New state laws in Texas
This fall, the Real Estate Commission and Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board proposed rules to implement provisions of two laws passed by the 82nd Texas Legislature, both aiming to “clarify and standardize application procedures,” as well as “provide better protections for consumers and strengthen[ed] license holder education requirements.” Some consumers remain skeptical of real estate professionals given the misdeeds of the few, so any consumer oriented laws pushed by the real estate industry are a long term win.
Changes in effect now
As of this month, property managers for single-family residential units must be licensed, whereas managers not directly engaged in leasing duties were not previously required to hold a real estate license (although people leasing properties did).
Also now in effect, all businesses that engage in any practice legally defined as “brokerage activity,” other than sole proprietorships, must be licensed whereas in the past, certain partnerships had remained exempt.
As a sign of the current economic climate, the law has been updated to acknowledge “broker price opinions” as a common broker activity, separate and distinct from “appraisals,” which require a license from the Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board, and require a great deal of education in industry techniques.
Changes in effect in 2012
A change to Texas law that is most highly commendable is that beginning in January 2012, real estate salespeople seeking a broker’s license will now need four years of experience, up from the current two year requirement. Also, broker applicants will be required to demonstrate “practical competency by providing a detailed list of brokerage activities engaged in by the applicant during this same period.”
All brokers that renew after September 1, 2012 will be required to complete a new course in “Broker Responsibilities” on top of the current requirement of legal and ethics updates courses.
Laws vary from state to state and more states are reportedly looking to increase accountability of licensees, a move which most industry insiders vocally support.