Month: July 2016

Brokers, Sales Agents, Rental Locators, Inspectors, Appraisers…Who’s Who?

texas real estate professionals cast of charactersThere are a number of different real estate professionals. Understanding their roles is imperative to identifying with whom you should work and having a productive working relationship.

These definitions are not exhaustive but may provide some context:

  • Broker: a person who offers, attempts, or actually negotiates, locates, lists, sells, purchases, leases, auctions, or exchanges an interest in real estate on behalf of another for a commission or other payment. In Texas, brokers can provide a written opinion of an estimated price of real estate so long as it’s not referred to as an appraisal.
  • Sales Agent: one who may perform the acts of a broker so long as he or she is sponsored by a broker and is acting on the broker’s behalf
  • Residential Rental Locator: a person who, in exchange for value, offers to locate a unit in an apartment complex for lease to a prospective tenant
  • Professional Inspector: one who represents to the public that he or she is trained and qualified to perform a real estate inspection (a written or oral opinion as to the condition of the improvements to realty, including structural items, electrical items, mechanical systems, plumbing systems, or equipment) and who accepts employment to perform a real estate inspection for a buyer or seller of realty
  • Appraiser: a person who opines about the value of real estate or engages in the act or process of developing an opinon of value of real estate for another according to certain industry standards, which may be memorialized in a written appraisal report

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more involved and complex discussions.

The Texas Real Estate Commission in Three Sentences

texas real estate commission broker agent warrantyThe Texas Real Estate Commission exists under authority of Chapter 1101 of the Texas Occupation Code.

It consists of nine members appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the senate.

The Commission licenses and regulates certain real-estate service providers, including brokers, sales agents, inspectors, education providers, residential service companies (home warranty companies), and timeshare developers.

In our Law 101 posts, we define terms, phrases, or concepts with the goal of conveying core information in order to set the stage for more complex discussions.

In the News: You Can’t Hang that Flag in this Neighborhood

A Fort Worth homeowners’ association is reported here and here as disallowing its residents from flying an American flag. State law prohibits HOAs from disallowing homeowners from flying the Texas flag, the flag of any branch of the United States armed forces, and the United States flag, subject to certain restrictions.

The hangup? The flags at issue aren’t red, white, and blue. The banned flags are black, white, and blue: a representative tribute to law enforcement, especially those injured and killed in the line of duty. s-l300

Homeowners are reportedly being issued citations.

How is this issue to be resolved? At the end of the day, the homeowners govern themselves. Therefore, they ultimately should have the ability to change the rules through their voting power, should they so choose. For now, however, the HOA is reported to be controlled by its developer. This isn’t unusual during the early stages of a neighborhood’s development.

What protocols are in place to motivate the developer to adhere to the will of the homeowners during the developer’s control period? Has the developer received complaints from other homeowners about these “non-conforming” flags? If the developer allows these non-conforming United States flags, does it open the door to having to allow other, non-conforming flags and symbols?

In our In the News series, we use an article or topic that has been featured recently in the news as a potential learning opportunity.