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.