Governor Larry Hogan expands government

From where I sit in neighboring Washington, D.C., Maryland GOP Governor Larry Hogan often seems to be one of those limited government oriented Republicans who makes you want to prevent the LP from running a candidate in that particular race against him.

He did kind of endorse Chris Christie last week, which was a bad sign.  But otherwise he does seem to want to cut spending and taxes in his state, whose economy is stalled and which is losing all its productive, taxpaying citizens to Virginia, and other states in the South and mid-Atlantic.

Today (as a licensed realtor in Maryland) I received the following announcement that I am being protected from competition by lawyers and others, who could previously engage in brokerage without taking the (incredibly boring and irrelevant, especially mandatory Fair Housing law, which in D.C. is often taught by smug or hostile government bureaucrats who sometimes threaten, belittle, or smear the captive audience of realtors as racists ) courses I am forced to sit through and pay for every two years.

Needless to say I believe anyone should be free to “become” a real estate sales person at any time without a license or an association affiliation.  If consumers think affiliations or certificates (or course work or insurance etc.) are valuable they will demand them (and so will companies that hire realtors).  In many states the regulatory barriers to entry for realtors are relatively low – it is a freer market than many.  When one of the dot com bubbles burst in the early 2000s there was an influx into real estate sales of software sales people.  Many were instantly great agents outperforming long term realtors – because they had valuable sales experience and drive.  Even though they had only just completed government mandated courses.  (When the mortgage crash happened many of these people moved on to sales in something else.)

Occupational licensure does means someone in a poor urban or rural neighborhood who knows the people and housing stock in her community intimately cannot simply start selling homes of people at her church or her children’s school.  She can only get there if she can afford to take time off and take a month’s worth of coursework first, and pay several hundred dollars for courses and licensing fees.  (If she is unfortunate as my cohort was in the early 90s she will also have to wait an entire summer for the members of the local government real estate commission to stop going on summer vacation and have a quorum to “vote” aka rubber stamp license applications.  When we finally got our broker to ask again around Thanksgiving about when the commission would meet, the ‘crats at the licensure department said “Oh, we approved all those licenses back in October.  They can work.  We just haven’t mailed them out yet.”)  Why shouldn’t she simply be free to apprentice with a realtor to learn about contracts and financing?  Or study on her own?

An official communication from the Maryland Real Estate Commission:

Dear Licensee:

A New Law.

Legislation drafted by the Maryland Association of REALTORS® and signed into law by Governor Hogan on
April 14 will simplify continuing education (CE) requirements for agents and brokers.

The new law mandates 15 hours of CE for every renewal by removing from the law an exception for licensees
who have earned a graduate degree in real estate or law. More frequent agency and broker supervision course
 work will also be required, effective with licenses that expire October 1, 2015 or thereafter.

The law will now require all real estate licensees to take the three hour agency class every two years, an
increase over the old law which provided for the agency class every four years. Similarly, those licensees
required to take the broker supervision three hour class, must do so every two years. Broker supervision is
a requirement for brokers, team leaders and branch office managers.

Eliminated from the old law is the CE provision that allowed real estate licensees who possess a graduate
 degree in law or real estate to renew with only 7.5 CE hours. Under the new law, these licensees must
take at least 15 hours of CE. Which is exactly the same number of hours as everyone else.

Licensees who have an expiration date of October 1, 2015 or later should ensure that they have taken an
approved 3 hour agency class within the previous two years. Those who must take broker supervision should
 do the same with the supervision class. The Commission’s website has a further notification of the new law
at: http://www.dllr.state.md.us/license/mrec/mreccpc.shtml

Steven Long, Assistant Executive Director
Maryland Real Estate Commission
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
500 North Calvert Street, 3rd Floor
Baltimore MD 21202

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About BruceMajors

freelance writer at Daily Caller, The Hill, reason, Breitbart
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