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


CONTENTS
1. U.S. Seizes Control of Freddie & Fannie
2. NAR Audio Update on RESPA Enforcement
3. HOT LINE: Only One on the Deed?
4. HOT LINE: Misrepresentation of Agency Status
5. WORKING SMARTER: Cool Tools
6. Mortgage Rates Move Lower
7. UPCOMING EVENTS


1. U.S. Seizes Control of Freddie & Fannie

The federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac involves putting the companies under conservatorship and placing the Federal Housing Finance Agency in charge of their operations and appointment of senior managers. The government has dismissed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s CEOs — who will, however, assist in the transition — and will provide capital, if necessary.

The plan also calls for a cut in the stake of current shareholders to 20 percent from 100 percent. It additionally will require an increase in mortgage funding by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac through the end of next year to stabilize the housing market; however, mortgage volume will be reduced 10 percent annually for a decade beginning in 2010 to reduce risks to the overall financial system. The companies — which will no longer be allowed to lobby or engage in other political activities — will be restructured by Congress before 2010.

For the short term, this move will hopefully bring some stability to the housing outlook. Long-term implications of this move and the ultimate impact on the market will not, however, be fully known for some time.

[SOURCES: Information, Inc.; Washington Post]


2. NAR Audio Update on RESPA Enforcement

In their September podcast, NAR’s Legal Affairs Department has posted a new briefing online about HUD’s recent enforcement of RESPA — the Real Estate Settlement and Procedures Act. The program, featuring New Orleans attorney Mark Stebcow, focuses on marketing arrangements and agreements that violate both the spirit and letter of the law, often involving improper kickbacks and/or referral fees.

The length of this audio program is just over 8 minutes. As with all podcasts, you can listen to it through your computer speakers (if you have some) or download it to a CD or an iPod, for later listening.

Worth listening to…

To do so, go HERE.

[SOURCE: NAR]


3. HOT LINE: Only One on the Deed?

QUESTION: My homeowner recently was married and she is the only person on the deed. Does the husband need to sign the listing agreement?

ANSWER: We WOULD recommend going ahead and getting the husband’s signature to be safe. Under family law, if the husband has contributed to the payment or upkeep of the house, he has an interest in the house.

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


4. HOT LINE: Misrepresentation of Agency Status

QUESTION: I had a call from a customer off a yard sign. We always ask if the buyer is represented, or expects to be, and if they say yes, we ask to have the agent call. While I was showing the house, another licensee walked up and said that he represented the buyer. I called my office to confirm what this customer had originally told us with regard to agency; I was correct in thinking the customer was not represented, and did not expect to be. I then asked this other licensee if he had a buyer’s representation agreement with this buyer, and he said he did not. Is it legal for an agent to tell third parties that he represents a client without a buyer representation agreement?

ANSWER: NO. He cannot say that he represents a buyer without a buyer’s representation agreement. This would constitute misrepresentation since he is stating that there is an agency relationship between them when there is not. He could be working with someone as a facilitator without having a buyer’s representation agreement, but could not claim to be their agent EVEN IF he intended to negotiate and sign a buyer representation agreement at a later date.

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


5. WORKING SMARTER: Cool Tools

With this issue of the TAR DIGEST, we include a feature that you’ll see with some regularity — WORKING SMARTER — with a focus on tools and tips that can save you time, bring some sanity to your work life, and/or help you work more effectively:

Last week, Bernice Ross wrote an article for Inman News (“Cool real estate Web tools”) that describes several new Web-based services and innovations!

Finding cheaper gas, tracking pricing numbers, discovering some unique characteristics of the communities you’re marketing …these are just a few of the “cool tools” she describes.

The article includes enough links to keep you busy for a while, so set aside a few minutes to explore it HERE.

[SOURCE: Inman News]


6. Mortgage Rates Move Lower

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate declined for the third consecutive week to 6.35 percent during the week ended Sept. 4 from 6.40 percent the prior week, according to Freddie Mac. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate slipped to 5.90 percent from 5.93 percent over the same period. Meanwhile, the five-year adjustable mortgage rate dropped to 5.97 percent from 6.03 percent; and the one-year ARM fell to 5.15 percent from 5.33 percent.

[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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TAR’s Home Page: http://tnrealtors.com