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PAR urges changes to real estate licensing law
The educational amendments are based on recommendations made by PAR’s Educational Requirements Task Force and approved by PAR’s Board of Directors and will ultimately provide enhanced service to consumers and raise the level of competency within the industry. The 12-member task force was charged with examining the educational requirements for obtaining and maintaining real estate licenses in Pennsylvania and comparing them to other states’ requirements.
PAR’s Incoming President Bette McTamney, who chaired the task force, said, “The task force members saw that educational requirements for real estate licensees in Pennsylvania were below the average for other states. We believe the recommended changes reflect our rapidly changing industry and will help us better serve our clients.”
PAR’s Board of Directors is also recommending allowing licensees to conduct Broker Price Opinions under certain criteria to fulfill a niche in the real estate market, not currently being met by other products. The amendment to RELRA would further define a “comparative market analysis,” which currently exists under the law, to include a “broker price opinion.” A licensee would be able to prepare this written analysis for an existing or potential seller or buyer, a lien holder, or a person making a decision regarding the property.
It is not legal to perform broker price opinions (BPOs) in Pennsylvania. PAR is recommending this definition be added to RELRA but until it is passed and signed by the governor, real estate licensees cannot conduct BPOs in the Commonwealth. BPOs will still not be permitted for mortgage purposes. A certified appraiser must conduct a full appraisal for mortgage originations.
Guy Matteo, a PAR past president and task force member, said one of the most significant recommendations is expanding the pre-licensure and continuing education requirements. “PAR recommends that salespersons be required to take 90 hours of pre-licensure education, an increase of 30 hours; and continuing education requirements be increased from 14 hours to 18 hours,” Matteo said. “Based on our research, these educational changes will bring Pennsylvania licensees more in line with other states’ requirements.”
PAR’s recommendations were presented before the State Real Estate Commission last month. It is anticipated that legislation regarding the RELRA amendments will be introduced in the state legislature early next year.
“PAR believes the enhanced educational requirements will provide licensees with greater knowledge and understanding of current real estate trends and help them be better equipped to help their clients navigate the transaction,” McTamney said. “We want to provide licensees with valuable skills and tools to be the best resource for home buyers and sellers.”
PAR will launch an email campaign highlighting each of the proposed recommendations over the next several weeks. For more information, visit parealtor.org.
Kim Shindle is the Manager of Media Relations at the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors®.