JAMES THOMAS TYLER JR. (CARY) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the real estate license of Tyler for a period of two months effective upon any future reinstatement. The Commission found that Tyler pled guilty to Misdemeanor Assault on a Female and Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Protective Order Violation. Tyler failed to notify the Commission within 60 days of the date of conviction and failed to submit a written response within 14 days of receipt of a letter of inquiry from the Commission.
MONA KATHERINE FITCH (FAYETTEVILLE) – The Commission accepted the permanent voluntary surrender of the real estate license of Fitch, effective September 13, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Fitch violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules. Fitch neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
ARTHUR CALDWELL (FAYETTEVILLE) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the real estate license of Caldwell for a period of two years, effective September 13, 2023. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Caldwell violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules. Caldwell neither admitted nor denied misconduct.
CATHERINE ARRINGTON RANKHORN (SUGAR MOUNTAIN) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Rankhorn for a period of 18 months, effective April 19, 2023, but stayed the suspension after 3 months upon certain conditions. The Commission found that Rankhorn, acting as a listing agent, received a structural engineering report that identified deterioration to the exterior of condominium units and water infiltration and failed to disclose the extent of the repairs identified in the structural engineering report before the transactions closed. The Home Owners Association then approved a $6,000 special assessment per homeowner to pay for the repairs recommended in the structural engineering report.
LARISA NICOLE SLOAN (ELIZABETH CITY) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Sloan for a period of 12 months, effective June 1, 2023, but stayed the suspension after 3 months upon certain conditions. The Commission found that Sloan acted as a dual agent and failed to adequately verify a proof-of-funds letter submitted by the buyers for the cash transaction. Sloan also failed to obtain funds for buyer possession at time of possession. Sloan incorrectly identified herself as a designated dual agent on the Offer to Purchase and Contract. Sloan proposed to re-list the subject property before evicting the buyers or having a signed contract termination.
CAROLYN S H HRISO (DURHAM) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the instructor approval of Hriso for a period of 12 months, effective September 1, 2023. The Commission then stayed the suspension in its entirety and placed Hriso on a probationary period of 4 years upon certain conditions. The Commission found that Hriso acting as the Education Director for The NC Real Estate School failed to see that guest instructors were qualified or had sufficient materials to teach a portion of prelicensing classes, failed to ensure instructors met the requirements of Rule H.0304, received 75 hours of instruction, or quiz reviews after each chapter was completed. Hriso reported a student as having passed the prelicensing course even though the student failed the end-of-course exam, allowing that student to sit for the state examination when they were not eligible. As an instructor, Hriso often ended classes early and failed to meet instructor conduct and performance requirements established by the Commission.
THE NC REAL ESTATE SCHOOL (DURHAM) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the education provider approval of The NC Real Estate School for a period of 12 months, effective September 1, 2023. The Commission then stayed the suspension in its entirety upon certain conditions. The Commission found that the education provider failed to provide accurate information relating to its instructional programs, provide accurate reports as to successful prelicensing students eligible to sit for the state examination. The education provider also provided false or misleading information to prelicensing students as it related to their prelicensing program and reported a student as having passed the prelicensing course even though the student failed the end-of-course exam, allowing that student to sit for the state examination when they were not eligible.
SEAN NICHOLAS MCGOVERN (WILMINGTON) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded McGovern, effective September 12, 2023. The Commission found that McGovern, acting as the listing agent for a vacant lot, advertised “Build your dream home on one of the larger homesites in River Run Plantation…” The subject property went under contract and the buyer discovered, after closing, that a residential structure could not be built on the subject property. McGovern disclosed that no soil testing on the subject property had been performed by his seller-client, however, McGovern failed to disclose that a previous septic permit application, accessible in public records, was denied by the county who classified the subject property as “unsuitable” due to soil wetness and insufficient space for a septic system and repair area.
EDWIN H WAGENSELLER (WILMINGTON) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Wagenseller, effective September 12, 2023. The Commission found that Wagenseller, acting as the broker-in-charge of a firm, listed a vacant lot for sale, which advertised “Build your dream home on one of the larger home sites in River Run Plantation…” The subject property went under contract and the buyer discovered, after closing, that a residential structure could not be built on the subject property. The broker that Wagenseller supervised did disclose that no soil testing on the property had been performed by his seller-client. However, the broker failed to disclosed that a previous septic permit application, accessible in public records, was denied by the county who classified the subject property as “unsuitable” due to soil wetness and insufficient space for a septic system and repair area.
ELIZABETH ANN HORN (LEWISVILLE) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Horn, effective September 13, 2023. The Commission found that Horn self-reported a level 3 driving while impaired conviction that resulted in 24 months of supervised probation and the revocation of Horn’s driving privileges.
