The Commission annually gives three awards to licensees for educational endeavors: the Joe Schweidler Memorial Scholarship Award, the Blanton Little Memorial Scholarship Award, and the Phillip T. Fisher Scholarship Award. Schweidler and Little were former Secretary/Treasurers of the NC Real Estate Licensing Board; Fisher is a former Executive Director of the Commission. In the past, these scholarships have been given in the spring, based on performance in specific educational programs during the previous license year.
Beginning this year, the Commission will accept nominations for these awards. Criteria for each of the three awards are provided at the end of this article.
To be considered for one of the awards, an individual must hold a current NC broker license on Active status and submit an application provided on the Commission’s website, including:
Nominations for all awards will be accepted from May 1–June 30, 2020. Self-nominations are welcome. Go to the Commission’s homepage (www.ncrec.gov) to download the Educational Scholarship Nomination Form.
Commission Staff will evaluate submissions against the written criteria and make recommendations for award recipients to Commission members. Commission members will make final selections during their meeting on July 15, 2020, and award recipients will be announced at that time. Each award recipient will receive a check for $1000 and a commemorative plaque.
If you have questions about the awards, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD CRITERIA
Scholarship #1 – Joe Schweidler Memorial Scholarship Award: Community-focused Educational Programs
The recipient of this award has invested in the community (in North Carolina) by developing, organizing, and presenting educational opportunities to those people in the community who are not real estate brokers, but who are or may become real estate consumers. This must be an ongoing commitment as evidenced by regularly scheduled educational events (quarterly, for example, over the past 2-3 years) focusing on topics such as:
Scholarship #2 – Blanton Little Memorial Scholarship Award: Peer-focused Educational Programs
The recipient of this award has invested time and energy in elevating the knowledge and skills of other North Carolina brokers. This must be an on-going commitment in which this individual conducts regular training sessions for other brokers in North Carolina through any number of available sites or organizations. Examples include:
Scholarship #3 – Phillip T. Fisher Scholarship Award: Personal Growth-focused Educational Programs
The recipient of this award has invested time and energy in personal growth through advanced real estate education as evidenced by degree(s) or certifications/designations in various areas of real estate. Over the previous 2 to 3 years, this individual will have attained various different certifications/designations, or an advanced degree in real estate brokerage or a closely related field. Certifications, designations, and/or degree(s) must have been obtained while licensed in North Carolina. Examples include:
MOLLY REBEKAH WIGHT (Fayetteville) – By consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Wight for a period of 4 months, effective April 1, 2020. The Commission then stayed the suspension period, effective April 1, 2020. The Commission found that in April 2019, Ms. Wight’s buyer-clients informed her that they needed a property that allowed chickens and had no limit on the number of dogs as they had three. The buyers also told Ms. Wight that they wanted to review any HOA restrictions before making an offer. Ms. Wight showed the buyers a property and informed them there were no restrictive covenants and no HOA for the subject property. Ms. Wight never asked the listing agent whether there were any restrictions. In May 2019, the buyers closed on the subject property and signed a document at the closing attorney’s law firm indicating that there was no HOA. As they were moving in, the buyers were informed by a neighbor that chickens were not allowed. The buyers contacted Ms. Wight who said she could not find any restrictions for the property at that time. Later that evening, Ms. Wight called the buyers and found the covenants which prohibited poultry and limited dogs to two.
RHONDA TIBBETTS COPP (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Ms. Copp effective May 1, 2020. The Commission found that in June 2017, Ms. Copp listed a commercial property and asked the seller if the property was on a septic or sewer. The seller responded “I never had anything pumped”. Ms. Copp assumed that meant that the property was attached to a city sewer and did not ask the seller any further questions or verify if the property was connected to city sewer. Ms. Copp advertised the subject property on the MLS as being connected to sewer. In April 2018, a buyer entered a contract to buy the subject property for use as a trade school. In July 2019, the buyer began experiencing plumbing issues and was told to check with the city regarding the city sewer system. The buyer called the city and learned the property was not connected to city sewer, but was on a septic system. Ms. Copp has settled with the buyer to the buyer’s satisfaction.
RPMS REALTY GROUP (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded RPMS Realty Group effective May 1, 2020. The Commission found that in June 2017, RPMS Realty Group listed a commercial property and asked the seller if the property was on a septic or sewer. The seller responded “I never had anything pumped”. RPMS Realty Group assumed that meant that the property was attached to a city sewer and did not ask the seller any further questions or verify if the property was connected to city sewer. RPMS Realty Group advertised the subject property on the MLS as being connected to sewer. In April 2018, a buyer entered a contract to buy the subject property for use as a trade school. In July 2019, the buyer began experiencing plumbing issues and was told to check with the city regarding the city sewer system. The buyer called the city and learned the property was not connected to city sewer, but was on a septic system. RPMS Realty Group has settled with the buyer to the buyer’s satisfaction.
