Can an associated broker refer to himself or herself as a "broker" in an advertisement? If a sales agent’s name or team name is on them, the broker’s name must also be present (in at least half the size). Can a sales agent receive or pay a commission to a party in a real estate transaction? There is no prohibition against a license holder presenting more than one offer at a time to a seller. You can contact them at for information on the requirements to obtain a license to inspect for mold. Can all or part of the educational hours be waived in view of a person's business experience? TREC cannot accept unsigned email or oral complaints against inspectors. It depends. I am renewing my license. If you feel the broker knew about the problem with the house and didn't tell you about it, you can file a written complaint with TREC. Unless an exception applies, the requirements apply to all proposed real estate transactions. The earnest money must be deposited by the close of business of the second working day after execution of the contract by the principals, unless a different time is agreed upon in writing by the principals to the transaction. A licensed broker is prohibited from sharing compensation with anyone who acts in the capacity of a broker but is not licensed as a broker [TRELA §1101.651(a) and §1101.652(b)(11)]. Presuming an upstairs floor or the ceiling below does not exhibit obvious evidence of failure, is a squeaky floor a defect and required reporting item per TREC? What level of precision is expected for the “approximation” of average insulation depth? [Rule 535.155(b)(1)]. Do not send originals. No. A security deposit can also be deposited in an account separate from the trust or escrow account, but this is not a requirement. Can I switch my listing to the new broker’s office? [See §§535.2(g), 535.154, and 535.155 (effective May 15, 2018); TRELA 1101.652(b)(23)]. No. For example, you may have paid a fee to obtain an “option” period in the contract. What if a license holder does not comply with the requirements for forming an intermediary relationship? Then click on the license holder’s name from the list that you are given. No. Can you help? I think my inspector was negligent in performing the inspection. If the sales agent is an employee of the owner of the timeshare, the employee would not be required to be licensed. Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient the absence of weep holes along the bottom course of brick and above steel lintels? The unlicensed person may share in the income earned by a real estate brokerage if the person engages in no acts for which a license is required. I only represent buyers. It is not a violation of TRELA or the Rules for a license holder to rebate a portion of the license holder’s commission to a party to a real estate transaction. Instead, TREC has established Standards of Practice for inspectors to follow. Do I have to file a complaint first? Drip and rake edge flashing materials are recommended by most shingle manufacturers but are not required. For most business entities, the assumed business name is filed with the Secretary of State. Can a sales agent work in a different office than the sponsoring broker’s office? Is the license holder required to provide the "written statement" (IABS Form) to buyer prospects at an open house? No. In response to the 2nd question, an inspector must keep in mind that his role is primarily to document the condition of the home at the time of the inspection per §535.227(b)(1). License holders must meet Continuing Education (CE) requirements during each two- year license period. Is there a way for me to do that without going to the expense of obtaining insurance? When a contract falls through, can part of the earnest money be held to pay the commission fee for the other real estate license holder? [Rules 535.2(c), 535.146(c)(7).]. If yes, is the inspector required to inspect 100% of the materials under the edge of the roof? The broker must provide a monthly accounting of trust money if there has been any activity in the account. [Rule 535.155(b)(1)], Yes. [TRELA §1101.561(b)] To the extent a dual agency relationship is created by accident or otherwise, a license holder must resolve the matter by immediate compliance with the notice and consent requirements under TRELA §§1101.558-561 and act as either an intermediary or represent only one of the principals in a transaction while working with the other principal only as a customer. Rule 531.20(d) states that providing a link to the IABS Form in a footnote or signature block of an email is insufficient. [Rule 541.1(d)] Before applying for a license, a person may request TREC to determine whether the person’s fitness complies with the requirements for licensing by filing a Fitness Determination (FT). Who registers an assumed business name, team, or alternate name? They are only required to conduct a visual inspection of the property, and buried gas lines are not required to be inspected. (2) first class mail or overnight common carrier delivery service;  What is the definition of an “accepted industry practice”? 