ROGER JAMES (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mr. James for a period of 2 years effective June 3, 2020. The Commission then stayed the suspension in its entirety. The Commission found that in July 2018, Mr. James, acting as a listing agent, inaccurately advertise the square footage of the listed property. In October 2018, he failed to disclose the existence of two underground storage tanks after being notified of their existence.
SUSAN A VOLZ (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Ms. Volz effective June 3, 2020. The Commission found that Ms. Volz’s seller-clients informed her that a city-funded storm water drainage improvement project would affect the subject property at a later date. Despite claiming she did disclose the Project, she failed to document disclosure to the buyers the material fact that the Project would prospectively affect the subject property.
MOUNTAIN PROPERTY GROUP LLC (Tryon) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Mountain Property Group LLC for a period of 12 months effective July 15, 2020. The Commission then stayed the suspension for a probationary period through July 15, 2021. The Commission found that in 2019, the firm, through its BIC, acted as a dual agent in the transaction without first reviewing a “Working with Real Estate Agents” disclosure with the seller and without entering into a written listing agreement.
LINDA NOBLE TINKLER (Tryon) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ms. Tinkler for a period of 2 years effective April 15, 2020. The Commission then stayed the remaining 21 month suspension, effective July 15, 2020, for a probationary period through April 15, 2021. The Commission found that in 2019, Ms. Tinkler acted as a dual agent without first reviewing a “Working with Real Estate Agents” disclosure with the seller and without entering into a written listing agreement. Ms. Tinkler then gave the buyers $10,000 to use as a part of their down payment without disclosing this gift to the closing attorney or to the buyer’s lender by giving the money to the buyers’ relative for the relative to forward to the buyers.
NICHOLAS CORY MCLAMB (Clayton) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Mr. McLamb effective June 3, 2020. The Commission found that Mr. McLamb, acting as the firm’s broker-in-charge, listed residential properties for sale in a “limited” capacity by only inputting information, provided by its seller-client, into the Multiple Listing Service for a flat fee. Mr. McLamb failed to verify the information used to market the property in the MLS and also failed to maintain executed copies of transaction records required by the Commission Rules.
NEO REAL ESTATE MARKETING LLC (Clayton) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Neo Real Estate Marketing LLC effective June 3, 2020. The Commission found that the firm listed residential properties for sale in a “limited” capacity by only inputting information, provided by its seller-client, into the Multiple Listing Service for a flat fee. The Firm failed to verify the information used to market the property in the MLS. The Firm’s listing agreements lacked a broker license number and failed to place the Fair Housing language in a clear and conspicuous manner. The firm also failed to maintain executed copies of transaction records required by the Commission Rules.
ERIKA LIZETTE MENDOZA (Belmont) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Ms. Mendoza effective August 5, 2020. The Commission found that Ms. Mendoza acted as a listing agent in the sale of residential property for which she also assisted the seller in managing its renovations and working with contractors. After closing, the buyer discovered that there were four open permits on the subject property for mechanical, plumbing, and electrical. Ms. Mendoza failed to discover and disclose the presence of these permits to the buyer or their agent at the time of contract formation. After closing, all permits were successfully closed; however, the buyer had to expend monies to have the electrical permit satisfied.
By Shanna Hardy, Consumer Protection Officer
During the course of preparing an offer on a property, a buyer observed her broker making copies of the due diligence and earnest money checks. Is this typical and why would a broker do this?
Every buyer hopes that a seller will accept an offer as soon as it is submitted. When that happens, the effective date is the same as the date of the offer. A buyer agent should anticipate that a seller might accept an offer on the same day it is submitted and collect the due diligence fee and earnest money specified in the offer. A prudent listing agent would want to verify that the buyer’s agent is in possession of the checks at the time the offer is submitted. One way of doing this is to see copies of the checks accompanied with the offer to purchase.
