TREC Changes in Delivery and Handling of Option Fee

For Texas Real Estate Agents

The Texas Real Estate Commission revised the way the option fee is handled in the contract. The new 1-4 Family Residential Contract moved the option fee handling and delivery to Par. 5. These changes became mandatory for Texas real estate agents to implement into their transactions on April 1, 2021.

Below is a shortlist of the changes made by the Commission: 

  • The option fee is now delivered to the escrow agent, attorney or title company with earnest
    money and NOT to the Seller within 3 business days of contract execution. Saturday,
    Sunday and legal holidays do NOT count as a business day.
  • The option fee can be combined in the same payment with earnest money. We suggest
    notating each separately on the memo line of the check.
  • Any funds received by the escrow agent will first be applied to the option fee and then to the earnest money. Additional funds received will be considered additional earnest money.
  • Option fees can be released to the Seller at any time after it is received by the escrow agent. Check with an escrow agent for instructions on how to have option fees released to Seller.

To review the changes being done by TREC in their entirety you can visit


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