The Pennsylvania Association of Realtors® issued a call-to-action to members yesterday to urge legislators to vote “yes” on House Bill 863 (Rothman, R-Cumberland). The bill would amend the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act to require additional pre-licensure education to increase the level of professionalism of new licensees. In addition, the bill would allow agents to conduct broker price opinions if permitted by their brokers.
“PAR believes that the proposed changes will result in an enhanced level of service for consumers and a higher level of competency throughout the real estate industry,” said PAR President Kathy McQuilkin.
The required pre-licensure education would be increased from 60 hours to 75 hours. The average pre-licensure requirement in the U.S. is 79 hours and 26 states already require more than 60 hours of pre-licensure education.
The amendments will require salesperson licensees to complete all licensure courses within five years prior to the date of taking and passing the exam, allowing for a grandfathering process for those already enrolled in classes. The bill would also require a high school diploma or equivalent for licensure as a real estate salesperson.
In addition to these requirements, HB 863 would allow licensees to conduct broker price opinions, or BPOs, with restrictive use. The amendment allows BPOs only for an entity or financial institution. The association recognizes that BPOs are not certified appraisals, nor do they take the place of one.
HB 863 would require that a BPO fee be paid directly to a broker. In addition, it will require agents to take a valuation certification course, be licensed for at least three years and take valuation continuing education each two-year cycle.
The proposed legislation outlines that BPOs could only be used for: in conjunction with real estate owned or REO, loan modifications, short sales, and portfolio evaluation/monitoring. BPOs could not be used for bankruptcy, tax appeals, eminent domain, divorce, equitable distribution, actions before any court or loan origination.
Currently 45 states allow BPOs to be performed and according to industry estimates, more than 10 million BPOs are performed annually across the country.
Realtors® are asked to complete the call-to-action today.