Blog

Commission Meeting of October 13, 2021

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 16 licenses, closed its case without action against 8 licensees, reprimanded 6 licensees, accepted the voluntary surrender of 1 license, accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of 3 licenses, revoked 1 licensee, left 9 cases pending, voted to amend the conditions of 2 applicants’ licensure, 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: 17; total approved: 12.

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


September 2021

October 2020 through September 2021


September 2021

October 2020 through September 2021

# Tested

516

10617

22

269

% Pass both sections

34%

36%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

72%

66%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

36%

38%

25%

28%

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.

Annual Rulemaking Proposals: The Commission reviewed proposed rule topics for consideration in connection with its annual rulemaking. Staff indicated that rule text would need to be adopted by the Commission by December 15 in order to publish any proposed rule changes for public comment in time for a July 1 effective date.

The Commission made the following decisions regarding the presented rule changes:

Affected Rule(s) / Topics

Motion

21 NCAC 58A .0104

Following discussion, the Commission agreed that no rule change was necessary and asked that staff instead update the language in the Working with Real Estate Agents brochure to match the provision in the rule that requires agreements for brokerage services between brokers and buyers to be in writing and signed by the

parties not later than the time one of the parties makes an offer.

21 NCAC 58A .1712

Upon the motion of Ms. O’Connor, the Commission approved drafting rule text that would reflect that the 12-hour BIC Course is

a distance course comprised of three modules.

21 NCAC 58H .0210 and

.0303

Upon the motion of Mr. Black, the Commission asked staff to further research the various recommendations of education providers as described in Exhibit 11, items 3 – 8, including but not limited to considering changes to the 40% threshold for loss of EP certification and instructor approval, limiting the loss of certification/approval to just prelicensing or just pre and postlicensing but not the Update courses, extending the time period for calculating the loss of certification/approval, making adjustments as a result of the COVID pandemic, allowing or requiring instructors to take the license exam, providing data concerning the State versus national sections of the license exam, and considering the requirements to be an instructor including whether 60 hours of college credit is necessary, requiring Education Providers and instructors have affiliation agreements and to bring

back recommendations as to these matters with any related available data to the November meeting.

Driver licenses in connection with rental applications

Upon the motion of Ms. Chandler, the Commission voted against rulemaking that would prohibit the review of driver licenses in connection with rental applications. Miss Bode dissented.

Love letters

Ms. Chandler moved that the Commission draft a rule addressing “love letters” in residential sales transactions. The motion failed with Mr. Black, Mr. Bullard, Ms. Chandler, and Ms. O’Connor voting in favor. Miss Bode then moved to approve the recommendation. The motion failed with Miss Bode and Mr.

Bullard voting in favor.

“Free look” prior to due diligence fee

Upon the motion of Mr. Lawing, the Commission voted against rulemaking to require that buyers get a “free look” before paying

due diligence fees.

Timeshare rule revisions

Upon the motion of Mr. Malarney, the Commission voted to draft

rules supporting the recently-enacted changes to the North Carolina Timeshare Act.

Mandatory Update Courses

for BICs

Upon a motion from Mr. Lawing, the Commission voted not to

pursue rulemaking at this time that would require brokers-in-charge

General Update and BICUP Course Topics: The Commission reviewed a list of possible 2022-2023 Update course topics based upon suggestions provided by Commission members, staff, licensees, educators and the Update Course Task Force to date. Staff reported that after two meetings, the Update Topics Task Force recommends a “prescription” for annual content, specifically 75% dedicated to new topics and 25% dedicated to review. Staff asked the Commission members to communicate any other ideas for topics to her so that they can be added to the list for consideration. The Commission will review all proposed topics and prioritize those deemed most important in the coming months, before making a final selection at the December 2021 meeting.

Report on License Numbers: As of October 1, 2021, there are 120,509 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 November 17, and can be viewed via Zoom online video.

Commission Meeting of September 8, 2021

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 6 licenses,
closed its case without action against 5 licensees, reprimanded 2 licensees, accepted the
permanent voluntary surrender of 1 license, postponed the consideration of cases
involving 3 licensees, and ordered hearings in cases involving 29 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: 15; total approved: 12.

