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Around 1% of Texas Real Estate Commission license holders are the subject of a complaint, and in 2022, slightly more than 5% of all complaints received by TREC were related to advertising issues.

Many advertising-related complaints can be handled easily, from adding missing brokerage information on for sale signs to adding missing required links on a license holder’s website. Because of these simple remedies, TREC is launching the Advertising Compliance Program, which will streamline the processing of complaints that deal only with advertising violations.

Complaint Form Now Includes Advertising Checkbox

TREC Enforcement staff has modified the complaint form to add a checkbox for advertising complaints. This will allow staff to quickly identify complaints that may be eligible for processing through the Advertising Compliance Program. The goal of the new program is to promote compliance, not punishment. To indicate you are filing an advertising complaint, check the "yes" box next to the new field "Does your complaint allege or deal with advertising issues?" on the updated complaint form.

How TREC Staff Applies the Advertising Compliance Program

Step 1: Assess the Complaint

  • If there are allegations beyond advertising, the complaint will go through the normal complaint investigation process.
  • If the allegations are only about advertising violations, the complaint will be handled at TREC headquarters versus being assigned to a field investigator.

Step 2: Alert the Respondent

The license holder and sponsoring broker, if applicable, will be notified in writing of the issue and given 14 days to correct it. The license holder must also provide documentation to staff that the advertising violations have been corrected.

Step 3: Monitor the 14-Day Timeline

  • If license holders correct within 14 days, the case will be dismissed as a matter settled and no formal disciplinary action would be held.
  • If license holders fail to comply with the 14-day deadline, they would have their complaint reviewed again by a staff attorney for further action, which could include an advisory letter or formal discipline. Staff may grant additional time for compliance.

Learn more about filing a complaint with TREC.