Each TREC-approved real estate education program is made up of six 30-hour courses. We recommend taking the courses in this order:
Let’s talk about what you’ll find in the Law of Agency course. If you take the courses in the suggested order, you’ve already gotten a taste of what agency is about in Principles I and II.
In the Law of Agency course, you’ll dig much, much deeper. Here are some topics you’ll cover.
Agency concepts cover disclosure of agency and the relationship between the principal and the agent, including:
Why study agency?
What is agency?
The laws that define agency in Texas
Distinguishing between a client and a customer
The relationship between the principal and the agent
Basic Agency Relationships, Disclosure, and Duties to the Client
Here we learn the classifications of agency and get deeper into that principal-agent relationship. You’ll study:
The definition of agency
The authority an agent holds
Classifications of agency
Fiduciary duties: What are they, how do they work?
The Information About Brokerage Services, or IABS notice: How it provides disclosure when you have to use it.
Duties and Disclosures to Third Parties
Here you’ll learn about the duties agents have to other people in a transaction (in other words, people you’re not representing). It will also get into what you owe in terms of disclosure. Specific topics are:
The general duties of honesty and fairness every agent owes every person
Obligations to a third party (one you are not representing)
Avoiding misrepresentation with correct disclosure
The seller’s disclosure form (covered in Section 5.008 of the Texas Property Code)
How agency works when you’re representing a seller. Specific topics:
Listing agreements: What are they? How do they work? What does one look like?
Exclusive seller agency
The benefits of seller agency relationships
More about disclosures (disclosure will feature heavily in this course, as you can see)
This time, you’ll learn about representing a buyer.
The buyer representation agreement: What is it? Why? What does it look like?
The creation of buyer agency and deciding to represent a buyer
The benefits of buyer agency relationships
Written notification of compensation to the broker
And of course, more disclosures
Representing More Than One Party in a Transaction: Intermediary Brokerage
What if your broker is representing both the buyer and the seller? This level has answers for you. Including:
From dual agency to intermediary brokerage
More about intermediary brokerage and how it works
Intentional vs. accidental dual agency
Creation and Termination of Agency
The law is super specific about how agency may be created and terminated, and this level will spell it out in excellent detail.
How agency is created
How agency is terminated
The duties of an agent that survive termination
Clarifying Agency Relationships
Okay, get ready for more disclosure because this level has plenty. Topics include:
Understanding a brokerage company’s disclosure policy
Disclosure policy in general
This level gets into lots of nitty-gritty about employment law. Part of your agency agreement with your broker clarifies whether you are an employee or an independent contractor. The difference is pretty important: It has implications for your taxes, your benefits, and your compensation. You’ll learn about:
Employment law generally
The relationship between a broker and an agent
Independent contract agreements
The compensation of personal assistants
The employment relationship between brokers and principals
Agency, Ethics, and the Law
The law has a lot to say about what is legal for an agent to do. In addition, there are ethical guidelines that all agents should follow. As a fiduciary, you will have enhanced ethical responsibilities, and this level will get to the meat of them.
Laws vs. ethics vs. morals
Federal and state laws that pertain to agency
Relevant portions of TRELA
The Professional Code of Ethics
Minimum ethical standards for agents
Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act
This level covers an important law called the Deceptive Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Act. It’s about (you guessed it) deceptive trade practices. For example:
Fraud vs. misrepresentation
Consumer protection from deceptive trade practices
Damages consumers can claim
Defenses from deceptive trade practices
Ethical and moral concerns addressed in this legislation
Implementation and Presentation
Finally, the last level in the course will include some real-life advice and more hands-on information for your future role as an agent. Topics include:
Brokers working with sellers
Brokers working with buyers
Practical knowledge for everyday practice
And that’s Law of Agency! It’s chock full of useful knowledge you’ll carry with you in your career.
Want to learn more about life as a Texas real estate agent? Check out our career center.