Following the sharp decline of coronavirus cases across the state of New York, some parts of New York have moved into phase 3, which means people can resume all kinds of business and government services do long as they follow the necessary protocols set by the state. But what does this mean to the real estate professional?
Most new real estate licenses will need to wait a while longer before they can complete their testing for licensure. License testing centers are still closed, and they aren't expected to open until some time in the future. When asked for more information as to when the testing centers would be reopening, individuals with the New York State Division of Licensing Services and New York Real Estate Chamber declined to comment.
Existing real estate agents can renew their license can currently renew online, despite the state agency closures.
What Are the Protocols Real Estate Agents Need to Follow During COVID-19 and Post-COVID-19?
Different counties require different phases/protocols. Protocol varies depending on whether the region is under phase 1, phase 2, phase 3, or phase 4.
Governor Cuomo's guide for different protocols that need to be followed for different phases can be found here, but in short, if your county or region is in phase 2 or later, you can start to return to showing homes while maintaining social distancing, reduced capacities, and mask-wearing.
Per the official real estate phase 2 reopening guidelines for home showings:
The home must be empty (if someone is living in the home they need to go somewhere else).
All individuals at the showing must wear a face mask.
Showings should be staggered to reduce the number of people in the home.
Gloves should be worn and discarded between showings.
High-touch areas should be disinfected between showings.
Status for License Renewal
Thankfully, the process for renewing real state sales and brokers licenses in New York is done online. Real estate professionals just need to log-in their accounts in eAccessNY to renew their licenses.
As a change due to COVID-19, real estate licenses are no longer using paper renewal forms to lessen the number of people going out to renew their licenses.
Status for License Testing
If you've finished taking your real estate courses and are ready to take the real estate licensure test, what can you do now?
While testing centers are still closed, and the state hasn't announced the reopening schedule yet, budding real estate agents shouldn't delay their learning. They can complete an online real estate licensing program so they are ready to go once the testing centers reopen.
For future real estate agents who have already completed the classroom portion, now may be a great time to start talking to brokers to see where you'll work as an agent. You can also talk to the brokers and see if you can job shadow an active agent now to get experience and to get a pulse on that particular broker's management style.
Once testing begins again, applicants will be able to schedule their exams by logging in to their eAccessNY accounts.
How to Prepare for a Post COVID-19 Real Estate Market
When the battle with coronavirus is over, having your real estate license will empower you to help society rebound and increase your own financial well being. If you're just getting started in real estate, be sure to select a real estate licensing school that allows you to finish your 75 hours of content and learning at your own pace.