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Know Who Gets the Keys Protect Your Client’s Property

Listing a property brings with it more than just an opportunity for a sale. You acquire a responsibility and the obligation to see that access is managed so that the property is secure and protected.

Release of keys to individuals such as other agents, appraisers, maintenance services, etc., is a common occurrence in a real estate office. And, in a busy office, handing over the keys can be done hastily and without questions or identification.

To avoid potential problems, follow a prudent policy of knowing who has received keys and been granted access and when the keys are to be returned. A sign-in sheet and copying the recipient’s driver license can yield that ounce of prevention against pounds of trouble later on.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.


The statistics here generally reflect the activities of the Real Estate Commission during the period from May 1, 2007 to April 30, 2008.


•     260,500 telephone calls

•     1.1 million+ website “hits”


•     1,100,000+ publications distributed to brokers, consumers, applicants


•     8,400+ student rosters electronically processed for CE courses and 749 for postlicensing courses


•     562,000 license records changed (a 40% increase)

•     11,000+ applications processed for licenses by examination

•     10,000+ license examinations  


•     6,200+ licenses by examination issued

•     610 licenses issued by reciprocity

•     1,388 firm licenses issued

•     359 expired, surrendered and suspended licenses reinstated

•     3,800 Certificates of License History issued

•     383 license applications reviewed by Commission for character issues

•     171 license applicant conferences     conducted


•     15 new private real estate school licenses issued and 65 renewed

•     43 real estate instructors approved (a 19% increase) and 40 renewed

•     65 new continuing education elective courses approved (for a total of 406 courses)

•     21 new continuing education sponsors approved (for a total of 219)

•     19 new continuing education Update Course instructors approved (for a total of  187)

•     42 Broker-in-Charge Course sessions conducted for 2,415 licensees


•     142 field investigations completed

•     98 trust accounts examined

•     443 persons interviewed

•     16 trust account sessions conducted for 316 students

•     2,415 students instructed for trust account portion of BIC course


•     1,361 case (complaint) files opened and 1,386 closed

•     26 licenses reprimanded

•     60 licenses suspended

•     38 licenses revoked

•     14 licenses surrendered

•     99 cases with conditional remedies

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.

Moroccans Visit Commission

Commission Executive Director Fisher and attorneys Tom Miller, Miriam Baer and Janet Thoren met with visitors from Morocco to answer their questions concerning real estate financing and financial market conditions in the United States.

The July 25 visit from Mr. Said El Moustafid, Chief of Projects for the National Telecommunication Regulation Agency, and Dr. Mostafa Ezzyyani, Professor/Researcher at the School of Science and Techniques, was arranged by the International Affairs Council under the auspices of the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.

Effective October 14, 2008 Compensation Rule Changes Approved

Beginning October 1, real estate brokers are required to disclose to their clients any incentive, bonus, rebate, or other compensation (of more than nominal value) which is offered to them by some other person or party.

You must make the disclosure in sufficient time to aid your client’s decision-making (ideally before you show a buyer-client a property for which an incentive is being offered).

If you choose to initially disclose the incentive orally (rather than in writing), you must then confirm it in writing before your client makes or accepts an offer to buy or sell.

The disclosure must simply state the amount (or describe the value) of the incentive and who is offering it to you.

NOTE: The requirement applies to all sales transactions (both residential and non-residential) but not to lease or other transactions.  You’re not required to tell anyone other than your client the compensation you expect to receive in a transaction, nor are you required to tell your client the amount of compensation you expect to receive from your employing broker (company).  

You can find on the Commission’s website Rule A.0109 (Brokerage Fees and Compensation) containing the recent amendments.  You will also receive a detailed explanation of the changes in your 2008-2009 continuing education Update Course.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.

Commission Reelects Skip Alston, Marsha Jordan to Second Terms

Melvin L. “Skip” Alston of Greensboro has been reelected Chairman of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission and Marsha H. Jordan of Lincolnton, reelected Vice Chair, for the 2008-2009 term beginning August 1, it was announced by Phillip T. Fisher, Executive Director.

Alston has been a member of the Commission since 2003.

He is serving his fifth four-year term as a member of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners and was elected its first African American chairman.

For the past 26 years, Alston has served as president and owner of the Alston Realty Group, Inc., a real estate firm in Greensboro specializing in property management and real estate sales.

He is also involved with other business ventures in the Greensboro community, including East Market Street Square, Inc., a commercial development company, and Alston and Alston, LLC, a residential renovation and consulting firm.

