City of Charleston “Stay At Home” Ordinance

PLEASE NOTE: These guidelines will ONLY affect the City of Charleston

Last Update: March 26, 2020 | 7:08 pm

Please note that individual services and businesses may elect to close by their own choosing.

As of 6pm of March 26, real estate has been reclassified as an “essential service” under the City of Charleston’s “Stay at Home” ordinance, which went into effect on Thursday March 26, 2020.

“The Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR) applauds Mayor Tecklenburg’s leadership in classifying real estate as an essential service during this crisis. This crucial decision will allow real estate to keep transacting and supporting our local economy. It allows Realtors® to safely assist their clients in obtaining shelter during a time when shelter has never been more important” said 2020 CTAR President Bobette Fisher.

“Realtors® are ethically bound to do what is best for their clients and the public, which is our primary focus as we continue business and push forward during this unprecedented time” said CTAR CEO Wil Riley. “Real estate transactions are an essential part of a healthy economy and we will work with our members to ensure they understand how to proceed during this unfamiliar time. Members will be tasked with strictly following CDC guidelines and required to adhere to all local, state and federal directives as they apply to the continuation of business” said Riley.

“We will adopt new best practices and protocols for continuing to work—increasing our use of technology for things like listing appointments, virtual showings, virtual open houses and other solutions that will allow us to safely conduct business during this time” said Fisher.

The Charleston-based CHS Regional MLS also relaxed guidelines for users earlier today, which allows for temporary rules changes and use of virtual tools to help users to serve their clients safely. In-person/onsite showings are no longer required during this time, and the CHS MLS Board voted to relax restrictions on virtual open houses and how that information is shared.

“Business is operating a bit differently than it did a few weeks ago, but the MLS leadership and staff is committed to supporting our members and keeping everyone safely operational through this unprecedented time” said 2020 CHS MLS President, Peter Derry.

“Real estate transactions are an essential part of a healthy economy and we will work to ensure that property owners preserve their right to buy and sell their property freely” said Riley.

The essential services classification will allow real estate to transact freely as licensees follow all guidelines and orders, refraining from in-person contact, utilizing virtual tools and strict adherence to the public health guidelines offered by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

See the ordinance for a comprehensive list of Essential Services.

License Renewal Resource Center

As a real estate professional, it is your responsibility to know when your license expires, how many hours you need to complete in each renewal period, and to pay any associated fees to renew your license with the LLR.


CTAR’s Six Steps to Renewal:

Step 1: Verify your license renewal date, here.

Step 2: Download the License Renewal Worksheet
This will be your roadmap and help you track your courses across LLR, CTAR and NAR’s requirements. This worksheet is for planning purposes and does not need to be turned in to CTAR or LLR. This worksheet is not applicable for licensees with Property Manager or Property Manager-In-Charge licenses. 

If your license expires in 2022, download your worksheet here.
If your license expires in 2023, download your worksheet here.

Step 3: See what CE classes you’ve taken*
The South Carolina Real Estate Commission has a CE tracking and reporting system which tracks continuing education for all licensees of the Commission that require
continuing education to maintain their licenses in *active* status (Salespersons, Brokers and Brokers in Charge). This is a free service to all licensees, and you may claim your account here.

Step 4: Complete the Worksheet
Refer to our Education page for more information on the changes in RE Licensing Law.

Step 5: Sign up for classes, if you need to
Find core course dates here, and electives here. You can also search on our calendar.

Some CTAR live classes are likely to sell-out,  so for your convenience two online CE providers can be accessed here.

Step 6: Renew your license online with the LLR
Beginning May 1, once you have completed your 2022 renewal requirements, renew your license online with LLR.

Please note:  CTAR does not have access to your renewal password, licensure records, or CE exemption status.  You can find that information and more here.

Questions? Please email Kelly Bramble or Arthur Takeall in our education department.

As a real estate professional, it is your responsibility to know when your license expires, how many hours you need to complete in each renewal period, and to pay any associated fees to renew your license with the LLR online.



Big Changes to Closing Process

After close collaboration with NAR, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a new toolkit to help Realtors® navigate the changes. 

Explore the complete guide here. 



New rules affecting the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) and the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) will go into effect on October 1. The changes will significantly change the closing process.

On November 20, 2013, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued its final rule to integrate RESPA and TILA disclosures and regulations. The final rule integrates existing disclosures with new requirements from the Dodd-Frank Act to improve consumer understanding of the mortgage process, aid in comparison shopping and help to prevent surprises at the closing table.

