Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, TREC and TALCB, based on approval by Governor Greg Abbott, are waiving all renewal and application deadlines until May 31, 2020.
What does this mean for you? All license applicants and license holders within their renewal period are automatically granted an extension to complete their initial application or renewal requirements until May 31, 2020. TREC and TALCB will be monitoring and assessing the need for further exceptions and extensions on an ongoing basis. Impacted license holders are encouraged to do their very best to submit all required documentation and complete coursework to the extent possible within or as close to your original deadlines as possible. This effort on your part will assist the TREC and TALCB in the timely review and processing of applications and renewals.
Renewals – all license types Anyone with a license expiration date of March 31, 2020, or April 30, 2020, is granted an extension through May 31, 2020. If you are concerned about obtaining CE needed to renew your license, many education providers offer CE courses through distance education methods. If you were previously enrolled in in-person classroom courses that have since been canceled, please contact your education provider to determine what options are available. The quickest and most efficient way to renew your license is by using the agency’s online services portal.
Initial License Applicants – all license types If your application was set to expire from March 11, 2020, through May 31, 2020, you will have until May 31, 2020, to complete all license application requirements. If you previously registered for in-person courses, research alternative methods (such as online or other distance education methods). Contact your education provider to determine what options are available.
With health and safety as a priority, license examinations are temporarily suspended. The agency is receiving regular updates from our licensing exam vendor and will continue to keep you informed. If your exam eligibility expires before May 31, 2020, you are granted an extension through May 31, 2020, to take and pass your exam.
Remember, you can check the status of your application using the application status tracker on the TREC website and on the TALCB website.
These are unprecedented times. TREC and TALCB are here to help. We have published information regarding the agency’s response to COVID – 19 and some helpful FAQs for TREC and TALCB on how this may affect your license. Please be sure to check the websites for the latest news on this evolving matter. Additionally, the agency remains available through email and phone calls to support all license holders.
AUSTIN, TX - The Texas Real Estate Commission (TREC), and Texas Appraiser Licensing and Certification Board (TALCB) are taking steps to ensure minimal disruptions in services to license holders and consumers as the COVID – 19 (coronavirus) outbreak unfolds.
TREC and TALCB are closely monitoring the need and ability to waive license requirements to ease the burden of license holders. All affected license holders will be notified through email and posted on our website as circumstances change, however, no license requirement waivers have been issued at this time.
Should public meetings be canceled, our website will be updated. Due to the ever-changing nature of this situation, please be sure to check the TREC and TALCB websites often to ensure no changes have been made to previously planned meetings.
The agency has implemented extensive cleaning and social distancing measures when necessary to help prevent the spread of the COVID – 19 virus. Also, the agency is monitoring direction provided by state health officials to follow guidelines and procedures to ensure the health and safety of our staff when necessary.
Please be aware that as circumstances change, such as school closings, the agency’s workforce may be reduced, and teleworking will increase. This may cause minor disruptions in services. The agency, however, will maintain regular working hours, and all services will continue to be available to the public.
The agency is committed to continue providing excellent customer service and protect the consumers of real estate services in Texas while keeping staff and the public safe. Please be sure to subscribe to our email messaging services and refer to our website to ensure the most up to date information from the agency when it becomes available.
Coronavirus. A word that was unknown just months ago has now literally changed the world. One of the difficulties with Coronavirus is that we are dealing with a situation that changes multiple times each day. That makes creating a workable plan extremely challenging, as what might work today could easily become impossible the next day.
We have been monitoring the news and the recommendations of the experts, as I’m sure you have been doing as well. Our team continues to evaluate several short-term adjustments that will enable our agents to continue making sales and assisting clients.