2. As with any other type of fee-structure, there are some benefits and some drawbacks to operating under a net listing agreement. I'm using the appraised value plus a reasonable commission as the asking price. Although this is not mandatory, it may still be placed on a sign. In Texas, business names and "DBA"s are regulated under common law (deceptively similar names may give rise to a private cause of action) and "notice" laws which may provide certain presumptions or tacit protections to names recorded at the local county clerk's office or with the Secretary of State. If a gas shut-off valve cannot be located, this should be reported. Unlicensed individuals who conduct residential rental location activity are subject to administrative penalties and criminal charges. Lack of weep holes is only required to be reported as a deficiency when there is visible evidence of water penetration or a structural issue that may be related to the lack of weep holes. A Property Management Agreement is a private contract and TREC is unable to advise you in private contractual matters. CE must include 4 hours in Legal Update I and 4 hours in Legal Update II, and 10 hours in CE elective courses for a total of 18 hours. Ask about cancellation rights. The listing agent can then add the desired commission onto this net price when presenting it to buyers. Neither I nor anyone in my company is a licensed wood destroying insect inspector, but we recommend or provide one if requested by the client. A broker or designated broker of a business entity who sponsor one or more sales agents during their current license period or a delegated supervisor of one or more license holders for a period of six months or more during the supervisor’s current license period must complete the six-hour Broker Responsibility Course as part of the 18-hour CE requirement. The Commission may suspend or revoke or take other disciplinary action against a license holder who pays any portion of a commission or fee to anyone other than a licensed Texas broker or a broker licensed in another state. If you made the referral while you were active, however, you may collect that fee while you are expired or on inactive status. Under inspector advertising Rule 535.221, an inspector may not engage in false or misleading advertising. We tried to buy a house but our loan application was not approved. Can TREC help me with that or should I just call a repairman? I recently purchased an older home that was inspected before the purchase. of Savings & Mortgage Lending at, Property Tax Consultants (see the Property Tax Consultant Board of the Texas Dept. Is the inspector required to warn or advise of the alleged risks if TREC determines the panel is not required to be reported as deficient? I am changing sponsoring brokers. If the underlying conduct violates §1101.652(a-1)(1) or §1101.652(b) of TRELA, disciplinary action can be taken against the license holder for the underlying conduct. Do I need a license to sell a builder's new houses? A sales agent may work from an office location different from the main office of the sales agent's sponsoring broker, but the sponsoring broker is still responsible for the sales agent's actions. Yes. No. Today, we’ll look through Paragraphs 8 through 16 of the listing agreement, and then follow up tomorrow with Paragraphs 17 through to the end. A listing agreement is a document in which a property owner contracts with a real estate broker to find a buyer for the owner's property. TREC does not have jurisdiction over Homeowner Associations or Association Management Companies. A net listing is an agreement between the seller of a home and the broker entrusted by the seller to find a buyer. We assume you are referring to composition shingle roofing. The duration of the listing agreement is negotiable. Yes. Can TREC give me information about what codes the inspector is referring to? Yes. No. The Standards of Practice do not address insulating covers or blankets on water heaters. The process to end a listing agreement prior to the end of its contractual life, generally six months, will differ from state to state. Is the inspector required to inspect to trade or industry association standards? Can a broker share a commission or other compensation with an attorney when the attorney is a principal in the transaction? Can the intermediary delegate to another license holder the authority to appoint license holders associated with the broker intermediary? The standards of practice are not based on a specific requirement such as those promulgated by model building codes. All complaints must be in writing and signed by the person making the complaint. [TRELA §1101.005(4)] However, it is clear from the statute that an auctioneer may not perform any act of a broker or sales agent, such as the preparation of a written agreement for the transaction. The Statute of Frauds, as defined by Chapter 26 of the Business and Commerce Code, requires that certain agreements be reduced to writing to be enforceable. [Rule 535.147(d)]. Additionally, the license holder may not use the license holder’s expertise to the disadvantage of the other party. My broker did not fill out our contract properly and the effective date is blank. I signed a contract to purchase a timeshare interest yesterday. Under Actions for the sponsoring broker, click "Terminate" and then click "Next". Note, also, that the "on-site" requirement means that you have an office at the apartment complex, not that the manager has to live there. [TRELA §1101.002(1) and Rules 535.4 and 535.5]. Yes. Is an inspector required to determine if a light fixture is approved for its location over a bathtub or shower? Is an inspector required to report as deficient an electronic sensor in a garage door that is more than six inches above the garage floor even though the general limitations section states that an inspector is not required to inspect a photoelectric sens. Section 535.231(a)(3)(D)(iii) does not require inspectors to inspect inaccessible gas supply system components for leaks. The website for that agency is and their toll free number is 800.252.5555. Can you explain them to me? The process is voluntary and must include the license holder, registrant or certificate holder, at least one public member of the Commission, and two staff members of TREC. Therefore, there must be a separately signed document of authorization by the seller for a hydrostatic test. Do I need a license to sell or lease cemetery lots? Would it be permissible to use a promulgated contract form as a contract for deed or contract of sale by making appropriate changes in Paragraph 11? Does TREC ever discipline a license holder who fails to use