The Good Faith Estimate will be combined with the Truth in Lending (TIL) disclosure now called the “loan estimate” and the HUD-1 settlement statement with the final TIL, now called the “closing disclosure.”

The changes will also affect the settlement process, requiring that the closing disclosure be in the hands of the consumer three days before closing.

Highlights of the new rule include:

  • A new loan estimate document which replaces the Good Faith Estimate and the initial Truth in Lending disclosure.
  • A new closing disclosure document which replaces and combines the HUD-1 and final Truth in Lending disclosures.
  • Loan Estimates must now be given to consumers within 3 business days of applying for the loan.
  • Types of loans covered include most closed-end consumer mortgage loans. The rule does not apply to Home equity lines of credit, reverse mortgages, mortgages secured by mobile homes or by dwellings not attached to the property and creditors who make five or fewer mortgage loans in one year.
  • SCR suggests those who intend to buy or sell real estate after July should contact their law firm as soon as possible to discuss how the new federal laws, closing procedures and documents could potentially cause closing delays.



Training Opportunities & Resources

  • Complete Realtor® Toolkit available here.
  • An online overview of the changes from NAR is available here. 

Join us at the Realtor Rally March 24!

Please join us on March 24 at 10 am at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center and the South Carolina Statehouse, to show your support for the American Dream of Homeownership and Quality of Life for all South Carolinians!

March 24 | 10 am – 3 pm

Register here. (no cost for Realtor® members)

Join your fellow Realtors®, legislators and the media as we let our voices be heard. The issues we’re tackling this year are:
– Real Estate License Law Update & Modernization
– Business License Tax Reduction
– Patent Reform
– Environmental litigation Reform
– Property Tax Reform

The day’s events will include a full issue briefing by your SCR lobbyist, events inside the Statehouse, and a BBQ lunch with your legislators.

It’s time to take our message to our elected officials. Don’t miss this opportunity to meet with your legislators and rally support for the Realtor® Party.

If there is enough participation, CTAR will provide transportation to the event.


Redefine your seller representation


Seller Representative Specialist (SRS)
March 2-3 | 9am-5pm

Course Cost: $199
Realtor® Gold Card Rate $179
Register here. 

Why earn the SRS Designation?
Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) designation course is the premier NAR credential in seller representation. It is designed to elevate professional standards and enhance personal performance. The designation is awarded, by the CRB Council, to real estate practitioners who meet specific educational and practical experience criteria. The SRS course can also be utilized as an elective credit for the ABR designation and is approved by the SCREC for 12 elective CE hours (CEE 1802).

Working with sellers is the primary focus for agents across the country. Whether you are new to the industry or a seasoned veteran, the SRS Course will redefine your ‘normal’ and reinvent the way you represent sellers. You will learn tips and tools that will equip you to list in today’s marketplace. Read more benefits of earning your SRS designation here. 

Additional requirements for earning your SRS:

  • Successful completion of the Seller Representative Specialist (SRS) Designation Course.
  • Successful completion of one SRS elective course.
  • Documentation verifying five (5) completed transactions in which you acted solely as a seller representative (no dual agency).
  • Maintain active membership status as an SRS and with the National Association of REALTORS®.

Please view the complete requirements for earning your SRS designation here. 
*All requirements must be completed within two (2) years of taking the SRS Course

Questions about earning your SRS? Click here.

CTAR Student Membership

Launch into your real estate career by joining the premier organization for real estate professionals in the Charleston region! For the first time ever, you can network with a professional member base of more than 4,000 local Realtors®. Connect with the people who are going to give you your next job and help you close your first deal.

Membership with CTAR and CID will provide you with unparalleled professional networking opportunities and the chance to get a head start on your competition in the local real estate market!

Apply by September 8, 2017 to win one of ten scholarship memberships! Winners will enjoy full Student Membership benefits plus paid admission fees to all events.

*Deadline to apply for the scholarship is September 8, 2017. Membership valid September 2015-June 2016.

Annual Student Membership Includes

  • Dual membership in both the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors® (CTAR) and the Commercial Investment Division (CID).
  • Access to all CTAR and CID events including the monthly Commercial Division luncheons.
  • Discounted member rates for events, programs and classes
  • $75 discount on the Pre-Licensing course at CTAR
  • Weekly industry updates
  • Access to monthly market statistics reports

*Student memberships are for students who are seeking a graduate or undergraduate degree in real estate, have completed at least 1 year of college and one college level real estate course and are not yet associated with an established real estate office.