By Melissa Vuotto, Paralegal Supervisor
On April 15, 2020, the Commission voted to approve another emergency rule, 21 NCAC 58G .0106, to further address the ongoing public health emergency. On March 26, 2020, two prior emergency rules went into effect: NCAC 58G .0104 and .0105. These two rules required schools and course sponsors to cancel or suspend all in-person courses and provided options for online delivery of courses. The new emergency rule, G .0106, extends restrictions on in-person courses until June 30, 2020, and allows schools, course sponsors, and education providers to offer the Update Course as a synchronous distance-learning course.
A Regulatory Affairs Case Study
By Shanna Hardy, Consumer Protection Officer
The Complaining Witness in this case was a buyer who was bidding on a judicial sale property (i.e. auction sale). The Respondent was a broker-in-charge who was bidding on the same property. The Complaining Witness was represented by a buyer agent.
Before an online auction bid is declared successful or is confirmed, the court places the property in a 10-day “upset bid period,” during which the court waits to see if a higher or better bid is submitted, resulting in an “upset” to the original bid. In these types of transactions, the bidding continues until all but one party discontinues the submission of bids. A bidder is not permitted to interfere with or intimidate another bidder or to offer to pay another bidder not to bid as this would be considered to be illegal “bid-rigging.”
In early 2019, the Complaining Witness and the Respondent began bidding on the same property. The bidding went back and forth for weeks. The Respondent then called the Complaining Witness’ buyer agent and stated, “Tell your client if he is willing to pay me $2000, I’ll make my offer go away.” The buyer agent informed the Complaining Witness about the Respondent’s offer and recommended against paying the $2000 to the Respondent.
The Complaining Witness called the Respondent directly and recorded the conversation between the two. The Respondent first claimed that it was his unidentified client who directed him to request the payment but, when the Complaining Witness pressed further, stated that the $2000 was for himself and his business partner. The Complaining Witness then filed a complaint against the Respondent.
The evidence in this case showed that the Respondent was, in fact, bidding on the property for himself and the business partner was his wife. The Commission found probable cause to have a hearing. but, Prior to the hearing, the Respondent voluntarily surrendered his license. Had the case proceeded to a hearing, the Commission could have found that the Respondent’s statements to the Complaining Witness constituted a willful misrepresentation of material facts, that his actions were evidence that he was unworthy or incompetent to act as a real estate broker in a manner as to endanger the interest of the public, and/or that he had engaged in conduct that constituted improper, fraudulent, or dishonest dealings in violation of N.C.G.S § 93A-6(a)(1), (8) and/or (10). While the Respondent was not acting as a broker in this matter, he was still subject to discipline for violating License Law while selling, leasing, or buying his own property under N.C.G.S § 93A-6(b)(3).
Be sure to renew your license, even if you haven’t completed CE. If you do not renew by June 30, your license will expire.
Following are the most frequently-asked questions regarding license renewal. Also, a video that answers these questions and provides step-by-step renewal instructions is posted in the Commission’s Video Library.
When do I renew?
The annual period for renewal of your real estate license begins at midnight on May 15 and continues until 11:59pm on June 30.
How do I renew?
How much is the renewal fee?
The renewal fee is $45.00. You may pay by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, or PayPal.
Will I get a receipt?
Yes. A printable confirmation of renewal will appear on your screen when the process is complete.
Will the Commission mail me a new pocket card?
No. A link to download your new digital pocket card will appear on your screen when the process is complete. You may print a copy of the pocket card if you prefer to have a paper copy.
I haven’t completed CE, yet. Can I still renew?
Yes. Be sure to renew your license by June 30, even if you do not complete your continuing education by June 10. If you don’t renew, your license will expire.
Can I pay my renewal fee by check?
No. Per Commission Rule 58A .0503, you must renew online.
Can I call the Commission office and pay by phone?
No. Per Commission Rule 58A .0503, you must renew online.
Can I come into the Commission office and pay in person?
As of May 1, the Commission office is closed to the public due to the COVID-19 crisis. If the health emergency does not improve, we will remain closed to the public. If you have questions about the renewal process, please feel free to email us at email@example.com or call us at 919.875.3700.
What will happen if I don’t renew by June 30?
