The North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC) suspended the firm license for Opendoor Brokerage LLC for 18 months in March. The Commission later stayed the suspension which allowed Opendoor to continue operating in NC, but they did require the brokers involved to enroll in several real estate education courses.
Full details of the disciplinary action are excerpted below from the April NCREC Bulletin:
OPENDOOR BROKERAGE LLC (CHARLOTTE) – By Consent, the Commission suspended the firm license of Opendoor Brokerage LLC for a period of 18 months, effective March 10, 2022. The Commission then stayed the suspension effective March 10, 2022. The Commission found that Opendoor Brokerage LLC acted as the listing firm in three separate residential transactions. In one transaction, Opendoor Brokerage LLC’s broker failed to ensure that the seller client addressed all material issues noted on a previous buyer’s home inspection report prior to re-listing the property and/or failed to disclose any outstanding material items which were not corrected. Opendoor Brokerage LLC’s broker also initially advertised the subject property as having an outdoor pool along with hardwood and tile floors, when it did not. In the second transaction, Opendoor Brokerage LLC’s broker failed to pull the septic permit prior to listing the property as a 5-bedroom home. The septic permit only allowed for 3-bedroom occupancy. In the third transaction, Opendoor Brokerage LLC’s vendor buried parts of the outdoor pool beneath the back yard instead of removing it all from the property. The seller has now excavated and removed all of the items from beneath the yard after taking the home off the market. The listing agreement with Opendoor Brokerage LLC’s broker failed to include her license number and failed to comply with Commission rules by not placing the fair housing language in a clear and conspicuous manner.
What can we learn from this?
All material facts about a property must be disclosed to potential buyers. Sellers have no obligation to disclose, but as agents we do. When a buyer provides you with a copy of their inspection you must read it carefully. Any material defects discovered must be disclosed to the next buyer (if the original buyer withdraws) or remedied by the seller.
Advertise your listings truthfully and accurately. You should never list a property that you have not personally inspected.
Pull the permits yourself for any property that you suspect has had major improvements.
Always have your clients use Standard NCAR forms for their contracts! These forms meet all the NCREC requirements for contracts used by licensed agents. If your clients would like to use a non-standard form, it is your job to review the contract to ensure that it contains all the information required by the NCREC, such as your license number and fair housing language.
Have you brokered a transaction with Opendoor? Let us know how it went in the comments below or discuss it with a colleague in an upcoming CE Class!