Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 5 licenses, closed its case without action against 1 licensee, reprimanded 2 licensees, denied the issuance of 1 license; and ordered hearings in cases involving 7 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: 20; 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
through April 2021
through April 2021
% Pass both sections
% Pass National section
% Pass State section
Reconsideration of Proposed Rule Language: Staff reported that the proposed rule changes were submitted to the Rules Review Commission (RRC) and that RRC requested technical changes. Staff explained that three major change requests will likely prevent RRC from approving the proposed rules addressing racial equity issues as submitted. Staff reviewed two possible alternatives that create one broader rule addressing discrimination in lieu of the proposed rule amendments with objections. A third option would be to withdraw the rules where objections have been made and begin again. The Commission approved revised text for submission to RRC in place of the racial equity changes previously submitted.
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. Staff reported that the Timeshare Bill passed the House unanimously and is going to the Senate.
Request for Funding for NCCU MBA Real Estate Program: Staff reported that they are reviewing the law to determine the Commission’s authority to make a donation to the fundraising effort for NCCU’s proposed MBA real estate concentration. Staff reported that they have reached out to Ms. Anne Brown, Special Deputy Attorney General at the Department of Justice, and to the Commission’s auditor, for their professional opinions. Research so far reveals that some occupational licensing boards have explicit statutory authority to offer monetary contributions to State educational institutions, but most do not. The NCCU MBA Committee will meet on June 1, 2021 at 2:00 PM via Zoom. The Commission discussed the possibility that the Commission offer an internship at the Commission for a student enrolled in the NCCU MBA program rather than a monetary donation. The Committee will explore all options and report back.
Progress of Renewals: Staff reported that as of May 19, 2021, 22% of licensees (26,326) had renewed their licenses, which is slightly ahead of renewals at the same time last year. To remind licensees of their renewal deadline, staff included a reminder article in the May e-Bulletin, emailed licensees an advance message that renewals would begin on May 15, 2021, and began emailing licensees in batches now that the renewal process is open on the Commission website. Second reminder notices will be sent in early June to all brokers by email and mail who have not then renewed. As June 30 approaches, staff will reach out to BICs and QBs of offices and firms with affiliated brokers who have not yet renewed.
The Executive Director commended the Commission’s CTO, Programmer, and Systems Administrator for their work in building a custom online renewal process for Education Providers. The new system is in place and renewals are running smoothly. The Commission commended Staff for the instructional videos for Education Providers.
Federal Background Checks from CRC: The Commission was reminded that at the May 2020 Commission meeting, members voted to require federal background checks of new license applicants as of July 1, 2021. Staff reported that CRC will add this component to the background check process beginning July 1 at a cost of $15 per applicant. Measures have been taken to notify applicants and education providers of this new requirement.
PSI Remote Proctoring: Staff reported that license examination candidates can now take the exam at home or a remote location. This option began on May 4, 2021. Less than 50 candidates have taken the exam from a remote location to date. Candidates testing from remote locations cannot take breaks or use scrap paper; however, they can use a white board in the background that the proctor can see. PSI offered a webinar rolling out the remote proctoring for Education Providers and instructors and this webinar is available online.
Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act: The Commission reviewed an article addressing the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act of 1980 (FIRPTA) published in the May 2021 issue of Insight magazine. The Commission suggested that the article be reprinted in the e-Bulletin. Staff responded that they are already seeking permission.
The Commission commended staff for the changes implemented in the office during the pandemic.
The Commission discussed how cases on Fair Housing are handled in North Carolina and suggested adding more Fair Housing resources for licensees on the website and eBulletin, and reaching out to the Human Relations Commission to ask them to alert staff when there are any fair housing cases that involve a licensee. The Commission noted that the National Association of REALTORS has hired a law firm to review and produce a report on how states’ license laws and rules address fair housing. The full report will be out within the next month.
Report on License Numbers: As of May 1, 2020, there are 122,165 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, June 16, 2021, via Zoom online video.