Article 12-A of the Real Property Law of New York outlines the rules governing the buying and selling of real estate, including the requirements for agents who help facilitate these transactions. Under the law, a license from the New York Department of State Division of Licensing is mandatory for all real estate agents. Residents of Buffalo can fulfill all of the requirements for real estate licensing without having to leave the area.


The New York Department of State Division of Licensing requires all candidates for a real estate sales license to complete a 75-hour training course to qualify for credentialing. The state establishes the curriculum for the course, which includes laws, contracts, finance, land use and property insurance. In Buffalo, one school has state approval to provide the required agent course, the Cusack Center for Professional Development. The Cusack Center offers both two-week accelerated daylight and four-week night and weekend versions of the class. An online course is also available.


After completing the necessary training, prospective real estate agents in Buffalo must take a mandatory examination. The test is multiple-choice and covers all of the information included in the prelicensing training. Candidates have 90 minutes to complete the test. A minimum score of 70 percent is necessary to gain licensure. In Buffalo, the real estate sales examination is given at the State Office building on Court Street throughout the year. Registration for the test is done online at the New York Department of State Division of Licensing website.


Once they have passed the real estate sales examination, prospective agents in Buffalo must complete an application, which is available for download from the New York Department of State Division of Licensing Services website. The application requires candidates to provide information about their personal history; those found to owe back child support or to have been convicted of a crime may be ineligible for licensure. Candidates must also have a representative of the Cusack Center for Professional Development sign the application to verify that they successfully completed the required training. Along with the application, candidates must pay a fee, the amount of which was $50 as of March 2011.


Out-of-state residents who need to assist with the buying and selling of property in New York and already hold a real estate license from another state may qualify for licensing in New York without having to complete any additional testing or education. As of March 2011, New York had reciprocity agreements for agents with licenses from Connecticut, Georgia, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Applicants from all other states would need to meet the training and licensing requirements for initial licensing. To qualify for licensing under reciprocity, agents must have the approval of a licensed real estate broker in their state, complete an application and pay the state licensing fee.