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Free Webinar on Wire Fraud in Real Estate Transactions

      News

There will be a free lunch webinar on wire fraud in real estate transactions sponsored by the Best Practices Task Force compromised of members from the NC Bar Association Real Property Section, RELANC and the NC Land Title Association.  Funding for the program is provided by RELANC and this link has details and directions on how to register:

http://mailchi.mp/58baf282792e/webinar-invitation-from-relanc-protecting-your-clients-from-cyber-fraud?e=d23bafb629

Two articles on the subject may also be of interest:

Best Practices to Prevent Interception of Incoming Wires:

http://files.constantcontact.com/a6ab3bd5401/d115d05c-d5de-459d-aff0-b94d976fd325.pdf

Best Practices for Outgoing Wires:

http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Wire-Instruction-Fraud-Continues-to-Plague-NC-Lawyers.html?soid=1118263556714&aid=wQQ2Rx1p6hU

Noncommercial Underground Storage Tanks (USTs)

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The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and Environmental Management Commission (EMC) have given preliminary approval to proposed temporary rules addressing noncommercial underground storage tanks (USTs).  A public hearing is scheduled for Monday, July 31, 2017. For information about what is considered a noncommercial UST, what to do in case of a possible leak or spill, and who to contact for more information, see DEQ’s summary and flow chart .

It’s June 1! Have you completed CE, yet?

      News

To maintain an Active license, all brokers must complete eight (8) hours of continuing education by 11:59pm on June 10 each year.   Provisional Brokers and non-BIC Brokers must take the General Update course and one Commission-approved elective. BICs and BIC-Eligible Brokers should take the BICUP (Broker-in-Charge Update) course and one Commission-approved elective. See Commission Rule 58A .1702.

Reminder:  It’s also time to renew your license.  Visit the Commission’s homepage (www.ncrec.gov) to renew your individual, firm, or limited nonresident commercial license.  Renewing online takes less than 5 minutes. The deadline for license renewal is June 30.

Corean E. Hamlin Named Real Estate Commission Director of Education and Licensing

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Corean E. Hamlin has been named Director of Education and Licensing for the North Carolina Real Estate Commission, effective December 14, 2016.

Hamlin joined the Commission as Education and Licensing Officer in 2014.

Hamlin holds a Master’s Degree from UNC-Greensboro and the Distinguished Real Estate Instructor (DREI) designation from the Real Estate Educators Association.

After a decade as a professional educator in other industries, Hamlin entered the real estate business, joining her family’s Asheville-based real estate firm as a residential sales broker in 2003.  From 2007-2014, Hamlin served as Instructor, Education Director, and Communication Director for the Asheville Board of Realtors®.  Additionally, she taught real estate prelicensing, postlicensing, and continuing education courses at Cumbie and Trull School of Real Estate from 2010-2014.

The primary responsibility of the Director of Education and Licensing is to plan and direct the Commission’s education, examination, and licensing programs and operations on a statewide basis.

Realtor® Code of Ethics Training Requirement

      News

Are you a member of the Realtor® organization?  If so, you may need to take an ethics course before the end of this year.

As explained on realtor.org: REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than 2 hours, 30 minutes of instructional time within four-year cycles. The training must meet specific learning objectives and criteria established by the National Association of REALTORS®. The current four-year cycle will end Dec. 31, 2016.

Realtor®-members: To learn more about the ethics training requirement or to determine whether you need to take an ethics course, please contact your Realtor® board or association.

Brokers frequently contact the Real Estate Commission to inquire about ethics training.  However, ethics training is required by the Realtor® organization, not the Commission.  Only Realtor®-members are subject to the requirement.

NOTE: Some North Carolina real estate schools offer online and classroom-based ethics courses that satisfy the Realtor® requirement AND provide continuing education elective credit.  Click HERE to search the statewide continuing education course schedule.

Safety Tip: Implement a buddy system

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Implement a buddy system. Predators thrive on isolation, so team up with another broker or an assistant whenever possible. Working in pairs often reduces the chance of attack. What if you are a one person office? All the more reason to gather and verify personal information about the consumer before meeting him or her the first time and to leave an itinerary with a friend, family member, or partner, or at the very least, a note on your desk.

For these and other important broker safety tips, view the Commission’s Safety video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h0gydUSeZU ); North Carolina Real Estate Agency Safety Guide brochure (https://www.ncrec.gov/Brochures/Safetyguide.pdf); and www.realtor.org/safety.

