AREC Holds February Meeting – Seats New Commissioners
February 22, 2022
Commissioners with the Alabama Real Estate Commission (AREC) gathered in Montgomery last Thursday for a regular monthly meeting. The agenda mirrored prior meetings, except that two new commissioners joined the body last week. A common theme over the last year was reiterated at the meeting as commissioners were told that an average of 9.2 new licenses are issued every day, with 38,050 licensees in the state. January, alone, saw over 500 new licensees join the profession.
New Commissioners Sworn In
Two new commissioners were sworn in last week, after the Alabama Senate confirmed the appointments on Tuesday. Randy McKinney will represent the First Congressional District and Betsy Echols will represent the Third Congressional District. Commissioner Cerita Tucker Smith was also confirmed by the Senate last week but was sworn in last year because she filled a seat vacated prior to the end of the term. As required by law when any new commissioner joins, the Commission elected a chairman and vice chairman, and Emmette Barran and Terri May will continue in those roles.
New Rules Considered
The Commission considered two rule amendments at the meeting, one of which they voted to move forward with filing. Although the actual rule has not been made available for review, AREC staff explained that the amended rule will change continuing education requirements for associate and qualifying brokers, mandating a broker course in addition to the already required risk management course. Even once finalized sometime this summer, the rule amendment will become effective for the continuing education cycle beginning October 1, 2022.
Commissioners voted to carry over a rule amendment that was said to clarify the requirements for a licensee who manages his or her own property. AREC attorneys believe the current law and regulations to be circular and complicated, but commissioners asked for more time to consider the request.
Later this spring, educators who wish to provide continuing education courses virtually will need to be approved through ARELLO. Virtual education courses have been allowed since shortly after COVID-19 arrived. Soon, educators will need to meet additional ARELLO requirements to utilize virtual options. AREC staff did indicate that more detailed instructions were being developed on the rules related to virtual education and would be released soon.
Commissioners held seven hearings - six to determine license eligibility or review applications to hold a salesperson license, and one hardship request for a home operation. The commission had three non-appearances on bounced checks where all three pleaded guilty and were fined. Three additional requests for a salesperson license were considered without the applicant present and all were approved. Finally, one request for a rehearing, which allows the requestor to re-present his or her case to the Commission, was approved.
Commissioners also discussed one request for the use of the AREC logo/seal under a new rule finalized last year. Ultimately, the Commission voted to have the agent who made the request attend the next meeting to explain his position, or why he wants to use the logo or seal.
The next meeting of the Commission is scheduled for March 24 at 9:00 am in Montgomery. Don’t forget, you can tune into meetings virtually, accessible on AREC’s website here.