Pursuant to New York law, brokers and their associated licensees must be in compliance with the standardized operating procedures law (or SOP law) enacted by the New York State Department of State, and once amended.  

This requires a real estate broker to provide specific guidance to prospective purchases regarding three questions (FORM NOTARIZED BELOW):

  1. whether prospective clients shall show identification. ANSWER: Yes, clients will need to show identification in the form of a DMV-issued card (whether driver’s license or identification card), or a lesser-restrictive method that is acceptable under the laws and regulations enacted or promulgated by New York, Department of State, or another governing agency.  The failure to be able to provide identification will not be a grounds for denial to work with our office.  This office does not handle commercial real estate transactions and therefore identification for businesses is not addressed as it is outside the purview of what we handle.
  2. whether an exclusive broker agreement is required. ANSWER: Yes for sellers, an exclusive listing agreement will be required.  The terms of same may be negotiated and must be resolved before representation formally started and the house is listed. ANSWER: No for buyers, there is no requirement to continue using our services to find your home or property.  We would appreciate that, if you are unhappy with our services, that you express same before switching to another broker in order for us to correct a deficiency.  While we do not require an exclusive agreement for buyers, there are ethical considerations for another broker that–after we have represented you to find your dream home–if that broker comes in to collect, steal, or otherwise prevents from collecting such commission, there could be ethical consequences; we reserve the right to pursue any ethical issues or legal remedies for tortious interference with a contract, notwithstanding there to be no requirement to sign an exclusive agreement with our office, inasmuch as there are still equitable rights absent contractual obligations.
  3. whether pre-approval for a mortgage loan is required.  ANSWER: No, we can help you get pre-approval by answering your questions and referring you to mortgage brokers (we are not a mortgage broker or originator).  There is no requirement to be pre-approved, and we do not charge to help you work with different banks to find one.  If you are, however, denied pre-approval from three or more banks, we would likely be unable to continue to represent you if you are not able to secure funding for your purchase.  However, that will be considered on a case-by-case basis, and we will consider other avenues you may have to secure funding, including public programs.
  4. other: PLEASE BE ADVISED, right now we are really only representing family and friends, or individuals personally known to us.  This is a side job and not my primary job.  I also have limited experience and I am learning the real estate field.  Therefore, while we will gladly help direct members of the general public to other realtors who may be able to assist them, right now as we learn the process, I am handling matters with known family, friends, and colleagues.