TREC 1-4 Family - Effective Date

What is the Effective Date on the TREC 1-4 Family Contract Used For?

It’s used to establish when the contract between the buyer and the seller became official. The Effective Date is the most critical date, as it marks the start of performance deadlines. The Effective Date is used to determine when the earnest money deposit and option fee are due to title, when the option period ends, how long the buyer has to secure financing, when the survey and T-47 are due, how long the seller has to deliver a Seller’s Disclosure to the buyer, and more depending on how the contract is structured.

Where is the Effective Date located on the TREC Contract?

It is currently located on page 9 of the TREC 1-4 Family Residential Resale Contract but this occasionally changes as the length of the contract may change from time to time. There is an Effective Date box on each of TREC’s contracts for sale of the different types of properties: Residential Resale,, Condos, Farm and Ranch, New Home (complete and incomplete), and Unimproved Property. Typically you can locate the Effective Date 2 to 3 pages from the end of the contract, immediately after all the numbered paragraphs.

Is the TREC Contract still binding without an Effective Date?

Yes, the contract is still binding even without the effective date.

How do I calculate deadlines using the Effective Date?

Consider the Effective Date as day zero and the day immediately following it as day 1. Look in the contract for statements like “Within X days after the effective date and begin counting until you get to the number of days, that is the deadline. For example, if the effective date was Monday January 1, 2024, and the contract had a 10 day option period, the option period would end on the last day of the option period at 5pm local time where the property is located or Thursday January 11th, 2024 at 5pm.

Texas Realtor Magazine has a short explainer video that also covers how to calculate deadlines.

How is the effective date determined?

The effective date on a TREC contract is determined by the final date of acceptance by all parties. This is the date, when all parties have come to agreement and signed the contract, that the contract becomes binding between the parties. To have final acceptance there must be four elements must exist:

  1. The final contract must be in writing.
  2. The buyer and seller must sign the final contract, including the initialing of any handwritten changes to the initially drafted offer, if applicable.
  3. Acceptance must be unequivocal.
  4. The last party to accept must communicate acceptance back to the other party or the other party’s agent, if applicable.

The effective date of the contract is typically the date when the last element (communicating acceptance to the other party) is made after the other three elements are satisfied. The last step of communication is very important to begin the timelines for performance under the contract.

Is this the only place an Effective Date is used?

No, TREC 39-9 Amendment to Contract also has a blank for an effective date.

Elissa Kirchner
Written by

Elissa Kirchner

“Buy land, they’re not making it anymore.” - Mark Twain

Hi! I’m Elissa, a licensed Texas Real Estate agent since early 2020. In a short period, I’ve handled more transactions than many agents do over much longer careers. Beyond just buying and selling, I’m deeply involved in the transaction coordination process. This role allows me to ensure that when you work with me, your experience will be smooth and successful. I believe in being the welcome wagon for every client, guiding you from contract to close with expertise and care. My approach is thorough, leveraging my real estate knowledge to benefit each client uniquely.