an adopted form? The inspector must use “reasonable judgment” in determining if the emergency escape and rescue openings are sufficient for the intended purpose of the openings for the inspector’s client. We are unable to provide a general definition. Yes. Although entering a name into a drawing may not have a cost associated with it, whoever won the drawing would be receiving valuable consideration. To apply as an out of state broker, you must submit the paper Application for Broker Licenseby an Individual along with requested documents and the applicable fee. Does a link to the IABS Form in my email signature satisfy the representation disclosure required by TRELA §1101.558? The Standards of Practice require inspectors to report as deficient the lack of exhaust ventilators in required areas. [TRELA §1101.351(c)]. Is the inspector required to inspect a water metering device to determine if a leak may exist? No. Is the inspector required by the SoP to be knowledgeable of local requirements? Listing Agreements and Disclosures. Under a net listing agreement, the real estate broker gets the surplus. As such, the buyer would still be represented by the sales agent’s previous broker. [TRELA §1101.652(b)(23) ]. Our $500 earnest money had been deposited with a title company and they said they wouldn't return it without a release signed by the seller, which the seller won't sign. No, not unless the broker agrees to hold money belonging to others or to act as an escrow agent. Under the Standards of Practice found in Rules 535.227 - 535.233, a home inspector is required to perform a visual check of plumbing fixtures and associated items and report as in need of repair deficiencies in the type and condition of all accessible and visible water supply and waste-water and vent pipes, as well as others listed in Rule 535.231. A hydrostatic test is a way in which pipeline, plumbing, gas cylinders, boilers, and fuel tanks can be tested for strength and leaks. Can I use a power of attorney to engage in a real estate brokerage transaction without a real estate license? Request inactive status by following the steps below: If you prefer, you can also submit the Application for Inactive Broker or Sales Agent Status form by email. Yes, but the ad must disclose that payment of the rebate is subject to the consent of the seller and if the rebate is contingent upon certain restrictions, such as the use of a particular service provider, the ad must contain a disclosure that payment of the rebate is subject to restrictions. Yes and yes. Yes. Yes, as long as the church member who made the referral receives nothing that may be defined as valuable consideration from the church or the license holder. [Rule 535.146(c)(1)]. (3) the communication is at an open house and the communication concerns that same property. A name used in advertising by an associated broker that is not the associated broker’s licensed name must be registered as a team name by the broker he or she is associated with and meet all the requirements for a team name. The Standards of Practice do not require inspectors to determine if light fixtures are approved for wet locations or to report such installations as a deficiency. In inspecting an attic with a powered ventilator, which is not required to be operated, the inspector should perform a visual inspection and consider the totality of the ventilation system. Yes. Can an individual broker use an assumed business name in advertising? (1) a transaction is for a residential lease less than one year and a sale is not being considered;  [Rule 531.1]. [TRELA §1101.652(b)(23) and Rule 535.154(a)(5)]. The mere presence of corrugated stainless steel tubing (CSST) is not, in itself, required to be reported as a deficiency, nor are inspectors required to notify the client of the litigation history or the risks associated with CSST. [Rule 535.131(b)]. An inspector is not required to recommend “fixes”. What qualifies as proof of ownership of the business entity? Can a sales agent have a commission check written to the sales agent’s own corporation or Limited Liability Company? Can a license holder donate a portion of his commission to a church if one of the church members refers a client to the license holder? There is no requirement that a phone number or email address included in an advertisement belong to the broker. [TRELA §1101.652(b)(9)] Further, paying an operating expense or making a withdrawal from a broker’s trust account for any purpose other than proper disbursement of trust money is prima facie evidence of commingling. [Rule 535.141(c) and (d)] A business entity can only provide the proper supervision by the personal involvement of the broker or by the broker’s delegation to a qualified supervisor. The listing agent represents the seller and has a duty to present all offers in a timely manner to the seller. Is the inspector required to warn of the risk of Chinese drywall? You should consult with a private attorney to determine whether you have a claim and what deadlines may apply to your claim. In addition, pursuant to Chapter 53 of the Texas Occupations Code ( and Rule 541.1(c), TREC will consider evidence of certain mitigating factors and rehabilitation. A seller may receive, review and negotiate several offers simultaneously. A broker may not take net listings unless the principal requires a net listing and the principal appears to be familiar with current market values of real property. The specific requirement to report the deficiency takes precedence over the general limitation against inspecting an photoelectric sensor. The Standards of Practice do not require double-cylinder deadbolts to be reported as deficient unless such a deadbolt would impede functional emergency escape from a sleeping room. [TRELA §1101.652(b)(23)], No. A license holder may not represent both principals as a dual agent under the revisions to TRELA. Can I cancel the