Alston is immediate past president of the North Carolina State Conference of NAACP Branches which consist of 120 Adult Branches and 60 Youth and College Chapters across the state. He has also served on the NAACP National Board of Directors since 2001 and been a member of its National Board of Trustees since 1988.

Alston is co-founder and chairman of the board of directors for the Sit-In Movement, Inc., a nonprofit corporation formed for the purpose of purchasing and renovating into an international Civil Rights Center and Museum the historic WoolworthBuilding in downtown Greensboro where the 1960 sit-ins took place.

He is a former member of the North Carolina Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday Commission, served two terms as president of the North Carolina Association of Black County Officials, and been a member of a host of other boards and commissions throughout the state and country.

Alston resides in Greensboro with his wife, Gwendolyn, who is a licensed real estate broker and Vice President of The Alston Realty Group, Inc. He has two sons, DeSean Jahleel Alston, 25, who is also a real estate broker currently residing in Los Angeles, and Ryan DeMarkus Alston, 16, who attends Dudley High School in Greensboro. Alston attends St. James Baptist Church in Greensboro.

Marsha H. Jordan

A graduate of the University of Virginia (MWC), Jordan entered the real estate business in 1986. She is owner of Apple Realty in Lincolnton, a Graduate of the REALTORS® Institute and a Certified Residential Specialist.

Appointed to the Commission in 1999, Jordan is president of the North Carolina Real Estate Education Foundation and past president and 2001 REALTOR® of the Year of the Lincoln County Board of REALTORS®. Active in community affairs, she is a former director of the Lincolnton Chamber of Commerce, past president for Downtown Development, and currently president of the Lincolnton Rotary Club.

She and her husband, Max, a REALTOR® and contractor, reside in Lincolnton and have one son, Jason, a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a REALTOR®.

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission is responsible for the licensing and regulation of 11,000 real estate firms and 100,000 real estate agents in the state.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.

Commission Awards Scholarships

The Real Estate Commission has awarded scholarships to Stephanie Rhodes of Cornelius, Warren Moore of Washington, and George (Jody) Rich of Concord for their outstanding academic achievements in REALTORS® Institute courses.

The recipients were selected by the North Carolina Real Estate Edudcational Foundation.

Rhodes received the Blanton Little Memorial Scholarship and Moore, the Joe Schweidler Memorial Scholarship. Both Little and Schweidler were former Executive Directors of the Commission.

Rich received the Phillip T. Fisher Scholarship. Fisher is currently Executive Director.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.


Auditor’s Corner – Smell a Crime? Drop a Dime.

By Emmet R. Wood, Director, Audits and Investigations

You may not be the qualifying broker or broker-in-charge of a real estate office or a member of its management team.

But, as a broker associated with the firm, it is still your responsibility to report to the Real Estate Commission any violations of the Real Estate License Law or Commission rules which you observe and to be alert to certain “red flags” which may suggest a problem with the firm’s trust account.

While there may be logical explanations to some client and customer complaints, if there is a pattern of complaints accompanied by some of the other “red flags” described, it may signal a problem which requires the Commission’s attention.

If so, you are encouraged to consult the Commission’s Legal Services Division or Audits and Investigations Division where a team of highly trained attorneys, auditors, consumer protection and information specialists are available to answer your questions and determine whether further inquiry is needed.

Trust account shortages ultimately injure real estate consumers.  It may be your client whose earnest money deposit, security deposit or rents are not being safeguarded.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.


Alston Receives Community Service Award

Melvin L. “Skip” Alston, Chairman of the Real Estate Commission, has received the Ben Ball Community Service Award from the North Carolina Association of REALTORS® at the recent NCAR annual convention in Charlotte.

The award is given to select REALTORS® who deserve recognition for their contributions to the betterment of their communities through outstanding public service.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.

Alston, Jordan Reappointed

Melvin L. “Skip” Alston of Greensboro and Marsha H. Jordan of Lincolnton have been reappointed to the Commission for new three-year terms.

Alston, current Commission Chairman and a member since 2003, was reappointed by House Speaker Joe Hackney. Jordan, current Vice Chair and a member since 1999, was reappointed by Senate President Pro-Tem Marc Basnight.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.

Allan R. Dameron Legal Internships

Jessica M. Pearce of New York and Scott G. Allen of Morrisville received the Allan R. Dameron Legal Internship awards for 2008 from the Real Estate Commission. Both are second year law students at the University of North Carolina. The awards are given annually in memory of and tribute to former Commission Chairman Dameron for his dedicated service in protecting the interests of North Carolina real estate consumers.

This article came from the October 2008-Vol39-2 edition of the bulletin.