An elegant reform known as the Occupational License Consumer Choice Act already has echoes in North Carolina law. I discussed earlier this week that the key to this reform is something called a Non-License Disclosure. As it turns out, North Carolina law has a provision like that for real estate brokers.

Senate Bill 590, which is now law, makes use of this provision. The law allows some freedom from real estate licensing constraints in selling timeshares. A timeshare salesperson is no longer required to hold a real estate broker license under exemptions set forth in General Statutes Chapter 93A-2(c)(1).

Read the the exempt salesman’s disclosure requirement, as listed in state law:

When a person conducts a real estate transaction pursuant to an exemption under this subdivision, the person shall disclose, in writing, to all parties to the transaction (i) that the person is not licensed as a real estate broker or salesperson under Article 1 of this Chapter, (ii) the specific exemption under this subdivision that applies, and (iii) the legal name and physical address of the owner of the subject property and of the closely held business entity acting under sub-subdivision e. of this subdivision, if applicable. This disclosure may be included on the face of a lease or contract executed in compliance with an exemption under this subdivision.

The idea of requiring full disclosure to consumers when a practitioner is exempt from a license is a kindred spirit to the Occupational License Consumer Choice Act’s non-license disclosures.

Knowing that North Carolina law already provides a way for consumers to choose a non-licensed service professional in one area (real estate) ought to make it easier to expand that freedom in other licensed fields.

Making post-license continuing education more costly

SB 590 has good and bad aspects. The bad aspect is that it rushes the post-licensing continuing education (CE) requirements for licensed real estate brokers. Whereas before real estate brokers had three years to satisfy 90 hours of CE, under SB 590 they have only 18 months. So where before they could set aside one week a year on CE, now it’s twice that, which is also twice as costly in terms of time and tuition.

But at least one good aspect is that it allows online providers of CE, rather than require attendance at a physical campus.