Guest Viewpoint: Fake News: You Can No Longer Sell Homes Outside of the County in Which You Live

John Kope | April 2017

John Kope

Don’t worry! Don’t panic, the title of this article is “Fake News.” It is not true. However, a few years ago this, astonishingly, could have been true if not for the advocacy by the New York State Association of Realtors and your Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors. A New York State legislator had proposed a bill, which if passed, would have prevented Realtors from doing business outside of the county in which they live or in which their office is located.

Our New York State Realtor license, which allows us to do business, list and sell houses anywhere in New York State, would have in essence been legislated to be a Westchester County, Putnam County, Rockland County or Orange County only license.

Thanks to lobbying efforts of Realtors throughout New York State and the financial support offered to us through the Realtor Political Action Committee (RPAC), we were able to speak out against this proposal and prevent it from ever reaching the State Assembly or Senate floor.

Unfortunately, each year many bills are introduced by lawmakers at the local, state and national levels that affect our profession and that attack private property owner’s rights and thus directly impact our real estate industry.

On the state level we recently prevented the passage of several bills that would have negatively impacted Realtors and their businesses, such as the revival and expansion of cease-and-desist zones across the state; a burdensome bill that would have required broker signatures on all real estate documents and a bill that would have allowed a statewide increase in the Mortgage Recording Tax.

Of course, along with opposing issues that negatively affect us, we propose and support positive issues such as the New York First Home Program, which if adopted, would allow New Yorkers to save to help cover costs associated with buying a first home. The bill would allow first-time homebuyers to:

• Deposit up to $5,000 ($10,000 for couples) in after tax dollars annually;

• Receive a state income tax deduction on the principal;

• Apply the savings and any interest earned towards the purchase or construction of a first home in New York State.

What can you do to help? Join our “Calls to Action.” Join our Legislative Council. Join us on Lobby Day in Albany on Tuesday, May 23rd. Read your national, state and local Realtor publications, including HGAR’s Real Estate In-Depth, visit our a Advocacy page on  and please contribute to RPAC.

RPAC is one of the most non-partisan PACs in the United States. It contributes to the campaigns of House and Senate races on nearly a 50% basis to Democrats and Republicans, with a 94% win record.

A past NYSAR President said it well, “If you are not at the table you will be on the menu. We must be strong and active participants in the political process in Washington D.C., Albany and in our hometowns or face the dire consequences.”


John Kope
A REALTOR for 20 years, John has served, and continues to serve on multiple HGAR and NYSAR committees. He has chaired HGAR's Education Council and Legislative Council. A strong advocate for "Lobby Day", John has not missed this annual event in Albany. John was named HGAR REALTOR of the Year in 2010. He is with Dorothy Jensen Realty, Inc.