The Weekly Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. Home Sales Essentially Flat
2. Who SHOULD You Be Working With?
3. HOT LINE: Two Buyers, One Property
4. HOT LINE: Sharing an Inspection Report
5. WORKING SMARTER: Becoming More Persuasive!
6. Rates Fall Below 6
7. UPCOMING EVENTS


1. Home Sales Essentially Flat

The level of home sales is expected to show little movement in the months ahead, according to the latest projections. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contracts signed in July, fell 3.2 percent to 86.5 from an upwardly revised reading of 89.4 in June, which had risen 5.8 percent from May. The July index remains 6.8 percent below July 2007 when it stood at 92.8.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home sales continue to edge up and down. “Pending home sales are oscillating month-to-month, with the long-term trend essentially flat,” he said. “Overly stringent lending criteria imposed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the past month no doubt held back contract signings.”

To read more, go HERE.

[SOURCE: NAR]


2. Who SHOULD You Be Working With?

Many REALTORS are wisely using a slowdown in market activity to rethink their businesses and business models, as well as their approaches to prospecting.

A recent article by Craig Proctor, published by RISMedia, includes a pretty comprehensive set of questions that agents should be asking themselves, as well as reminders about the folly of trying to be all things to all people:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
…when you try to be everything to everyone, you fail to address the specific needs of anyone. If you’re “targeting” everyone, your message is bound to be broad and unfocused, and is unlikely to be compelling and direct enough to draw in your prospect (whoever that is).

An unclear definition of who you’re talking to with your marketing will lead to watered down statements that don’t mean very much to anyone…
*** END QUOTE ***

He goes on to describe the process of targeting your future clients more effectively, and developing a strategy to reach them.

To read “Who in the World Should You Be Working With?”, go HERE.

[SOURCE: RISMedia]


3. HOT LINE: Two Buyers, One Property

QUESTION: I have 2 separate people wanting to put an offer on a property that I was showing one day. I’ve shown the property to both prospective buyers. Can an agent write two (2) separate offers on a property if it is not their listing? If buyer A — with whom I have signed a buyer representation agreement — makes an offer through me, what type of relationship, if any, do I need to have in order to write the second offer?

ANSWER: You indicated that you have a buyer’s representation agreement with one of the buyers. We would encourage you to allow another agent in your office to work with the second buyer. [Make sure that you are the Designated Agent for buyer A.] This is because you have a fiduciary duty to buyer A. You can ask for a referral fee for referring the second buyer, but that fee must be disclosed to both parties.

If there were no buyer’s representation agreements in place, you could technically work with both buyers as a facilitator if your company policy permitted this. HOWEVER, your role with both buyers would have to be disclosed to all buyers. In addition, you should NOT offer advice on pricing, contingencies, etc. Even in this situation, we would recommend sending one of the buyers to another agent. That way, it is much less likely that you will be accused of any wrongdoing!

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


4. HOT LINE: Sharing an Inspection Report

QUESTION: If a buyer gives the seller a copy of a home inspection report and the transaction falls through for any reason, is the seller allowed to show the home inspection report to other potential buyers? I assume that the seller would not be free to dispense copies, but I am not clear about allowing someone to just visually review the report.

ANSWER: You are not permitted to share the inspection report that was purchased by someone other than your client unless you have the permission of the person who paid for the inspection.

HOWEVER, please remember that if you have notice or knowledge of information on that report which constitutes an adverse fact, you are required under the Broker’s Act to disclose that information.  Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403(2), a real estate agent is required to “[d]isclose to each party to the transaction any adverse facts of which the licensee has actual notice or knowledge.” Tennessee law defines an adverse fact as “conditions or occurrences generally recognized by competent licensees that have a negative impact on the value of the real estate, significantly reduce the structural integrity of improvements to real property or present a significant health risk to occupants of the property.” Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-102(2).

THEREFORE, if you have actual knowledge of an adverse fact, you must disclose it. I would recommend that you make these disclosures in writing and have the potential buyers sign off on it indicating that they have received a copy.

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


5. WORKING SMARTER: Becoming More Persuasive!

Garr Reynolds, one of the foremost authorities on good presentations (especially, the use of PowerPoint in presentations!) reviewed a book last week that looks promising: Yes!: 50 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Persuasive, by Dr. Robert B. Cialdini and others.

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
The book is designed for anyone in business who is interested in becoming better at understanding how to persuade or influence (isn’t that just about everyone?). The book may also help you understand why you decide to do the things you do.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read his whole review, go HERE.

By the way, if you use PowerPoint for sales presentations or teaching, get Garr Reynolds’ own book, Presentation Zen. It’s the best book out there on the use of PowerPoint!

[SOURCE: Presentation Zen]


6. Rates Fall Below 6

For the first time since early spring, mortgage rates have fallen below the 6-percent threshold. Freddie Mac reports that 30-year fixed loans came in at an average of 5.93 percent last week, down from 6.35 percent a week earlier and 6.31 percent at the same time last year.

A borrower taking out a $200,000 mortgage at 5.93 percent would pay $1,190 for monthly principal and interest payments, which is $54 less than the payments on the preious week’s rate. “Consumers see a five in front of mortgages, and they get excited,” says Keith Gumbinger, a vice president at research firm HSH Associates.

[SOURCES: Information, Inc.; Freddie Mac]


7. UPCOMING EVENTS

Sept. 17-19: TAR Annual Convention! (Chattanooga, TN)

Sept. 24-25: GRI 1 – Professionalism in Real Estate (Knoxville)

Sept. 30: Commercial Forms Committee Meeting (TAR Office, Nashville)

Oct. 2: Residential Forms Committee Meeting (TAR Office, Nashville)

Oct. 9-10: GRI 5 – Systems for Success (Memphis)


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