The Texas Real Estate Commission’s most recent quarterly meeting included several proposals of interest to license holders. However, the agency did not discuss any changes to current advertising rules, choosing instead to continue to work with the Texas Association of REALTORS® toward a solution that protects consumer interests. Here are some highlights:
Unlicensed assistants and showing a property
Proposed changes to TREC Rule 535.4, License Required, would define “showing” a property to include “causing or permitting the property to be seen by a prospective buyer or tenant, unlocking or providing access onto or into the property, or hosting an open house at the property.” All these actions would have to be carried out by a licensed broker or agent. Several exceptions to this rule were added, such as:
- Allowing an unlicensed assistant to show a vacant property (with the only personal property left behind remaining with the property), as long as the owner and the prospective buyer or tenant prior to the showing sign a consent acknowledging that:
- The unlicensed assistant is an employee
- TREC has not conducted a criminal background check on the unlicensed assistant
- The unlicensed assistant can’t answer questions or point out features about the neighborhood or property, and
- The broker is responsible for all acts and omissions of the unlicensed assistant.
- Allowing an unlicensed person to have unescorted access to view a vacant property property (with the only personal property left behind remaining with the property), as long as the owner prior to the property being viewed signs a written consent acknowledging that:
- The owner is aware that unescorted access may occur, and
- The broker enabling access is responsible for any damage that results.
A proposed change to TREC Rule 535.5, License Not Required, would remove the section that currently allows unlicensed people to host open houses. Read the full text of these proposed changes.
Renewal fee for sales agent licenses
The commission proposed to reduce the fee to renew a sales agent license from $72 to $66. If approved, this reduction would go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.
Notifying TREC regarding changes to broker supervision
TREC Rule 535.2, Broker Responsibility, already requires a broker who delegates supervisory duties to another license holder to notify the commission of such delegation. The proposed addition to this rule would also require the broker (or a newly licensed broker or broker associate, if their status as a delegated supervisor changes) to notify the commission when that delegation has ended. Read the full text of the proposed rule.
Use of the TREC seal
The commission proposed a new rule, 535.45, which pertains to the Texas Real Estate Commission’s seal, logo, and name. It basically prohibits anyone from using such materials in a way that could mislead people into thinking that the person using the logo is part of the commission or endorsed by the commission. Read the full text of the new rule.
You can read more about these items and the many others that were discussed at TREC’s meeting at TREC’s website.
This post was previously published on the TAR blog.