An article read on NAR.org website provided the following:
In response to the growing concerns about COVID-19, commonly referred to as coronavirus, NAR is providing this guidance to help REALTORS® respond to the coronavirus's potential impact on the real estate industry. As of March 4, 2020, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued Level 3 Travel Warnings for all of China, South Korea, Italy, and Iran, and a Level 2 Travel Warning for Japan. However, the situation is rapidly evolving. Be sure to refer to the CDC’s website for up-to-date information about travel warnings(link is external), as well as information about the coronavirus’ current impact in the United States(link is external). Daily updates about the coronavirus are also available from the World Health Organization(link is external).
What is Coronavirus?The CDC is responding to an outbreak of a respiratory illness caused by a novel coronavirus outbreak. While the outbreak started in Wuhan, China, a growing number of cases have been identified in several other countries, including the United States.
What is the risk of exposure to coronavirus?The CDC reports that most people in the United States do not have an immediate risk of exposure to the virus. However, the situation is rapidly evolving, and the CDC will update its risk assessment as needed. Visit the CDC’s website(link is external) for latest updates.
What preventative measures may be taken to reduce the risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus?The same preventative measures recommended to prevent influenza are also effective in reducing the risk of contracting or spreading coronavirus.
These measures include:
What unique issues does coronavirus present to the real estate industry?
When an infectious disease, such as coronavirus, is associated with a specific population or nationality, fear and anxiety may lead to social stigma and potential discrimination. REALTORS® must be mindful of their obligations under the Fair Housing Act, and be sure not to discriminate against any particular segment of the population. While the coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, that does not provide a basis for treating Chinese persons or persons of Asian descent differently.
May I ask clients or others I interact with in my real estate business if they have traveled recently, or have any signs of respiratory illness?
Yes, you may ask clients or others about their recent travel, particularly to areas identified as having an increased risk of coronavirus. To avoid potential fair housing issues, be sure to ask all clients the same screening questions based on current, factual information from public health authorities.
I typically drive my clients to showings. May I refuse to drive potential clients to see homes?
Yes. However, be sure that any change to your business practices is applied equally to all clients. You may refuse to drive clients who show signs of illness or reveal recent travel to areas of increased risk of coronavirus, or you may instead decide to stop driving clients in your car altogether, and simply arrange to meet clients at a property. If you do continue to drive clients in your car, it is a good idea to frequently clean and disinfect surfaces like door handles and seat belt latches, and to ask clients to use hand sanitizer when getting in and out of the car.
Should I still conduct open houses on my listed properties?
Speak openly and honestly with your seller about the pros and cons of holding an open house. Assess the risk based on your specific location, and direct your clients to local and state health authorities for specific information about the severity of the risk in your area. You could also propose alternative marketing opportunities for your seller’s consideration, such as video tours and other methods to virtually tour a property. If you do hold an open house, consider requiring all visitors to disinfect their hands upon entering the home, and provide alcohol-based hand sanitizers at the entryway, as well as soap and disposable towels in bathrooms. If you decide to do any cleaning at your client’s home, be sure to check with your client in advance about any products you plan to use. After the open house, recommend that your client clean and disinfect their home, especially commonly touched areas like doorknobs and faucet handles.
What precautions should brokers consider taking in their offices?
Brokers should use their best judgment when formulating a plan. First, brokers should implement a mandatory “stay-home” policy for any staff member or agent exhibiting any sign of illness, and depending on where the broker is geographically located, a broker may want to consider imposing a mandatory remote work policy for employees and instructing agents to stay out of the office. In addition, taking measures such as holding virtual meetings or potentially postponing or cancelling in-person meetings or events may be good measures to take to limit close contact between individuals. Be sure to monitor updates from the CDC, as well as your state and local health authorities for additional information and guidance on holding meetings or events. For travel considerations, review NAR’s “Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTOR® Associations”.
Finally, do not panic, stay informed, and use your best judgment. The situation is rapidly changing, so focus on putting policies and procedures in place to keep your employees informed, safe, and to avoid business disruption in the event the situation worsens.
Stay Safe Ya'll,
Ron L. Miranda, Broker
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