Who can use TREC forms

True or false? You must have a real estate license to use the forms posted on the Texas Real Estate Commission’s website.

False. TREC’s forms are public record, so they are available to anyone. However, the forms are primarily intended for use by real estate license holders, who are generally required to use these forms.

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57 Responses to Who can use TREC forms

  1. ddavis1038 says:

    However, taken directly from the TREC website where those forms are stored: “Notice Regarding Use of Contract Forms
    As public records, contract forms adopted by the Texas Real Estate Commission are available to any person. Real estate license holders are required to use these forms.

    However, TREC contract forms are intended for use primarily by licensed real estate brokers or sales agents who are trained in their correct use. Mistakes in the use of a form may result in financial loss or a contract which is unenforceable. Persons using these forms assume all risks associated with their proper use.

    If you are obtaining the forms for possible use in a real estate transaction, you should contact a real estate license holder or an attorney for assistance. TREC cannot provide legal advice to the public on private contractual matters.

    TREC does not promulgate listing or buyer representation agreements, property management contracts, forms for commercial property, or residential leases (other than temporary residential leases used in connection with a sale). Contact your attorney or a real estate trade association for such forms.”

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    • Jeanette says:

      We aren’t not “required” to use these forms and in fact, I never do.

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      • ddavis1038 says:

        According to TREC rules, yes, real estate brokers are required to use “these forms.”

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      • Rick DeVoss says:

        Jeanette — Please post your license number on here, and the name of your Broker. ~I’m sure TREC would like to know which Agents are not using the forms promulgated by TREC, as they are MANDATORY for all licensed real estate agents to use!

        Liked by 1 person

      • ddavis1038 says:

        My guess is going to be that she is NOT licensed!

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      • Diana Alderman, Broker says:

        Jeanette, if you do not use TREC forms, do you use HAR forms; if not, are you using contract forms prepared by an attorney. Just curious since TREC does not allow us to “practice law”. You are correct that we are not required to use ‘TREC” forms.

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      • ddavis1038 says:

        All Texas Real Estate Commission license fees are required by law to use trec promulgated forms

        Liked by 1 person

      • ddavis1038 says:

        All Texas Real Estate Commission licensees are required by law to use TREC promulgated forms.

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      • Rick DeVoss says:

        I liked the format of this blog better when the comments were posted IN THE ORDER in which they were written. ~It is cumbersome to skip back to an earlier post by somebody who is responding to an earlier comment. (Whose idea was this??)

        ~David > When is it allowed for us to use a contract form that was NOT promulgated by TREC? (Such as a builder’s contract.) Does it have to be drawn by the principle party’s attorney?

        ~Why should TREC be facilitating the sale of real estate by a FSBO…??
        We pay to get licensed, and we pay to stay licensed, so how come our money goes to giving away contract forms to an unlicensed person for Free…??

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      • ddavis1038 says:

        As for a licensee (or whatever term they use to describe brokers & associates now) can never “use” another form such as a builder’s

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      • Rick DeVoss says:

        You cleared up my brain fog. Thanks!
        When a buyer signs a builder’s contract, it is Not being filled in by the Agent. The Agent is merely getting paid by the seller, but is not “writing the offer”…
        ~When an Agent “writes” an offer, it had better be on a TREC form.

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  2. I don’t agree that these forms should be available to people WITHOUT a license! Since these forms are not password protected, neighbors write contracts for neighbors, friends write contracts for friends, relatives write contracts for relatives, ALL without a license! Yet, I have to keep a license to do what they do without one. Just doesn’t seem right. I have contacted TREC about this problem before and I was told they just don’t have the manpower to do their job! Huh……….not sure I have a comment for that…….

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    • ddavis1038 says:

      Shirley Howard, If you know that for a fact, as a broker you have an obligation to yourself and our industry to report the ones that are doing that. Doing it for someone else is the act of real estate brokerage. Without a license, that is against the law.

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      • That would be a really interesting discussion – if you’re filling out a TREC form on behalf of a friend or family member, but you’re not licensed, at what point does the situation cross the threshold from being “legal” to practicing brokerage without a license??

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      • ddavis1038 says:

        The moment you start filling it out!

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      • I agree completely. So how would TREC monitor this? If you’ve got a parent who’s suddenly incapable of (competently) signing a contract and you decide to sell the parent’s home as a FSBO, seems to me you would need some type of legal “blessing” to do that before going off willy-nilly and selling it without being licensed.

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      • ddavis1038 says:

        It doesn’t matter who you do it for (other than yourself) if you are doing it is practicing real estate brokerage. That requires a license in this state. Doing so without a license is a criminal offense.

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      • David J Davis says:

        It doesn’t matter who you do it for (other than yourself) if you are doing it is practicing real estate brokerage. That requires a license in this state. Doing so without a license is a criminal offense.

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    • Rob Dole says:

      The reason we have a license is so we can get paid.

