Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 8 licenses; closed its case without action against 4 licensees; reprimanded 3 licensees; accepted the voluntary surrender of 6 licenses; accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of one license; left 2 cases pending; voted to extend to a later date cases involving 4 licenses; and ordered hearings in cases involving 16 licensees.
License Applications Involving Character Issues: License applicants who have character issues such as prior criminal convictions or disciplinary action 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: 23; total approved: 15.
License Examination Results: A summary of key data relating to persons taking the exam for the first time is provided below:
Individuals Tested for the First Time
Took prelicense course
Hold license from another state
March 2020 through February 2021
March 2020 through February 2021
% Pass both sections
% Pass National section
% Pass State section
Legislative Report: The Commission reviewed the Legislative Report noting 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. It was also reported that Representative Julia Howard will sponsor the Timeshare Act amendments, and that Representative Hastings and other legislators will co-sponsor the bill. Ms. Thoren also reported that the removal of the bond requirement for education providers will be included in that legislative package.
Rule Text Adoption: The Commission reviewed text for proposed rule changes with an effective date of July 1, 2021, and adopted a variety of changes. Those changes are available on the Commission’s website.
Dual Agency Research: Staff reported on the results of the Dual/Designated Agency Survey of Brokers-in-Charge (BICs). It was noted that the survey indicates that 80% of BICs responding supervise twenty or fewer affiliated agents and that 75% reported that their company has only one office. As to dual agency, the survey indicates that 87% of companies permit dual agency and that of those that practice dual agency, 65% practice designated (54% of all firms). Most firms allow dual agency within offices and teams, and allow individual brokers to practice dual agency. The Commission noted that the data collected will help inform their discussion of broker supervision and span of control.
2021 NCREC Educators Conference: Staff provided an overview of the 2021 NCREC Educators Conference which will be held via Zoom on Tuesday, March 23 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. With the Commission’s new learning management system, the Educators Conference is able to be both a virtual event and a distance learning course that allows for educators to receive their education development credit after the conference. The distance course can be taken in sections.
Emerging Trends: Staff reported on agents with one firm “babysitting” listings for agents with another firm. The Commission discussed the risk to the seller that the “babysitter” might not act in the seller’s best interest. Staff opined that the seller should be made aware of another agent hosting the open house and that the agent hosting the open house would likely be viewed in the courts as the seller’s subagent. Staff recommended having Commission staff write an e-Bulletin article to address this topic outlining the issues that the seller, brokers, and their firms should consider before undertaking a “babysitting” arrangement. Staff also stated that they would consider whether to include this topic in a future rulemaking.
The Commission reviewed the use of “love letters” included with offers. It was noted that buyers are sometimes encouraged to include a letter to the seller with their offer on why they love the house and why the seller should choose them. Often, the letters include information that may create a fair housing violation, including information on the buyer’s race, sex, religion, national origin, and/or other protected categories. The Commission directed staff to draft an e-Bulletin article and issue an opinion discouraging the use of love letters.
The Commission discussed robo calls from unlicensed salespersons to buy property. The Commission indicated that they did not believe it was a Commission issue.
The Commission discussed ways to communicate to both consumers and the brokerage community on topics of interest beyond the monthly e-Bulletin, including on the Commission’s YouTube channel. Staff noted that they would likely propose additional consumer and broker outreach projects in connection with the budget planning for FY 2021-2022 and would discuss these with the Finance Committee.
Report on License Numbers: As of March 1, 2020, there are 119,670 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, April 21, 2021, via Zoom online video.