The Weekly Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS

1. What’s In, What’s Out with Buyers for ’08
2. Recovery Expected in the Second Half of 2008
3. HOT LINE: Signing Rejected Offers
4. Only ONE WEEK Remains!
5. Americans To Spend More On Remodeling In ’08
6. Nashville REALTOR Honored
7. 30-Year Rates Slide to 6.07 Percent

Happy New Year, everyone! Let’s make 2008 great!

1. What’s in, What’s Out with Buyers for ’08

Real estate author and columnist Mark Nash recently published his forecast of what buyers are (and aren’t) looking for in homes in 2008. His article, “What’s In, What’s Out with Home Buyers in 2008,” is featured on Realty Times. An excerpt:

What goes around comes around. Relegated during the boom years to bidding wars, over-full-price offers and new construction lotteries, buyers rule in 2008, and know it. With swelling inventories, they are looking for newly updated kitchens and baths, pristine conditions, and a perception of value.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read the entire forecast, go to:

[SOURCE: Realty Times]

2. Recovery Expected in Second Half of 2008

With help from Congress and an accommodating policy from the Federal Reserve, the housing industry will begin its recovery in the second half of 2008, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) said in a year-end housing forecast teleconference.

“I think the best bet is that 2008 is the year we will be looking at the bottom for various components of the housing market,” said NAHB Chief Economist David Seiders.

“We are in a down time, and many markets that overheated during 2003-2005, such as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Miami, are undergoing a natural correction,” added Jerry Howard, executive vice president and CEO of NAHB. “But all housing is local, and the reason we think that the market will stabilize and come back is because many smaller markets that did not experience overheating are still performing at a relatively healthy level. If you balance those markets against those that are undergoing major corrections, we see a solid recovery down the road.”

Seiders, who is forecasting slow economic growth next year, said this forecast is based on several assumptions – the economy avoids recession, Congress passes key reforms to address the subprime lending crisis and the central bank remains ready to step in if needed to keep the economy moving forward.
*** END QUOTE ***

[SOURCE: REALTrends Email Update]

3. HOT LINE: Signing Rejected Offers

QUESTION: Is the seller legally obligated to sign an offer they are rejecting? I have an agent threatening a lawsuit if I can not get the seller to sign the offer stating that they are, in fact, rejecting a very low offer on a house. I don’t have any real authority over consumers.

ANSWER: Pursuant to TREC Rule 1260-2-.08, “In the event that an offer is rejected, the broker or affiliate broker shall request the seller to note the rejection on the offer and return the same to the offeror or the offeror’s agent.” Therefore, if an offer is rejected by a seller, the agent is only required to request that the seller document their rejection. Obviously, you cannot force the seller to do anything.

HOWEVER, if they refuse to note that rejection, then we would suggest documenting that you requested that they note their rejection and they refused as well as the date and send this to the other agent. That way, your records will be complete in the event of an audit.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]

4. Only ONE WEEK Remains!

The deadline for applications for this year’s class of Leadership TAR is just ONE WEEK AWAY.

Applications for the 2008 Class must be received at the TAR office NO LATER THAN JANUARY 15, 2008. It costs nothing to apply! The application form includes information on retreat dates, etc., as well as the tuition …although several local associations offer scholarships for part or all of the tuition for their members, if you are accepted into the program.

The 2008 application form for Leadership TAR is posted (in PDF format) on the TAR website, in both the Education and Leadership TAR sections, and at:

The Leadership TAR program is open to all TAR members! It was developed for those who may still be a few years away from taking a leadership role in the REALTOR organization at either the local or state level, BUT who would like to begin preparing for that role now and join a statewide network of aspiring leaders.

5. Americans To Spend More On Remodeling In ’08

Homeowners will spend an average 13 percent more this year on home improvement and maintenance projects than they did in 2007 reports Angie’s List, a popular home-repair referral service.

According to the service’s annual poll, homeowners will spend an average $11,250 on such projects in 2008. Homeowners responding to the survey said they plan to spend 2.9 percent of their home’s value on repairs and renovations this year.

The most frequently cited home repair projects are kitchen and bath updates, areas real estate experts say provide the best return when selling a home. Other popular projects are landscaping and yard work, painting, flooring, doors and windows, and decks and porches.

“Building experts tell us they’re getting calls for work from homeowners who would otherwise move and put their current home on the market, but are afraid they can’t sell it quickly enough to afford the newer, bigger house,” says Angie’s List founder Angie Hicks.

[SOURCE: Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center]

6. Nashville REALTOR Honored

REALTOR Dan Jordan, a longtime member of the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS, received a special honor at the end of last year. Dan received the 2007 Liasion of the Year Award at the NAR International Conference in Las Vegas, in recognition of his outstanding service as the NAR President’s Liaison to the Ukraine Realtors Association.

Congratulations, Dan!

7. 30-Year Rates Slide to 6.07 Percent

Spurred in part by unexpectedly weak economic data that could signal an impending recession, borrowing costs on long- and short-term home loans dipped during the past week. Freddie Mac’s statistics show a decline in interest on 30-year fixed loans to 6.07 percent from 6.17 percent last week, while 15-year fixed rates slid to 5.68 percent from 5.79 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages also registered lower interest, with five-year loans settling at 5.78 percent compared to 5.90 percent a week earlier and one-year products coming in at 5.47 percent for the week, down from 5.53 percent the week before.

[SOURCES: Information, Inc.: Freddie Mac]

TAR’s Home Page for Tennessee REALTORS is at: