In answer to your question now that the Nation Wide Mortgage Lisc. System is in place it makes it easy to see what LO's are qualified and what the necessary qualifications are. Here is the link for NY
I know many Realtors who are well versed in the Mortgage process and it helps them be better at selling homes. Kind of like when someone gets a Major and a Minor in college.
I have taken Realtor classes as well as learned to read and decipher PA's and more than once I have "backed up" my Realtors or caught something before it wen to the underwriters.