(Excerpted from remarks by Phillip T. Fisher, Executive Director, at a special meeting of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission in the House Chamber of the State Capitol Building in Raleigh on May 21, 2007.)
Fifty years ago today in this hallowed chamber, the members of the House of Representatives assembled to consider Senate Bill 277- AN ACT TO DEFINE, REGULATE AND LICENSE REAL ESTATE BROKERS AND REAL ESTATE SALESMEN IN NORTH CAROLINA AND TO CREATE THE NORTH CAROLINA REAL ESTATE LICENSING BOARD AND DEFINE ITS POWERS AND DUTIES, AND TO PROVIDE PENALTIES FOR THE VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS OF THE ACT.
Three decades earlier, similar legislation had been enacted but in 1939 was declared unconstitutional because it applied to only eight counties. Like its predecessor, the 1957 licensing bill was not without controversy.
According to newspaper accounts of the day, a Representative rose to offer an amendment to exempt anyone already licensed by another State licensing board. But Representative Childers of Gaston County, who was a sponsor of the bill, responded that “this will kill the whole thing”.
Not giving up, the other Representative offered another amendment to exempt “farmers, bankers, teachers, preachers, and members and former members of the Legislature”. But this brought Representative Gene Bost of CabarrusCounty to his feet to knock down the amendment and bring the debate to a close.
So, despite the critics, fortunately the bill had its supporters. And when the roll was called back yonder, they were there. By a vote of 69 to 24, the Real Estate License Law was enacted and the Real Estate Licensing Board (now the “Real Estate Commission”) created. Beginning in 1957 with its 2500 “grandfathered licensees”, the number of licensees under the Commission’s jurisdiction has now grown to more than 100,000. But through the years, its mission has remained the same: “To protect the interests of North Carolina real estate consumers”.
Blessed with the sound counsel of its dedicated members, the creative ideas and energy of its talented staff, and the cooperation and support of its friends and the organizations and institutions represented here today, the Commission has steadfastly pursued this objective. So that today, one-half century after its humble beginning in this very room, the North Carolina Real Estate Commission stands poised and prepared to confront the many challenges that still lie ahead in serving our fellow citizens.
For your valuable contribution to this worthy cause, real estate consumers and practitioners should be most grateful, and you all should be very, very proud.
This article came from the June 2007-Vol38-1 edition of the bulletin.