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08/18/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

At its recent meeting, the Texas Real Estate Commission took two actions to address legislative requirements that will go into effect September 1.

The commission adopted a revision on an emergency basis to the Condominium Resale Certificate. As required by Senate Bill 1168, the balance sheet of the condominium owners association must be attached to the certificate. The updated certificate now states that the balance sheet is one of the three required attachments. In addition, the resale certificate must also provide more details on fees associated with transfer of ownership. This revised form is mandatory for use starting September 1, 2015. (See a redline version of changes to this form.)

Another law that becomes effective September 1 requires that all property owners—including commercial—selling real estate adjoining certain bodies of water, like reservoirs or lakes, with 5,000 acre-feet or more water-storage capacity disclose to buyers that the amount of water in the lake or reservoir could fluctuate. TREC has posted language on its website that satisfies the disclosure requirement, and license holders can add that language in the Special Provisions Paragraph of any contract when a seller is required to make the disclosure.

Additional TREC forms changes discussed at the meeting are in the proposal stage and will be open for comment soon. You can read a summary of those proposed changes in the latest Texas REALTOR® magazine.  

Categories: Forms, Legal
Tags: legal, forms, contracts


Barbara Polk,GRI,CRS,LTG,CRB,ePRO on 08/26/2015

I agree with what Rick DeVoss (8/20/15) said about TREC not listening to experienced brokers (and agents) when they have at their disposal incredible years of experience from those with ‘wheels on the ground’ and ‘fighting in the trenches.’  Back in the 70’s, I served on this committee before it was of a formal Broker/ Lawyer composition.  We had so much wonderful help, especially with David Fair & G. E. Irby maturating through the contracts, addendums, etc. and we are indebted to those who gave so many hours and look what we have now-such a sophisticated operation.
However, things change and it would be advisable, since we rightfully have many members on this commission who have almost no knowledge of the real ins&outs; of the real estate business, that they do make a dedicated effort to solicit & listen to those who have experience & are willing to share.  We are here & we are the ones who pay the licensing fees & we want to help keep it as uncomplicated as some- thing this complex & financially important can be.
We in the industry do appreciate the time this commission & ancillary volunteers give to the industry.
Thanks y’all,

Vicki Potts on 08/24/2015

Lake LBJ, Lake Marble Falls, Inks Lake and Lake Austin or considered controlled level lakes.  Agents incorrectly call them constant level lakes which makes the buyer think they have no problem with possible flooding.  They are controlled but they do fluctuate anywhere from a foot to 5-6 feet when we have heavy rains.  I think this form is there to protect both the buyer and agent. 

I’m a member of 2 different MLS’s and I paid an upfront fee for the one that I am not a member of and a quarterly fee to continue on that MLS.  It is well worth the money that I pay.

Dena Smith on 08/20/2015

As far as the one time MLS fee…  the listings online should have the listing agent/broker information on them. If they don’t that’s a violation.

As far as RPR - that is an optional syndication choice on NTREIS, so RPR won’t have all the listings from that MLS.

Amin Makda on 08/20/2015

I agree with Rick DeVoss above on introducing “Letter of Intent” like they do in Commercial Properties. That would save time to Realtors presenting the contract to seller before the selling price is negotiated. Once every thing is settled via email, then do a final fully negotiated contract. time is money.

Linda Moreau on 08/20/2015

So much to comment on!  I suppose the link provided by TAR staff is so you know which lakes are the size to require the new disclosure?  $100 (or any amount) one time fee is not a good idea…who would actually join if this was all that was required.  How about using REALTOR.com to locate property not in the MLS you belong to?  Or even better, how about REFERRING buyers or sellers to agents who routinely work in a given area?  “But this is my FRIEND!”  Do your “friend” a favor by allowing him or her to receive the services of an area specialist….you get a referral fee, you can oversee the transaction, you can advise, your friend would have the best of all services!  Ok…I overstayed my welcome for one morning.