Safety Tip: Conduct safe personal marketing

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Conduct safe personal marketing and be careful how you use social media. Keep your photos strictly professional – avoid “glamour shots.” Limit the amount of personal information you share, both in written media as well as in your oral conversations with clients or customers. Control the privacy settings in your social media accounts, including the geolocation features.

Note: Many social networking sites will share your precise location with others unless you disable that feature.

For these and other important broker safety tips, view the Commission’s Safety video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h0gydUSeZU ); North Carolina Real Estate Agency Safety Guide brochure (https://www.ncrec.gov/Brochures/Safetyguide.pdf); and www.realtor.org/safety.

Safety Tip: Have a fully charged cell phone readily available

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September is broker safety month. Be sure that you have a fully charged cell phone and have it readily available – not in your purse or pocket.  Program “911” and other emergency numbers into speed dial. Consider using a safety mobile app on your smart phone; several are available – some created especially for real estate brokers – and can do everything from instantly alerting others to accessing your GPS coordinates to requesting help.

For these and other important broker safety tips, view the Commission’s Safety video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h0gydUSeZU ); North Carolina Real Estate Agency Safety Guide brochure (https://www.ncrec.gov/Brochures/Safetyguide.pdf); and www.realtor.org/safety.

Mike Gray Named Part of Award-Winning Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force

      News

The International Association of Financial Crimes Investigators (IAFCI) has selected as its Task Force of the Year Operation Wax House, a Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force including Michael B. Gray, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s Chief Financial Fraud Investigator.  The award was presented to the Task Force and Mr. Gray at the IAFCI annual conference in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on August 30, 2016.

IAFCI is a non-profit international organization providing services and an environment within which information about financial fraud, fraud investigation, and fraud prevention methods can be collected, exchanged and taught.  It provides investigators with national and international investigative capabilities to establish effective financial crime programs.  There are chapters across the US, Canada, Europe, Central and South America, Africa and Asia, and members include all levels of law enforcement, prosecution, security and other segments of the financial transaction industry.  They provide training and information about financial crimes and a network to track individuals internationally.

Operation Wax House was involved in the investigation and prosecution of a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme out of the Waxhaw, North Carolina area.   Mr. Gray’s work has been instrumental in this and other mortgage fraud investigations, increasing the Commission’s ability to make a difference in situations in which licensed real estate brokers have actively participated in fraud.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission would like to thank IAFCI for their consideration of this Task Force and the United States Attorney’s Office, Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division, for working with Commission staff to fight mortgage fraud in North Carolina

Broker-in-Charge Update Course, Commercial Version 2015-2016 Wins ARELLO® Continuing Education Award

      News

The ARELLO® Education Certification Committee has selected the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s Broker-in-Charge Update Course, Commercial Version 2015-2016 for a Continuing Education Award. The award will be presented at the Annual Conference in Vancouver, BC on September 23, 2016.

The awards are presented each year in recognition of outstanding systems and educational programs that contribute to the real estate industry, promote public protection and might be adapted to benefit licensees and consumers in other ARELLO® member jurisdictions. Courses are evaluated on the basis of concept, methodology, quality and benefits to the targeted audience.

The Broker-in-Charge Update Course, Commercial Version 2015-2016, represents a collaborative, public-private partnership between the Commission and two commercial real estate professionals to create a commercial version of the Broker-in-Charge Update course. For the previous 15 years, Ms. Cindy Chandler, CCIM, CRE, Commission Member and Mr. Garth Dunklin, JD, CCIM, CRE, have modified the Commission’s annual Update courses to target a historically underserved segment of the active brokerage community (commercial brokers) by providing dynamic commercial brokerage curriculum content and examples. This course emphasizes practical information and education that can be immediately used in commercial real estate brokerage practice.

This course provides multiple benefits for attending brokers. Among these are direct and specific answers to difficult and complicated questions regarding new settlement disclosures, sales of vacation rentals, changes in Commission rules, contracts, and addenda (both residential and commercial), real estate agent safety, licensing and education reviews, handling complaints, handling trust monies, and broker-in-charge requirements, all from a commercial brokerage perspective.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission would like to thank the ARELLO® Education Certification Committee for their time in reviewing and awarding the 2016 Continuing Education Award for the Broker-in-Charge Update Course, Commercial Version 2015-2016.