The reason the Commission staff has suggested this as best practice is because the Commission receives many complaints filed by sellers who are disgruntled because an offer was accepted from a buyer but no due diligence or earnest money was ever received, and the buyer decided to terminate the contract several days later. Typically in these cases, the buyer agent failed to collect the due diligence or earnest money checks when the offer was prepared and therefore was unable to deliver the funds to the sellers or the sellers’ agent on the effective date.
In addition to the best practice advice, Commission Rule A .0117 (c)(7) states that a broker shall create, maintain or retain, the following records; copies of earnest money checks, due diligence checks, receipts for cash payments, contracts, and closing statements in sales transactions. Because this rule specifically addresses earnest money checks and due diligence checks, both the listing and buyer agents should make their best efforts to obtain copies of the checks for their transaction files. A scanned or other electronic image of a check will satisfy the Commission’s record-keeping requirements. However, prior to making and sending copies, we recommend redacting certain information, such as the personal account number or a part thereof.
It is part of the modern practice of brokerage that transactions are often carried out remotely with parties and their brokers not always present in person to hand off documents and checks. A prudent listing agent will want to ensure that funds due to their client or being held by an escrow agent have been sent and received by the seller or escrow agent. A prudent buyer agent will want to ensure that their client has submitted payments as required. Obtaining copies of checks is one thing that an agent can do to help a transaction proceed to a successful close.
Are you interested in joining the staff of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission? From time to time, employment opportunities become available. They are posted on the Commission’s website under the “About Us” tab. Click here for more information.
The recipient of the Allan R. Dameron Legal Internship Award 2020 is Lawrence Graham. This annual award is given in honor and memory of Allan Dameron, who served on the Commission for nearly eight years beginning in 1999. During that time, he served two terms as Chairman of the Commission. He was dedicated to serving and protecting the interests of the public in North Carolina real estate transactions. He believed strongly in broker and consumer education as a means of improving the real estate industry.
Each year, this award is given to a North Carolina law student who has demonstrated an interest in public service and in real estate. Graham was selected from a group of very qualified law students.
He is a rising third year law student at Campbell University Law School where he is on Law Review and is a member of the Moot Court Team. He is also a graduate of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in History in May 2018. He previously interned for Judge Philip Berger on the North Carolina Court of Appeals, and for Representative Lee Zachary in the North Carolina General Assembly.
Graham will work in Regulatory Affairs for about ten weeks before returning to school. In addition to the award, Lawrence’s name will also appear on a plaque which will be permanently displayed in the Commission office as a record of his accomplishment.
Johnathan Robertson has been named Communications Officer in the Administrative Division.
Nolen Williams has been named Auditor in the Regulatory Affairs Division.
Len Elder has been named Education & Development Officer in the Education & Licensing Division.
Two North Carolina brokers were recently awarded the Phillip T. Fisher Scholarship Award by the Commission. The recipients, each of whom will receive a check for $1000 and a commemorative plaque, are Kathryn W. Diamond, of Clarksville, Virginia, and Quanta Monique Edwards, of Raleigh, North Carolina.
The Commission annually awards the Phillip T. Fisher Scholarship to licensees for educational endeavors. Fisher was the Executive Director of the Real Estate Commission from 1981 to 2010.
To qualify for the award, brokers had to show evidence of attaining various certifications or designations, or an advanced degree in real estate brokerage or a closely related field, during the previous 3 year period. Also, the certifications, designations, and/or degree(s) must have been obtained while the brokers were licensed in North Carolina.
The Commission congratulates both recipients and thanks them for their commitment to education and professional growth.
Temporary rule 58G .0104, which has been effective since March 26, 2020, provides for an automatic 90-day extension of time for brokers to complete CE for the 2019-2020 license period.
Because no classes could be offered from June 11 to June 30, 2020, the extension period began on July 1, 2020, and will end on September 30, 2020.
When is the CE extension deadline?
Answer: September 30, 2020.
Which classes must brokers take to make up missed CE hours?
