TREC adopts education, contracts changes

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A pair of glasses and a silver pen sit on top of a contract.

11/11/2015 | Author: Editorial Staff

At its November 2 meeting, the Texas Real Estate Commission adopted form revisions and altered education requirements. Here are highlights of the changes, which are all effective January 1.


Visit the Adopted Forms section of to see redlines of all the revised TREC forms, which are effective January 1. Four of the changes are discussed below. These will appear on the appropriate forms but may not apply to all TREC contracts:

  • Paragraphs 3 & 4
    The relationship between credit approval and property approval and when a buyer may terminate has always been a source of confusion. To clear up the confusion, TREC has moved the financing information to a new Third Party Financing Addendum. Because the financing information is on the new addendum, Paragraph 4 was replaced with language regarding when a license holder must disclose his or her interest in a transaction, and Paragraph 3 now contains checkboxes for the addenda related to the transaction’s financing. The name of the form in the addenda section of the contracts will be updated, as well as conforming changes to other forms that reference Paragraph 4 or the old form name.
  • Third Party Financing Addendum
    The Third Party Financing Addendum replaces the Third Party Financing Addendum for Credit Approval. The new addendum contains the provisions previously listed in the Third Party Financing Addendum for Credit Approval, the third-party financing information previously listed in Paragraph 4, and reverse-mortgage language; the Reverse Mortgage Financing Addendum will be repealed effective January 1 and should no longer be used after that date. The new addendum also provides written permission for lenders and title companies to deliver copies of closing disclosure documents to the REALTOR® listed on the last page of the contract, which was necessitated by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Truth in Lending-RESPA closing changes effective October 3. This language was taken from the TAR form Authorization to Furnish TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures, which will no longer be offered in the TAR forms library effective January 1.
  • Paragraph 23
    The termination option now ends at 5 p.m. local time where the property is located on the day designated in the contract.
  • Broker information
    A place for sales associates’ names and license numbers was added to the Broker Information section above the licensed supervisors’ blanks. In addition, the order in which the associate’s and licensed supervisor’s names appear is reversed on the last page of the contract. Scroll to the end of this redline to see what it looks like on the One to Four Family Residential Contract (Resale).

TREC did not adopt changes proposed to Paragraph 9. Those revisions addressed parties’ options for handling delays in closing caused by the new TILA-RESPA integrated disclosure rules, which went into effect October 3.


Many of the modifications to education affect providers and instructors; however, these three changes, effective January 1, affect many license holders:

  • Continuing education
    The number of hours required to renew your license has increased from 15 to 18. This applies to brokers and agents.
  • Legal Update and Ethics
    These two courses have been replaced by Legal Update I and Legal Update II, which will still satisfy NAR requirements. Each of the new courses counts for four hours CE.
  • Broker Responsibility Course
    The rules about who must take this course have changed. A designated broker of a business entity is no longer required to take the Broker Responsibility Course if the entity does not sponsor any salespeople at any time during the current license period.

Coming soon

The Texas Association of REALTORS® will be revising several of its forms due to the TREC changes and other statutory changes. Look for details in the January/February Texas REALTOR® magazine and on this blog. 

Categories: Forms, Legal
Tags: trec, forms, continuing education, education, legal


Sheryl Galvan on 01/07/2016

I have already spoken to them (back in November/December) and they told me that since I was already going to take the 6 hour Ethics/Legal Update in 2015 that I would be grandfathered in and not have to take anything additional to meet these requirements; however, I WILL have to find another 3 hours (to make 18) from somewhere else prior to my license renewal (which is August 2017).

Mindy Henderson on 12/21/2015

I still do not see the new forms in Zipforms.  When will they be available?

Doris Snipp on 11/25/2015

Welcome the changes, but wish termination was in a different form.  Change needs to come to education requirements to become an agent. You simply cannot grasp Texas Real Estate on line.

Erika Browning on 11/20/2015

I can only say “Thank you!” for changing the option period deadline to earlier in the evening.  Perhaps 6:00 pm would have been better for our clients who get off at 5, but I am relieved at the change.  Now I won’t feel guilty when I go to bed on Option Deadline Day.

Christine Anderson on 11/20/2015

Hey all, Christine Anderson here from TREC. I see there is a lot of confusion about the changes. I will do my best to answer all of your questions, but in the mean time I wanted to point you in the direction of a flyer we did to help you all. I am actually in the process of updating the document right now with all the latest. This is a great start though! Please dont hestitate to email me directly at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) if you have any questions!

Joy on 11/19/2015

Thank you John.

