LLR approved a new trust account guideline document for brokers which helps explain the monthly reconciliation procedures and trust account rules for brokers.
LLR likely have already notified brokers of this new document and here is a link to a draft discussed during the SCR June 4, 2019 broker update with SCR President Drew Streett and SCR CEO Nick Kremydas (which is recorded and archived at SC REALTORS if you would like to view):
Due to past LLR interpretations of license law that only a disbursement agreement signed by all the parties (e.g. mediation agreement, SCR518, SCR517) is reliable broker evidence that there is no dispute on earnest money allowing contractual disbursement, court orders are the alternative (e.g. broker filed magistrate interpleader lawsuit for less than $7500 earnest money amounts, party’s lawyer filed lawsuits); therefore, many law firms have begun to hold earnest money to help brokers avoid lengthy and difficult earnest money dispute resolution procedures.
A recommendation in the new trust account guidelines is that law firms (who unlike current brokers, can utilize contract language to disburse the earnest money without LLR risk) can draft an escrow agreement signed by all the parties upon the earnest money receipt which states how the earnest money shall be disbursed in a closing or a failed closing without having to get (1) a disbursement agreement signed by all the parties or (2) a court order.
[Alternatively, to avoid the often difficult LLR requirement to obtain disbursement agreement signed by all the parties or court order, the parties might agree that earnest money is payable after the due diligence expires. Therefore in a failed deal, the seller receives the due diligence termination fee money and the buyers avoid their earnest money being locked down for a long time and all avoid a lengthy court process. Everyone can move on to the next deal.]
Also at the LLR website:
License renewals are underway for the June 30 deadline. Online renewal links are on the LLR website.
HOA seller disclosure forms.
Criminal background check information.
Posted by: Byron King on 06/04/19 (This information is only accurate as of 06/04/19. You must contact SCR for updates and changes to this information after 06/04/19 as laws and regulations may change over time. SCR 803-772-5206 or email info at screaltors.org)