OTTO CEDENO (DURHAM) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Cedeno, effective September 17, 2023. The Commission found that Cedeno was the broker-in-charge of a provisional broker who acted as a buyer agent for a client purchasing a property at Topsail Beach. Under Cedeno’s supervision, the provisional broker failed to disclose to the buyer-client that the subject property was not eligible for federal flood insurance or that the subject property was in a COBRA zone.
KELLIE WADE ASHLEY (GARNER) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Ashley for a period of 12 months, effective September 15, 2023, but shall stay the suspension after 6 months upon certain conditions. The Commission found that Ashley contracted with a buyer for the sale of a property. After the parties agreed in writing to extend the contract, and before the extension expired, Ashley entered into another contract with a different buyer and misrepresented to the second buyer that the previous contract had been completely terminated. Ashley then refused to close with the first buyer even though the buyer was ready, willing, and able to close on the property.
KELLIE WADE ASHLEY LLC (GARNER) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the firm license of Ashley for a period of 12 months, effective September 15, 2023, but shall stay the suspension after 6 months upon certain conditions. The Commission found that the firm advertised a property for sale while the property was still under contract. The firm then re-advertised the property as “active” in the MLS and allowed showings to resume. The firm then cancelled the listing for the subject property in the MLS and entered the subject property as a new listing with a new MLS# and marked the listing as “pending.”
ROBERT GAINER JERNIGAN (MARION) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Jernigan, effective September 17 2023. The Commission found that Jernigan, acting as the broker-in-charge of a provisional broker, failed to provide the provisional broker with adequate supervision, leading to the buyer-client purchasing a property without knowledge of an encroachment. Jernigan also failed to have written policies and procedures regarding discovering and disclosing material facts or written policies and procedures regarding new brokers.
MOUNTAIN PARTNERS LLC (MARION) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded the firm license of Mountain Partners LLC, effective September 17 2023. The Commission found that the firm failed to have written policies and procedures regarding discovering and disclosing encroachments or written policies and procedures regarding new brokers, resulting in a buyer-client unknowingly purchasing a property with encroachment issues.
October is LGBTQ+ History Month, a month long observance of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, and queer (LGBTQ) history and the history of gay rights and related civil rights movements. LGBTQ+ History Month focuses on recognizing and celebrating the historical achievements in the LGBTQ+ community and creating opportunities for education and engaging in healthy and open discussions. October was selected as LGBTQ+ History Month to commemorate the march on Washington for gay and lesbian rights (October 14, 1979) and to coincide with National Coming Out Day (October 11th, first celebrated in 1988). LGBTQ+ History Month is not to be confused with Pride Month which is celebrated in June and focuses on uplifting, LGBTQ voices and support of LGBTQ+ rights.
To learn more about LGBTQ+ History Month, Pride Month, and other LGBTQ+ historical facts about the observances above, or any other holidays or observances, refer to the links below:
Sheryl Graham, Consumer Protection Officer, and Lyndi James, Auditor, spoke at Carteret County Association of REALTORS ® on September 12.
Chad Wilson, Auditor, spoke at Highlands-Cashiers Board of REALTORS ® on September 20.
Sheryl Graham, Consumer Protection Officer, spoke at HomeTowne Realty on September 21.
Sarah Dixon, Associate Legal Counsel I, spoke at High Point Regional Association of REALTORS ® on September 27.
Brian Heath, Consumer Protection Officer, spoke at Charlotte Regional NARPM ® on September 28.
Bruce Rinne, Information Officer, spoke at Century 21 Liberty on September 28.
Len Elder, Director of Education and Licensing, spoke at the North Carolina Real Estate Educators Association Conference on September 29.
Kizzy Crawford Heath, Legal Education Officer, spoke at the North Carolina Real Estate Educators Association Conference on September 29.
Do you use text messaging as a marketing tool? Are you complying with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act?
Communication is essential in the real estate industry; therefore, some licensees are using telemarketing as a tool to grow their brokerage businesses. However, if telemarketing tools are being used, licensees should be familiar with the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
The Telephone Consumer Protection Act (hereafter known as “TCPA”) was created in 1991 and is the primary telemarketing law in the United States. It protects consumers from unwanted and invasive telemarketing calls and is governed by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The Act primarily addresses the use of automated telephone equipment, prerecorded voice messages, and unsolicited fax messages. However, the TCPA also applies to calls and messages made for marketing purposes, which may include promotional and/or sales-related communications.
Essentially, the TCPA emphasizes the consumers’ right to privacy by mandating businesses use the following measures when telemarketing:
If licensees are going to use telemarketing as a communication tool, they must adhere to the requirements in the TCPA. If you have questions regarding whether or not your communication is in compliance with the TCPA, you should seek the advice of an attorney.
