JUSTIN RYAN WINSTEAD (DURHAM) – Following a hearing, the Commission permanently revoked the broker license of Justin Winstead, effective June 27, 2023. The Commission found that Winstead, the qualifying broker and broker in charge of Harper Homes LLC, purchased a home and completed renovations with the intent to “flip” the property. Winstead did not hire a licensed general contractor and failed to obtain a certificate of occupancy and permits for the renovations, as required by the locality. Winstead failed to disclose this information to the buyer prior to the time of offer. The buyer learned there was no CO when the power company would not connect power to the home for the home inspection. Despite several contract extensions agreed to by the buyer, Winstead failed to obtain the necessary permits and CO. Winstead failed to complete the BICUP course as required and was removed as the broker in charge of Harper Homes LLC, leaving the firm without a broker in charge. Winstead failed to respond to three (3) letters of inquiry from the Commission.
HARPER HOMES LLC (DURHAM) – Following a hearing, the Commission permanently revoked the firm license of Harper Homes LLC, effective June 27, 2023. The Commission found that Justin Winstead was the broker in charge of Harper Homes LLC. Winstead failed to complete the BICUP course as required and was removed as the broker in charge, leaving the firm without a broker in charge. Harper Homes LLC listed a home for sale when the firm did not have a broker in charge.
RICHARD KELTON (HOLLY SPRINGS) – The Commission accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of the real estate license of Kelton, effective August 16, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Kelton violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules. Kelton neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
SCOTT E. GUPTON (NEW BERN) – The Commission accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of the real estate license of Gupton, effective August 16, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Gupton violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules. Gupton neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
KENT ALLEN DAUDERMAN (CARY) – The Commission accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of the real estate license of Dauderman, effective August 16, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Dauderman violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules. Dauderman neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
SHARON LYNN PARKER (HIGH POINT) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Parker, effective August 1, 2023. The Commission found that Parker, acting as the broker-in-charge and qualifying broker of Wellington Advisors LLC, failed to adequately supervise the firm’s Chief Operating Officer that used a company credit card for personal use and misapplied approximately $306,000 in funds from client trust accounts.
WELLINGTON ADVISORS LLC – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded the firm effective August 1, 2023. The Commission found that the firm’s Chief Operating Officer used a company credit card for personal use and misapplied approximately $306,000 in funds from client trust accounts.
DEBRA THOMAS PARSONS (ROCKINGHAM) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Parsons, effective August 1, 2023. The Commission found that Parsons represented a buyer and failed to adequately disclose the possibility of a 4-lane bypass planned by the North Carolina Department of Transportation that could affect the subject property.
TONY L, CLONINGER, JR (DENVER) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Cloninger for a period of 12 months, effective August 1, 2023, but stayed the suspension after 1 month upon certain conditions. The Commission found that Cloninger listed a subject property for sale and attached a copy of an expired septic permit from 2006. Potential buyers terminated the purchase contract and notified Cloninger that it was due, in part, to the difficulty of obtaining the septic permit. Cloninger then re-listed the subject property, failing to disclose the septic permit information. Another buyer went under contract for the subject property and, after learning a conventional septic may not be possible, terminated the contract. Cloninger listed the subject property for a third time failing to disclose the septic permit information; the property went under contract with a subsequent buyer who also terminated due to issues with the septic.
The widely acclaimed 2017 publication, The Color of Law, by Richard Rothstein argues that the racial segregation of Americans in residential communities is not so much a result of personal preference as it is the result of discriminatory government policies dating from the 1800s until the passage of the federal Fair Housing Act of 1968. The Fair Housing Act prohibited future discrimination but did not reverse deeply ingrained residential segregation. Rothstein uses evidence and extensive detail to present an analysis of historical data and events to highlight the de jure segregation across the country, and the lasting impact on African Americans.
With the 2023 publication of Just Action: How to Challenge Segregation Enacted Under the Color of Law, Rothstein and his daughter, Leah Rothstein, advocate for housing reforms on a national level, and outline targeted strategies for undoing segregation. Just Action details the importance of redressing historical inequities in communities through intentional action and programing. It provides a blueprint for concerned citizens and community leaders to hold perpetuators of systemic discrimination accountable and take responsibility for reversing the harm caused.
You can learn more about, or purchase, these books through any book retailer.
Many property owners have video surveillance equipment both inside and outside their properties for both safety and security purposes. Therefore, real estate brokers should be aware of the proper use of video and audio equipment during showings to help buyers and sellers comply with state and federal law. In 2014, the Commission wrote an article entitled “The Use of Audio/Video Equipment During Showings.” The article mentions Federal Statute 18 USC § 2511, which makes it unlawful for anyone to intentionally intercept any wire, oral, or electronic communication. This federal statute also prohibits the interception of oral communication, whether it is recorded or not. However, a person will not be violation of this federal statute if State law allows them to hear an oral communication, when a party to the conversation has consented.
State law, specifically, N.C.G.S. § 15A-286 et seq., the Electronic Surveillance Act, governs the interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications. Under this Act, it is illegal for an individual to intercept, disclose, or use any oral, wire, or electronic communication without the consent of at least one party that is involved in the conversation.
As a broker, you should educate your seller on the Electronic Surveillance Act and the potential legal consequences that may result from violating a person’s privacy and/or not obtaining the necessary consent to record their communication.
