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Commission Amends Rules

Following a rulemaking hearing February 9 in Greensboro, the Real Estate Commission adopted rule changes which, if approved by the Rules Review Commission, will become effective July 1, 2005.

In addition to technical changes, the new rules address real estate school advertising, facilities, prelicensing instructors, course completion reporting and payment of fees; minimum size of digital images of trust account checks maintained by banks; continuing education exemption for licensees who are sitting members of Congress; and penalties for obtaining, attempting to obtain and/or using license examination questions.

The rule changes also change the term “principal broker” to “qualifying broker” to more accurately reflect the duties of persons qualifying firms for licensure, and the term “personally” to “directly” in the rule requiring brokers-in-charge to supervise their salespersons recognizing that, in this era of cell phones, e-mail, etc., regular face-to-face contact is not always necessary to adequately supervise salespersons.

Two additional rule changes are likely to affect most practicing brokers and salespersons.  The first one addresses the new Alternative 2 in the North Carolina Association of REALTORS®/North Carolina Bar Association Offer to Purchase and Contract form where a buyer may pay a seller an “option fee” for the right to terminate the purchase contract by a certain date for any or no reason.  In such cases, if the option fee is given to the buyer’s or seller’s agent, the agent must deliver it to the seller within three days of receipt; however, if during the period while the agent is holding the check the buyer requests that it be returned, the agent must do so.

The other rule change likely to affect licensees is a new requirement that licensees display their real estate license number on listing agreements, buyer agency agreements, and any other agreement for brokerage services, as well as the Working with Real Estate Agents publication to help consumers and other licensees verify licensure.

This article came from the May 2005-Vol36-1 edition of the bulletin.