Rick DeVoss on 08/20/2015

This article tells us what TREC did on Monday, but does not say what TREC didn’t do.
—-Our “Broker/Lawyer Committee” is made up of experienced Brokers and Attorneys who should be knowledgeable about Real Estate.  ...And yet, TREC saw fit Not to accept the recommendations of the Broker/Lawyer Committee at this meeting.
~Why appoint such an advisory board if you are not going to listen to their advice?
~Was there a good reason for not accepting the recommendations of the B/L Committee?
—-These are also some of the things we would like to see published on this site.

Keith laursen on 08/20/2015

If you need info, just use RPR.  It should all the info you need about an out of area property.

Agree, lake levels may change is absurd.  Next we will disclose the weather in Texas changes and it may be over 100 degrees or snow.

Jennifer Ramsey on 08/20/2015

One time fee? Just join the MLS, pay your dues and have current information.
I work for an association MLS board and what you think is best for you, individually, simply would not work.
Best of luck with your business!

Earnest on 08/20/2015

Dixie Harrison, I will have to agree with Dorthy Ybarra on that one.  If you are not a member of the MLS you are needing access to, then you obviously don’t need to be doing business in that area.  Either you don’t know enough about the area, to counsel a client, or you don’t do enough business to pay for the MLS dues.  You can always pay an agent with access to look up properties for you, or as Dorthy says, just Join the MLS.  Those of us who pay make the MLS posssible.

Rick DeVoss on 08/20/2015

On the subject of presenting and countering an offer:  (Which is Not what this article was about….)
...I would propose that Realtors should be able to use a short form like a “Letter of Intent” to submit an offer quickly and succinctly to a seller.  ...Then the seller could sign it if they accept, or use a one-page counter form if not.  ...After all the dust settles, then, and only then, an Agent could prepare a contract which contains the terms that the parties have already agreed to.    (It needs to be binding so that another offer could not slip in before the contract is executed.)
Recently, I had a scenario where the buyer requested a few repairs in an email.  The seller’s agent demanded that an official amendment be used.  ...The Option Period was sufficiently long enough that the seller had completed the repairs before the buyer inspected the house.
...Meanwhile, the agents were arguing over which amendment form to use, and when the whole subject was closed out by the buyer during the Option Period, there was no amendment in place.  —-So we were basically back to the fact that the repair request was easily handled by an email.
...Why can’t we begin to simplify things instead of complicating them??
How many idiots do we really have in Texas that don’t know that lake levels go up and down??  —-Are they all on the legislature?

Lenny Schwartz on 08/20/2015

in addition to make level doc err should have an inspection doc to clarify the limitations of the standard inspection

mike Sanders on 08/20/2015

Dixie - ppr

Ward Lowe, TAR staff on 08/20/2015

@Bob: See a list here: http://texasalmanac.com/topics/environment/lakes-and-reservoirs. This link was provided in the blog post.

Bob Vinson on 08/20/2015

How do we find out which lakes require disclosure?

Joe Bryson on 08/20/2015

Good move on requiring a current balance sheet with the Resale Cert and associated documents. Thank you!

Dorothy Ybarra on 08/20/2015

Agreed about the water fluctuation disclosure…pure dumbness.
However, there is already a fee to access the MLS—it’s called joining the MLS.  If the law allowed what you propose, then there would be no point for the rest of us to join (and financially support) the MLS that you want to take advantage of.  So just join!!

Dixie Harrison on 08/19/2015

In regards to the Discloser to Buyers that the amount of water in the lake or reservoir could fluctuate is pure silliness.
Everyone knows that lakes fluctuate, it’s not rocket science.
This new form is a waste of time, instead they need to implement a good counter offer form, which no one has in Texas other than where the Seller can request for a new offer to the buyer.
Also, they ought to have a law which allows real estate agents access to a MLS by paying a one time fee if they are not a member of that MLS.
Anyone can find anything they want about properties looking online, but when a Realtor needs to get more in depth information about a property in which he is not a member, he has to find out who the agent is, contact information and the make contact with the company or agent and wait on receiving that information.
If there was a one time fee to access any MLS, all he would have to do is use the MLS number and find all this information all a once. Makes sense to me especially where there are multiple MLS’s in the area.

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