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    • Linda Peace says:

      My sentiments exactly L Peace, Realtor.Westchase Realty Services, Houston,TX

      Liked by 1 person

    • Diana Alderman, Broker says:

      I agree with you. I do not think that TREC forms should be available to the public.
      We are required to be licensed, complete MCE and pay dues to operate as real estate
      agents. I think that the use of promulated forms by untrained consumers is an accident getting ready to happen.

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  3. Rick DeVoss says:

    Why would TAR post such a question & answer without also posting the same question about TAR forms…?
    ~Many of the forms that we use daily are issued by TAR, not TREC. The rules are different. If you are going to bring up a topic for educational purposes, you should cover the total scope of the topic.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jen says:

    I didn’t see the Residential Lease Agreement in Public Forms. Can you explain why only some forms are public? How does a non-licensed person obtain said form to utilize for a property they own but does not want to hire a Realtor to manage the home?

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    • Bill Barton says:

      TREC doesn’t have a residential lease from…only the one that is associated with the sale of a property. TAR does but it can only be used by members of TAR. If someone wants to rent their home without using a REALTOR they would be wise to get a contract written by an attorney to use for their lease.

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  5. Jen says:

    I just answered my own question – it’s TREC forms, not TAR forms that are available publicly.

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  6. Judy says:

    Curious as to why these forms need to be on TREC website. It just encourages public to use them rather than hiring a realtor.

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    • Rick DeVoss says:

      Thank you, Judy!
      ~We pay our dues to have a license, and we are Only allowed to use the promulgated forms because we Have a license! So why should they be offered to the public??
      ~Many people are using the Texas forms who don’t know a darn thing about “real estate”. And some of them are showing other people how to use them without having a license.
      ~The doctors don’t give the public a blank prescription form to fill out on their own, so why shouldn’t we act like other professionals…?

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    • Rob Dole says:

      TREC isn’t there to serve Realtors. TAR is our trade organization and exists to serve us. TREC exists to protect the public.

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  7. Can an unlicensed person manage (receive salary) a condominium complex?

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  8. You are correct Shirley
    The TREC forms should not be available to the Public. You and I and all of us know that
    They are always misused., because like you mentioned above, friends help friends. However,
    No one ever finds out about it.

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    • Bill Barton says:

      TREC is a public government entity and essentially owned by the citizens of the State. I don’t have a problem with owners who want to sell their own homes using forms their tax money pays for. Of course anyone else using the forms is operating illegally but that is for the state to worry about.

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  9. Jacqueline says:

    TREC attorney may write a form if it intended for public user. It is confuse if licensed and non license can share a same form on TREC website. It sounds like everyone can use attorney legal form free on internet without hiring attorney

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    • ddavis1038 says:

      Sorry but your comment makes no grammatical sense. TREC attorneys typically do not write contracts. They serve TREC (their client). Contracts are prepared and revised by the broker-lawyer committee then submitted to the TREC directors for approval and ultimate promulgation.

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  10. William says:

    I don’t think they are practicing Real Estate until they receive compensation for doing a transaction for someone other than themselves. No one will complain about their friend or family member UNTIL they discover something wasn’t completed properly and a lawsuit arises.
    These forms are also used by Real Estate Licensees and remember not every Texas Real Estate Licensee is a “Realtor” but they are authorized to conduct real estate transaction because they are licensed by TREC even though they did not join a Real Estate Association such as “Realtors”.

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    • ddavis1038 says:

      Wrong! Compensation is NOT required to practice real estate brokerage. Simply performing the act (regardless of compensation) is the act itself.

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      • Rick DeVoss says:

        William — When was the last time you got paid by the Buyer?? ~You are practicing Real Estate the moment you begin a discussion about a house with a buyer. You don’t get “compensated” by the Seller until the transaction closes, but you HAVE been practicing real estate the whole time, and THAT requires a license.
        ~The real issue here is why should we (TREC) give out the forms to the pubic for free? TREC was established to “protect” the public from unscrupulous real estate agents, not give them free forms to use when they are un-educated and un-licensed.
        ~The “internet” has screwed up the whole business of Real Estate!

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  11. Mariangel Wilkinson says:

    So the reality is anyone CAN fill out any real estate form (TREC or otherwise) for anyone else. Are they allowed to? NO. Does that mean it doesn’t happen? of course people do that all the time. As agents we should advise them of the error of their ways but if they don’t listen, sure report them. Hum, unless it’s your mom? Then just offer to fill it out for her..! And FYI, commission has nothing to do with it. If you give out free legal advise you are practicing law. If you are not an attorney, big trouble. Same with us. People who play with fire run the risk of getting burned (or sued later).

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  12. James Bullington Broker says:

    Over all Trec is a useless and ineffective government organisation. They are only there to protect consumers and punish real estate professionals. And only the ones that they determine are to week to fight back. The reason that the forms are published is to give themselves an out if any one complains about non Realtors using the forms. I would take to muck stock in what dddavis. I’m not sure what he does but he is clueless about what goes on in real estate. Compare Trec forms to tar forms. The Trec forms look like children wrote them. If Trec was an inelegant group the forms would be better writen, not available to the public and there would be more forms available to use. My 2 cents for what it’s worth. Lol

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    • Rob Dole says:

      I’ve always believed that TREC is there to protect the consumer. What’s wrong with that? I’m also grateful for HAR and TAR. They make my life easier. Now don’t get me started on NAR. Talk about a useless extension and waste of our dues, in my opinion that’s NAR, not TREC by a loooooong shot.

