For as long as I can remember, at least in the State of Texas, there have been real estate salespersons — those with a Texas Real Estate Salesperson License — who have done their best to imply that they have the same authority as those with a Texas Real Estate Broker’s License; that they own and operate their own real estate brokerage business.
The problem is that as a result the public is duped.
The Texas Real Estate Commission issued new regulations in an attempt to force licensed salespersons to adequately identify for the public the broker who is responsible for them. Signs, business cards, print advertising and the like need to reveal that information.
Operating under a pseudonym — let’s say, it’s Mary Jones and Associates — when Mary Jones has only a salesperson’s license is no longer allowed without very specific notice that Mary isn’t the broker.
None of this seems to have made much difference. The number of violations of those rules, at least in the Dallas area, is staggering.
Here is the primary regulation. The specifics have been supplied to every Texas licensed salesperson and broker. It’s time to abide and it’s time for the commission to become active in enforcement.
Q: What is the required information that must be provided in advertisements such as signs, email and business cards?
A: All advertisements must comply with TRELA §1101.652(b)(23) and Rule 535.154. At minimum, subsection (c) of this rule requires an advertisement placed by a licensee must “clearly and conspicuously contain the name of the broker, either a business entity or an individual.” A broker’s assumed name may be used if it is registered with the Commission. The name of a salesperson sponsored by the broker may also be included in the advertisement, but in no case shall a broker or salesperson place an advertisement which in any way “implies that the salesperson is the person responsible for the operation of a real estate brokerage business.” There is no requirement that a phone number or email address included in an advertisement belong to the broker. A licensee must comply with all advertising requirements and we suggest a careful review of all sections of Rule 535.154.
When you see violations, you should formally report them to the Texas Real Estate Commission.
BILL CHERRY, REALTORS
DALLAS – PARK CITIES