NC Real Estate Agent Requirements for self-representation.

10 Replies

Hello everyone,

I am a long time lurker around here and am happy to finally jump into activity! I am starting to personally join into the real-estate investing game mostly utilizing rental and Fix/Rent strategies. One of my major goals is to obtain my NC real estate license so that I may self-represent and increase my agility when approaching deals. I have familiarized myself with all of the requirements through the NC Real Estate Commission website and have already taken steps to schedule my pre-licensing education courses...

Where my confusion sets in is the requirement to go from provisional broker status to broker status. It mentions that you must work under a BIC in order to be "active" as a provisional broker, and that the requirement to become a full-fledged broker is to complete the 90 hour post-license course.

My first question is, is there any actual requirement that you work under a BIC? Or can you simply skip this step and dive straight into the 90 hour requirement?

Second question from there... " An independent broker-sole proprietor must be a broker-in-charge to lawfully engage in most brokerage activities." Can I interpret this as that in order to be an independent broker-sole proprietor that I must become a BIC myself? 

Or is there a different approach that I may be missing as to what may be required for self-representation?

Thank you all for taking the time to read!


Kyle Groseclose

Hey @Kyle Groseclose ,

You will definitely have to work under a BIC until you complete the 90-hour post licensing course.  There also may be a time constraint before you can become a BIC also.  I can’t remember.  In order to self represent, then you will either need to be a BIC or work under a BIC. 

Thank you @Brian Corbett . I appreciate the response! Can you clarify though, as to if working under a BIC is part the requirement in addition to the 90-hour post licensing course? Or is it feasible, if I do NOT intend to perform and broker activities, to only continue on with my studies... of course with the understanding that it would be unlawful for me to represent myself or others until I reach a BIC status myself. 

Unfortunately, Kyle, there is no way to circumvent the system. Let's see if I can provide a bit more clarity...

Upon obtaining your license you are a Provisional Broker (PB). As a PB you have to hang your license under a firm that has a designated BIC. That BIC is responsible for any real estate activities you perform (marketing, paperwork, etc.). You have 18 months (recently decreased from 3 years) to complete the Post-Licensing courses (90hrs). Once you complete the Post-Licensing course you drop the "provisional" status and become a full broker which allows you to perform real estate activities (within NCREC guidelines) without the direct supervision of a BIC, but still as an agent of the firm you hang your license with. Note, that even though you are a full broker your BIC is still responsible for verifying your paperwork is filled out correctly.

You are able to get BIC eligible status once you have hung your license for 2 years at a firm that has a designated BIC. Essentially, obtaining BIC status means you can supervise other agents and/or start your own firm.

So, in short, answering the question your original post:

1) You have to work directly under a BIC whether your are a PB or not. You are not able to skip the 90hr Post-Licensing requirement.

2) Yes, to have an independent/sole-proprieter firm, you have to be a BIC.

Thank you @Eric Weireter ! I believe you answered the question well there, though I will clarify that the goal wasn't intended to try to skip the 90 day course, but rather to not work under a firm, or at all for that matter.

It may clarify my intentions a bit to explain that I am a current 9-5 salaryman with a goal of becoming licensed to the degree that I can represent myself in real estate transactions. It is clear to me now that a BIC level is required for that. Your stated requirement of having to hang with a real estate firm with a BIC for 2 years in order to myself become a BIC makes it rather unfortunately clear that you are in fact required to work with a firm, rather than simply continuing your education only. It would presumably be rather difficult to work with a firm while also working a 9-5 job... 

This may be an unfortunate showstopper until I can generate the income through investments to leave the 9-5 and then perhaps return to this goal at that time.

Either way I plan to stick around here, ask, learn, maybe even contribute after said learning! I greatly appreciate the information you all have provided.

@Kyle Groseclose Just because you have to "be under a BIC" for 2 years certainly does not mean you have to leave your 9-5 immediately. While many firms would prefer you to jump in with both feet full-time, there are some firms out there that would allow you to hang your license with them and work less than full-time, whatever that means for you... 2, 10 or 20 hrs a week.

@Eric Weireter  That... would make it completely doable! Would you mostly be handling paperwork at that point? I suppose I had the idea in my head that you would have to operate as an actual agent doing showings, assisting clients, on top of paperwork, etc. etc. which I can only imagine is maybe even MORE than a full time job! :) 

That would be a fantastic opportunity to fulfill that requirement while learning the work in real-time without working into the grave.

@Kyle Groseclose  You can absolutely obtain your license and then do nothing with it. The amount of effort you put forth is up to you... 

Even when you work under a BIC you are the CEO of your own real estate business, the firm you associate with is just paying for your E&O insurance and giving a few tools/trainings to assist with your business. In return, you are paying them a monthly desk fee, commission splits, transaction fees and/or any combination thereof.

The key is finding a firm that fits you and allows you to hang your license with them given whatever amount of effort you want to put forth towards real estate activities. It sounds like you'd want to hang your license with an investor-friendly small firm as opposed to the big more well-known firms.

Hey @Kyle Groseclose , to add on to what @Eric Weireter is getting at is that you don't need to be our own broker to "represent yourself". What you're looking for is flexibility, MLS access, etc. You get that as an agent - you are essentially an independent contractor for whichever broker you hang your license with. No need at all to become a broker to be able to use your license for your own deals. (Of course you don't have to be an agent either to invest, I was an investor first then became an agent) Like Eric said, it sounds like you'll want a brokerage that lets you put whatever amount of effort in that you want and get maximum value and flexibility.

Best of luck to you!

I am not against licensing, which is an important safeguard for the public. Regarding the OP statement "One of my major goals is to obtain my NC real estate license so that I may self-represent and increase my agility when approaching deals." I guess you know that you can represent yourself in a real estate transaction without obtaining a NC real estate license. A real estate broker in NC by definition (NCGS 93-A2(a)) lists, sells, buys, leases, rents, etc., for others for a compensation or valuable consideration or promise thereof.

With a license, you must disclose your license status in all transactions. You can't say, for instance, "I'm a real estate investor and I want to buy your property." You must fully disclose, as for example "I'm a licensed NC broker who will be self-dealing and not representing you and I want to buy your property.

Another option is to take the broker training class to get educated but not take the final. As I said in this BP post (Real Estate License) almost 10 years ago about licensing, "expect lots more scrutiny." NC is not as bad as IL, but I'd expect your BIC will be involved in your transactions. You may see that as a positive, maybe not. 

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