Joy on 11/19/2015

Ok Guys.  TREC changes the rules, we are left clueless with our renewals if renew before Jan. 1.  Do we or do we not need to take the additional three hours.  It is impossible to find a CE provider that is offering an 18 hour course.  So then we go back to find another three hours and pay a premium to get it to meet the new requirements and the courses are awful.  How many ways can you take a course in marketing, finance, and contracts or social media.  Really,  is this the best they can do for continuing ED courses.  I don’t think I am the Lone Ranger in feeling this way if you have been licensed for more than 20 years.  I would really like to learn something new for my dollars.

CarolTemme on 11/19/2015

I read the cheat sheet and find it not very helpful.  A simple answer would be good!
If you complete your 15 hours by Jan 1, and renew in Jan, Feb, Mar, Apr - - - - - 2016
You   DO   or   DO NOT need more hours.  If you need more , are they specified courses?

Joy on 11/19/2015

To bad I have to call TREC , which is a nightmare, to find out what we need to do.
I cannot imagine that they could not post that information on their web site or TAR’s as to how it affects a lot of agents with early renewals in 2016.

Joe on 11/19/2015

@CarolTemme -

According to the cheat sheet from TREC listed above and the education requirements listed above by TAR you are required to have 18 hrs. starting Jan 1st. If you already took the Ethics & Legal Update Class, then you don’t have to take the revised 4 hr. class this time. But it sounds like you need to go take another 3 hr. class on a topic of your choice..

joy on 11/19/2015

Thank you Joe.  They don’t make it easy to find.  Wish in there updates they would give us those links.

Joe on 11/19/2015


Correction, now I see you’re talking about your renewal being in 2016.. I don’t know the answer to that, but likely you need 18 total hours for next year. Sounds like a called to TREC is in order to confirm..

Joe on 11/19/2015


Did you read the cheat sheet from TREC linked below? It indicates that you will NOT have to do the 18 hrs. this time..

CarolTemme on 11/19/2015

My License renewal is due Mar 31, 2016.  I Completed my 15 hours including the 6 legal/ethics classes early so there would be no pressure at the end.  Now I was told by a young lady at the TREC office that I need to get 3 more hours (my choice) but the legal & ethics I have will be sufficient.  Is this correct or will I be scrambling at the last minute to find a supplementary course?
Carol T

Joy on 11/19/2015

Wasn’t totally clear.  If my license renews in February of 2016.

Joy on 11/19/2015

If I finish my continuing Ed before January 1 and renew my license before the end of the year will I still have to have 18 hours to renew?  There is no information any where on this issue…not on TREC or TAR.  Great job guys giving us no information.

Raul Giorgi on 11/19/2015

I agree with Vicky and Richard regard the hyrdostatic testing, we need an authorization form. -

Richard Weeks on 11/18/2015

This should answer question regarding new CE requirements:

Robert Figueredo on 11/18/2015

How can you just make a change to education requirements that effects many of us who have already completed the previous requirements, now having us to spend more money on an additional course?  Its the same thing you guys did with the Broker Responsibility Course, just throwing that together and expecting us to react, as if we have a choice if we want to continue in business.

R. Hull on 11/17/2015

What’s the problem with the contracts, you are only allowed to fill in the blanks, this is not brain surgery.  TREC, keep up the good work.

Irene Pence on 11/13/2015

Regarding TILA,  cash transactions are of course exempt because there is no loan, and seller financing is exempt from disclosure provided the Seller does not finance 5 or more loans annually.  Regarding the new CE requirements,  TREC has previously published the following on their website:  “The three hours TREC Legal and Ethics courses expire December 31, 2015. License holders that have not completed their required non-elective CE by this date must complete the
new TREC Legal Update I and II courses before their renewal. ”  This would indicate that as long as you’ve completed your 6 hrs of Legal and Ethics courses by this year end, you would not be subject to the increased L/E hours during your 2016 renewal.  But, please verify this yourself, it was somewhat difficult to find when I looked it up but I believe TREC referred to it as the “cheat sheet” to compare the current and new requirements.  I can’t say that I fully trust information on the website so I’m going to also verify this with educational providers as I also have a renewal in 2016.

Rod Smith on 11/13/2015

It is my understanding that seller finance and cash transactions are not subject to TILA. Therefore, no integrated disclosure is required.

Samantha McGee on 11/13/2015

When will these new forms be available in ZipForms?

Robert Latham on 11/13/2015

Don’t like all the changes and longer forms? Thank a lawyer, and all the parties that can’t, don’t or won’t read a contract and refuse to take personal responsibility that they enable.

Jana Hayes on 11/13/2015

Everyone is getting a real estate license.    TREC needs to increase requirements and education in getting a license. The real estate schools give the answers to all the state board exams in their “exam crams”.  I have run into so many new realtors that have no clue about the business.  It is sad.  Make it a four year degree!