      Like

  13. Carmen says:

    A bank here in Allen wrote a contract for one of my clients.
    Not for sure they didn’t have a license but they didn’t tell them they were a realtor either.

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  14. James Bullington Broker says:

    Investors use tree contracts all of the time. Texas is the wild west. Anything goes. All it take’s to start an investigation on a realtor is one phone call from a consumer about a realtor. It can be 100% fiction and you will still get investigated. BTW for all of you that don’t know. Trec considers investors as general public. If you are working with one and they complain about you to trec, an investigation will be launched against you. As a realtor you can’t file a complaint against another realtor no mater what they have done. Trec is only there to take our money. Document every transaction well. Make sure the SD gets signed and keep your copies. Foundation problems bite more people in the butt, more than you know.

    Like

    • Rick DeVoss says:

      @James — Not sure what you meant by “make sure the SD gets signed…” First of all, there is no requirement to have a Buyer sign a Seller’s Disclosure Notice. ~The Law says that the Seller has to give the information to the Buyer; it doesn’t say the Buyer has to “sign it” and give it back!
      ~Secondly, many “Seller’s Disclosure Notice” forms have been drawn up by various parties not including TREC, so not sure what it has to do with this conversation on this blog.
      ~Thirdly, it sounded like you were telling licensed Agents how to defend themselves. Sorry, but the SDN has nothing to do with Agents and their behavior. It is a requirement for the Seller, not the Agent to comply with. In Paragraph 7, we merely check the box that indicates that the Seller has given the information to the Buyer, and then the Seller signs the contract. The SDN is not an attachment, or any other part of the contract. ~If the Seller fails to give the Disclosure to a Buyer, the Agent is not in trouble.
      I am very tired of listing office managers requiring the selling Agent to give them a copy back signed by the Buyer. ~All Real Estate Brokers should know the Law and comply with it, and not create new rules of their own.

      Like

  15. James Bullington Broker says:

    Rick, when tree audits you because of a customer complaint the SD is one of the first this that the trec investigator will ask for. The buyer(investor) filed a complaint against their agent for non disclose of foundation problems. 2 years after she purchased the home as a rental. The SD wasn’t signed by the buyer. The agent had lost the emails showing proof that she informed the seller. Lucky for the agent that trec dragged me in. I had dates and times when the foundation company met the buyer, her agent and myself on site. The foundation company validated my notes. The buyers agent and my self were off the hook. It took 6 months. The buyer even hired an attorney to sue the agent to make her buy the house back. My notes cause the attorney to drop the case. Lots of bad people out there! Document EVERTHING! Make sure the SD gets signed and hang on to it like gold!

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  16. J. Soto says:

    there a time when location , location , location was prime. Now …document, document, document.

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  17. Paul Athas says:

    Scutinize your contract like you’re trying to sue yourself! Cover every detail…i’s dotted, t’s crossed…Not licensed? GOOD LUCK staying out of trouble!

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  18. Irene says:

    The questions here is “Who can use TREC forms?” and the answer is anyone including the public, be it whether one is licensed or not because TREC Forms are accessible to the public as well. The question we really need to ask is whether the public who is not trained to use the form use it? If you read the fine print on page 8 of 9 of TREC No. 20-13 One to Four Family Resale contract it states “TREC forms are intended for use only by trained real estate license holders”. It is written it such a way that TREC caution the public to understand that anyone other than a trained licensed realtor who wishes to use the form needs to be aware that there no representation to the legal validity of the contract. It’s like doctoring yourself without a trained doctor doctoring you! Although there is nothing from preventing you from doctoring yourself!

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  19. Geneva Bailey says:

    To my recollection, TREC forms as stated on the forms are to be used by licensed agents.
    We do not practice law, we fill in the blanks & add only pertinent information to the transaction. The forms ( certain forms) can be used by the public. John Doesn’t, is not held to the same standard. If John Doe, sells
    His own property he can write his in contract on the side of pigs belly if the person accepting his contract agreed.
    1. We are kept, as licensed real estate holders, and Practioners are held to a higher “Standard.”
    2. We have rules and regulations that we
    must abide by for the consumers protection
    We have forms that advise the customer before he becomes a client what he/ she is
    advised to read and do. Come on folks we took way to many courses not to know our own rules and regulations and responsibilities…just saying maybe a refresher course is needed…

    Like

  20. T Young says:

    I only care about TREC forms or TAR forms or basically any form that I had to pay money and time to get qualified to use. The TREC forms and other Realtor forms used by friends, aka non licensed are sent to the title companies. The public should not use these forms and the title companies shouldn’t be ok accepting these forms filled out by the public. It’s ridiculous and a double standard. It’s common sense to restrict use for those who didn’t pay to play.

    Like

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