Answer: Any broker who did not complete all 8 hours of CE by June 10, 2020, must take CE elective courses between July 1-September 30, 2020, to make up the missed hours, even if the missed hours included the Update course. Following are three scenarios.
Scenario#1: Broker completed an Update course between July 1, 2019, and June 10, 2020, but did not complete an elective course.
Broker must take ONE Commission-approved elective between July 1 – September 30, 2020, to makeup the missed hours. If an elective course is not completed by September 30, the license will be inactive as of October 1.
Scenario #2: Broker completed an elective course between July 1, 2019, and June 10, 2020, but did not complete an Update course.
Broker must take ONE Commission-approved elective course between July 1 – September 30, 2020, to makeup the missed hours. If an elective course is not completed by September 30, the license will be inactive as of October 1.
Scenario #3: Broker did not complete any CE between July 1, 2019, and June 10, 2020.
Broker must take TWO Commission-approved elective courses between July 1 – September 30, 2020, to makeup the missed hours. If two elective courses are not completed by September 30, the license will be inactive as of October 1.
If you have further questions, please contact the Education and Licensing Division at LS@ncrec.gov or 919.875.3700.
Executive Director Miriam Baer announced that Sandra O’Connor of Greensboro has been elected as Chair and Wendell Bullard of Durham as Vice Chair of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission. Their terms will begin on August 1, 2020.
Sandra O’Connor was appointed to the Commission by Governor Roy Cooper in 2017. O’Connor has been a licensed North Carolina real estate broker since 1983, and from 1985 to 2005 she was the owner and sole proprietor of Sandra O’Connor & Associates. She is a broker with the Greensboro Allen Tate office, for which she served as Sales Manager from 2005-2010 and Broker-in-Charge from 2010-2018.
O’Connor has been active with the national, state, and local REALTOR® organizations and in community affairs. She is Director of the National Association of REALTORS® and a past Region IV Vice President. A past President of the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®, as well as a Region V Vice President and Treasurer, O’Connor received its REALTOR® of the Year award in 2014. She is also a past President and REALTOR® of the Year of the Greensboro Regional REALTORS® Association and has been admitted to its Hall of Fame.
O’Connor is a member of the Greensboro Zoning Commission, a past chair and member of the Greensboro Planning Board, and a past member of the Board of Directors of the Guilford Green Foundation. Additionally, she is a Commission-approved NC real estate instructor. She also holds a B.A. from Carlow University in Pittsburgh and a Masters of Librarianship from the University of Washington in Seattle.
Bullard was appointed to the Commission by Governor Cooper in 2018. Licensed in 1994, he is Managing Broker at Bullard Properties, LLC, in Durham. Bullard is past President of the Durham Regional Association of REALTORS® and the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and past REALTOR® of the Year in both organizations.
Bullard is also an original founding member of several charter schools in North Carolina. He holds a B.S. in Marketing from North Carolina Central University and is a United States Air Force Security Specialists veteran.
To maintain a current license, brokers must renew their license annually between May 15 and June 30. The license of a broker who fails to renew during that period will expire on June 30, and that broker must cease all brokerage activities immediately.
What steps must a broker take to reinstate an expired license? That answer depends on how long the license has been expired.
To reinstate a license expired for less than 6 months:
NOTE: To regain active status, a License Activation / Affiliation form (REC 2.08) also must be submitted.
To reinstate a license expired for 6 months but no more than 2 years:
NOTE: To regain active status, a License Activation / Affiliation form (REC 2.08) also must be submitted.
To reinstate a license expired for more than 2 years:
NOTE: You will be licensed as a provisional broker and be subject to the 90-hour Postlicensing education program. To gain active status, a License Activation / Affiliation form (REC 2.08) also must be submitted.
For more information, review Commission Rule 58A .0505 or visit the “Reinstate your License” page on the Commission’s website. You may also contact the Commission’s Education & Licensing Division at LS@ncrec.gov or 919-875-3700.