[Pictured L to R]: S. O’Connor, J. Malarney, L. Elder, B. Aceto, J. Thoren, M. Black, M. Baer, T. Lindsey, W. Bullard accepting the ARELLO Awards.
The Commission won the following awards:
ARELLO EDUCATION AWARD – Continuing Education
To NCREC for identifying the need for education on the hot topics of wire fraud and cybersecurity. For integrating multiple agencies and stakeholders into a unified presentation with multiple presenters and awarding real estate CE credit, attorney CLE credit and paralegal credit in a single course. For incorporating training videos, best practices and tools for risk mitigation. For orchestrating and coordinating multiple venues and locations across the state. For integrating the innovative use of QR codes and Sharefile in the delivery of student materials.
ARELLO EDUCATION AWARD – Instructor Training & Development
To NCREC for hosting an instructor education and training event for over 350 attendees from across the state. For the creative and innovative theming of the event as NCREC TREK and incorporating a Star Trek theme. For exploring new worlds of education and delivery modes with topics such as course audits, effective teaching with technology, assisting instructor performance with problem licensing exam topics, enhancing student engagement and the leverage of learning objectives.
ARELLO COMMUNICATION AWARD – Website Innovation & Design
To NCREC for the creation and implementation of the LADS database system for instructors and education providers. For enhancing the efficiency and accuracy of tracking instructor and education provider data. For processing in real time license examination statistics. For creating reports and statistics segregated by education provider, instructor and delivery mode to allow for enhanced decision making and insight into student examination performance.
Have you ever shown a property and walked into an unexpected situation? Many brokers have no idea how they might respond in an emergency until they are faced with one. This article is designed to help you consider scenarios that could occur and be prepared in advance with a proper response. What would you do if you discovered smoke? What about a burst pipe where water could potentially flood throughout the house? In these situations it is likely that you would call for help immediately, whether 911 or the listing agent/property owner or someone who could address the issue. But what would you do if you encountered a person in the property, legally or not, who may be in some sort of distress? Would you leave and go to the next property? Would you call for help, or attempt to notify the listing agent or owner?
Discovering People in Unknown Condition/Situations
There have been many instances of licensees entering properties for business purposes and unexpectedly discovering someone is there. Some situations are simple mistakes, confused timing of showings, forgotten appointments. Others are more alarming, like someone who has broken into a vacant home and is living there. What if you encounter someone who is unresponsive, and you are not clear about if they are in distress or not?
Action you can take:
Discovering Property in Danger
If you enter a property and discover a situation damaging/affecting the property, like a fire or flood, remember that you have a duty to protect the seller’s property while showing it. It is not advisable to walk away and do nothing. At a minimum a broker must take reasonable steps to contact the listing agent or owner and report the issue. Is there an affirmative duty to also contact emergency services? Not specifically by law, but an agent’s duty to safeguard and protect the property may require you to do so.
Action you can take:
Liability Concerns of Brokers
Brokers often express concern that if they encounter a person in distress, they don’t have the proper training or duty to render aid, or that they might be liable under North Carolina law. In fact, North Carolina law provides in NCGS § 90-21.14 that any person who renders first aid or emergency treatment to a person who is unconscious, ill, or injured, and receives no compensation for that assistance, “shall not be liable for damages for injuries alleged to have been sustained by the person or for damages for the death of the person alleged to have occurred by reason of an act or omission in the rendering of the treatment unless it is established that the injuries were or the death was caused by gross negligence, wanton conduct, or intentional wrongdoing on the part of the person rendering the treatment.”
The North Carolina Real Estate Commission is pleased to announce that it will be holding its October 11-12, 2023, business meeting and hearings in Asheville, North Carolina.
You are cordially invited to join the Commission members for coffee on Wednesday, October 11th at 8:30, 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 9:00 and lasts until mid-afternoon. The meeting will be held at:
7 Patton Avenue
Asheville, NC 28801
The Commission members welcome the opportunity to meet you and hear your thoughts. While not required, we will appreciate your RSVP by October 4th to firstname.lastname@example.org for planning purposes.
Have you created an LLC, corporation, partnership, or other type of business entity to conduct brokerage activity? Has the LLC, corporation, partnership, or other type of business entity received compensation? Does this business entity have a firm license?
Rule 58A .0502 dictates that every business entity other than a sole proprietorship shall apply for and obtain from the Commission a firm license prior to engaging in business as a real estate broker. Therefore, if you have created an entity to conduct brokerage activity or to receive compensation, you must apply for a firm license.
To complete a firm license application, you must:
The firm must have one principal who holds a broker license on active status in good standing to serve as the qualifying broker (QB). The QB is responsible for:
To apply for a firm license, go to www.ncrec.gov and click on Apply for a Firm License. If you have any further questions about the firm licensing process, contact the Education and Licensing Division at 919.875.3700.