The Texas Real Estate Commission met February 13 and proposed several rule changes, which will be published in the Texas Register for public comment. Visit TREC’s website for all meeting materials.

The Unauthorized Practice of Law and Use of Standard Contract Forms (§537.1 and §537.11)

  • TREC received hundreds of public comments opposing an amendment proposed in November that would have eliminated 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. In response, the commission voted to remove that change prohibiting brokerage forms from its proposal.
  • One proposed change adds a definitions section for the term “informational items,” which is intended to better describe the type of information that a license holder can add to a contract form.
  • The proposed amendments to §537.11 reorganize and consolidate the rule for clarity and 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.

Broker Responsibility (§535.2) and Obligation to Respond Timely (§535.157)

  • The proposed change increases from one to three the minimum number of times that a sales agent who performs a type of real estate brokerage activity must receive coaching or assistance from a competent, experienced license holder.
  • The proposed §535.157 requires brokers or sales agents to respond to their principals, brokers or sales agents representing another party to a real estate transaction, or an unrepresented party to a real estate transaction within two calendar days.

Eliminating the “Lookback Period” (§535.91 and others)

  • The proposed amendments to §535.91 eliminate the “lookback period” currently found in §535.93, which allows license holders to renew after the expiration date of their license without any lapse in active licensure. Under the proposed rule, a license holder who late renews would automatically renew on inactive status and reactivation would be required.

Requirements for Sales Agent Initial License Renewal (§535.55)

  • The proposed amendment to §535.55 requires a sales agent to complete the 30-hour qualifying real estate brokerage course as a part of the additional 90 hours of qualifying courses that must be completed by the expiration date of the sales agent’s initial licensing period. Currently, that course is one of many sales agents may choose to take to satisfy the 90-hour education requirement.

Property Management Course (§535.64)

  • Proposed changes to the Property Management course outline strike a portion of the current Commercial Property Management section of the course to reallocate time to other areas of the course outline that need more emphasis.
  • A proposed change also renames the course Residential Property Management to emphasize the relevant content of the course.

The earliest that these proposals can be approved is at the next TREC meeting on Tuesday, May 16 in Houston.