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State passes amendments to real estate licensing act

by Kim Shindle on

Changes to the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act were unanimously approved by the state General Assembly on Friday. House Bill 863 (Rothman, R-Cumberland) amends the Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act and is headed to Gov. Tom Wolf for his signature.

The RELRA changes require additional training for salesperson pre-licensure education, increasing pre-licensure education for new licensees by an additional 15 hours and grandfathering those already enrolled in classes. The bill will allow licensees to conduct Broker Price Opinions, or BPOs.

In addition, salesperson licensees will be required 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. And those applying to be a licensed real estate agent will be required to a high school diploma or equivalent.

“This legislation ultimately helps real estate professionals meet the changing needs of the real estate industry, ” said Rep. Greg Rothman, a third generation Realtor®, a broker, an appraiser and a former State Real Estate Commissioner.

“It’s taken hard work by dedicated PAR members, staff and legislators to get this bill passed,” said PAR President Todd Umbenhauer. “These changes will provide a greater level of service and competency to our clients.”

Over the course of several years, PAR has met with representatives from the State Real Estate Commission, State Board of Certified Real Estate Appraisers, Coalition of Pennsylvania Real Estate Appraisers, Real Estate Valuation Advocacy Association and the Pennsylvania Bankers Association to negotiate specifics of the bill. The final version incorporates many of the requests from these groups.

The BPO requirements are outlined, including that a BPO fee be paid directly to a broker. 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 a 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, and/or actions before any court or loan origination.

Editor’s note: There are many implications for the implementation of this bill. Please stay tuned to Just Listed for an article this week discussing some of those issues.


RELRA BPOs Broker price opinions Real Estate Licensing and Registration Act
Comments (16)


  • Kim Shindle    June 25, 2018 | 7:20 am

    There are many implications to implementing this legislation. PAR staff will be working to post an article on Just Listed this week to outline many of those issues. Until the bill is fully implemented, nothing has changed and Realtors® are not able to conduct BPOs.

    Reply to Kim Shindle
  • Alex Camaerei    June 25, 2018 | 7:21 am

    What is the certification course? Is it available now? Is it the PSA designation?

    Reply to Alex Camaerei
  • Barbara Taylor    June 25, 2018 | 7:38 am

    Yes this bill gives us the ability to do the BPO’s but it does not set the minimum fee to pay. There is a lot of work to prepare these and the pay is usually $75 and we Realtor’s get a split. If we were guaranteed a listing it wouldn’t be so bad but it does not happen because of all the special categories needing BPO’s. We are expected to do these with grace but we agents in areas where the economy is suffering this tends to help the banks put forclosures on the market and continue to get our full service and pay so little. Banks including HUD, Freddie Mac, and Fannie Mae expect the Realtors to find buyers at a percentage not a set minimum commission. Such as 3% on $20,000 no set minimum. There is as much work selling this house as a $100,000 house. This is a real problem in our area. We can’t set commissions but in the day where we see companies acquiring more and more companies and no one says they are a monopoly why can’t there be a minimum fee set to expect someone to work for a living wage?

    Reply to Barbara Taylor
  • Hope Goldsmith    June 25, 2018 | 7:44 am

    Will there be an exception for the required BPO course for past practicing Certified Residential Real Estate Appraisers in PA?

    Reply to Hope Goldsmith
  • Ron Carty    June 25, 2018 | 9:30 am

    Yes, its about time the Govt come up with NEW regulations to counter the regulations the Govt has placed on the Appraisal Industry making it costly, time consuming, education happy with redundant requirements, Federal regulations that make no sense in many portions of the entire country, carry costly E&O insurance . Allowing third party management companies to take over the lending process, adding further cost&timely processing. PA legislators may have missed Certified Appraiser fees to the US Senate of $305.00 every two yrs-trust some type of amendment will follow ! Valuation Course-nothing stated on number of hours required, perhaps the 300 hours required for appraisers would be a good start. Three years experience-whew hope there would be no 2500 hours supervision with a certified/licensed qualified ( approved by Govt standards ) appraiser with actual field exposure. That takes time & effort, and would cause KNOWLEDGE OF THE MARKET. By the way, there is nothing stating the process of how many sales, transactions in the three years to cause the real estate person to be qualified. Or just having endured the three years is plenty of time to justify to being competent. Thats a long time I guess, as a Legislator can vote the next day after the election.

