Starting in August 2020, staff will resume presentations via Zoom. Interested in a program presenter from the Commission? Send your request no later than 30 days before a speech: go to the Commission’s website, click on Forms, and then click on “Program Presenter.”
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.
A Regulatory Affairs Division Case Study
By Nicholas Smith, Consumer Protection Officer
The Commission received a complaint from a seller against her listing broker. The broker listed the residential property for sale at $45,000 and acted as dual agent. Due to the condition of the property, the broker believed that traditional financing was going to be unavailable. After procuring a buyer, the broker suggested a lease-to-own arrangement. Both parties were open to the idea and negotiated terms. The buyer would pay a deposit, make regular payments over a three-year period and, at the conclusion of the period, the seller would transfer the deed to the buyer and the buyer would then own the property. This type of lease-to-own transaction is also known as a “contract for deed” or “land installment contract.”
There is no standard contract form for a lease-to-own agreement, so all real estate brokers should advise buyers and sellers to obtain the services of an experienced real estate attorney when conducting these transactions. Rather than referring his clients to an attorney, the broker contacted an attorney himself and communicated that the parties wanted a “lease option” agreement with a three-year term, a $48,000 sales price, a $6,000 deposit and monthly payments of $1,250. A “lease option” is NOT the same as a lease-to-own.
In a “lease option” agreement, the occupant leases the property and has the option of buying the property at an agreed upon price at any point prior to the expiration of the lease. In a lease-to-own agreement, the tenant/buyer pays for the property in full during the payment period with either no balance due at the end of the payment period or a balloon payment due at the end of the payment period.
Based upon the broker’s instructions, the agreement drafted by the attorney in this transaction did not specify that any of the monthly payments would go towards the purchase price, but instead at the end of the three-year term, the buyer had the option to purchase the property at $48,000, less the $6,000 deposit already paid. A signed Offer to Purchase and Contract (Standard Form 2-T) was attached to the agreement reflecting the purchase price and deposit amount with a settlement date at the end of the three-year term.
The broker did not review the attorney-drafted agreement so he failed to realize that the terms were incorrect, to the detriment of his buyer client. The parties signed the agreement and the buyer moved into the property. Fortunately, the buyer learned of the true nature of the agreement after she made approximately five payments rather than her discovering it at the conclusion of the three-year term. The buyer in the transaction said she believed she would own the property at the end of the term, not have the option to buy the property. The broker, attorney and buyer contacted the seller in hopes of executing a new agreement; however, the seller indicated she would not execute a new one as she was satisfied with the deal.
Possible violations of the Real Estate License Law in this case include N.C.G.S. § 93A-6(a) (8) and (10) for being unworthy or incompetent to act in a manner which protects the public and engaging in improper conduct, respectively.
As of July 1, 2020, N.C.G.S. § 93A-32 dictates that a sole proprietorship or entity must be certified as an Education Provider in order to offer NC real estate Prelicensing, Postlicensing, and CE (Update and Elective) courses.
Certification requirements are set out in N.C.G.S. § 93A-34 and Commission rule 58H .0202. Licensed / approved Schools and Sponsors will automatically be transitioned to certified Education Providers on July 1st.
A list of certified Education Providers is provided on the Commission’s website. Also, you can search for courses that Providers have scheduled. Note that Prelicensing, Postlicensing, and CE Update courses must be instructed by Commission-approved instructors.
For more information, contact the Education and Licensing Division at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919.875.3700.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission’s office has been closed to the public and most staff members have been working remotely. However, there has been no reduction in services provided to the public and licensees, because forms, applications, and license records are web-based, and because staff members have robust remote access capability. All of this is made possible by the efforts and talent of the Commission’s Information Technology (IT) staff.
The Commission’s IT section is led by the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and is comprised of four staff members. IT is part of the Executive and Administration Division.
Responsibilities of IT staff members include:
For more information, contact the Commission at email@example.com or 919.875.3700.
Originally published in the June 2020 edition of the eBulletin
Temporary rule 58G .0104, which has been effective since March 26, provides for automatic extensions of time for brokers to complete CE and Postlicensing education. Following are a few of the most frequently-asked questions regarding extensions.
What is the CE extension deadline?
Answer: September 30, 2020. The Commission is granting an automatic 90-day extension. No CE courses may be offered during the June 11-June 30 CE blackout period, so the 90-day extension period will begin on July 1, 2020, and end on September 30, 2020. Licensees do not have to submit an extension request for CE.
Can a broker take the 2019-20 Update course after June 10, 2020?
Answer: No. The 2019-20 GenUp and BICUP courses cannot be offered after June 10, 2020.
What if brokers do not take the 2019-20 Update course by June 10. How will they make it up?
Answer: Any broker who does not complete all 8 hours of CE by June 10 will be automatically granted a 90-day extension. The broker will then take approved elective courses [between July 1-September 30, 2020] to make up missed hours, even if those hours included the Update course.
What is the Postlicensing extension deadline?
Answer: September 30, 2020. Provisional Brokers (PBs) who have Postlicensing education deadlines between March 26-June 30, 2020, will be granted an automatic extension until September 30, 2020. PBs do not have to submit a Postlicensing Extension request.
Should brokers renew their licenses even if they don’t complete CE or Postlicensing education?
Answer: Yes. Renewal requirements have not changed. A video that answers FAQs regarding renewal and provides step-by-step renewal instructions is posted in the Commission’s Video Library.
If you have further questions, please contact the Education and Licensing Division at LS@ncrec.gov or 919.875.3700.
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.
KIMBERLY RENE CLARK (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Ms. Clark effective May 1, 2020. The Commission found that in July 2018, Ms. Clark acting as the broker-in-charge of a firm, failed to discover a broker of her firm inaccurately advertised a property as having a total of 2,619 square feet when the property actually had 1,980 square feet. The broker affiliated with Ms. Clark’s firm also failed to disclose underground storage tanks in August of 2018.
MOUNTAIN ISLAND LAKE REALTY, LLC (Charlotte) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Mountain Island Lake Realty, LLC effective May 1, 2020. The Commission found that in July 2018, a broker affiliated with the firm inaccurately advertised a property as having a total of 2,619 square feet when the property actually had 1,980 square feet. The broker affiliated with the firm also failed to disclose underground storage tanks in August of 2018.
Anthony “Tony” Rand, of Fayetteville, State Senator from 1981-1988 and 1995-2009. On February 22, 2005, the Real Estate Commission’s Raleigh office building was dedicated in his honor. https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/charlotte/obituary.aspx?n=anthony-rand&pid=196133096&fhid=10103
Fred Adams Sr., of Willow Spring, a member of the Commission from 1981 to 1983. https://www.everhere.com/us/obituaries/nc/willow-spring/fred-adams-sr-10734437