NYS Department of State Volume 2, Number 1 — May 2003 Real Estate Newsletter A Message from Secretary Daniels The New York State Real Estate Board is a forum for an active discussion of important issues facing New York State’s real estate industry. For example, the Board is presently discussing the structure and delivery of qualifying education requirements. In conjunction with its regular meetings, the Board convenes a public hear- ing in order to solicit feedback on the issues before the Randy A. Daniels Board. Further, the public hearings provide anyone in Secretary of State New York State the opportunity to make comments, suggestions, and observations about real estate practice in New York. We George E. Pataki encourage those interested to attend our meetings and in particular, the Governor public hearing. Your input insures that we act in the best interests of the Real Estate Board Members real estate industry, as well as the consumer and general public. Our country, our state, and our hometowns all face challenges that will Randy A. Daniels, Secretary of State firstname.lastname@example.org test our energy and resolve. Despite the challenges that we currently face, we have the leadership, vision and sense of purpose that is necessary to Teresa A. Santiago Chairperson and Executive Director Consumer manage our way through these current difficulties. I am profoundly opti- Protection Board mistic about our state and our nation and look forward to working with all email@example.com of you within the real estate industry on the issues of the day. Edwardina D. Lodes, Vice Chair Benjamin Weinstock, Esq., Secretary New Carbon Monoxide Regulations firstname.lastname@example.org As a result of legislation passed and signed by the Governor in 2002, George Constantin email@example.com new regulations have been put into effect for the installation and mainte- Michael Dubb nance of carbon monoxide alarms in certain residential properties. DubbLand@aol.com Effective on March 6, 2003, Section 1225.2 of 19 NYCRR Part 1225 Veronica Gargiulo requires carbon monoxide alarms to be installed in newly constructed one- firstname.lastname@example.org and two-family dwellings, multiple single family dwellings (townhouses) James LaValley and in dwelling units located in buildings of Group R-2 occupancies owned email@example.com as a condominium or a cooperative. Carbon monoxide alarms are also re- John R. Piper quired in these structures when they are offered for sale. firstname.lastname@example.org At least one carbon monoxide alarm must be provided in each dwelling Alan N. Rechtschaffen unit and must be installed in the immediate vicinity of a bedroom on the email@example.com lowest floor level of the dwelling unit containing a bedroom. The alarms Steven Spinola shall be listed and labeled as complying with UL 2034-2002 (Single and firstname.lastname@example.org Multiple Station Carbon Monoxide Alarms, Second Edition, October 29, Ronald B. Steed 1996 - with Revisions through and including June 28, 2002, published by email@example.com Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.) and shall be installed in accordance with Merle L. Whitehead the manufacturer’s installation instructions. Carbon monoxide alarms are firstname.lastname@example.org permitted to be permanently connected to the building wiring system, con- George K. Wonica nected by cord or plug to the wiring system, or battery operated. Where email@example.com carbon monoxide alarms are permanently installed, they shall receive their continued on page 2 continued from page 1 Real Estate Sales/Broker Exam Locations primary power from a lighting circuit of the building wiring system, provided that such wiring system is served from a commercial source. Wiring shall be Albany: permanent and without a disconnecting switch other than as required for 84 Holland Avenue overcurrent protection. Where carbon monoxide alarms are a component of a Basement fire/burglar/carbon monoxide system, or alarms are monitored by an approved Binghamton: supervising station, a distinctive alarm signal shall be used to differentiate State Office Building between the carbon monoxide alarms and other alarm system functions. 44 Hawley Street, 15th Floor Activation of a carbon monoxide alarm shall not activate a fire alarm signal. Buffalo: Carbon monoxide alarms shall be wired such that short circuits, open circuits, State Office Building or any other ground-fault will not interfere with monitoring for integrity of the 65 Court Street fire warning system. Main Floor Hearing Room, Part 5 Carbon monoxide alarms shall be maintained in conformance with the Franklin Square: manufacturer’s instructions. Where a carbon monoxide alarm receives primary VFW Hall or backup power from a battery, the alarm shall emit a signal when batteries are 68 Lincoln Road low. Where the battery is a removable type, it shall be replaced in conformance Basement with the manufacturer’s instructions. Carbon monoxide alarms shall not be Hauppauge: removed or disabled, except for replacement, service or repair purposes. State Office Building If you have any questions about these new regulations, contact the Department 250 Veterans Memorial Highway of State’s Division of Code Enforcement and Administration at 518-474-4073. Basement Conference Room 1 Newburgh: Real Estate Board Committees — Orange Ulster BOCES Adult Ed Ctr 471 Broadway, 2nd Floor Summary of Current Issues New York City: The New York State Real Estate use of generic computer software to 123 William Street Board has formed Committees in or- the list of topics which do not qualify 19th Floor der to better focus on specific prior- for continuing education credit. This Plattsburgh: ity issues. Here is a summary of cur- regulation change became effective Clinton County Community College rent issues. on March 5, 2003, and extends the Lake Shore Drive existing policy that a course must be Route 9 South Education Committee substantially real estate-related in or- Rochester: The Education Committee has been der to qualify for continuing educa- Finger Lakes DDSO (Monroe working on legislation to allow quali- tion credit for real estate licensees. Development Center) fying courses to be on-line, and elimi- 620 Westfall Road nate the need for attendance in a tra- Trends Committee: Syracuse–Brokers: ditional classroom setting in all cases. The Trends Committee has been 333 E. Washington Street The proposal will allow on-line working on guidelines for the com- Main Floor, Hearing Room A courses as long as providers demon- mon practice of in-house purchases Syracuse–Salesperson: strate the ability to monitor and verify – properties purchased by someone American Postal Workers Union participation. In addition, it allows within the firm listing the property. 