The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) adopted new advertising rules that took effect in May 2018. License holders were granted 6 months from then to comply with the updated requirements. As such, all TREC licensees are expected to be in compliance with the new advertising rules by this month, November 2018.
Registration Requirements for Alternate and Assumed Business Names and Team Names
An alternate name (an alias) must be registered with TREC by the individual license holder. An assumed business name (DBA) or team name must be registered by a broker. Alternate, assumed, or team names must be registered with TREC before use in advertising. 22 TAC §535.154.
- Use of any name other than the one on an individual sales agent’s TREC license is considered a “team name” and must comply with the team name requirements.
- Under the amended rules, the word “realty” may not be used at the beginning or middle of a team name.
If you or your team is using an alternate, assumed business, or team name that you have not yet been registered with TREC, it is critical that you register that name immediately.
If you are a broker, understand that it is your responsibility to ensure that a sponsored sales agent’s advertising complies with the TREC advertising Rules. 22 TAC §535.2(g).
Signs Giving Directions
The amended rules clarify that a sign giving directions to a property for sale or lease is not considered an advertisement and, as such, not subject to the advertising rules if it contains only directional arrows and the listing broker’s logo or name. 22 TAC §535.154(B)(b).
Real Estate License Defense
Failure to follow the advertising rules for realtors could put your Texas Real Estate or Broker’s license at risk of suspension or revocation. A careless mistake or an honest oversight could cost you your real estate license.
If you are under investigation by the Texas Real Estate Commission, we urge you to seek the advice of an experienced real estate license defense attorney. BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. To best serve our clients we have offices in Austin, Houston, and San Antonio.
If you are facing disciplinary action from the Texas Real Estate Commission contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.
For more information, please review The Do’s and Don’ts of Appearing Before the Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC) and our FREE eBook When Your License is Under Attack: A Survival Guide for Texas Professionals.