When Do You Need to Take the New York Continuing Education Course?


Whether you are a first-time New York real estate licensee or a seasoned professional, you need to renew your real estate license every two years. Before you can renew, however, you’ll need to take the state’s 22.5-hour continuing education course. The course package can be taken conveniently online or in person. Here’s a look at some of the basic requirements of the 22.5-hour course.

Core Subjects

For everyone submitting a renewal prior to July 1, 2021, the 22.5 hours of approved continuing education must include:

  • A minimum of three hours of education in fair housing and/or discrimination in the sale or rental of real property.

  • One hour of agency law (except if you are in your first two years of practicing real estate, then you’ll need two hours instead).

  • If a salesperson completes the 45-hour broker course and passes the exam, they'll also need to take an additional 2.5 hours of ethical business practices and at least one hour of legal matter topics.

Of the core courses in the continuing education curriculum, James McGrath, principal broker with Yoreevo, a New York City-based real estate brokerage firm, finds agency to be the most helpful course.

“There are a lot of tricky situations in real estate and the course does a good job of preparing you for them,” said McGrath, adding that the fair housing course is “a helpful reminder of the type of protected classes and how those protected classes vary at the national, state, and local level.”

Beyond the Basics

Beyond the core classes, New York continuing education requirements allow for 16.5 hours of elective courses. McGrath said this part of the CE requirements gives a real estate agent a lot of flexibility to explore different topics, specifically ones that relate to their day-to-day real estate practices. In the past, McGrath has taken courses on how to use bitcoin for real estate transactions, and more recently, he took an online CE course about conducting transactions during the COVID lockdown.

Zachary Scher, a high-profile New York real estate agent, also enjoyed choosing elective courses that suited his specific needs.

“Taking the CBR (Certified Buyers Representative) course was something that I felt was necessary to do and it has been an integral part of my business,” said Scher. “Dealing with buyers every day, understanding how to best represent them, and employing the techniques that I learned from the course is paramount to my day to day operations.”

After July 1, 2021

If your license renewal date falls on or after July 1, 2021, you will still be required to complete 22.5 hours of continuing education, but there will be one change to the core subject criteria.

Under the new rules, at least 2.5 hours of ethical business practices and at least one hour of recent legal matters education will be required for everyone, not just those who took the broker class.

In addition, the new rules will remove the continuing education exemption for brokers who had been licensed prior to July 1, 2008, and had been active full-time in real estate for 15 consecutive years. In the past, these brokers were completely exempt from continuing education; however, after July 1, 2021, they will be required to take the 22.5 hours of continuing education every two years to renew their license.

Getting a real estate license in New York can lead to a lucrative career, but just like many other fields, the need to stay on top of legal, ethical, and general business practice issues that change and shift through the years is key to long-term success.

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