Jocelyn Mitnaul Mallette of Raleigh has been appointed by Governor Roy Cooper to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission for a term ending July 31, 2025.
Mallette is a partner in the Raleigh office of McGuireWoods LLP. She represents publicly traded and private corporations in product liability claims, complex civil litigation, and environmental litigation in state and federal courts. In addition, she represents military veterans as part of her pro bono practice.
Prior to her role with McGuireWoods LLP, Mallette was a Law Clerk for The Honorable Barbara A. Jackson at the North Carolina Supreme Court. She was previously a Prosecutor and Special Assistant US Attorney in the United States Air Force Judge Advocate General (JAG) Corps.
Mallette holds a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science in Legal Studies, from the United States Air Force Academy.
While in law school, Mallette was inducted into the James E. and Carolyn B. Davis Society, where she was one of eight inductees in her graduating class recognized for extraordinary leadership ability, integrity, dedication, and character.
She was honored as an “Outstanding Recent Graduate” by the UNC Chapel Hill School of Law Alumni Association in 2022, Best Lawyers: “Ones to Watch,” from 2021-2023, and “40 Under 40: Nation’s Best Advocates,” by the National Bar Association for 2020.
An active member in her community, Mallette currently serves as the Chair of the Southeast Raleigh YMCA Advisory Board and as a member of its Racial Equity Committee. She is a council member of the North Carolina Bar Association’s Military and Veterans Law Section, and a member of the Wake County Bar Association’s Grievance Committee.
By Stephen Fussell, Chief CPO
An agency agreement is an agreement between a real estate firm (or sole proprietorship) and its client – a buyer, seller, landlord or tenant. The agreement usually describes the relationship between the firm and its client, specifies the services to be provided by the firm, describes any obligations of the client, and indicates how the firm will be compensated for its services.
A real estate firm’s relationship with a client also determines the relationship of the firm’s affiliated brokers with the client. See the following examples:
Many firms endeavor to sell their own listings and therefore offer dual agency as a way to achieve this goal. If your firm offers dual agency, then you must obtain the client’s express, written authorization for the firm and its affiliated brokers to act as a dual agent. Ideally, this written authorization will be included in the listing agreement and in the buyer agency agreement.
Additionally, as soon as you learn that the other party in the transaction is also represented by your firm, you must disclose this fact to your client. Remember, you must obtain your client’s authorization to act as a dual agent before a dual agency situation occurs, and then disclose to your client when dual agency arises. Example: An offer is submitted by a buyer who is represented by the listing firm. Even if the agency agreements for both parties authorize dual agency, the listing agent must clearly disclose the dual agency situation when presenting the offer to the seller.
If a buyer or seller has concerns about the inherent conflict of interest posed by dual agency and, if your firm offers designated dual agency, then the client may request designated dual agent. While this will commonly be noted in the agency agreement, a separate written agreement addressing the type of agency the firm and client have agreed to may be used. However, a broker who has received confidential information about one party cannot be designated to represent the other party. Remember, in order for a firm to provide designated dual agency in a transaction, both parties must agree to designated dual agency. And, a firm cannot designate a broker to represent one party without also designating a different broker to represent the other party.
Firms that offer either form of dual agency (designated or non-designated) must exercise great care to safeguard the confidential information received from its clients. A designated dual agent who accidentally receives confidential information regarding the other party in a transaction which could affect their client’s decisions regarding that transaction must share the information with their client. While the sharing of this information may be detrimental to the other party in the transaction, the designated broker’s fiduciary duty requires him or her to disclose any information that could affect their client’s decision-making. It is therefore imperative that firms practicing dual agency and/or designated dual agency have clear, strictly-enforced policies and procedures for protecting clients’ confidential information to prevent accidental disclosures of confidential information.
A brokerage offers a Lunch and Learn continuing education course for brokers. In exchange for referrals from the brokerage, a local property surveyor pays the brokerage the full cost of the luncheon for all attendees, but does not advertise its services during the course.
Question: Is this a violation of RESPA?
Answer: Yes, this is a violation of RESPA. The property surveyor has given a “thing of value” to the brokerage when they reimbursed the brokerage for the cost of the luncheon. The property surveyor and the brokerage could be held responsible for the RESPA violation. However, if the property surveyor attends the Lunch and Learn and makes a presentation or otherwise markets their services, the reimbursement may be lawful under RESPA
The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau has a multitude of resources that can assist you with understanding what activities are permitted and prohibited under RESPA. You can access the resources here.
If you have questions regarding whether or not an activity violates RESPA, please consult with an attorney.
Have you taken your continuing education courses yet? Do you know which continuing education courses you need to take?
Rule 58A .1702 requires brokers to complete eight credit hours of real estate continuing education courses within one year prior to the expiration of the license as follows:
In other words, a broker must take the appropriate continuing education course for their license status. For example, a broker must take the BIC Update Course if they hold BIC Eligible status; if a broker does not have BIC Eligible status, they must take the General Update Course. Be aware that a broker with BIC Eligible status who takes the General Update Course and an elective will maintain an active license but will lose BIC Eligible status (and, in turn, BIC designation).
For more information or to ask a question, contact the Education and Licensing Division at 919.875.3700 or email@example.com.