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


August 2021

September 2020 through

August 2021


August 2021

September 2020 through

August 2021

# Tested

572

11417

28

281

% Pass both sections

37%

35%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

68%

65%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

39%

37%

25%

30%

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. The Commission
asked for more information about the likelihood of passage of H813. Staff also reported
that the Timeshare Act passed the Judiciary Committee in the General Assembly and will
go back to Rules. In connection with a question from the Commission concerning
SL2021-12 (from H461) – “State Auditor Clarifying Changes,” Staff noted that the
Commission is audited each year, and that a copy of the audit is filed with the State
Auditor’s Office along with multiple other government agencies and the NC General
Assembly, as are many other reports about the Commission’s operations that are required
by law to be filed periodically. Staff indicated they would share a copy of the spreadsheet
detailing each of those reports with the Planning Task Force.

Legislation to Allow the Commission to Meet Virtually or in a Hybrid Format: Staff presented draft legislation that would explicitly authorize the Commission to meet remotely or in a hybrid fashion. They also reported that the General Assembly’s Legislative Analysis Division has now advised that the Commission has the necessary authority to conduct electronic meetings under the open meetings law. The Commission voted not to proceed with the draft legislation.

Annual Rulemaking Proposals: The Commission reviewed proposed rule topics for consideration in connection with its annual rulemaking. Staff indicated that rule text would need to be adopted by the Commission by December 15 in order to publish any proposed rule changes for public comment in time for a July 1 effective date. The Commission postponed discussion of the rulemaking topics until the October meeting.

Report on License Numbers: As of September 1, 2021, there are 119,575 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, October 13, 2021, and can be viewed via Zoom online video.

Commission Meeting of August 11, 2021

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 5 licenses, closed its case without action against 7 licensees, authorized the Regulatory Affairs Division to seek injunctive relief against two unlicensed individuals, accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of 1 license, 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 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: 16; total approved: 8.

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


July 2021

August 2020 through

July 2021


July 2021

August 2020 through

July 2021

# Tested

704

11853

19

266

% Pass both sections

38%

35%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

71%

65%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

39%

37%

21%

31%

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 there is meeting with various members of the General Assembly to provide information that may help move the Timeshare Act legislation forward.

Education Provider and Instructor License Examination Performance: Staff reported on the education provider and instructor license examination performance over the prior fiscal year. This reports shows the percentage of an instructor’s or education provider’s students who, within 30 days of completing a Prelicensing course, take and pass the license examination. Staff reviewed Rule 58 H .0210 regarding the withdrawal of education provider certification, noting that four education providers’ examination performance failed to exceed 40% during the 2019-2020 and 2020-21 license years; as a consequence, the education provider shall be ineligible to apply for certification for a period of one year. It was also noted that thirteen instructors’ examination performance failed to exceed 40% during the 2019-2020 and 2020-21 license years and as a consequence, pursuant to Rule 58H .0303, instructor approval will be withdrawn and they will be ineligible to apply for approval for a period of one year.

CE Student Survey Report FY2020-21: The Commission reviewed the results of CE student surveys conducted throughout the year. The results show a high level of broker satisfaction with both elective and Update courses as well as the Broker-in-Charge course. The response rate for the survey this year was 3.55%, a low rate compared to prior years. Staff noted that for the past five years, the survey results have been consistently the same. It was also reported that given the new ways in which education is now delivered, staff will be modernizing the survey including questions about course delivery and course content. The Commission suggested having fewer questions on the survey along with an opportunity for the responder to answer additional questions if they were willing, and also sending the survey email a second time to licensees who do not open the initial email.

Report on License Numbers: As of August 1, 2021, there are 118,463 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, September 8, 2021, via Zoom online video.

Commission Meeting of July 14, 2021

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 3 licenses, reprimanded 4 licensees, accepted the voluntary surrender of 2 licenses, and ordered hearings in cases involving 17 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: 19; total approved: 16.

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


June 2021

July 2020 through June 2021


June 2021

July 2020 through June 2021

# Tested

730

12120

17

267

% Pass both sections

35%

35%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

68%

65%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

36%

37%

35%

32%

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 at the August meeting, the Commission will discuss S531 regarding Public Bodies and Remote Meeting and its impact on the Commission.

Annual Rulemaking: The Commission reviewed a summary of the rules that received approval from the Rules Review Commission. The rules are posted on the Commission’s website.

Progress of Renewals: Staff reported that as of June 30, 2021, 94% of licensees had renewed their licenses, as compared to 93% at the same time last year. Staff reminded the Commission that licensees who fail to renew by June 30 may reinstate their licenses until December 30. Staff also reported that by July 14, 2021, 95% of individual licensees had renewed or reinstated their licenses. This number will increase in the next six months. The Education Providers (EPs) and instructors did not renew at the same rate. Out of 243 EPs, 206 renewed by June 30, 2021. Of the EPs who did not renew, three have recertified, and four new EPs have certified since July 1, 2021. As for instructors, 357 of 445 renewed by June 30, 2021. Of the 88 instructors who did not timely renew, nine reinstated their approvals as of July 7, 2021 and five new instructors have been approved since July 1, 2021.