It is essential that sellers exercise caution when using video and audio equipment in their homes, especially during showings, open houses, or virtual tours. The following questions will help brokers explain when it is permissible, if at all, for a seller to record communication.
Question: Is it permissible for a seller to either listen to or record a conversation between a potential buyer and their agent?
Answer: No. It is not permissible for a seller to listen in or record a conversation between a potential buyer and their agent because the seller is not a party to the conversation and they have not obtained the written consent of one of the parties.
Question: Can a seller videotape the interactions between a potential buyer and their agent?
Answer: Yes. However, the seller should exercise caution regarding the placement of the device to ensure a person’s privacy is not violated and the audio is turned off. Although the seller can videotape the people present on their property, an attempt to gain potentially confidential information about a buyer by listening to their conversation could result in criminal or civil liability.
Basically, the Electronic Surveillance Act speaks to oral or electronic communications and not video surveillance. It is possible for a seller to place a surveillance device (e.g. video) in the home without audio transmission. However, sellers should be careful about where they place the device to ensure that an individual’s privacy is not violated. For example, they should not place the device in a bathroom. Although sellers may record video footage without audio, the Commission recommends that brokers advise their sellers not to use any device as a means to attempt to gain information about potential buyers or their agents.
Sellers should not use non-recording audio devices like walkie-talkies or baby monitors. Although baby monitors and walkie-talkies do not record the conversation, the conversation is still being intercepted by the seller without the consent of the parties.
If you have additional questions or comments, please email Regulatory Affairs at email@example.com.
Bruce Rhinne, Information Officer, spoke at Lincoln County Board of REALTORS® on August 1.
Fred Moreno, Chief Deputy Legal Counsel, spoke at Engel & Volkers on August 2.
Minerva Mims, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, spoke at Keller Williams Legacy on August 22.
William “Bill” Aceto of Boone and Robert J. “Bob” Ramseur, Jr. of Raleigh have been appointed to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission by the General Assembly for terms ending July 31, 2026 and June 30, 2026, respectively, announced Miriam J. Baer, Executive Director.
Aceto is a partner at Blue Ridge Realty & Investments. He specializes in foreclosed and bank-owned properties, property managements, student rental housing, investment property, commercial real estate, developments, large acreage tracts, building lots and residential brokerage.
Aceto also personally invests in rental properties, land tracts, and residential properties in the Boone area. Aceto and his Blue Ridge Realty & Investment partner, Todd Rice, own and operate Blue Ridge Professional Property Services, LLC, Boone High County Rentals, and Ashe Rental Agency.
Aceto has held leadership positions for the High Country Association of REALTORS® and was named the 2020 High Country Association REALTOR® of the Year. He is also active in the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® and was a 2015 Graduate of the NC REALTORS® Leadership Academy. Aceto is a public member on the North Carolina Building Commission, a former member of the Town of Boone Board of Adjustment (ETJ Alternate), and past Chairman of the Watauga County Board of Elections. He graduated from Appalachian State University with a degree in Political Science with minors in Business & Criminal Justice.
Ramseur is a partner at Ragsdale Liggett PLLC. His practice focuses on residential and commercial real estate transactions, lease drafting and negotiation, construction and development, tax and entity structuring, and real estate litigation.
Ramseur, is a former member of the Real Estate Commission. He was previously appointed by Governor Pat McCrory in 2015 and has served in the past as Commission Chair.
He is a member and the current chair of the Joint Forms Task Force for the North Carolina Bar Association and the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®. Ramseur holds a JD and a BA from Wake Forest University.
Aceto and Ramseur will begin their terms on September 13th at the Commission meeting scheduled for that date.
On Thursday, August 24th, Governor Cooper signed into law House Bill 422, protecting homeowners from a recent wave of unfair real estate agreements tying up their properties for 40 years. The North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s staff worked for the past year in conjunction with the Attorney General’s office and the NC REALTORS® to draft this important piece of consumer protection legislation and support it through the legislative process.
Have you been charged with a criminal offense, or do you know of a broker who has?
Commission Rule A.0113 requires that a broker file with the Commission a Criminal Conviction Disciplinary Action Reporting Form within 60 days of:
Notice that this rule refers to final judgments and orders, not charges. Once an investigation concludes, criminal and other charges are sometimes dropped or reduced. That’s why a broker is not required to report any charges which are pending against them, only convictions and final dispositions.
When we receive information about charges being filed against a broker, the Commission normally holds those matters open until after a conviction or final judgement occurs, assuming it does. Like everyone else, brokers are considered innocent until proven guilty.
Do you have a Facebook page? Did you know that the Commission has a Facebook page designed specially for licensees?
The Commission is committed to ensuring that licensees are provided with multiple opportunities to receive real-time, current information. In addition to the monthly eBulletin and North Carolina Real Estate Commission Blog, brokers can receive current updates from the Commission through its Facebook Licensee Group page.
This Facebook page for licensees will provide relevant information on Commission announcements, rule interpretations, rulemaking, and policy decisions. Additionally, the Commission posts valuable resources for licensees to use to ensure their brokerage practices are in compliance with the License Law and Commission rules.
Do you want to stay up-to-date with Commission news? Join the North Carolina Real Estate Commission Facebook Group today! You can click here to join.
Are you interested in joining the staff of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission? The Commission is currently seeking an Assistant Director of Regulatory Affairs and an Auditor. These positions are posted on the Commission’s website. Click here for more information regarding these positions.