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2022-2023: Update Courses for Specialty Practice

Did you know that there are specialty versions of the Update course that focus on different practice areas, such as commercial brokerage or property management?  Each year, the Commission determines what topics will be addressed in the next license year’s General Update (GENUP) and Broker-in-Charge Update (BICUP) courses, and Commission staff develops course materials based on the Commission’s directives.  Once the course materials are finalized, Commission Rule 58H .0403(f) permits education providers (EPs) and approved instructors to create specialty versions of the content. 

Per the rule, the development of a specialty Update course is a joint effort between the EP/instructor and the Commission, and all content is jointly owned. The EP or instructor must receive the prior written consent of the Commission to make modifications to the content, and all modifications must relate to the same subject matter and educational objectives as the prescribed Update Course content.

When developing a specialty version of the Update course, an EP or instructor must evaluate the subject matter to determine if the prescribed Update course content meets the needs of their targeted group of brokers.  For example, if the prescribed course includes a topic like agency, the topic would be applicable to brokers in all specialty areas, so it would remain in the specialty versions.  However, the examples and/or discussion questions might be altered to make the topic discussion more relatable to a targeted group of brokers.  

In contrast, if one of the topics in the prescribed Update course is not directly applicable to the targeted group of brokers, an entirely different topic may be substituted.  For instance, if a prescribed Update course focuses on home inspections, the subject matter may not be applicable to commercial brokers. Therefore, another “commercial-specific” topic may be substituted in the commercial specialty version.  

Commission Rule 58H .1702(a) requires brokers to complete eight credit hours of real estate continuing education (CE) courses each year, comprised of a 4-hour Update course, either GENUP or BICUP, and a 4-hour elective course.  Whether a broker takes the standard version or a specialty version of the Update course, the broker must ensure they are taking the appropriate version based on their license status.  Provisional brokers and “full” brokers who do not have BIC Eligible Status must take a GENUP course.  A broker with BIC Eligible Status must take a BICUP course to retain BIC Eligible Status.

Currently, there is one specialty version (Commercial) of the Update course, and there are GENUP and BICUP versions of both.  Brokers may choose to complete multiple versions of the Update course in a license year, but they will receive credit for only one Update course. The completion of additional Update courses will not satisfy the elective course requirement or provide “rollover” credit. Are you interested in registering for the Commercial version of the Update Course?   Go to the CE Course Schedules page on the Commission’s website to search for upcoming courses.  Update courses are only delivered in person and via synchronous distance delivery (aka, “live-online”).

Also, Commission rules do not limit the number of specialty versions that can be created. EPs and approved instructors who are interested in developing a specialty version of the Update course should contact the Education & Licensing Division at educ@ncrec.gov or 919.875.3700.

Current Stats: Monthly Licensee Count as of September 1, 2022

Do I Need a Firm License?

Have you created an LLC, corporation, partnership, or other type of business entity for your brokerage business or for receiving compensation? If so, you need to apply for a firm license.

To complete a firm license application, you must:

*Commission Rule 58A .0502 dictates that a firm must have one principal who holds a broker license on active status in good standing; that broker must 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 further questions about the firm licensing process, contact the Education and Licensing Division at 919.875.3700.

Employment Opportunities Available

Are you interested in joining the staff of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission? From time to time, employment opportunities become available. They are posted on the Commission’s website under the “About Us” tab.

We currently have available the following position:

Information Officer – Responds to telephone and written inquiries from real estate licensees and consumers.  Please apply on or before October 7, 2022.

Auditor –  Audits and inspects real estate brokerage trust account records state-wide.  Please apply on or before October 7, 2022.

Click here for more information.

The Future of Real Estate Technology

Presentation Wednesday October 12 @ 11:00 am

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission is exploring coming developments in real estate technology that affect the real estate profession. In order to understand some of the new technology trends and developments, the Commission has asked national speaker and real estate technology trainer Craig Grant to do a presentation at the regular October Commission meeting.