Report on License Numbers: As of July 1, 2021, there are 115,270 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 11, 2021, via Zoom online video.

Commission Meeting of June 16, 2021

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 3 licenses,
closed its case without action against 1 licensee, reprimanded 5 licensees, left 1 case
pending, voted to extend to a later date cases involving 2 licenses, 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: 19; total approved: 14.

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


May 2021

June 2020 through May 2021


May 2021

June 2020 through May 2021

# Tested

863

12346

22

267

% Pass both sections

37%

35%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

67%

65%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

40%

37%

50%

33%

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: The Commission voted
to meet in closed session to receive legal advice about the possibility of making a
donation to the proposed NCCU MBA Program’s concentration in real estate. After
returning, the Commission voted to pursue alternative ways to support NCCU’s real
estate concentration that could be expanded to other educational institutions.

Progress of Renewals: Staff reported that as of June 16, 20201, 78% of licensees
(94,884) had renewed their licenses, as compared to 69% at the same time last year.
Second reminder notices have been sent to all brokers by email and mail who had not
renewed in early June. Less than half of the Education Providers have renewed and less than one third of the instructors have renewed. Staff will be sending out renewal reminder emails to the Education Providers and instructors in the next few days.

Applications and Refiling Fees Report: The Commission reviewed the Report on Broker Applications and License Examination Performance during 2020-21. Staff reported that while it is too early to determine the impact of the resumption of end-of-course examinations on passing rates, they would share additional data with the Commission in October.

Update Course Development: Staff reported that the 2021-22 General Update course is in the last stages of preparation, and pursuant to the decisions of the Commission last winter, will consist of 5 sections, including the new Working With Real Estate Agents disclosure form and the companion Q&A brochure, Racial Equity, Broker Fiduciary Duties, Law and Rule Updates, and Licensing and Education. The 2021-22 BICUP course will include one additional section on BIC best practices. The first Update Instructor Seminar is scheduled for Tuesday, June 22, 2021, and there will be three more sessions in June, two in July, and four more before the end of the calendar year.

Report on License Numbers: As of June 1, 2020, there are 123,175 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, July 14, 2021, via Zoom online video.

Commission Meeting of May 19, 2021

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


April 2021

May 2020

through April 2021


April 2021

May 2020

through April 2021

# Tested

983

12091

29

259

% Pass both sections

37%

36%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

67%

66%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

39%

38%

38%

30%

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.

Commission Meeting of April 21, 2021

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 8 licenses, closed its case without action against 5 licensees, reprimanded 1 licensee, accepted the voluntary surrender of 3 licenses, voted to grant extensions of time in cases involving 2 licensees, authorized the Regulatory Affairs Division to seek injunctive relief against two unlicensed individuals; and ordered hearings in cases involving 14 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: 25; total approved: 17.

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 2021

April 2020 through March 2021


March 2021

April 2020 through March 2021

# Tested

1097

11123

28

231

% Pass both sections

39%

36%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

67%

66%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

40%

37%

32%

29%

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. A representative of the American Resort Development Association (ARDA), gave a progress update on the Timeshare Act. Staff reported that there are a number of co-sponsors on the bill.

Home Inspectors’ Draft Bill: The Commission reviewed a draft bill (not yet introduced) that would restrict the Home Inspectors Board from prohibiting home inspectors from providing low monetary value meals and beverages to real estate licensees. The Commission voted to remain neutral on the bill at this time.

2021 NCREC Educators Conference: Staff provided an overview of the 2021 NCREC Educators Conference, held via Zoom on Tuesday, March 23 from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Attendance was tracked to ensure educators were eligible for instructor development credit. During the event, the Commission presented an award posthumously to Garth Dunklin as the first recipient of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission Industry Champion. In addition, George Bell was the named the recipient of the 2021 Larry A. Outlaw Excellence in Education Award. The Educators Conference is now available on the Commission’s website as a distance learning course that allows educators to receive their education development credit after the conference.

NCCU MBA Program: The Commission received an overview of the expansion of NCCU’s MBA program with a concentration in commercial real estate. The Commission asked staff to investigate the possibility of the Commission donating, or supporting this program in some way. The Chair appointed a Committee to investigate.

Report on License Numbers: As of April 1, 2020, there are 120,985 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, May 19, 2021, via Zoom online video.

