evaluation to the Governor describing the performance of the Commission and the Department. The Advisory Board consists of ten members, appointed by the Governor to six-year terms. The Board was previously known as the Real Estate Board (until 1972) and as the Real Estate Commission (until 1975).
Laws 1921, Chapter 160 created a State Real Estate Department and outlined licensing requirements for real estate brokers and real estate salesmen. The chief officer was the Real Estate Commissioner who was authorized to issue, suspend or revoke a license; enforce the provisions of the law and assess penalties. The State Land Commissioner served as the ex-officio Real Estate Commissioner. All fees collected were required to be deposited weekly with the state treasurer, and transferred to the Real Estate Commissioner’s Fund. Monies in the fund were used to carry out Department responsibilities. The Commissioner was required to provide an accounting of the amount of receipts and expenditures for the previous six months to the Treasurer and Secretary of State. Unexpended monies reverted to the state general fund at the end of the calendar year.
Laws 1937, Chapter 53 rewrote provisions relating to the Department, the powers and duties of the Real Estate Commissioner, and licensing requirements. The measure repealed Article 4, Chapter 58, Revised Code of 1928 (the provisions enacted in 1921). The measure also required ninety percent of the monies collected by the Department to be deposited into the Real Estate Fund with the remaining ten percent transferred to the state general fund. Unexpended monies in excess of $2,000 reverted to the state general fund at the end of the fiscal year. The threshold amount for transfer of unexpended monies was increased several times, eventually reaching $60,000, before the provision was deleted in 1975.
Laws 1941, Chapter 100 required a license to sell, or offer for sale, any cemetery property. The measure classified a violation as a misdemeanor, and provided for suspension or revocation of the broker’s or salesman’s license.
Laws 1943, Chapter 59 required payment of all receipts to the State Treasurer, modified qualifications for licensure, and amended provisions related to investigation of subdivisions offered for sale or lease.
Laws 1947, Chapter 78 created the Real Estate Board, consisting of the Real Estate Commissioner and six members appointed by the Governor. The Board was authorized to inquire into matters of real estate licensure, functions and policy; advise the Governor and other state officers on how to best serve the state and licensees; and make recommendations.
Two measures affecting the Department were enacted in 1963. The first established the Real Estate Recovery Fund to provide compensation to persons defrauded in real estate transactions. A court order was required to receive an award, and the amount of compensation was limited. See Laws 1963, Chapter 42. The second measure enacted that year provided for organization and regulation of cemeteries, and included specific language relating to perpetual or endowment care. The new regulations did not apply to religious or church cemeteries, municipal cemeteries or fraternal burial parks that were less than ten acres in area and established prior to July 1963. See Laws 1963, Chapter 89. Laws 1998, Chapter 185 clarified that cemetery regulations did not apply to private cemeteries (defined as a cemetery that does not offer lots for public use or sale). Laws 2003, Chapter 32 exempted the Arizona Pioneer’s Home Cemetery from cemetery and real estate regulation.
In 1968 the term of the Commissioner was set at four years. The Commissioner was also required to publish an annual directory of all licensed brokers and salesmen, including new licensees, suspensions and revocations. In 1970 the list was required to include cemetery brokers and salesmen as well. In 1980 the requirement to publish the list was eliminated. See Laws 1968, Chapter 44; Laws 1970 Chapter 115; and Laws 1980, Chapter 174.
Laws 1970, Chapter 115 established licensing and regulatory provisions for cemetery brokers and salesmen; prescribed qualifications to obtain a license; established fees; and outlined disciplinary actions, judicial review and appeals.
Omnibus bills that rewrote real estate laws were enacted in 1972 and 1975. Regulations relating to the sale of unsubdivided land were enacted in 1975 and have been amended in subsequent years. Written authorization from the Commissioner is required prior to sale or lease of unsubdivided land, the Commissioner is required to issue a public report (including information regarding permanent access and water availability), and the report must be furnished to potential buyers. See Laws 1972, Chapter 110 and Laws 1975, Chapter 151.
Laws 1976, Chapter 133 expanded requirements related to advertising and promotional materials for land sales, content of notice, intention to subdivide and disclosure.
Laws 1978, Chapter 202 modified requirements relating to public reports issued by the Commissioner for sale or lease of subdivided or unsubdivided land.
