Housing Opportunity Certification

What Is HOC?  

The Housing Opportunity Certification (HOC) is designed to enhance REALTORS® training on workforce and affordable housing finance programs to better assist consumers in their efforts to become homeowners.   


After completing the four required classes, you will: 

  • Expand your knowledge and expertise on local, state, federal and national programs available for low/no down payment, closing cost grants, extended term mortgages, and other special incentives; 
  • Understand how to clearly explain the applications of credit to clients; 
  • Have your name placed on a revolving referral list on the Maryland Homeownership website. 

The HOC program is not affiliated or endorsed by the National Association of REALTORS®. 

How to Earn the HOC? 

Earning this popular certification requires completion of the following four core classes belowYou can take them all at once or separatelyThere is no exam and Maryland REALTORS® does not charge for the classes or certification Classes are provided by local boards and associationsThere may be some materials or facility costs associated with certain classes or locations. Once you have completed all four classes, MD REALTORS® will provide the certificationAfter the HOC certification is obtained, you remain certified for approximately 2 years. 

Core Classes 

FEDERAL PROGRAMS AND NATIONAL INITIATIVES (Course #1025-1604, Category F Professional Enhancement, 1.5 hours) includes information on programs and new regulations for HUD/FHA/VA/USDA, as well as national private sector/guaranty programs.  

 STATE AND LOCAL PROGRAMS (Course #1024-1604, Category F Professional Enhancement, 1.5 hours) provides fundamentals about state and local programs available for low/no down payment, closing cost grants, extended term mortgages, as well as other tax credits, plus government resources for homeownership education and counseling. The course also provides an overview of Maryland REALTORS® consumer website www.maryland homeownership.com. 

 MARYLAND MORTGAGE PROGRAM & MARYLAND HOMECREDIT PROGRAM (Course #1027-1604, Category F Professional Enhancement, 1.5 hours) leads with a comprehensive discussion of the various Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) mortgage products and programs including qualifications, income guidelines, and special incentive areas.  

UNDERSTANDING CREDIT (Course #1026-1604, Category F; Professional Enhancement, 1.5 hours) is an introduction to the world of credit and credit reports and answers the questions from learning who the main credit agencies are and how do they calculate scores, to the understanding of what this means and how REALTORS® can educate their clients. 

Renewal Requirements: 

To renew your certification, you must take the Maryland Mortgage Program & Maryland Homecredit Program and one of the following courses: 

  1. One other core HOC Course (as described above)
  2. NAR Bias Override 
  3. Freddie Mac CreditSmart® Coach
  4. NAR At Home With Diversity 

How to Find a Class: 

Interested in having a class in your area? Ask your local board/association to host a class series or check the Maryland REALTORS® education calendar to see where classes are being held.