The Texas Real Estate Commission met on August 7 and adopted amendments to existing rules and proposed several more. View the meeting materials packet, which provides more details about all the changes, on TREC’s website. Here’s a breakdown of the proposals that relate to the Information About Brokerage Services form. Find a list of other rule changes proposed by TREC here.
Texas law generally requires all agents and brokers to provide written notice regarding information about brokerage services to a party at the first substantive communication about a proposed transaction involving a specific property. The Information About Brokerage Services form is the required method to provide that information to those parties. Although you’re required to deliver the form in person, by mail, or via email, you must also post a link to an IABS form titled “Texas Real Estate Commission Information About Brokerage Services” in at least 10-point type in a readily noticeable place on the homepage of your business website.
TREC proposed an amendment to prohibit placing the link to the IABS form in the footer of a business website’s homepage. The amendment also calls for an increase in the size of the link to 12-point type. TREC defines a “business website” in the proposed rule as “a website on the internet” that the public can access, has information about a license holder’s real estate brokerage services, and content on the website is controlled by the license holder.
The proposed change also clarifies that you must link to a “completed” IABS form. “Completed” means that all applicable fields are filled out with your information—blank forms don’t count.
When it comes to social media, the proposed amendment says the IABS link may be located on the account holder profile or “on a separate page or website through a direct link from the social media platform or account holder profile.”
TREC taking extra steps to emphasize consumer protection enforcement
TREC also proposed a change to Section 535.191, Schedule of Administrative Penalties. TREC wants to add administrative penalties for violations of Sections 531.18 and 531.20, which deal with the Consumer Protection Notice and Information About Brokerage Services, respectively. If adopted, this means TREC can assess an administrative penalty ranging from $500 to $3,000 per violation per day for violating the rules about providing TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice and the Information About Brokerage Services form.
Share your feedback on proposed rule changes with TREC
You can provide comments about these proposed rule changes for at least 30 days after they are published in the Texas Register by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The proposals from the August 7 meeting will likely go live August 25; you can enter “Texas Real Estate Commission” in the Agency Name field on this page to read the rules when they’re published in the Texas Register.
Comments made on this blog post will not be read by TREC and do not count as official feedback on proposed rule changes.
But wait … there’s more
Stay tuned for more blog posts in the coming days that will recap the August 7 meeting by signing up to receive Advice for Texas REALTOR® blog emails to get notified when new posts are available.
Other adopted or proposed rule changes from TREC:
- Proposed changes to requirements for the Consumer Protection Notice
- Proposed limits for when lawyers can draft contracts for principals who aren’t their clients
- TREC proposes a new advertising rule, adopts revisions to existing rule
- Rule amendment that would affect availability of TAR forms
- TREC proposes two new forms
- Changes to earnest money and other paragraphs proposed
- Broker-related rule changes adopted
- TREC proposes changes to statements for BPOs and CMAs