Wayne C. Baham on 11/13/2015

Like a respondent above, I have completed 15 hours of MCE (including 3hrs Legal and 3hrs Ethics).  My license is up for renewal on April 31, 2016.  Will I be grandfathered OR will I be required to take an additional 3 hrs MCE.  Also pleas e address the Legal/Ethics issue(3 v. 4hrs.) issue


John Stapleton on 11/13/2015

Continuing education issue is the content more than the number of hours.  Train contract language and ethics instead of how to use social media.

I like the apprenticeship suggestion.  What about also increasing licensing fees so it is not cost effective for someone not actively doing business to hang on to a license?

Perhaps have one fee for the apprentice license so new agents can build a client base.  Then when one finishes the apprenticeship they move to the normal fee.

Michael Brownstead on 11/13/2015

I like the increased hours for license renewal; however, I think getting a license should be tougher, perhaps more hours required and an apprentice/direct supervision type system.

GW Cornelius on 11/13/2015

When I started it was one page contract, one page listing agreement and one page lease and people were standing in line to file law suits. The changes are a pain but they do help keep us out of court. Forms have been changing since I got in the RE business and will continue to change long after we are gone. Just part of the business. Not crazy about additional hours. The classes and content have not changed much since 1977.

Barbara Capobianco on 11/13/2015

Doesn’t look to bad. I do agree with Randy, when I first started in Real Estate. It was one page

john evans on 11/12/2015

I wish they would quit changing these forms all the time. We went for almost twenty years with no changes . Now they change something all the time.It is a pain to have to recopy these forms just so some lawyer can make a buck.

John Rodriguez on 11/12/2015

Noted, Thanks Elana

Elana Ingram on 11/12/2015

John my license expire 1/31/16. However, I have met and exceeded the 15 hour CE requirement. I am going to renew my license before 12/31/15 to avoid the additional 3 hours needed.

Mike Brendel on 11/12/2015

Regarding the option period and the 5pm rule; it’s about time that we had a little bit of common sense.  Too bad TREC had to mandate it.  Schedule your inspector when you are getting close in your negotiations.  You either want to buy the house or you don’t.  Get the inspector to the property on day 2 of the option period instead of day 5.  Your customer still has plenty of time to decide whether or not they want the property.  Are you a professional or a retail clerk?  People take time off from work for kids soccer games etc.  They can take an hour or two to contemplate what is possibly the largest purchase they will ever make.

Joe on 11/12/2015

@Judy Lawson,

So just negotiate for an 11 day option period instead of 10 days or 8 an day option period instead of 7 days if the last 7 hours is that big of a deal to you or your clients. Enough of having to negotiate last minute repairs a few minutes before midight!

Thank you TREC for making a change that really doesn’t impact clients but certainly makes the lives of Realtors much easier!!

John Rodriguez on 11/12/2015

So what happens if you already have completed your CE courses (6 broker responsibility, 3 legal, 3 ethics, 3 marketing) how do the new rules affect you if you are not scheduled to renew your license until after January 1, 2016 ? Will you just be required to take an additional 3CE course (in order to have 18 CE hrs) or will you have to take the new Legal Update I and Legal Update II, in order to renew your license ?

Jackie Arnette on 11/12/2015

Wouldn’t the TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure or some form that would authorize release of closing documents to agents be needed in transactions that involve Seller Financing and cash transactions?

Vicky Halfon on 11/12/2015

I agree with Richard regard the hyrdostatic testing, we need an authorization form.

Judy Lawson on 11/12/2015

Why 5:00 pm?  We have clients who work until 5:00 pm or are in different time zones.  For these buyers or seller this could shorten the time for important decisions or discussions by a full day. I am not opposed to making our lives easier, however in this case I do not feel it serves our clients best interest.

Linda VanBebber on 11/12/2015

Regarding the increase in the continuing education, I would like to say it is about time for regulation on this subject.  Why is it an across the board requirement?  If you work full time and close a numerous amount of transactions, you have to take the same education hours as an agent who does no transactions.  This seems so wrong.  When is someone going to devise a “current education class” for changes that we truly need if we have been a full time agent for many years.  I take the same classes over and over when others would be so much more beneficial.

Randy Carlisle on 11/12/2015

The more they change theses forms. the more confusion they create. In my 35 yrs. in Real Estate, the forms have gone from simple to the point, to a nightmare of crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ward Lowe on 11/11/2015

@Richard: Not at this time

Richard Weeks on 11/11/2015

With the addition of the sentence in paragraph 7A regarding hydrostatic testing.  Does TAR plan to provide the separate written authorization?

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The material provided here is for informational purposes only and is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice for your particular matter. You should contact your attorney to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem. Applicability of the legal principles discussed in this material may differ substantially in individual situations.

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