If you do not renew your license online by 11:59pm on June 30, your license will expire. To reinstate an expired license, you must pay a $90 fee between July 1 and December 31. Failure to reinstate the former license by December 31 will result in your having to submit a new application, including application fee and criminal background report. You will also be required to take additional education and/or pass the state license examination. Refer to the “Reinstate your License” page on the Commission’s website (www.ncrec.gov) for detailed information regarding the reinstatement process.
NOTE: If you hold BIC Eligible status and your license expires or changes to inactive status on July 1, you will automatically lose BIC Eligible status and, in turn, BIC designation (if applicable). If that happens, and you wish to regain BIC Eligible status, you must (1) return the license to active status; (2) meet the experience requirements for BIC designation; (3) take the 12-hour Broker-in-Charge Course before re-designation; and (4) complete and submit the Request for BIC Eligible Status and/or Designation form (REC 2.25). Do NOT take the 12- hour BIC Course before your license is on active status! Refer to Rule 58A. 0110 for detailed instructions regarding regaining BIC Eligible status and BIC designation.
Do you have questions about your responsibilities as a broker? Do you need clarification on one of the Commission’s rules? If so, you may contact the Commission’s Regulatory Affairs Division. When you contact that division, your call will be directed to an Information Officer.
Information Officers field questions about:
The Commission’s Information Officers are knowledgeable about many aspects of brokerage practice and are experts regarding the Commission’s rules. However, there are some types of questions that they cannot answer, such as questions about compensation disputes between brokers. Also, the Information Officers cannot provide legal advice. When Information Officers are asked questions that are outside of the Commission’s purview, they will provide suggestions as to how / where to find answers.
For more information or to ask a question, contact Regulatory Affairs at RA@ncrec.gov or 919-719-9180.
On March 26, 2020, the Commission approved emergency rule, 21 NCAC 58G .0104, to allow CE courses to be offered through synchronous online learning until June 10, and Postlicensing courses to be offered through synchronous online learning until June 30.
Synchronous online learning means that the students and instructor are in separate places, but that everyone is participating in the course online at the same time.
To find CE courses being offered through synchronous online learning until June 10, 2020:
To find Postlicensing courses being offered through synchronous online learning until June 30, 2020:
Course schedules are updated daily upon notification by course providers. You may also contact providers directly to inquire about available courses.
For more information about the Commission’s response to the COVID-19 crisis, visit the COVID-19 page on the Commission’s website.
“When did that rule change?”
Have you ever been surprised to discover that a Commission rule had changed? If so, it’s time to subscribe to the Commission’s mailing list to receive notices about rule-making.
By law, before an agency like the Real Estate Commission creates a rule, it must provide public notice and comment opportunities. Since all licensees and the public have the right to know the conduct required by a rule, an agency’s rules must be available to the public and to people regulated by the rule.
Each year, usually in the fall, the Commission considers whether rules related to brokerage practice need to be created, amended, or repealed. If the Commission wishes to make changes, the proposed rules are published and the public is given a chance to comment before rules are adopted. The rule-making process typically takes a minimum of 6-9 months. When the Commission adopts new rules, they are typically effective at the beginning of a license year (July 1).
In extreme situations, such as the current COVID-19 health crisis, the rule-making process may be shortened, to give an agency the ability to quickly adopt “emergency” rules to protect the health and safety of the public.
The Commission provides information to licensees and the public about proposed and adopted rules in a variety of ways, including notices on the Commission’s homepage and articles in the monthly eBulletin. Additionally, licensees and the public may subscribe the Commission’s rule-making mailing list, to receive email alerts of rule-making events.
To subscribe to the mailing list:
This mailing list is used solely for rule-making updates.
For more information, contact the Regulatory Affairs Division at RA@ncrec.gov or 919-719-9180.
This article from the April eBulletin is republished here to remind brokers of the new Postlicensing Education requirement effective July 1, 2020.
Beginning July 1, 2020, Rule 58A .1902 will require a Provisional Broker to complete all three 30-hour Postlicensing courses within 18 months of initial licensure in order to maintain active license status.
If you were licensed anytime during 2018, you must complete all your Postlicensing courses by June 30, 2020. If you have been licensed in 2019, you will have at least 18 months from your date of licensure to complete the courses.
Example #1: Licensed on February 1, 2018
Example #2: Licensed on March 17, 2019
Additional information about this important change is provided in the General Update (GENUP) and Broker-in-Charge (BICUP) courses throughout the year. Also, if you are a provisional broker, be on the lookout for email communications from the Commission about the changing education deadlines.
If you have further questions regarding this rule change, please contact the Education and Licensing Division at 919.875.3700.
NOTE: Please visit the COVID-19 page on the Commission’s website for information about emergency rules in place during March 26-June 30, 2020.