To reach more license holders, the Texas Real Estate Commission broke away from its Austin headquarters for the first time ever to meet in Houston on May 16. It was TREC’s second meeting of 2023. There were more than 80 attendees.
Welcoming New Commissioners, Thanking the Outgoing
TREC’s Chair, Scott Kesner, opened the meeting with a welcome to TREC’s newest Commissioners: Chance Brown, Renee Harvey Lowe, and Stuart Bernstein.
Then, Chair Kesner, on behalf of the Commission, thanked outgoing Commissioners Jan Fite Miller, Micheal Williams, and DeLora Wilkinson for their years of service. Executive Director Chelsea Buchholtz also showed gratitude by presenting them with flags flown over the Texas Capitol in their honor.
The Commission voted to adopt several rule changes with a focus on Broker Responsibility. In his opening remarks, Chair Kesner noted, “As a Commission, we will continue to be challenged to make brokers more responsible and give what we think is adequate supervision to protect the consumer.”
§535.55, Education and Sponsorship Requirements for a Sales Agent License;
§535.64, Content Requirements for Qualifying Real Estate Courses
The Commission adopted rule changes requiring the newly revised 30-hour Real Estate Brokerage course as part of the 90 hours of Sales Agent Apprentice Education (SAE). TREC’s revisions to the Real Estate Brokerage course are intended to address expectations sales agents should have of their sponsoring brokers and what brokers should anticipate when sponsoring a sales agent.
§535.2, Broker Responsibility
The Commission adopted a change to §535.2, which increases the minimum number of times a sales agent who performs a type of real estate brokerage activity must receive coaching or assistance from a competent real estate license holder from one time to three times.
§535.157, Obligation to Respond Timely
Commissioners also approved the new Obligation to Respond Timely rule which requires a broker or sales agent to respond to his or her principal, a broker or sales agent representing another party to a real estate transaction, or an unrepresented party to a real estate transaction within two calendar days. Importantly, a broker and delegated supervisor’s requirements to respond to sponsored sales agents within two calendar days remains under §535.2.
Changes to §535.93 and Other Related Rules
Other adopted amendments include those related to the elimination of the “lookback period” found in §535.93 which currently allows license holders to renew after license expiration without any lapse in active licensure if certain certifications are made. As of October 1, a license holder will no longer have that option available.
22 TAC 535.222, Inspection Reports
The Commission voted to adopt changes to 22 TAC 535.222, Inspection Reports. These changes clarify that inspectors must deliver reports to clients within two calendar days of payment.
22 TAC 535.218, Continuing Education Required for Renewal
Commissioners voted to adopt changes to 22 TAC 535.218, Continuing Education Required for Renewal which extend the amount of time an instructor of a ride-along inspection course can provide a certificate of course completion to receive CE credit.
22 TAC 535.92, Continuing Education Requirements
This rule change would expand a real estate license holder’s opportunity to earn up to four hours of CE elective credit for attending one Commission meeting per renewal cycle. Currently, this is only allowed at the February Commission meeting. Of note, a license holder appearing as a party to a contested case before the Commission would not be eligible to receive CE credit.
22 TAC, 535.46, Broker Responsibility Advisory Committee
This proposed new rule would establish an advisory committee called the “Broker Responsibility Advisory Committee”, tasked with advising the Commission of issues surrounding broker responsibility within the real estate industry. The committee will also make recommendations to TREC regarding possible legislative and rule changes associated with broker responsibility issues impacting the real estate industry and consumer.
What’s Next for the Proposed Changes?
A public comment period is now open. Submit comments through the online public comment tool. Use the dropdown menu under “Proposed Rule” to select what you are commenting on. If you would like to comment on multiple proposals, submit each one individually.
Comments may also be sent to email@example.com or General Counsel, Texas Real Estate Commission, P.O. Box 12188, Austin, Texas 78711-2188.
The earliest these proposed changes could be adopted is at the August 2023 Commission meeting. Comments will be considered before the Commission votes to adopt.
Where to Find Meeting Materials
The above is a summary of highlights from TREC’s May 16 meeting in Houston. The full Agenda, Meeting Materials, and meeting video recording are now available for review.
TREC’s next meeting is scheduled for August 7 in Austin, with a workshop scheduled for the following day.