New York Senate Updates Real Estate “Sellers” Act to Gender Inclusive
According to the New York State Association of Realtors, 64% of New York REALTORSÂ® are female, but NYS law only refers to males in law
Senator Kaplan’s bill updates state real estate law to replace word “seller” with “seller” and updates pronouns to be gender neutral
CARLE PLACE, NY (May 11, 2021) – The New York State Senate passed a law today, S.536, introduced by Senator Anna M. Kaplan (D-North Hills), which will update the nearly century-old section of the Real Estate Sellers Act, striking out dated and gender-specific language, and replacing it with neutral language. The bill will now go to the State Assembly, where it was introduced by Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell (D-Morningside Heights).
The underlying section of the Real Estate Act, drafted in 1927, which regulates the real estate brokerage and sales professions, currently includes 85 references to “sellers” and dozens of examples of gender pronouns like him, him. and his. The law only refers to a “seller” in two places and makes no reference to “sellers”.
Senator Anna M. Kaplan stated that “Jobs have no gender, but unfortunately many laws in our state still use sexist language to discuss occupations that are practiced by people of all genders. It is important that we update these outdated sections of the law to reflect our New York values ââand send a message that everyone, regardless of gender, should be able to pursue their passions.
Assembly Member Danny O’Donnell said, “People of all professions deserve to feel valued, but the gendered language of our real estate law does not sufficiently consider the contributions of women and non-binary New Yorkers. We want our places to be. work reflect the diversity of New York, and the best way to achieve this goal is to ensure that all realtors feel they belong and that the profession is accessible. I thank Senator Kaplan for her leadership on this file and I look forward to presenting this bill to the Assembly.
The bill, S.536, will update Section 12-A of the Real Property Act by:
- Change all instances of the word seller to seller
- Remove gendered language from the article by removing references to “his” in favor of “their”, changing “himself” to “themselves”, as well as the appropriate changes in variations of these words.
According to studies by the New York State Association of Realtors (read here) and the National Association of Real Estate Agents (read here), men are actually a minority in the profession, with women making up 64% of real estate agents nationally and in New York State. By removing gender language from state real estate legislation, the law will finally reflect gender diversity in the real estate sales profession.