Clarification on ‘New State Laws’ Document

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August 18, 2022

Clarification on ‘New State Laws’ Document

The recently emailed “New State Laws Impacting Real Estate” included a typo in the summary of House Bill 1344 relative to the need for a power of attorney to execute a real estate contract on behalf of an owner. We want to clarify the legislation’s intent and meaning. 

Most importantly, licensees should be aware that existing state statute already prohibits a real estate licensee from signing contracts on behalf of a client without a power of attorney (RSA 564-E) The prime sponsor of HB 1344 was unaware of this existing prohibition when he introduced the bill. 

The legislature ultimately decided that it would be helpful to add language in RSA 331-A, the Real Estate Practice Act, to underscore the fact that a power of attorney must be obtained prior to a licensee signing a contract on behalf of a client. The new language will be included in RSA 331-A later this fall.

The key takeaway is that the bill has no practical impact other than to reiterate the need for a licensee to obtain a power of attorney. It is important to note that at no point during the legislative hearings was any claim brought by a member of the public, nor a legislator, that a licensee had signed a contract for the sale of property without first obtaining a power of attorney.

To read the full “New Laws Impacting Real Estate” document, click here.

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