Craig Grant is the CEO of the Real Estate Technology Institute – RETI.us. A graduate of the University of Florida, Grant speaks regularly on real estate technology topics at conferences and events throughout the country and often conducts education for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), state REALTOR® associations, and national franchises.

On Wednesday, October 12th at approximately 11:00 am Grant will be sharing a presentation with the members of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission on, “The Future of Real Estate Technology,” addressing such topics as:

You can watch the Commission meeting on Wednesday, October 12th beginning at 9:00, or log on any time before 11:00 for this presentation. Simply use the link on the home page of the Commission’s website at NCREC.gov. We hope to see you there!

The Commission Names Minerva Mims as Its First DEI Officer

The North Carolina Real Estate Commission is excited to welcome Minerva Mims as its first new Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Officer.

Mims holds a Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law (2011).  She brings to the Commission a wealth of experience in legal education, legal research and writing, and compliance. In addition to her legal and compliance background, she has been a real estate licensee for over 5 years.

In her new role, Mims will focus on evaluating the Commission’s current diversity and inclusion initiatives and recommending strategies that align with the Commission’s DEI goals. She will also be responsible for raising awareness among licensees and the public, as well as supporting and implementing policies, programs, processes and initiatives to meet the Commission’s diversity-related objectives across the real estate brokerage profession.

ATTENTION: Communications from the Real Estate Commission are Important!

We send important notifications, reminders, and Letters of Inquiry to licensees via email as well as US mail. We do not send junk mail. Some examples of important items the Commissions sends via email include Letters of Inquiry pertaining to complaints, Postlicensing Course due dates and reminders, renewal reminders, CE completion reminders, and changes in license status and firm affiliation.

If you have not been receiving emails from the Commission, check your “Spam” Folder. If you find an email from the Commission there, add the Commission’s email (NCREC.gov) to your “Trusted/Safe Senders” list.

Also, check your license record on NCREC.gov to make sure the Commission has your current email address on record and your current physical addresses(es). Remember to review and update both your email and other address information whenever you change firms or move. Rule A .0103(b) requires you to notify the Commission within 10 days of any change in your contact information.

Additionally, if you receive a Letter of Inquiry from the Commission, Rule A .0601(e) requires you to provide a written response within 14 days of receipt. If you’re unable to respond within 14 days, contact the staff member who sent you the Letter of Inquiry and ask for an extension.

If you don’t keep your addresses up to date, you may not learn about any changes in your license status. Remember, any change in the status of your license or the license of your BIC or firm can affect your ability to work as a broker and may require your immediate action or action by your BIC. If you are a BIC, please make sure your firm’s broker associates see this article.


If you are a BIC or are BIC-Eligible, you should have recently received an email from the Commission asking for your interest in participating in a focus group or survey about BIC responsibilities. The email reads as follows:

“The Real Estate Commission is studying BIC supervision and responsibilities. We are looking at current requirements for BICs and whether or not those requirements are adequate in this day and time. The study may or may not lead to rule changes in the future related to BIC education, experience, and/or duties.  We are inviting those brokers holding the status of BIC or BIC-eligible to join in this study with us, give us your thoughts and ideas on the subject, and be a part of any potential changes moving forward.  We will hold several 1-hour zoom conferences with various panels of BICs, BIC-eligible brokers, and staff to discuss the issues and whether or not changes are needed. The results will be reported back to the Commission members. If you are interested in participating in a panel, please respond to this email with a simple “yes”. Those of you who respond “yes” will receive an invitation to participate in either a Zoom conference or a brief survey, or both. If you do not wish to participate, there is no need to respond. Thank you for considering this – your input is important.”

If you:

find your email, click reply, and respond “Yes.” If you are not interested, no action is necessary and you should not reply.

The email looks like this:

North Carolina Real Estate Commission <bicstudygroup@ncrec.gov>
Sent: Tuesday, September 20, 2022, 4:## PM We look forward to hearing from you.

