Commission Meeting of December 13, 2023

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 December 13, 2023

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 13 licenses, accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of 5 licenses, accepted the voluntary surrender of 2 licenses, closed cases without action against 1 licensee, left cases pending involving 1 licensee, and ordered hearings in cases involving 6 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: 11, total approved: 3, total approved with conditions: 3, continued: 3, 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 November 30, 2023.

Residential Property and Owners’ Association Disclosure Statement (RPOADS): The Commission approved the Disclosure Statement language with the below revisions. The Commission then directed Staff to commence the RPOADS graphic design layout and present the draft for the Commission’s consideration. 

General and BIC Update Course Topics: The Legal Education Officer reviewed with the Commission the list of possible 2024-2025 Update Course topics recommended by the Commission members who answered the survey. The survey asked for the priority of topics from all the suggestions previously provided by the Commission members, staff, licensees, and educators. Upon the motion of Mr. Aceto, the Commission approved the topics for the 2024-2025 NCREC Update Courses, with the addition of succession plans and Fair Housing, along with some illustrative case studies. 

HBCU Outreach: The Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Officer reviewed the DEI program for calendar year 2023. The Commission members commended the DEI Officer on her work.

License Statistics: The Director of Education and Licensing reviewed the Broker License Issuance Report, noting the total broker licenses issued by month, the total broker original licenses issued, and the total broker licenses reinstated from December 2022 – November 2023. Mr. Lindsey requested that certain data become part of the Monthly Licensee Report in the Consent Agenda. Mr. Lindsey would also like to consider whether those brokers coming in to North Carolina without taking the exam require additional supervision from the BIC. Ms. O’Connor noted that every provisional broker requires unique supervision depending on the broker. Mr. Black asked that the rulemaking list for future consideration include a review of Rule 58A .0511 – Licensing of Persons Licensed in Another Jurisdiction. Mr. Lindsey commended the Director of Education and Licensing on the license statistics report.

Report on License Numbers: As of December 1, 2023, there are 125,394 brokers and firms licensed by the Commission, as follows:

Active Full Brokers 78,668

Active Provisional Brokers 5,207

Brokers-in-Charge 17,948

BIC Eligible Brokers 6,129

Inactive Full Brokers 17,116

Inactive Provisional Brokers 7,109

Firms 17,044

Limited Nonresident Commercial Brokers 250

Next Commission Meeting: The next Commission meeting will be held at 9:00am, Wednesday, January 17, 2024, in the Commission’s office in Raleigh and is open to the public. It can be viewed via Zoom online video.

December Updates #2


Technology and NCREC

Technology is ever evolving, and new tools are being used to assist with the ongoing demand for information. NCREC has been exploring the use of AI and has found it useful for idea generation and content creation.  While it is a useful tool and a time-saver, be aware that careful and thorough review of any created content is necessary to ensure accuracy.

Vacation Rental Fraud – Spring Break Scams

Each year, as Spring Break approaches, we see an increase in vacation rental property owners who are the victims of fraudulent activity. For instance, if a consumer books a vacation rental property for an underage child (typically, a teenager and their friends) for Spring Break, and allows the child to use the unit unsupervised, it could be considered fraud. Parents, relatives or others who may be tempted to gift their teenagers a beach vacation should be aware that intentionally renting a property for unsupervised use by an underage child is a violation of most rental agreements. Consequences that could follow include the property owners and management companies calling the police and/or terminating the vacation rental tenancy without refunding any monies or deposits to the tenant.

Participation in fraudulent activity can be a crime. The article, “Vacation Rental Fraud Scam Alert” provides examples on other vacation rental fraud scenarios and how to avoid them.

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 meeting next month is January 17th here at the Commission building.  A Zoom link will be available at on the day of the meeting.

Vacation Rental Fraud Scam Alert

By Tiffany Ross- Consumer Resource Officer

            Over the past year, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission has released several detailed scam alert articles, including Fake Seller / Fake Buyer Scam Alert, Notary Fraud / Deed Fraud Alert, Be Aware of Scam Sellers, and Rental Fraud Scam Alerts. In addition to these, NCREC, in conjunction with the North Carolina State Bar and Investors Title, hosted several Wire Fraud Conferences across the state. Vacation Rental Fraud is the latest scam that we want to educate consumers about.

Vacation Rental Scams

            Many vacation rental scammers use reputable vacation rental websites to advertise, so the scams are harder to spot. These scams affect both the vacation rental tenant, and the property owners, as bad actors will pose as either to run their scheme.  For those looking to rent a vacation property, there may be a fake listing where someone asks you to send money in advance as a deposit or full advance payment.  Additionally, scammers may hack the email accounts of actual property owners or managers and then contact legitimate travelers and request payments to be made providing different instructions from previous deposits paid. Beware of sending any funds without verifying the receiver is legitimate.