Submit your application online, here.

For questions regarding Student Memberships, contact Claire Hayden.

CTAR Grand Opening

Join us for the CTAR and CTMLS Grand Opening!

Grand Opening
Tuesday, August 12 | 4-7pm
5006 Wetland Crossing, North Charleston 

Don’t miss this great opportunity to see your new building! There will be light refreshments and a few giveaways! Drop-in anytime between 4-7pm, or plan to attend when we gather for remarks at 5:30pm.

The new building is located at 5006 Wetland Crossing, North Charleston, right behind Tanger Outlets. GPS does not yet map our location, but enter Strayer University as your destination and you will find us, or, view a map here.

RSVP for the Grand Opening here.

Investors are back! Get Your Share of this Market with CIAS

Real estate investing guru Greg Rand has named Charleston one of his top two choices for real estate invesment locations.

Click the thumbnail to watch Rand's commentary on Charleston.

Rand cited Charleston’s long-term market stability and other factors as his reasons for choosing the Holy City as an investment goldmine.

“If you look at the 15 year sale price chart, there is very little evidence of a housing crisis in Charleston. The kind of city that produces that kind of stability is one with a high quality of life, a low cost of living and growing job market” said Rand.

With investors already flocking back to the Charleston market and droves more sure to come, you have to be prepared to handle this very different type of client.

Prepare yourself with the CIAS designation, offered at CTAR August 20 and 21, 2013.

A Certified Investor Agent Specialist™ (CIAS) finds, creates, and closes with residential real estate investors with the knowledge and tools earned through comprehensive education and experience.  CIAS-designated agents help real estate investors navigate:

  • Investment Strategies including Self-directed IRAs and 1031 Exchange
  • Leverage Options, Key Calculations and Return-on-Investment
  • Capitalization Rate, Average Returns and Cash Flow

The CIAS designation course will be offered at CTAR August 20 and 21 (9am-5:30pm each day).

CTAR members can receive a 25% discount ($150) off their registration by using the discount code: LIVEB

Full registration
| $599
CTAR members | $449*      *payments can be spread out into 5 payments of $99

Register here.

Still want to know more about CIAS? Click here.

This course is not an NAR-approved designation course.

MLS Instructors Needed!

MLS Instructors Needed!

CTMLS is looking for instructors to teach the Basic, Advanced, and Prospecting classes here at the CTAR/MLS offices on an as needed basis.

Interested agents should possess a thorough knowledge of the List-IT MLS platform and be comfortable leading a classroom of students and answering any questions. Instructors will be compensated on an hourly basis.

Email Joseph Cullom for more information.

The Details: Real Estate and the Fiscal Cliff Deal

As part of your Realtor Membership benefits, we keep track of legislative issues that will affect your business and share them in a way that’s quick and easy to read.

On December 31, 2012, the White House and the Senate finalized the details of their deal to avert the fiscal cliff.

The fiscal cliff deal and how it affects real estate

Here is the breakdown of provisions affecting real estate in the fiscal cliff bill:

Mortgage Debt Cancellation Act
Extended through 2013
For more to understand the Mortgage Debt Cancellation Act, click here.

Mortgage Interest Deduction
The Mortgage Interest Deduction has not been changed. For more information about the Mortgage Deduction Act, click here.

Mortgage Insurance Premium Deduction
Extended through 2013 for those with incomes under $110,000.

State & Local Property Tax Deduction
This provision has been extended.

Energy Efficiency Tax Credit
The 10% tax credit (up to $500) for homeowners for energy efficiency improvements to existing homes has been extended through 2013.

Leasehold Improvements
The 15 year straight-line cost recovery for qualified leasehold improvements on commercial properties has been extended through 2013 and made retroactive to cover

Capital Gains Tax
Remains at 15% for most taxpayers.
23.8%* rate for those making $400,000 (individual)/$450,000 (couple); retains primary residence exemption up to $500,000 (couple)/$250,000 individual.
*includes 3.8% Medicare capital gains tax included in health care reform.

Estate Tax
Rises to 40% and includes a $5 million exemption. Of all small businesses and family farms in the country, only 40 were higher than the $5 million exemption last year.

For more information and additional details about the fiscal cliff deal, click here.