There have been a lot of questions circulating since the passage of House Bill 863 (Rothman, R-Cumberland) last week. There are some practical issues around implementing the legislative changes in HB 863, because things aren’t going to happen immediately and Realtors® don’t want to put themselves in harm’s way by getting ahead of themselves. This article covers some questions regarding the implementation timeline. PAR will be releasing more detailed practice FAQs in the coming weeks.
This bill makes two primary changes to existing license law. First, it increases the requirements to obtain an initial salesperson license. And second, it legalizes Broker Price Opinions in certain circumstances.
Before getting into the specifics, it’s important to note that the effective date of the bill is 60 days from the day it is signed into law. Since the bill hasn’t been signed just yet, the best we can say is that the changes will start going into effect at the very end of August. Nothing is changing at all until the effective date of the bill, so BPOs are definitely not on the table just yet.
Beyond that, though, this bill requires the state real estate commission to take certain actions regarding educational requirements, so full implementation will not be possible until after they have taken those actions.
After the effective date, a new salesperson applicant will need to complete 75 hours of pre-license education “in real estate instruction in areas of study prescribed by the rules of the commission….” Any students who have started the pre-license process before the effective date will be grandfathered in under the existing 60-hour requirement. Any who start after the effective date will need to take 75 hours – but students can’t complete that pre-license process until the outlines and materials are available to schools.
The state real estate commission currently publishes learning objectives and outlines for the existing 60 hours of pre-license education, so learning objectives and outlines for an additional 15 hours will need to be developed. These outlines would then need to be fleshed out into compliant course instructional materials, before they can be taught as part of the curriculum.
There are similar issues with implementing the language relating to BPOs. This bill requires that before licensees can be involved in the preparation of a BPO they must have completed some sort of coursework “prescribed by the rules of the commission to obtain education in the preparation of broker price opinions” and must have completed at least three hours of continuing education regarding BPOs in the current or prior license renewal cycle. In short, the commission must create or approve both initial and continuing education criteria, and those courses must be taken by licensees, before the first legal BPOs can be done.
PAR has been in contact with the commission during the long road to passing this bill, so they are aware of its provisions. The first opportunity for the commission to publicly discuss their implementation plans will be an upcoming meeting in July, so we expect more public comment at that time. In the meantime, PAR staff will continue our discussions to get more clarity on timelines and expectations, which we will share as it becomes available.