Blog

Commission Meeting of July 1 7 2019

Key reports, issues, and decisions of interest to licensees and/or the public are reported here from the most recent Commission meetings:

Commission Meeting of July 17, 2019

Pending Cases: The Commission accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of one license; entered into consent agreements to suspend five licenses; following a hearing, denied the application for reinstatement of one broker license; reconsidered its decision to require one licensee to complete the Commission’s Issues and Answers Course and instead ordered that the Consent Order addendum be amended to include a course on agency; and ordered hearings involving seven licensees.

License Applications Involving Character Issues: Applications for licenses from persons who have character issues such as prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action by another licensing board are separately reviewed by the Commission. Decisions are made based upon criminal background checks, information supplied by the applicant, and in-person interviews.
Total candidates reviewed: 18; total approved: 11.

License Examination Results: A summary of key data relating to persons taking the examination for the first time is provided below:


Individuals Tested for the First Time

Took prelicense course

Hold license from another state


June 2019

July 2018 through June 2019


June 2019

July 2018 through June 2019

# Tested

534

6896

18

258

% Pass both sections

58%

56%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

89%

81%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

60%

59%

56%

41%



H770/S.L. 2019-91: Staff reported that House Bill 770, “Freedom to Work/Occupation Licensing Board Reform,” had passed the legislature and is now Session Law 2019-91. The Commission authorized staff to proceed with the temporary and regular rulemaking process related to the required character predetermination process, with the understanding that the Commission will review draft text at its next meeting, and a public hearing held later in the year in accordance with the requirements of the law.

Report on Broker, Firm, School, Sponsor, and Timeshare Renewals and Reinstatements: Staff reported that as of June 30, 2019, 94% of licensees (103,457) had renewed their licenses, as compared with 92% the prior year, and 94% the year before that. Staff noted as of July 17, 2019, the Commission has 104,714 total licensees. Staff reported that out of the 38 Timeshare Projects, 32 renewed by June 30, 2019, and 30 of the 32 renewed online. The Commission also received data on private school licenses, public school approvals, continuing education sponsor approvals, and instructor approvals.

CE Student Survey Report FY2019-20: Staff reviewed with the Commission the results of surveys of Continuing Education students conducted throughout the year and informed the Commission that the report will be provided annually in July.

Emerging Trends: Chair-elect Jeffery Malarney shared with the Commission an article from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University concerning the relationship between startups and regulators.

Report on License Numbers: The Commission was advised that as of July 1, 2019, there are 103,557 brokers and firms licensed by the Commission, as follows:

Next Commission Meeting: The next Commission meeting will be held at 9:00 a.m., Wednesday, August 14, 2019, at Raleigh, North Carolina and is open to the public.

Opioid Crisis

We are partnering to support More Powerful NC, a public education campaign that launches this week to raise awareness about the opioid epidemic and empower North Carolinians to take action to address the crisis in their homes, neighborhoods, and communities.

The More Powerful NC campaign is supported by a coalition of North Carolina businesses, healthcare organizations, and state agencies that helped create, fund, and provide resources for this campaign, which was initiated by Attorney General Josh Stein and DHHS Secretary Mandy Cohen.

The campaign website, www.MorePowerfulNC.org, helps people understand the risks associated with opioids and provides treatment and recovery resources. The website also gives people a wide range of tools and ideas to get involved in their communities and be part of our work to confront the epidemic.

We hope that you will take the time to visit the More Powerful NC website, take the pledge to take action, and share the campaign website with friends and family. You can also share the social media post below to help others learn about the campaign (and don’t forget to use the hashtag #MorePowerfulNC).

The only way we can combat this epidemic is if we all step up and do our part. Together, we are stronger than the opioid crisis.

Wire Fraud in Real Estate Closings

      News

Highjacked real estate wire transfers resulted in losses of more than $56 million in 2017 alone.   

How are cyber criminals intercepting real estate funds?  Take a look at this video from NAR for important information brokers should know.

https://www.nar.realtor/videos/cyber-crime-cyber-security-and-the-real-estate-professional

New Disclosure Required for Applications and Renewals

      News

Effective January 1, 2018, as required by the NC state legislature in NCGS § 143-765, all applicants for occupational licenses, including license renewal, must disclose any investigations for employee misclassification.

**NCGS § 143-765 applies to applications for and renewals of all occupational licenses, permits, and certifications, so the certification and disclosure statements will be required during the license renewal process of existing licensees. License renewal occurs annually between May 15 and June 30.  Due to the new requirement, every licensee will be required to complete the renewal process individually.  Brokers-in-Charge will not be able to renew the licenses of affiliated brokers.** 

All North Carolina Real Estate Commission applications — including broker, firm, limited nonresident commercial, and private school licenses, temporary practice permits, and timeshare registrations — have been updated to be in compliance with the new law.

All applicants must certify that they have read and understand a Public Notice Statement from the Employee Classification Section of the State Industrial Commission (http://www.ic.nc.gov/121317ECSPublicNotice.pdf) and must disclose any investigations for employee misclassification.  If an applicant does not provide the certification and disclosure, the NC Real Estate Commission is not permitted to process the application.  Contact information for questions and inquiries is provided on the Public Notice Statement.

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)

      News

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

      News


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

      News

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.