How your clients want to be contacted

There are more ways to communicate with your clients than ever before, but it’d be a mistake to assume that talking to your clients on the phone is outmoded.

A study by Google found that 61% of mobile users will call a business when they’re ready to purchase. Consumers are even more likely to call when making a high-value purchase, according to the study.

Calls to businesses are only expected to increase, too. Advertising and marketing firm BIA/Kelsey estimates that calls to businesses will exceed 169 billion per year by 2020, and a report by the firm found that these calls are 10-15 times more likely to generate a sale or follow-up activity than a digital form.

Giving consumers options to contact you—email, chat, forms, etc.—is important to capture all potential leads. But don’t overlook the importance of providing your phone number and being responsive to in-bound calls.

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TREC proposes changes to statements for all BPOs and CMAs

The Texas Real Estate Commission met on August 7 and adopted amendments to existing rules and proposed several more. View the meeting materials packet, which provides more details about all the changes, on TREC’s website. Here’s a breakdown of a proposal related to BPOs, CMAs, and AVMs. Find a list of other rule changes proposed by TREC here.

TREC proposed amendments to Section 535.17, Broker Price Opinion or Comparative Market Analysis. The current rule requires license holders to provide a written statement with specific language when giving a broker price opinion or comparative market analysis to consumers. MLSs and RPR should provide the disclaimer when a BPO or CMA is created through these platforms.

The proposed amendment adds “Estimated Worth or Sales Price”—which would include Automated Valuation Models (AVMs)—to the types of items given to consumers that require a written disclosure statement.

If adopted, the required disclosure statement would change to the following and would need to be reproduced verbatim and in at least 12-point type:

“This represents an estimated sale price for this property. It is not the same as the opinion of value in an appraisal used by a lender to approve a mortgage loan.”

Share your feedback on proposed rule changes with TREC

The earliest these proposed rule amendments could be adopted is during the next TREC meeting, scheduled for November 13.

You can provide comments about these proposed rule changes for at least 30 days after they are published in the Texas Register by emailing general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The proposals from the August 7 meeting will likely go live August 25; you can enter “Texas Real Estate Commission” in the Agency Name field on this page to read the rules when they’re published in the Texas Register.

Comments made on this blog post will not be read by TREC and do not count as official feedback on proposed rule changes.

Other adopted or proposed rule changes from TREC:

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TREC adopts broker-related rule changes

The Texas Real Estate Commission met on August 7 and adopted amendments to existing rules and proposed several more. View the meeting materials packet, which provides more details about all the changes, on TREC’s website. Here’s a breakdown of adopted amendments that relate to brokers. Find a list of other rule changes proposed by TREC here.

Who can be a designated broker?

TREC adopted a rule change to Section 535.53(b)(5)(A) to clarify who can be a designated broker. The adopted rule makes clear the designated broker can be a corporate officer, an LLC manager, an LLC member with managing authority, or a general partner for that entity.

Broker-entity renewal deadline changed

TREC adopted amendments to Section 535.91 to establish a deadline for submitting business entity license renewals. The adopted change says a renewal application for a business entity broker is filed timely if the application and all required supporting documentation is received by TREC, or postmarked, not later than the 10th business day before the license expiration date.

Other adopted or proposed rule changes from TREC:

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TREC proposes changes to earnest money and other paragraphs

The Texas Real Estate Commission met on August 7 and adopted amendments to existing rules and proposed several more. View the meeting materials packet, which provides more details about all the changes, on TREC’s website. Here’s a breakdown of a proposal related to forms. Find a list of other rule changes proposed by TREC here.

TREC has proposed changes to Paragraph 5 of the TREC contracts to require that earnest money be delivered within three days after the effective date of the contract. Time is of the essence and if the buyer fails to deliver the earnest money in time, the seller can terminate the contract, pursue Paragraph 15 default remedies, or both before the buyer deposits the earnest money. Currently, if the buyer fails to deliver the earnest money, the buyer may be in default.

In Page 9 of the contract, the proposed changes create three separate receipt boxes for earnest money, the contract, and additional earnest money.

Other proposed changes include Paragraph 6D, Title Policy and Survey, to clarify aspects of the curing obligation and Paragraph 20 to add language that elaborates on the definition of a foreign person.

Proposed changes to the Farm and Ranch contract

TREC has proposed changes to Paragraph 2F so that reservations cannot be included in special provisions and instead should be addressed in a separate addendum.

Proposed changes to the Residential Condominium Contract (Resale)

TREC’s change clarifies that the seller is required to deliver documents, such as bylaws, and the resale certificate at the seller’s expense.

Share your feedback on proposed rule changes with TREC

The earliest these proposed rule amendments could be adopted is during the next TREC meeting, scheduled for November 13.

You can provide comments about these proposed rule changes for at least 30 days after they are published in the Texas Register by emailing general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The proposals from the August 7 meeting will likely go live August 25; you can enter “Texas Real Estate Commission” in the Agency Name field on this page to read the rules when they’re published in the Texas Register.

Comments made on this blog post will not be read by TREC and do not count as official feedback on proposed rule changes.

Other adopted or proposed rule changes from TREC:

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TREC proposes two new forms

The Texas Real Estate Commission met on August 7 and adopted amendments to existing rules and proposed several more. View the meeting materials packet, which provides more details about all the changes, on TREC’s website. Here’s a breakdown of a proposal related to forms. Find a list of other rule changes proposed by TREC here.

TREC proposed two new forms. The earliest these proposed forms could be adopted for use is during the next TREC meeting, scheduled for November 13.

