What is the New York State Board of Real Estate?

If you want to get a New York real estate license, you should know about the New York State Board of Real Estate. Chances are, you will never deal directly with this group. But its members have a role in everything you do as a real estate salesperson or broker. The board has a say in licensing requirements, education curriculum, and is involved with rule and regulation changes in the industry. Here’s a closer look at who this group is and what its members do.

Why the New York State Board of Real Estate Exists

The NYS Board of Real Estate is a 15-member board established in 1996. It is part of the state’s Division of Licensing Services. That’s the division that handles your application process.

The board was established to support the state’s Real Property Law, Article 12-A. This article states real estate salespersons and brokers in New York cannot operate without a license, as well as sets the minimum age for a broker at 20 and 18 for a salesperson. It also goes into detail about which types of convicted felonies will keep you from being allowed to get a New York real estate license.

The Secretary of State has the power to administer all exams and education requirements in New York. But Real Estate Board works with the Secretary of State to gather information and insights from the public and people in the industry on current happenings in the business. It then uses this information to implement changes to rules and regulations, if needed.

Again, the board has the authority to establish rules and laws and develop educational standards. It can also create content and exams for real estate agents and brokers. Most of the members are appointed. The board may also give advice to the Secretary of State on exams and education. A majority vote of the total members is needed for any resolution to pass.

Who Makes up the Board

The board has 15 members, a mix of public and private officials; most are appointed. They currently include:

  • The Secretary of State

  • Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services

  • 13 appointed members:

    • Three real estate brokers appointed by the Governor

    • One real estate broker appointed by the Temporary President of the Senate

    • One real estate broker appointed by the Speaker Assembly

    • Four public members appointed by the Governor

    • One public member appointed by the Temporary President of the Senate

    • One public member appointed by the Speaker Assembly

    • State Senate and Assembly Minority leaders each appoint one member as well; they can choose either a real estate broker or public member

The board meets no fewer than three times a year. It also holds public meetings in New York City, Buffalo, and Albany to get public comments about real estate practices in the state.

Each year, the board also writes a report for the state Senate and Judiciary Committees that outlines complaints received, the status of certain cases, and the length of time it takes to resolve complaints. This information is then factored into future rule and regulation changes, if they are needed.

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