At its November 7 meeting, the Texas Real Estate Commission proposed two changes to Section 537 of TREC rules:

  1. The proposed change to Section 537.1 includes a definition for the new term “informational items,” which is intended to better describe the type of information that a license holder can add to a contract form. This definition mirrors the newly adopted language in Paragraph 11 of the commission’s contract forms.
  2. The proposed changes to Section 537.11, Use of Standard Contract Forms, reorganize and consolidate the rule for clarity. They also simplify the language regarding when a license holder is required to use a commission-approved contract form and what is considered the unauthorized practice of law.
    • Proposed changes to subsection (a) align the rule language more closely with the applicable statutory language and simplify the list of exceptions related to contract form use by license holders.
    • The exception found in subsection (a)(4) is amended to eliminate the ability of license holders to use contract forms prepared by an attorney for a brokerage when no commission-approved contract form for mandatory use exists.
    • Subsections (b) through (d) provide further guidance to license holders and members of the public on what the Commission considers to be the unauthorized practice of law.
    • Subsection (d)(2) provides that it is not the practice of law to add language to or strike language from a contract form, if specifically instructed in writing by a principal, as long as any change is made conspicuous, including underlining additions, striking through deletions, or employing some other method which clearly indicates the change being made.
    • Proposed changes to subsection (h) update the language regarding reproduction of Commission-approved contract forms to better account for changes in technology.

What’s Next?

After the proposals are published in the Texas Register, a public comment period will open. Look for more information from Texas REALTORS® when the comment period officially opens. The earliest these proposed changes could be adopted is at the February 2023 commission meeting.