Standardized Operating Procedures

About Us Image
Rules & Regulations

The SOP Law Chapter Amendment allows the New York State Department of State (the DOS) to hold public hearings and provide additional regulatory guidance on the SOP Law's obligations. The Department of State has decided not to hold public hearings or add further requirements to the SOP Law at this time (but the DOS has reserved the right to do so in the future). The law's effective date is also extended until April 20, 2022, according to the Chapter Amendment.

A real estate broker is required under the SOP Law to provide particular assistance to prospective purchasers on these three questions:

  • Is it necessary for potential clients to show identification?
  • Is it necessary to have an exclusive broker agreement?
  • Is it necessary to obtain pre-approval for a home loan?

To be clear, a real estate broker is under no obligation to request any of these three items. The real estate broker's only responsibility is to inform buyers if they will need one, two, or all three of these items.

A real estate broker, for example, could write a policy (the "Broker's Procedures") that states: "Please be informed that prior to showing a purchaser a property:

  • We do not ask a prospective buyer to provide identification.
  • We do not demand a buyer to sign an exclusive brokerage agreement.
  • To show buyers properties, we do not demand a pre-approval for mortgage financing.

Accordingly, real estate brokers should:

  • Decide which, if any, of the aforementioned items each prospective buyer will be required to provide.
  • Publicize the Broker's Procedures by putting them on any public-facing websites and/or mobile applications that the broker maintains.
  • Ensure that any of the broker's individual agents or teams who have public-facing websites or mobile apps also have the Broker's Procedures posted on them.
  • Should make a "hardcopy" of the Broker's Procedures and make them available to prospective buyers upon request at each office location.
  • Keep all copies of the many iterations of the Broker's Procedures indefinitely to illustrate what procedures were required at different times and when they were updated.
If the Broker's Procedures are changed or updated, they must be date stamped, notarized, and posted to public-facing websites and mobile apps within 30 days of the change. To know more, click here