Adopted and Proposed Rule Changes From May TREC Meeting

The Texas Real Estate Commission took a road trip to Houston for its May 16 meeting. The agenda and materials are available at TREC’s website. Below are highlights relevant to your business.

Adopted Rule Changes

Timely Response Required

The commission approved new rule 535.157, requiring a broker or sales agent to respond to his or her principal, a broker or sales agent representing another party to a real estate transaction, or an unrepresented party to a real estate transaction within two calendar days. While a sponsoring broker or designated supervisor has always been (and will still be) required to respond to sponsored sales agents, clients, and license holders representing other parties in real estate transactions, the new rule clarifies that all brokers and sales agents are required to make a timely response to others engaged in a real estate transaction, considered by TREC to be from offer to close.

Engaging in a New Type of Brokerage Activity

A change to rule 535.2(i)(5) increases 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 from one time to three times.

Renewal After License Expiration

Current rule 535.93 allows license holders to renew within six months after the expiration date of their license without any lapse in active licensure as long as certain certifications are met. The change to this rule now requires a license holder who renews within six months after the expiration date to automatically renew on inactive status, requiring a $250 reactivation fee.

Unauthorized Practice of Law

Based on recommendations from the unauthorized practice of law working group, the commission adopted changes to TREC rules defining “informational items” to mirror the new language in Paragraph 11 of the commission’s contract forms and to continue to allow attorney-drafted brokerage forms to be used by license holders.

Proposed Rule Changes

One significant proposed rule change would allow license holders to receive up to 4 hours of CE elective credit for attending one commission meeting per renewal cycle. TREC currently allows credit for attending the February commission meeting held during the Texas REALTORS® Winter Meeting.

This and other proposed rules will be available for public comment on the Texas Register, and the full text of the changes can be found in the meeting materials.