Commission Meeting of March 17, 2021

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


February 2021

March 2020 through February 2021


February 2021

March 2020 through February 2021

# Tested

794

10453

23

213

% Pass both sections

28%

37%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

59%

67%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

30%

38%

17%

28%

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.

Commission Meeting of February 17, 2021

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 3 licenses; closed its case without action against 2 licensees; reprimanded 4 licensees; accepted the voluntary surrender of 4 licenses; approved the issuance of one license on provisional status; authorized the Regulatory Affairs Division to seek injunctive relief against two unlicensed individuals; 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 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: 28; total approved: 19.

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


January 2021

February 2020 through January 2021


January 2021

February 2020 through January 2021

# Tested

965

10068

18

207

% Pass both sections

37%

38%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

68%

68%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

39%

40%

33%

30%

Investment Policy: The Commission reviewed and adopted a revised Investment Policy addressing the need to continue to use investment vehicles with FDIC insurance or collateralization of funds in NC pooling method financial institutions in accordance with the directives of the NC Department of State treasurer, and the use of target goals and laddering to ensure access to funds when needed and diversity of investments including
Minority Depository Institutions.

License Application Refiling Fees: The Commission discussed possible changes in how refiling fees are charged and collected, including legal, technical, and financial impacts. The Commission will revisit the issue after data is available on the reinstitution of end-of-course prelicensing examinations.

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.

Dual Agency Research Report: Staff reported that they are surveying the ARELLO jurisdictions concerning recent or expected legislation relating to dual agency and/or transaction brokerage, reviewing the most recent NAR issues tracker on each state’s approach to agency relationships, developing a survey instrument directed to North Carolina brokers in charge about their handling of agency in their companies, offices, and teams, reviewing the position of the Consumer Federation of America, and reviewing other current literature on the topic. Staff will report on their progress at the March Commission.

Larry A. Outlaw Excellence in Education Award Selection: The Commission voted to meet in closed session pursuant to N.C.G.S § 143-318.11(a)(2) to select the recipient of the Larry A. Outlaw Excellence in Education Award.

Report on License Numbers: As of February 1, 2020, there are 118,617 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, March 17, 2021, via Zoom online video.

Commission Meeting of January 20, 2021

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

Pending Cases: The Commission entered into consent agreements to suspend 4 licenses; closed its case without action against 4 licensees; reprimanded 5 licensees; accepted the voluntary surrender of 2 licenses; left 2 cases pending; authorized the Regulatory Affairs Division to seek injunctive relief of one licensee; and ordered hearings in cases involving
5 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: 27; total approved: 22.

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


December 2020

January 2020 through December 2020


December 2020

January 2020 through December 2020

# Tested

1062

9681

19

208

% Pass both sections

36%

39%

N/A

N/A

% Pass National section

66%

69%

N/A

N/A

% Pass State section

41%

40%

32%

30%

Report on RRC Approval of the Distance Education Rules: The Rules Review Commission approved the Commission’s proposed amendments to distance education rules shortly after the Commission’s December meeting with only minor technical changes.

Review Draft Working with Real Estate Agents Disclosure Form: The Commission reviewed final revisions to a draft two-page disclosure form that would replace the tearoff panel in the existing Working with Real Estate Agents brochure. The Commission approved the revised Working with Real Estate Agents Disclosure form, the form to be rolled out in the spring and required in lieu of the brochure beginning July 1, 2021.

Report on Possible NC Timeshare Act Revisions: Staff reported that they had met the prior week with representatives of the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, representatives of ARDA, and the former Attorney General for Rhode Island to review the proposed modernization of the NC Timeshare Act. Staff anticipate receiving feedback including a possible revision to prohibit timeshare exit companies from receiving advance payments.

Report on Dual Agency Complaints: The Commission reviewed a report on complaints received from January 1, 2018 through December 31, 2019 where agency representation was noted as a primary issue. There were 4300 total cases in this timeframe, with 572 cases (13%) involving an agency issue. Of that number, 39 cases (less than 1% of the total) involved dual agency and 20 cases indicated a violation relating to dual agency (less than one half percent of the total). Two of the 20 cases resulted in disciplinary action.

The Commission requested that staff gather more detailed information regarding trends around dual agency legislation nationwide.

Review License Examination Question Development Process: Staff provided a report on the real estate license examination results. The Commission discussed the application fee provided in the law and whether the Commission could give license applicants two or more opportunities to take the license examination for a one time application fee of $100.
Staff will provide further information at either the February or March Commission meeting.

Report on License Numbers: As of January 1, 2020, there are 117,164 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, February 17, 2021, via Zoom online video.