What brokers should know about branch-office licenses

I sponsor several agents who work out of their homes. I have a license for the main office, but another broker told me that I’m required to also have a branch-office license for every agent’s home. Is that true?

It depends on the activities your agents perform in their homes. Section 1101.552 of the Real Estate License Act provides that a broker who maintains more than one place of business must obtain a branch-office license for each additional office.

But what is “a place of business”?

TREC rule Section 535.112 defines it as a place where a real estate license holder meets with clients and customers to transact business.

So, if your agents meet with clients or customers at their homes to transact business, you must obtain branch-office licenses for each of those homes. If your agents never meet with clients or customers at their homes to transact business, then no branch-office license would be required.

About Texas Association of REALTORS®

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9 Responses to What brokers should know about branch-office licenses

  1. Volley Goodman says:

    How can government be so brainless?

    Like

  2. Warren Walker says:

    That has to be one of the craziest rulings I’ve ever heard unless you’re Trec trying to generate more income. Then, it’s still dumb. Definitely government gone wild!! I have never commented on one of these articles but this seems outrageous. & could you possibly police it.

    Like

  3. Chris Martin says:

    Does this also count for when we meet with clients at a nearby Coffee Shop?

    Agents who work for ‘Virtual’ Brokers are mobile and normally meet at locations near their clients for the convenience of those clients.

    I believe this ruling deserves more consideration and deliberation from TREC. Or at least more clarification.

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  4. Thomas Kent says:

    What about in your vehicle? Mobile office? Crazy rules.

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  5. synthetic1 says:

    It is reasonable if the cost is reasonable. All real estate offices must display the “This Firm is Licensed and Regulated…” notice on the wall and it provides reasonable notice to consumers that they have recourse. I doubt that the notice is prominently displayed in most offices, but that’s another issue.

    What is reasonable? A $10 one-time registration fee? Could also apply to any licensee who meets people at they home, not just “branch office” situations. This would at least give TREC a mechanism to let the licensee know that they must post the notice if they have people in their house.

    Thomas’ comment on vehicles and the other on coffee shops, though in jest, might point out a need to provide the notice just as we do with the IABS; consumers deserve to be informed.

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    • Thomas says:

      I really wasn’t kidding about the vehicles. We very often meet with and conduct business in route from showings, listing etc. In fact, there is probably more business discussions in the vehicle than the office.

      Like

  6. Margo Argo says:

    I agree that this is a bit antiquated. However 9 years ago when I worked for a flat fee broker one of his agents opened up a branch office in Canyon Lake. She was not a broker agent. She then proceeded to embezzle $15,000 of my commission checks, not paying the broker his split. When I sued my broker this was the law my attorney used. Broker had to pay because he was responsible for the “branch office”

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  7. Charles says:

    So I guess if I meet at Lubys I need a branch office license go figure

    Like

  8. Billie says:

    Is this for real?

    Like

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