Key reports, issues, and decisions of interest to licensees and/or the public are reported here from the most recent Commission meeting:
Commission Meeting of November 8, 2023
Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 14 licenses, accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of 4 licenses, accepted the voluntary surrender of 1 license, seek 1 injunctive relief, denied the issuance of 1 license, continued consideration of 3 licensees, reprimanded 2 licensees, closed cases without action against 6 licensees, left cases pending involving 5 licensees, and ordered hearings in cases involving 13 licensees.
License Applications Involving Character Issues: License applicants who have character issues such as prior criminal convictions or disciplinary actions by another licensing board are separately considered by the Commission. Decisions are made based upon criminal background checks, information supplied by the applicant, and in-person interviews.
Total candidates considered: 12, total approved: 4, total approved with conditions: 2, continued: 4, and deferred: 2.
License Examination Results: If you are interested in reviewing the most recent statistics and pass rates regarding the North Carolina broker license examination, click here: License Examination Results
Financial Report: The Commission received and reviewed the monthly Financial Report presented by the Chief Financial Officer for the period ending October 31, 2023.
Legislative Report: The Director of Regulatory Affairs reviewed the Legislative Report, summarizing bills that are currently pending in the General Assembly that relate to real estate brokerage, occupational licensing, or other matters of interest to the Commission. S761, Additional General Assembly Appointment, passed into law extending Mr. Ramseur’s term from June 30, 2026, to July 31, 2026.
Donovan v. Excel Property Management, et al.; 23-CVS-001591: The Special Deputy Attorney General for the North Carolina Department of Justice provided a report on the case Donovan v. Excel Property Management, et al.; 23-CVS-001591 noting that they appeared in New Hanover Superior Court on Tuesday, November 7, on behalf of the Commission and the judge dismissed the case against the Commission as well as the other two named defendants.
Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement (RPOADS): The Executive Director provided an overview of the rulemaking process relating to the RPOADS rule, 21 NCAC 58A .0114, and presented a revised version of the Disclosure Statement for the Commission’s consideration. Upon the motion of Ms. O’Connor, the Commission voted to continue the RPOADS discussion to the December meeting.
General and BIC Update Course Topics: The Legal Education Officer reviewed a preliminary list of possible 2024-2025 Update Course topics based upon suggestions provided by Commission members, staff, licensees, and educators. Mr. Bullard, Mr. Aceto, and Ms. O’Connor commended the Director of Education & Licensing, the Legal Education Officer, and the Education Division on the amount of work that went into the 2023-2024 Update courses to make them both engaging and enjoyable for brokers and instructors. Mr. Black requested that unlicensed activity be added to the list of possible topics for the 2024-2025 Update Courses. The Legal Education Officer will send a survey to the members to rank their preferred topics for inclusion in next year’s Update Courses. Mr. Lindsey requested that competency in specialty practice areas, licensee conduct, agency formation, how to read disciplinary actions, and how to communicate with the Commission also be added to the list of topics for the GenUp, and to the BICUP, provisional broker/BIC supervision. Mr. Lindsey commended the Director of Education & Licensing and the Legal Education Officer on their recent presentation to BICs in Charlotte noting that it was extremely well received and attended. Mr. Bullard inquired whether the Commission should be prepared to address the issue of agency compensation in light of the recent litigation against the National Association of REALTORS®. The Executive Director stated that North Carolina is in a better position than many other states because of its existing rule requiring agency disclosure, including written buyer agency agreements. Staff will monitor the litigation and report to the Commission if changes and/or education is needed. The Legal Education Officer noted that Law and Rules and Licensing and Education are standing topics each year, and that an approved instructor requested that current complaints/FAQs be a third standing topic as well. Standing topics will limit available time in the four-hour courses for other topics. Mr. Black asked the Legal Education Officer to let the members know of overlapping topics to help them with ranking their preferences.
Spring Educators Conference: The Director of Education & Licensing provided a preliminary budget for the Spring Educators Conference scheduled for March 19, 2024, at the McKimmon Center at North Carolina State University. The budget for the conference previously approved by the Commission was $25,000. The Director of Education & Licensing proposed a registration fee of $49.00. Upon the motion from Mr. Lindsey, the Commission accepted the proposed budget for the Spring Educators Conference with a registration fee of $49.00.
License Examination Transition and Item Writing Workshops: The Director of Education & Licensing reported that staff in both Education and Licensing and IT are working to make a smooth transition for license examination services from PSI to Pearson Vue in February. One significant change will be 60 state examination questions instead of 40. A number of Item Writing Workshops have been scheduled with instructors to generate test questions. Sixty-four instructors are involved in the eight Item Writing Workshops. Each day, questions are drafted for a different section of the exam. There has been great collaboration with the instructors and the Director commended the Education and Examination Officer on their work on the Item Writing Workshops.
November Education Town Hall: The Director of Education & Licensing reported that 60 instructors attended the November 6 Education Town Hall. Great feedback was received on the Item Writing Workshops. The educators also discussed topics such as forms training and mediation training. All of the Town Halls for 2024 are scheduled from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. via Zoom and will take place on January 11, April 9, July 23, and October 8. Ms. O’Connor commended the Director of Education & Licensing and the Legal Education Officer on the response and interaction they had with the instructors and education providers.
Report on License Numbers: As of November 1, 2023, there are 124,563 brokers and firms licensed by the Commission, as follows:
Active Brokers 83,474
Active Provisional Brokers 5,266
BIC Eligible Brokers 6,081
Inactive Full Brokers 23,907
Inactive Provisional Brokers 6,851
Limited Nonresident Commercial Brokers 240
Next Commission Meeting: The next Commission meeting will be held at 9:00am, Wednesday, December 13, 2023, in the Commission’s office in Raleigh and is open to the public. It can be viewed via Zoom online video.
NCREEA Fall Conference
NCREC recently attended the 2023 North Carolina Real Estate Educators Association (NCREEA) Fall Conference in Winston-Salem, and presented Commission and Legal Updates. The Conference was well attended and offered education opportunities for instructors to improve their technology and gamification in the classroom, a parade of ideas from experienced instructors, and sessions on creating elective courses, making a difference and more. Congratulations to Matt Davies who was installed as President of NCREEA, and award winners Cheryl Sain – 2023 Program of the Year, and Melea Lemon – 2023 Instructor of the Year.
Is due diligence refundable?
NCREC often receives questions about due diligence fees and if they are refundable. Standard form 2-T Paragraph 1(i) states the Due Diligence Fee shall be non-refundable except in certain specific events. These are material breach of the contract by the seller under Paragraph 8 (“Seller Obligations”) or Paragraph 12 (“Delay in Settlement/Closing”), damage or destruction to the property under Paragraph 11 (“Condition of Property/Risk of Loss”), or in accordance with any addendum attached to the contract. A buyer and broker should closely examine the specific contract they are considering using to understand their rights and remedies related to due diligence fees.
You are invited!
The monthly Real Estate Commission meetings are always open to the public, and you are invited to attend in person or online via Zoom. The next meeting is tomorrow, November 8th here at the Commission building. A Zoom link will be available at ncrec.gov on the day of the meeting.