The Weekly Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS


CONTENTS
1. NAR’s New Site for Consumers
2. “Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed”
3. From David Knox To You…
4. HOT LINE: Disclosures for Undeveloped Land?
5. HOT LINE: Earnest Money Deducted From Commission?
6. HOT LINE: Stigmatized Property?
7. A New E-Class GRI Series Begins This Week
8. Rates Rise Again


1. NAR’s New Site for Consumers

In 2008, the National Association of REALTORS Public Awareness Campaign offer two new commercials and a companion website to educate consumers. The campaign encourages “on-the-fence” buyers to contact a REALTOR who can put them on the path toward owning their dream home. A “Building Wealth” commercial emphasizes the importance of homeownership in building long-term wealth. a “Home Values” commercial demonstrates the long-term value of housing as an investment.

The ads drive consumers to a site that provides more information about the benefits and value of owning a home, identifies current public policy issues of importance, and includes a direct link to www.REALTOR.com to find a REALTOR. To access the site, go to:
http://www.HousingMarketFacts.com

[SOURCE: NAR]


2. “Deemed Reliable But Not Guaranteed”

We’ve grown so accustomed to the disclaimer that we probably read past it most of the time: “Information deemed reliable but not guaranteed.”

HOWEVER, a new article on REALTY TIMES, by REALTOR Bob Hunt, discusses the importance and use of this disclaimer, ESPECIALLY in reference to a recent court case in North Carolina:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
A recent memo from the legal department of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) points to a case which indicates that there is more than a little significance to the common disclaimer. The case, Crawford v. Mintz, comes out of North Carolina….
*** END QUOTE ***

To access the full article and see what happened, go to:
http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20080303_commondisclaim.htm

[SOURCE: Realty Times]


3. From David Knox To You…

David Knox, one of our featured speakers at the upcoming TAR Spring Education Conference on March 19-20, has prepared an interesting video PREVIEW of his presentation that you can access and view online!

It’s available in two different formats, at the following web addresses:

Windows Media 9:
http://easylink.playstream.com/davidknox/knox_tar_tn.wvx

QuickTime:
http://easylink.playstream.com/davidknox/knox_tar_tn.mov

NOTE: If you are retyping either of those addresses into your web browser, there are NO blank spaces in either address. What may appear to be blanks are underscore marks!


4. HOT LINE: Disclosures for Undeveloped Land?

QUESTION: Do sellers of undeveloped parcels of land have to complete a property disclosure form?

ANSWER: If you have an undeveloped piece of property with no buildings on it, it would NOT be subject to the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act. The law does NOT require that the F80 Lot/Land Seller’s Disclosure Form be completed under the Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure Act.

However, we do recommend that the SELLERS (do have the form completed by the seller – if you assist it could open you up to liability) complete this form, as it assists in making disclosures to potential buyers. This may lessen the likelihood that a buyer could come back after the sale and claim that misrepresentation occurred.

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


5. HOT LINE: Earnest Money Deducted From Commission?

QUESTION: My agent represented the seller in a transaction. The buyer closed on the property before the seller, and we were not given the opportunity to give the earnest money from our trust account to the title company. The title company took it upon themselves, without our permission, to take the earnest money out of our commission. Is this legal?

ANSWER: This practice by the title company IS permitted by law. What you will now have to do is to make a check payable from your trust account to the operating account so that the funds can be distributed. For audit purposes, PLEASE make sure that you have a well defined paper trail so that it is obvious why the funds were transferred from the trust account to the operating account.

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


6. HOT LINE: Stigmatized Property?

QUESTION: I am entering into an exclusive listing agreement for a property where a child lived and either had an accident or suffered an act of violence (the jury hasn’t reached a verdict). The child died at the hospital from said act or accident, and I need to know whether or not I have to disclose this fact to potential buyers.

ANSWER: Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 66-5-207, an owner or agent is NOT required to volunteer this type of information. Pursuant to this statute:

“Notwithstanding any of the provisions of this part, or any other statute or regulation, no cause of action shall arise against an owner or a real estate licensee for failure to disclose that an occupant of the subject real property, whether or not such real property is subject to this part, was afflicted with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or other disease which has been determined by medical evidence to be highly unlikely to be transmitted through the occupancy of a dwelling place, or that the real property was the site of:
1. An act or occurrence which had no effect on the physical structure of the real property, its physical environment or the improvements located thereon;
2. A homicide, felony or suicide.”

HOWEVER, if you are asked directly about whether a homicide (murder) or suicide occurred in the home, you must be honest and answer the question truthfully. We would recommend advising your client that under the Broker’s Act if you are asked about the death, you must answer honestly. If you do not answer truthfully, then you can be held liable for misrepresentation.

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


7. A New E-Class GRI Series Begins This Week

A new E-Class GRI series is kicking off this week, on Thursday, with E-Class GRI 1: Professionalism in Real Estate. Our E-Class (distance-learning) courses last for five weeks each, are instructor-led, and require no travel for students!

A Classroom GRI course in the Nashville area — GRI 4: From Offer to Contract to Closing — also takes place this week, on Thursday and Friday.

For more information on both E-Class AND Classroom GRI courses, go to the “Education Information” section of the TAR website at: http://tnrealtors.com


8. Rates Rise Again

Freddie Mac reports a jump in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to a more than three-month high of 6.24 percent during the week ended Feb. 28 from 6.04 percent last week, marking the third consecutive weekly increase. Interest on 15-year fixed-rate mortgages climbed to 5.72 percent from 5.64 percent over the same period. Meanwhile, the five-year adjustable mortgage rate edged up to 5.43 percent from 5.37 percent; and the one-year ARM shot up to 5.11 percent from 4.98 percent.

[SOURCES: Information, Inc.; Freddie Mac]


TAR’s Home Page for Tennessee REALTORS is at:
http://tnrealtors.com