For owners looking to rent out their vacation property, there are several scams to be aware of, including fake guests that will send a fraudulent check for more than the rental rate, and then ask for a refund of the difference.  Real guests sometimes will stay and damage the property or plant insects in the property and claim it was damaged on arrival or infested.  Another example is parents knowingly renting  properties for their underage children for spring break without an adult being physically present to supervise and prevent damage to the property or underage consumption of alcohol.  Being aware of these scams and not falling for these tactics can prevent the loss of hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Action You Can Take:

  1. Never send money to someone online or electronically without verifying it is going to a legitimate place.  Do your research and independently contact and verify that the person or firm who will be holding any money is a real attorney, licensed real estate broker, or the true property owner.
  2. Be skeptical of anyone asking for money upfront before completing any paperwork or written or online agreement concerning the rental.  Make sure that you are communicating with the actual property owner or a licensed real estate broker.  Look up the property owner in public records for the county (typically through the tax department) and make sure to verify the identity of the person and their contact information.  To verify someone is a licensed real estate broker in NC, search the licensee look up page.   From this page, verify that their email and other contact information matches the advertisement.
  3. If you are scheduling your vacation rental through a well-known or reputable platform, don’t leave the main app or platform.  Any protection offered to users of the platform ends when communication or payments are made by any other means than the platform itself. 
  4. Search legitimate websites, or actual licensed real estate broker property management company websites for true vacation rental listings by licensed real estate professionals.
  5. Be especially cautious if you are asked to pay with wire transfers, mobile payment apps, crypto or similar methods.  If possible, use a credit card to make payments preferably with zero fraud liability for an added layer of protection.
  6. If you are an owner/property manager, change the access codes and/or WiFi passwords to the property after each guest.  Adjust your policies to be clear about who is required to be present during the rental term and any action that will be taken if unauthorized guests are found or if underage guests are left unsupervised.
  7. Don’t fall for urgent requests or offers that are too good to be true.  Decline offers that seem suspicious.  Look for the Red Flags listed below and beware of these tactics.

Red Flags That You May Be Dealing With a Fake Owner/Manager Scammer

  1. You can’t talk to an actual person, or they don’t want to answer your questions about the property or area/local attractions.
  2. The listing has typos or poor grammar.
  3. The price is too good to be true.
  4. Reviews and ratings are short or non-existent.
  5. They ask for rent, a security deposit, or other up-front money before signing a lease or agreement.
  6. There is no screening process or any attempt to verify identity of tenant.

What To Do If You Are Already a Victim Of a Vacation Rental Fraud Scam in NC

            If you responded to a fake ad and sent money, but never heard from the scammer again, contact the North Carolina Attorney General’s office to notify them of the scam and provide as much information as you can.  If the property is located outside North Carolina, contact the Attorney General’s office for that particular state.  You should also report the incident to the service or website you were using, and/or the actual owner/property manager if you were a tenant victim, as well as the Federal Trade Commission.  You can also contact local law enforcement (sheriff or police) and submit an internet crime complaint to the FBI to report the scam and see if there is any chance of recovery.

How You Can Protect Yourself or Your Clients

            If you work in vacation rental property management and have clients who rent their vacation properties to tenants, educate them on these dangers and assist them by enhancing your screening processes of potential vacation rental tenants.  If you are working with a vacation rental tenant, provide information like this article to help them avoid the scams and traps, and assist them with carefully verifying the vacation rental details.  Stay in contact with them, and make sure they are aware of the NC Vacation Rental Act. If you are considering a vacation rental, be sure to verify that the rental is legitimate and watch out for the red flags above to protect yourself in the process.

If you or your clients have a problem with a vacation rental, and a licensed real estate broker is involved, contact the Commission’s Regulatory Affairs Division at (919) 719-9180. If there are concerns about the actions of an unlicensed property owner managing their own property, or other unlicensed property management activity, contact this office and the Attorney General’s office (877) 566-7226.

December Updates


Newest Instructor Development Workshop Released

Last month, NCREC released our latest Instructor Development Workshop (IDW) for approved instructors to learn more about how to write exam items that accurately test student knowledge.  Writing Effective Exams is now available on the Commission’s education website

Warning to Brokers and Consumers to Beware of Unlicensed Activity in NC

NCREC would like the public to be aware of types of unlicensed activity taking place in North Carolina that could result in legal action and possibly criminal charges.  In NC, it is illegal to manage properties that belong to others for compensation without a license.  Paying ‘referral’ or ‘finders’ fees to people who do not have a real estate license is also illegal in NC.  Another common category of unlicensed activity includes brokerage services provided by inactive or expired brokers.  For more details on types of unlicensed activity to watch out for and possible legal actions, read this month’s eBulletin article: Brokers & Consumers Should Beware of Unlicensed Activity in North Carolina.

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 meeting next week is December 13th here at the Commission building.  A Zoom link will be available at on the day of the meeting.