Addendum Concerning Right to Terminate Due to Lender’s Appraisal

In transactions where the contract includes the Third Party Financing Addendum and does not involve FHA or VA financing, this form would allow a buyer to terminate the contract within a certain amount of time if the appraisal is less than a certain dollar amount.

This addresses the current situation where, despite a low appraisal, the lender approves the property for financing (often because the buyer is putting a large amount down) and the buyer has no way to terminate. This form also allows a buyer to waive his right to terminate under the Third Party Financing Addendum if, due to the appraisal, the property does not satisfy the lender’s underwriting requirements. If the lender reduces the amount of the loan because of the appraisal, the cash portion of the sales price will be increased by the loan reduction.

Addendum for Authorizing Hydrostatic Testing

Currently, a buyer has a right to have the property inspected, but this does not include hydrostatic testing. In order to perform hydrostatic testing on the property, the seller must provide written permission. This addendum would provide a written agreement for the seller to authorize the buyer, at buyer’s expense, to conduct a hydrostatic test and includes checkboxes to identify who will be liable for any damages.

Share your feedback on proposed rule changes with TREC

The earliest these proposed rule amendments could be adopted is during the next TREC meeting, scheduled for November 13.

You can provide comments about these proposed rule changes for at least 30 days after they are published in the Texas Register by emailing general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The proposals from the August 7 meeting will likely go live August 25; you can enter “Texas Real Estate Commission” in the Agency Name field on this page to read the rules when they’re published in the Texas Register.

Comments made on this blog post will not be read by TREC and do not count as official feedback on proposed rule changes.

Other adopted or proposed rule changes from TREC:

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TREC proposes rule amendment that would affect availability of TAR forms

The Texas Real Estate Commission met on August 7 and adopted amendments to existing rules and proposed several more. View the meeting materials packet, which provides more details about all the changes, on TREC’s website. Here’s a breakdown of a proposal related to forms. Find a list of other rule changes proposed by TREC here.

A proposed rule change to Section 537.11 would eliminate TAR’s ability to create and provide forms to members that amend existing mandatory forms from TREC. If adopted, TAR could not provide certain forms such as the Release of Earnest Money (TAR 1904) or the Relocation Addendum (TAR 1941), which change the rights and responsibilities of principals in mandatory TREC contract forms and addenda. TAR is in the process of reviewing the proposed rules and will provide comments to TREC.

The current rule provides an exception to using forms promulgated by TREC by allowing license holders to use other forms, like TAR forms, in transactions for which no TREC contract form exists. The proposed language clarifies that the exception “does not permit a license holder to use a form that changes the rights, remedies or responsibilities of a principal contained in a mandatory contract form or addendum.”

Share your feedback on proposed rule changes with TREC

The earliest these proposed rule amendments could be adopted is during the next TREC meeting, scheduled for November 13.

You can provide comments about these proposed rule changes for at least 30 days after they are published in the Texas Register by emailing general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The proposals from the August 7 meeting will likely go live August 25; you can enter “Texas Real Estate Commission” in the Agency Name field on this page to read the rules when they’re published in the Texas Register.

Comments made on this blog post will not be read by TREC and do not count as official feedback on proposed rule changes.

Other adopted or proposed rule changes from TREC:

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TREC proposes limits for when lawyers can draft contracts for principals who aren’t their clients

The Texas Real Estate Commission met on August 7 and adopted amendments to existing rules and proposed several more. View the meeting materials packet, which provides more details about all the changes, on TREC’s website. Here’s a breakdown of a few proposals related to forms. Find a list of other rule changes proposed by TREC here.

TREC is proposing amendments to Section 537.11, Use of Standard Contract Forms. This rule currently says license holders may only use contract forms promulgated by TREC, with a few exceptions.

TREC proposed amendments to some of those exceptions, including Section 537.11(a)(3), to state that while generally license holders must use TREC forms in their transactions, TREC forms are not required for transactions in which a principal or a lawyer representing the principal prepares a contract form or addendum. If TREC adopts this amendment that says a lawyer-principal relationship is necessary for a lawyer to draft a contract, this means a lawyer for a title company or a brokerage could not draft a contract or addendum for a transaction unless he or she is representing the buyer or seller.

If the amendment proposed to Section 537.11(a)(3) is adopted, certain forms could still be drafted by a lawyer who is not representing a principal to a transaction because the rule would not change the current exception of using lawyer-drafted forms in transactions for which no mandatory form has been approved by TREC. This is what allows TAR to create commercial contracts or residential lease forms, for example. The only change here is that the form must contain the following information:

  • Name of the lawyer or trade association who prepared the form
  • Name of the broker or trade association for whom the form was prepared
  • The type of transaction for which the lawyer has approved the use of the form
  • Any restrictions on the use of the form
  • A statement that the form has not been approved by TREC; and
  • A statement that TREC rules prohibit real estate license holders from giving legal advice.

In addition, TREC has made another proposal that would affect TAR’s ability to provide forms to members that amend existing mandatory forms from TREC, such as the Release of Earnest Money or the Relocation Addendum, which are not TREC forms. You can read more about this proposal here.

Share your feedback on proposed rule changes with TREC

The earliest these proposed rule amendments could be adopted is during the next TREC meeting, scheduled for November 13.

You can provide comments about these proposed rule changes for at least 30 days after they are published in the Texas Register by emailing general.counsel@trec.texas.gov. The proposals from the August 7 meeting will likely go live August 25; you can enter “Texas Real Estate Commission” in the Agency Name field on this page to read the rules when they’re published in the Texas Register.

Comments made on this blog post will not be read by TREC and do not count as official feedback on proposed rule changes.

Other adopted or proposed rule changes from TREC:

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