The Texas Real Estate Commission met on November 13 and adopted amendments to existing rules and proposed others. In addition to the changes below, the commission made changes to how team names can be used in advertisements, tweaked rules regarding use of standard contract forms, and proposed amendments to TREC forms. Those changes will be reported in upcoming posts.
New rules for links to Consumer Protection Notice and Information About Brokerage Services form
The adopted rules clarify that sales agents, along with brokers, must provide a link to the Consumer Protection Notice form in at least 10-point font in a readily noticeable place on the homepage of their business websites. The footer of the website is an acceptable place as long as it’s readily noticeable. For both the Consumer Protection Notice and the Information About Brokerage Services form, TREC added a new option for using only “TREC” as opposed to “Texas Real Estate Commission” in the link so long as the font size is increased to at least 12 point.
The term “business website” means a website that is accessible to the public, has content controlled by the license holder, and has information about the license holder’s real estate business. For social media accounts, the links may be located in the account’s profile or on a separate page or website through a direct link from the profile.
TREC adopted a change to assess administrative penalties from $500 to $3,000 per violation per day for violating the rules about providing TREC’s Consumer Protection Notice and the Information About Brokerage Services form. Previously, penalties for violating these rules would have been assessed under a higher penalty range.
These rules will go into effect 20 days after the rules are filed with the Texas secretary of state, which has not happened as of this writing.
New statement required for comparative market analysis, broker price opinion, and sales price estimates
TREC adopted changes that require license holders to provide new language in writing when giving a broker price opinion, comparative market analysis, or estimate worth or sales price—which includes automated valuation models (AVMs)— to consumers. MLSs and RPR should provide the disclaimer when analyses are created through these platforms.
The new required disclosure statement needs 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 developed by a licensed appraiser under the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice.”
This rule will go into effect 20 days after the rules are filed with the Texas secretary of state, which has not happened as of this writing.