Has the Real Estate Agent’s Commandments Changed?

by | Aug 12, 2016 | Legal Tips

With the revised Real Estate Licensee law being implemented January 2017 we take a closer look at South Carolina Code §40-57-145 and compare it to the new code §40-57-710.  The section entitled “Grounds for denial of issuance of license or for disciplinary action” deals with the actions and omissions of real estate licensees that can lead to disciplinary action by the Real Estate Commission. The current code sets out 24 matters that could subject a licensee to disciplinary action. The new code section has expanded to 28 provisions and has been renumbered  §40-57-710. Several other provisions have also been amended, altered and eliminated. This post will examine the most relevant changes to the code section. The number referenced below corresponds with the provision of the revised statute §40-57-710.

There are four brand new provisions included in the section. The additional provisions include:

A Licensee can be disciplined if:

1. [fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”yes” overflow=”visible”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”][Licensee] makes a substantial misrepresentation on an application for a real estate license. (Previously “substantial misrepresentations” was limited to misrepresentations made in a real estate transaction).

23. [Licensee] knowingly gives false information to an investigator or inspector. (This matter was covered in other provisions).

26. [Licensee] fails to promptly submit all offers and counteroffers in a real estate transaction. (This was already a requirement under the code in other provisions. This provision creates a separate cause of action).

27. [Licensee] fails to provide current contact information to the commission.

Other partial additions include:

5. “Incompetency” was added to the provision concerning an agent acting with bad faith, dishonesty or untrustworthiness in a manner that endangers the interest of the public. This is a significant extension of the rule as it no longer requires one to act in a deceitful manner. Being incompetent is now enough to face sanction. It is more important than ever to remain highly educated on real estate matters and trends.

9. In addition to it being actionable to violate federal and state housing laws, forgery, embezzlement and other crimes involving dishonest actions, the code provides an action for an agent who commits a felony sex, drug, financial, real estate or violent offense. The licensee faces discipline if they are convicted, plead guilty or nolo contendere (no contest). The provision also removes the time limit required for reporting some criminal matters. Previously you were only required to report actions in either the last five or seven years.

15. Receiving compensation in a real estate transaction from more than one party now requires full knowledge and written disclosure to all parties. Written disclosure was not previously required, only written consent.

25. The provision adds providing false information to an investigator or inspector during an investigation as actionable.

Some items were removed from the statute. Those items include:

4. This section makes it illegal to make false or misleading promises through any medium of advertising. Previously the provision also include making false statements through an associated licensee.

6. The new statute removes the ability to have your Broker in Charge consent to you representing more than one broker.

8. This provision makes it illegal to make a dual set of contracts. The current statute contained language that said you could not make dual contracts in order to obtain a loan or larger loan or to misinform a government agency. This part of the provision has been removed. Making dual contracts for any reason is now prohibited.

If you have any questions on the application of this statute, please do not hesitate to contact one of the attorneys at Blair Cato Pickren Casterline.

Historical Fact: The Town of Blythewood was originally called Doko, a Native American word meaning “watering hole.” Many steam trains travelling from Charlotte to Augusta would stop at Doko Halt for firewood and water.   

Photo by Woody H1 [/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

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