Monday, December 14, 2015

Real Estate Brokerage Regulatory Updates - 11/7/15 NYS Board of Real Estate meeting summary

On 11/7/15 the NYS Board of Real Estate continued its mission of optimizing the regulation of real estate brokers in our state by holding its meeting in NYC, Buffalo and Albany. To remind real estate brokers and salespersons, the public is welcome at these meetings where the public can bring comments from the floor. It’s encouraged that Lieb School students attend these meetings to have your voices heard. 
"[T]he Board has general authority to promulgate rules and regulations affecting real estate brokers and salespersons in order to administer and effectuate the purposes of Article 12-A of the Real Property Law."

A complete video of the meeting is available on YouTube.

In summary, the following was discussed:
1.      New Rules: A rule making package for new regulations in the field is going through the regulatory process concerning the following topics:
a.      Setting a specific timeframe to deposit escrow monies rather than a reasonable time as the rule currently requires;
b.      Rules concerning brokers who accept money from their client as opposed to the existing rule concerning a broker accepts money from all clients;
c.      Including a 1 hour safety training course in the curriculum;
d.      Modifying continuing education from a required minimum of 3 hours to 1 hour;
e.      Changing 1 credit of continuing education from constituting 1 hour of study to only constituting 50 minutes of study; and
f.       Revising the advertising regulations to require business cards to include the actual title of the cardholder on the card.
2.      Clarification of School Regulations: It was clarified that online schools and brick and mortar schools are regulated equally with regard to having a brokerage NOT control or own the school.  
3.      Continuing Education Credits: In the distant horizon the Department of State is implementing an online continuing education credit system so agents will not need to keep their original certificates at such time.
4.      Brokerage Curriculum:
a.      Changes to the broker’s curriculum were voted and approved as published. Such changes are not effective yet as there is a long regulatory process.
b.      The Board discussed updating the salesperson’s curriculum next and possibly updating the test to make it more difficult. However, it was pointed out that only approximately 60% pass the salesperson’s exam, as currently written, so making it harder may be too large of a barrier to entry into the field.

c.      The Board clarified that the legislature would have to make a high school diploma or GED a requirement of licensing because the statute, as written, does not give the Department of State the power to implement such regulations.