The North Carolina Real Estate Commission is pleased to announce that it will be holding its April 19-20, 2023, business meeting and hearings in Edenton, North Carolina. You are cordially invited to join the Commission members for coffee on Wednesday, April 19th at 9:00, before the meeting begins, and to stay or attend the meeting at any time throughout the day.
The business meeting is expected to begin Wednesday at 9:30 and to last until mid-afternoon.
The meeting will be held at:
Historic 1767 Chowan County Courthouse
117 East King Street
Edenton, NC 27932
The Commission members welcome the opportunity to meet you and hear your thoughts. While not required, we will appreciate your RSVP by April 12th to firstname.lastname@example.org for planning purposes.
We look forward to seeing you in Edenton!
Jean Hobbs, Auditor/Investigator and Lyndi James, Auditor, spoke at the REMAX Advantage meeting on February 7.
Fred Moreno, Chief Deputy Legal Counsel, and Kristen Fetter, Deputy Legal Counsel, spoke at the Longleaf Pine REALTORS Association meeting on February 21.
Bruce Rinne, Information Officer, spoke at the Greenridge Realty meeting on February 21.
Jean Hobbs, Auditor/Investigator, spoke at the Charlotte NARPM Chapter and Triad NARPM Chapter meeting on February 23.
International Women’s Day
Each year on March 8 we celebrate International Women’s Day.
International Women’s Day (IWD) is a global holiday that grew out of efforts to promote women’s rights in the early 20th century. On IWD, we celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. While we recognize, and celebrate, the progression in advancing women’s rights we must also acknowledge that there is still work to do. Everyone everywhere can play a part in continuing to forge women’s equality.
In recognition of IWD, we’d like to highlight some data on women in real estate. According to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR), women have comprised the majority of REALTORS since 1978 and as of 2021, represent 65% of their membership.
KASSIEM S. CARTER (RALEIGH) – Following a hearing, the Commission permanently revoked the broker license of Carter effective November 29, 2022. The Commission found that, in an unrelated case, Carter consented to the voluntary surrender of his licensed firm’s broker license and the active suspension of his license. Following the license surrender and suspension, Carter knowingly continued conducting property management services through an unlicensed firm and without being designated as, or affiliated with, a broker-in-charge.
BRANDEN BONNETT (CHARLOTTE) – Following a hearing, the Commission permanently revoked the broker license of Bonnett effective December 6, 2022. The Commission found that Bonnett performed brokerage services as a provisional broker while he was unaffiliated, made misrepresentations to clients regarding the status of mortgage loans and contracts, made misrepresentations to brokers regarding the payment of due diligence fees, and forged client signatures on a contract and on addenda.
SANDRA PAGANO (MOREHEAD CITY) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Pagano effective January 19, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Pagano violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Pagano neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
STEVE SAIEED (GREENVILLE) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Saieed effective February 15, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Saieed violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Saieed neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
ISAAC TYNDALL (MYRTLE BEACH) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Tyndall effective February 15, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Tyndall violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Tyndall neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
JUDITH CARVER (ASHEVILLE) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Carver effective February 15, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Carver violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Carver neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
JAMES EARL RAY FISHER (FAYETTEVILLE) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Fisher effective February 15, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Fisher violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Fisher neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
STONE GABLES PROPERTY (FAYETTEVILLE) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Stone Gables Property, effective January 19, 2023. The Commission found that in May 2022, Stone Gables Property entered into an exclusive right to sell listing agreement with the sellers of certain real property. The sellers accepted an offer to purchase and contract that required the buyers to remit a due diligence fee. The buyers did not immediately remit this fee. Upon advice from the broker-in-charge and listing agent affiliated with Stone Gables Property, the sellers accepted a second offer to purchase and contract without properly terminating the first contract.
ALEXANDRA REGINA HUNT (CHARLOTTE) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Hunt for a period of 12 months, effective February 1, 2023. The Commission found that Hunt acted as the buyer’s agent for an out of state buyer purchasing property sight-unseen. Hunt failed to complete agency agreements with accurate dates and signed the buyer agency agreement after the transaction had closed. Hunt failed to ensure requested repairs were agreed upon in writing and completed. Hunt advertised using a name which is not the broker’s legal name or on file with the Commission. Hunt failed to respond to repeated Letters of Inquiry from Commission staff.
Did you receive a postcard reminder to renew your real estate license last year? Did you receive it after you renewed your license? Well, guess what? Postcard renewal notices will no longer be sent to brokers via the US mail. In an effort to ensure brokers receive timely reminders to renew their licenses, the Commission will now send renewal notices via electronic communication.
Therefore, brokers must ensure a current, valid email address is on file with the Commission pursuant to Rule 58A .0103(c). Due to the elimination of paper renewal notices, it is imperative that brokers login to their license record and verify the validity of their email address.
Brokers may enter a public or private email address in their license record. However, if the email address is designated as public, this information is available to the general public. If the broker designates the email address as private, the email address is only available for the Commission to use when sending correspondence.
Furthermore, brokers should not enter an office email address that is shared with others in their brokerage. Brokers, keep in mind that if you are the qualifying broker for your firm, your public email address is also the email address for the firm. A qualifying broker cannot have a public email address that is different from their firm.
If you have any additional questions, you may contact the Education and Licensing Division at email@example.com or 919.875.3700.