407 East Taft Road the Department to designate that cer- The Board would like to offer these North Syracuse tain subjects or hours be in a class- as suggested guidelines for licensed Utica: room setting. As stated by Board brokers to consider in their practice. State Office Building member Benjamin Weinstock, the 207 Genesee Street Total Number of challenge of the Board is to “balance 1st Floor, Room 110C course content with course delivery”. Real Estate Licensees Watertown: Education Committee members ap- Salespersons 63,986 State Office Building proved a draft change in regulation Brokers 48,794 317 Washington Street, 11th Floor to add basic computer skills train- Total 112,762 ing, instructional navigation of the Figures as of December 27, 2002 world wide web, and instructional —The case is assigned to an investigator in the En- forcement Unit who conducts a field investigation of Real Estate Appraiser the complaint. This may include personal interviews Board Members of the complainant, the appraiser and any third par- D. Rex Bryce, Chair ties to the complaint. The investigator may obtain RexMaryBryce@aol.com guidance from both Appraisal Board members and Peter Goold, Vice Chair regional advisors during the course of the investiga- firstname.lastname@example.org tion. The regional advisors may also be utilized as third party review appraisers. Robert E. Galliher REGAPPR@aol.com —After the investigation is completed, the Depart- Wilson Kimball ment reviews and evaluates the evidence to determine email@example.com appropriate action to be taken for settlement of the Dominick S. Pompeo matter. firstname.lastname@example.org Jack Rose —If disciplinary action is recommended against the email@example.com appraiser, the complaint is forwarded to the Department’s counsel to prepare for an administra- Matthew Smith tive hearing. This hearing could result in either the firstname.lastname@example.org issuance of a fine, a suspension, or a revocation of an appraiser’s license or state certification. Overview of Real Estate Appraiser Real Estate Appraisers Complaint Process Certified General Real Estate Appraiser 1,490 The Department is planning meetings with re- gional advisors and Board members in an effort to Certified Residential Real Estate Appraiser 1,805 improve the current complaint process. By utiliz- ing the Board’s experience and expertise, the De- Licensed Real Estate Appraiser 391 partment will be able to expedite the handling of future complaints. All complaints are currently re- Real Estate Appraiser Assistant 1,963 ceived in our New York City Complaint Review Unit (CRU) and the investigation proceeds in the Total 5,649 following manner: —The complaint is assigned a case number. A confir- mation letter, including the case number, is sent to the complainant. A copy of the complaint is sent to the appraiser, who is asked to respond in writing and to provide any supporting documentation. USPAP Reminder —If a response is received, a CRU investigator reviews All real estate appraisers with a li- the information and determines if the complaint has cense or certification expiring on or merit or should be dismissed. after January 1, 2004 must have com- pleted the seven hour national USPAP —If the appraiser fails to respond, or if there are any out- update course in order to renew their standing issues or possible violations, the file is referred to license. the Enforcement Unit. Personal Safety, Risk Reduction, and Broker Liability As real estate professionals, we are trained to pro- It’s also important to trust your ‘gut’ instinct. As mote ourselves in every imaginable way. We put our professionals we are trained to look for the signals picture, our home phone number, our voice mail, and when someone is ready to buy. The way they move even our web site on everything from business cards around the property, or the comments they make to billboards. And yet, are we aware of the increased are good indicators. By the same token, learn to risks with this line of work? Only when another real look for the signals that may be warning signs. For estate professional falls victim to an attack do we think example, take notice if a customer is insistent upon of all the close calls we’ve experienced. And, more a particular meeting time, or little time is spent talk- of us are becoming victimized. ing about the property and more is spent talking about other things; while such unfocused behavior There are not many professions like real estate doesn’t necessarily indicate trouble, upon noting it, where we are often showing properties alone. We even you should be cautious. encourage sellers to leave the house before we arrive. And, how many willingly jump into a car with a po- There are only a handful of other businesses that tential buyer? Or, hand out business cards with our are taught to market themselves the way we do. We home phone number? need to identify the higher risk factors. Some rec- ommended tips that should become part of your The risk factors are many and need to be recog- everyday business routine include: nized to avoid any potential danger. One of the first steps in reducing risk of personal harm is to – Don’t list your home phone number on your busi- develop a “Business Action Plan”. The Plan should ness cards or other material. have policies and procedures that everyone should – Don’t do personal profile ads in the newspaper. become familiar with and help establish guidelines – If farming an unfamiliar area, go with someone. if a situation were to arise. Some things recom- – Use the ‘buddy’ system at open houses and when mended: showing vacant property. – Meet the customer at the office first. AT THE OFFICE: – Carry pepper spray or a whistle. – Develop an action plan specific to your area. – Learn how to defend yourself using your every- – Know your co-workers and look out for each day materials. other. – Create a “buddy” system. Brokers should take aggressive action to set up a – Post emergency numbers at every phone. business plan for their and their agents’ safety. Additionally, information and ideas may be gleaned BUSINESS SAFETY CHECKLIST: from a number of sources. The New York State – Consider having prospects sign in and show some Department of State approves continuing education form of identification. courses which deal with this subject matter. You –When leaving for an appointment, leave specific may call (518) 486-3803 for a course listing. details with your office on where you will be going, what time the appointment is for, and how long you expect to be. – When finished with your appointment, make contact with your office as soon as possible. – Ride separately from the customer when showing property. – Dress for quick action. – Establish a “buddy” system. – Carry items to help protect you just in case.