    Reply to Ron Carty
  • Ellen Renish    June 25, 2018 | 9:31 am

    The passage of this bill was a long time coming. Great work by all of the Realtors who participated in developing the nuts and bolts of these needed improvements and also to the affiliated industry members for their input and assistance. A special thanks to Rep. Greg Rothman for seeing this through to the finish line!

    Reply to Ellen Renish
  • Scott Geller    June 25, 2018 | 9:53 am

    A small first step. The better course of action is eliminating salesperson licensees in favor of only broker’s licenses. That would at least codify the current practice of no broker supervision or oversight. 😉

    Reply to Scott Geller
  • Mary Lynne Deets    June 25, 2018 | 10:14 am

    I am so please that bill has finally passed. I was at one point in my real estate career, when I was a director to the state a part of the education suggestions, It only proves if you live long enough you might see change.

    Great job to all who helped get this bill passed.

    Reply to Mary Lynne Deets
  • mark cumberland    June 25, 2018 | 10:15 am

    ANOTHER BAD MOVE. The group that was not asked was the real estate schools. It was all bull to make bpo legal.

    Reply to mark cumberland
  • Janice Kavounas    June 25, 2018 | 10:21 am

    This is very positive for the real estate community. I do have questions regarding the additional education. Will the state dictate what is to be taught in the additional 15 hours as well as the valulation certification course and continuing education? When will the program be implemented? Has this information alrealdy been sent to the real estate book publishing companies such as Dearborn so updated books will be available when the act becomes effective?

    Reply to Janice Kavounas
  • Mary Lou Hagman    June 25, 2018 | 10:54 am

    I have commented on this site three times in 14 +years… here is the fourth. Extra pre-licensing school to do BPO’s…. REALLY? Who wastes their time doing BPO’s? With all the critical education that is needed this industry this is the best someone can come up with?
    “It’s taken hard work by dedicated PAR members, staff and legislators to get this bill passed,” said PAR President Todd Umbenhauer. “These changes will provide a greater level of service and competency to our clients.” BPO clients….just who the majority of real estate professionals want to attract. WOW!

    Reply to Mary Lou Hagman
    • Rose Sawyer    June 25, 2018 | 1:54 pm

      The extra pre-licensing course hours have nothing to do with performing BPO’s. They are two separate things.

      Reply to Rose Sawyer
      • Mary Lou Hagman    June 25, 2018 | 6:25 pm

        So what does one do with these extra 15 hours of knowledge?

        Reply to Mary Lou Hagman
  • Dawn Parasolick    June 25, 2018 | 12:47 pm

    Thank you, PAR, for your work on this front as it relates to better preparing candidates for real estate careers in Pennsylvania.

    Reply to Dawn Parasolick
  • Judy Murray    June 28, 2018 | 11:19 am

    Increasing pre-licensing coursework is a very important and overdue step forward in having people enter the field committed to succeeding and realizing it is a profession, not a part-time money maker. We cannot expect other professionals and the public to regard us as a profession without higher educational standards. Bravo!

    Reply to Judy Murray
  • Sarah Smith    September 26, 2018 | 8:55 pm

    Personally, I am happy that this amendment has been passed because I like to know that if I hire a real estate agent or appraiser, they will be fully qualified for the job. It gives me surety in the skills of those that I would like to help me. This makes me more inclined to look for a real estate appraiser to give me an estimate of what I should charge for my house, as my husband and I are moving soon due to a promotion at his work.

    Reply to Sarah Smith

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