Legislative News

View from Annapolis – REALTOR® Priorities by The Numbers 

Looking for an update on our 2023 REALTOR® Priority Legislation? Look no further! Our advocacy priorities for both industry operations and housing supply are making their way through the General Assembly: 

Return of Earnest Money Deposits 

HB 1235 (Del. Melissa Wells), Rules and Executive Nominations; Hearing Date: TBD 

SB 651 (Sen. Jill Carter), Judicial Proceedings; Hearing Date: February 28, 1:00 PM  

When a real estate transaction falls apart, disputes can arise over who should receive the deposit money, even if the buyers properly exercise contract contingencies. Their funds can be held up for long periods of time through seller inaction, preventing lower-income and first-time buyers from moving forward with another transaction. This legislation, based upon existing PA law, would automatically return deposit funds to the buyer unless the seller acts to object. 

Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) Task Force 

HB 239 (Del. Jeffrie Long), Environment & Transportation; Hearing Date: February 7, 1:00 PM 

SB 382 (Sen. Mary Washington), Education, Energy, and the Environment; Hearing Date: February 21, 1:00 PM 

 ADUs are small, independent housing units located on existing residential lots. Local zoning codes dictate where, how or if ADUs can be constructed. REALTORS® supports legislation to remove local barriers to ADU production so that we can begin to address our housing shortage. 

 Continuing Education for New Real Estate Licensees  

HB 662 (Del. Mike Rogers), Economic Matters; Hearing Date: February 21, 1:00 PM 

SB 443 (Sen. Ben Brooks), Education, Energy, and the Environment; Hearing Date: February 21, 1:00 PM 

 Maryland REALTORS® supports requiring specific coursework in the first renewal period after a real estate license is received. New licensees undergo training in broad concepts during their pre-licensing coursework but do not receive much practical training on day-to-day real estate activities. This would require new licensees to receive instruction in contract writing, disclosures, addenda, and professionalism in their first two years. 

Broker Licensing and Succession 

HB 1225 (Del. Seth Howard), Economic Matters; Hearing Date: February 21, 1:00 PM  

Real estate licensees must operate under the supervision of a real estate broker. When that broker dies or has an illness preventing them from operating the brokerage, the code outlines a process to replace them. Recently, there have been situations where the existing process has broken down and a new broker cannot be named. This bill would allow the company to petition the Real Estate Commission to name a new broker. 

 Insurance Reform for Cottage Condos 

HB 98 (Del. Steve Arentz), Environment & Transportation; Hearing Date: January 26, 1:00 PM 

SB 403 (Sen. Stephen Hershey), Judicial Proceedings; Hearing Date: February 16, 1:00 PM 

 Some Maryland counties allow condominiums to be developed as detached cottages on a single parcel. Though functioning like HOAs, the Maryland code has not been updated to reflect these new housing types. This bill allows cottage condos to insure only the shared elements of the property, such as HOAs. 

Fiscal Analysis of Housing Affordability 

HB 619 (Del. Schmidt), Rules and Executive Nominations; Hearing Date TBD 

Laws and regulations can make housing less affordable by limiting development or adding requirements for new homes. Policymakers should account for those impacts when considering legislative changes. This bill would require a similar analysis outlining the effects on housing affordability and supply.