Can an agent accept a bonus directly from a client without the approval of their broker?
No. A sales agent can only receive compensation, including bonuses, with the written consent of their sponsoring broker, according to The Real Estate License Act (TRELA) §1101.651(b) and (c) and TREC Rule §535.3.
For example, if a builder offers a cash bonus or a car to agents in return for completed transactions, the sponsoring broker must approve the compensation before the agent can accept it. If the sales agent changes brokers, the sponsoring broker of the agent at the time the agent became entitled to the compensation can approve the payment.