agreement? If a broker has an exclusive listing with a seller, may another broker solicit a listing from the same seller that would begin after the other listing expired? If you participate in a transaction and hold more than a 10% interest in the corporation or other business entity, you are subject to the disclosure requirements. Is a link to the IABS form required on my website? Due to building maintenance outside of our control, TREC’s website and all services are unavailable from November 25 through November 29. TREC does not regulate and accept complaints against: Real Estate Developers (not regulated), Home Builders (not regulated), Appraisers (see the Texas Appraiser Licensing & Certification Board at, Mortgage Brokers and Loan Officers (see the Texas Dept. Is the TREC inspector required to inform the client of the CSST litigation history? Pursuant to Section 535.229(b)(3)(A)(ii), a garage receptacle that does not have GFCI protection is deficient and must be reported as such. [TRELA §1101.652(b)(3)] Should you want to take legal action against the seller and/or the broker for damages, you will need to consult with a private attorney. Can TREC obtain reimbursement of commissions paid by buyers and sellers to brokers and sales agents for compensation in real estate transactions? The intermediary and any associated license holders appointed by the intermediary broker are prohibited from disclosing, without the written authorization from the seller, that the seller will accept a price less than the asking price or that the buyer will pay a price greater than the price submitted in a written offer. The absence of an anti-entrapment cover in a spa is not a required reporting item. Is a “residential service contract” the same as a “home warranty”? Can a license holder be disciplined for paying a commission or a fee to or dividing a commission or fee with an unlicensed person for services as a real estate agent? I am a seller and I signed a contract with a buyer. Is the absence of a dirt or drip leg, 1. a deficiency? Although a license holder may not pay an unlicensed person valuable consideration for referring a potential lessee or buyer, gifts of merchandise with a retail value of $50 or less are not considered valuable consideration. The agency's sole interest in requiring all brokerage business names to be disclosed to TREC and reflected in the agency's database is to provide a resource to consumers who need to know which individuals and licenses are associated with any particular business name; therefore all names are "searchable" from our agency website. All commissions must be paid through the agent’s sponsoring broker. A mistake in the use of a form may result in financial loss or an unenforceable contract. Common terms can be 30 days, 90 days, six months, one year or more. Do the Standards of Practice require inspectors to report copper gas lines as deficient? No. An inspector may request inactive status in writing at any time. The use of net listing agreement places the broker’s interest above the principal’s interest with regards to obtaining the best possible price. If the transaction concerns a residential lease of less than one year and a sale is not being considered, the locator is not required to provide the tenant with a copy of the statutory information about agency (Information about Brokerage Services). Probably not. Why can I do? RESIDENTIAL REAL ESTATE LISTING AGREEMENT EXCLUSIVE RIGHT TO SELL USE OF THIS FORM BY PERSONS WHO ARE NOT MEMBERS OF THE TEXAS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® IS NOT AUTHORIZED. Keep in mind that the associated broker registers the assumed business name that is used when they are not associating with another broker and the broker that they are associating with registers the team name being used when associating with that broker. A license holder who makes a knowing misrepresentation or fails to disclose a latent defect can be disciplined by the Commission. We do not provide advice on how to run or set up a referral-based brokerage business (or LFRO). Is a hand rail that is not continuously deficient a required reporting item per TREC? Yesterday, we looked at Paragraphs 1 through 7 of the Residential Real Estate Listing Agreement Exclusive Right to Sell used by Texas REALTORS® to list your home for sale. TAR 1101 Residential Real Estate Listing Agreement Exclusive Right to Sell TAR 1102 Residential Real Estate Listing Agreement Exclusive Right to Lease We also accept copies of tax records which indicate ownership. An unlicensed person may not engage in any activity for which a license is required. It appears that the inspector who inspected my home before my purchase missed major termite infestation. Does TREC require the use of a “contract” for inspections which would outline the responsibilities of the parties to the contract or have a form inspectors can use? In Texas, any person who reports on wood destroying insects in a home must be licensed by the state as a wood destroying insect inspector. Click "Change/Verify Contact Information" and click "Select". Is a broker responsible for the actions of a sales agent who transacts business from a separate location? Yes, double-tapped grounded conductors (neutrals) are a deficiency and must be reported as such, unless otherwise approved and listed by the manufacturer. None of the issues you listed would necessarily be required to be reported as deficiencies; this determination depends on several factors, such as the design of the system. However, because TREC must dispose of certain documents in accordance with a records retention plan, TREC may no long have those documents and an applicant should be prepared to resubmit documents and the explanation previously submitted. TREC licensed inspectors are required to follow Standards of Practice when inspecting property.

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