Disciplinary Actions

JASON MICHAEL COLEMAN (GREENSBORO) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Coleman for a period of 12 months, effective September 23, 2022. The Commission then stayed the suspension in its entirety. The Commission found that Coleman was affiliated with a licensed real estate firm. On October 17, 2019, Coleman formed Jason Coleman Real Estate LLC but did not obtain a firm license for this entity. Coleman also did not, at any time material hereto, designate himself as Broker-in-Charge of this entity. Coleman was paid for brokerage activities in the name of the unlicensed firm. From November 10, 2020, through July 26, 2021, Coleman employed an unlicensed administrative assistant. Coleman allowed the unlicensed assistant to show properties for sale on three separate occasions.

CHRISTOPHER JAMES GOODWIN (MATTHEWS) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Goodwin for a period of 2 years, effective September 1, 2021. The Commission found that in June 2016, a buyer contracted to buy residential property for which Goodwin was the listing agent. In July 2016, the Sellers of the subject property informed Goodwin of a class action lawsuit and settlement with CertainTeed where they received compensation for defective siding for which the Sellers had not yet made repairs. Goodwin did not disclose this fact during the transaction and the transaction closed. The buyer discovered the class action lawsuit after closing on the subject property and was barred from payment or remedy from the class action lawsuit. Goodwin has entered into a civil settlement with the buyer.

MAREK KUCHARSKI (RALEIGH) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Kucharski effective September 14, 2022. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Kucharski violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Kucharski neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

SAUL ERNESTO ROMERO LARA (DURHAM) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Romero Lara for a period of 12 months, effective September 1, 2022. The Commission found that in July 2021, Romero Lara acted as listing agent for the subject property located in Durham. Romero Lara received several offers from buyers’ agents on behalf of their buyer-clients. While the seller was considering offers, Romero Lara disclosed the terms of one offer to the agent for a buyer who had submitted a competing offer. Romero Lara’s actions created an unfair advantage.

TIFFANY RUSSELL (DURHAM) – The Commission accepted the voluntary surrender of the broker license of Russell effective September 14, 2022. The Commission dismissed without prejudice allegations that Russell violated provisions of the Real Estate License Law and Commission rules. Russell neither admitted nor denied misconduct.

MARTY ANDREW PENNELL (TAYLORSVILLE) – By Consent, the Commission reprimanded Pennell, effective September 23, 2022. The Commission found that in May 2021, Pennell acted as listing agent for the subject property. Pennell had been working with buyer clients since March 2021 in their search for a home. Pennell showed the subject property to his buyer clients before the marketing date specified in the listing agreement and prior to entering the property in the MLS. Pennell’s buyer clients submitted an offer that was accepted by Pennell’s seller clients prior to entering the subject property in to the MLS.

TERENCE LEE THOMAS (KNIGHTDALE) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the broker license of Thomas for a period of 6 months, effective September 20, 2022. The Commission then stayed the suspension in its entirety and placed Thomas on probation for a period of eighteen months. Thomas is also prohibited from engaging in property management for others and from handling entrusted funds or otherwise maintaining a trust account for others. The Commission found that Thomas managed a residential rental property and sent the property owner a rental proceeds check, which was returned by their bank for insufficient funds. Thomas provided inaccurate tax information to his owner clients regarding rental payments received on their behalf and failed to maintain transaction documents in compliance with Commission rules. Thomas also failed to deposit entrusted funds into a trust or escrow account and comingled funds. The Commission notes that Thomas no longer manages properties for others, no longer handles entrusted funds, and has remitted all owed funds to his former property owner client.

Staff Appearances

Janet Thoren, Director of Regulatory Affairs, spoke at Central Carolina Association of REALTORS yearly membership meeting on September 13.

Fred Moreno, Chief Deputy Legal Counsel, spoke at the Cape Fear REALTOR meeting on September 16.

Christy Evans, Consumer Protection Officer, spoke at the Realty Executives of Hickory meeting on September 21.