Laws 1982, Chapter 116 prescribed regulation of real estate timeshares. The measure outlined Department administrative responsibilities, powers and duties. These provisions were subsequently amended by Laws 2001, Chapter 170 and Laws 2019, Chapter 245.
Laws 1986, Chapter 163 prescribed extensive modifications to laws regulating cemeteries, including requirements for licensure and continuing education requirements; irrevocable trust funds for cemetery operation; restrictions for cemetery endowment care funds; sales of cemetery plots; advertising materials; and disciplinary actions.
Laws 1988, Chapter 103 established the Real Estate Printing Revolving Fund, to be used to cover the cost to print a compilation of real estate laws, rules and other educational publications. Monies in excess of $25,000 at the end of the fiscal year revert to the state general fund.
Laws 1989, Chapter 230 was an omnibus measure that made multiple changes to Department statutes. Among other issues, the measure transferred and renumbered statutory provisions relating to membership camping from A.R.S Title 33 (Property) to Title 32 (Professions and Occupations), placing the responsibility with the Real Estate Department. The measure included transition language for existing licenses and contracts. (Membership camping statutes were originally enacted by Laws 1984, Chapter 248 as A.R.S. §§ 33-1602 et seq.)
Laws 1994, Chapter 169 established requirements for property management firms, including provisions related to property management agreements, content, termination, record keeping, and audits. A second measure enacted in 1994 changed the number of lot splits, from four to six, that trigger statutory requirements relating to subdividing land. See Laws 1994, Chapter 263. Finally, Laws 1994, Chapter 203 was an omnibus water bill that modified certain responsibilities of the Department.
Laws 1995, Chapter 174 revised criminal background investigations and fingerprint requirements for license applicants. Laws 1995, Chapter 160 was an omnibus measure.
Laws 1997, Chapter 172 was an omnibus measure that revised licensing requirements and Department powers and duties.
Laws 2000, Chapter 174 increased the membership of the Real Estate Advisory Board to nine members, adding two members with experience as residential real estate brokers. The measure also required the Department to determine instructor qualifications to teach Broker Management Clinics, and authorized the Commissioner to issue a provisional license.
Laws 2001, Chapter 23 required the Commissioner to record information in each county that has a military airport stating that property in the vicinity of a military airport may be subject to increased noise and accident potential. The information must be included in subdivision public reports and unsubdivided land public reports issued by the Commissioner. These provisions have been modified in subsequent years.
Laws 2006, Chapter 339 required the Department to provide access to earth fissure maps. Maps must be provided in either printed or electronic format.
Laws 2007, Chapter 9 modified Commissioner responsibilities regarding real estate educational programs and revised requirements for real estate schools, courses and instructors.
Laws 2014, Chapter 74 increased the number of members on the Real Estate Advisory Board to ten, adding one member who has experience in multifamily residential rental property management.
- 1928 Revised Statutes of Arizona §§2519 through 2526
- 1939 Arizona Code Annotated §§67-1701 through 67-1740
- Arizona Revised Statutes §§32-2101 through 32-2199.05
- Arizona Administrative Code §§R4-28-101 through R4-28-1313
- Session Laws
- Laws 1921, Chapter 160
- Laws 1937, Chapter 53
- Laws 1941, Chapter 100
- Laws 1943, Chapter 59
- Laws 1947, Chapter 78
- Laws 1963, Chapter 42 and Chapter 89
- Laws 1968, Chapter 44
- Laws 1970, Chapter 115
- Laws 1972, Chapter 110
- Laws 1975, Chapter 151
- Laws 1976, Chapter 133
- Laws 1978, Chapter 202
- Laws 1980, Chapter 174
- Laws 1982, Chapter 116
- Laws 1984, Chapter 248
- Laws 1986, Chapter 163
- Laws 1988, Chapter 103
- Laws 1989, Chapter 230
- Laws 1994, Chapter 169, Chapter 203 and Chapter 263
- Laws 1995, Chapter 160 and Chapter 174
- Laws 1997, Chapter 172
- Laws 1998, Chapter 185
- Laws 2000, Chapter 174
- Laws 2001, Chapter 23 and Chapter 170
- Laws 2003, Chapter 32
- Laws 2006, Chapter 339
- Laws 2007, Chapter 9
- Laws 2014, Chapter 74
- Laws 2019, Chapter 245
- Department of Real Estate website: www.azre.gov
Related Collections at Arizona State Archives
Record Group 078 – Arizona Department of Real Estate