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


CONTENTS
1. Pending Home Sales Holding in Stable Range
2. Leadership TAR Program Revised!
3. HOT LINE: Bought When Single, Selling When Married?
4. HOT LINE: Clients Want the Same Property?
5. HOT LINE: Property For Sale, Now Being Leased?
6. 2009 GRI Schedule Is Online!
7. Rates Fall to Lowest Point in 4 Years
8. UPCOMING EVENTS & COURSES


1. Pending Home Sales Holding in Stable Range

Pending home sales eased against a deteriorating economic backdrop but remain in a stable range, according to the latest national survey. The Pending Home Sales Index slipped 0.7 percent to 88.9 from an upwardly revised reading of 89.5 in September, and is 1.0 percent below October 2007 when it was 89.8. Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said a review of the past year is instructive. “Despite the turmoil in the economy, the overall level of pending home sales has been remarkably stable over the past year, holding in a generally narrow range,” he said. “We did see a spike in August when mortgage conditions temporarily improved, which underscores two things – there is a pent-up demand, and access to safe, affordable mortgages will bring more buyers into the market.”

To read the full release from NAR, go HERE.

[SOURCE: NAR]


2. Leadership TAR Program Revised!

On December 9, 2008, the TAR Executive Committee approved several revisions to the Leadership TAR program for 2009 and beyond, to update the program for a different time, a changing economy, and a younger generation!

Despite tough economic times for the industry, TAR remains committed to the critical importance of leadership development. While graduation from the program will not guarantee anyone preference in future committee appointments, Leadership TAR helps participants improve their leadership skills to address the challenges that their businesses and associations face. At difficult times, wise leadership is more important than ever!

The activities and focus of the Leadership TAR program have been significantly updated and revised for 2009. The program still includes three retreats, listed below:

  • Leadership TAR Retreat 1: Authentic Leadership (April 22-23, 2009)
  • Leadership TAR Retreat 2: Leading Others Effectively (June 10-11, 2009)
  • Leadership TAR Retreat 3: Industry Issues, Challenges & Vision (August 12-13, 2009)

Probably the most significant change is TAR’s decision to eliminate the application process and open up the registration process for Leadership TAR retreats to all TAR members on a first-come, first-served basis! Enrollments for each retreat will still be capped at a fairly small number, to ensure a good experience for everyone attending!

Anyone attending all three retreats in the program will be recognized as a Leadership TAR Graduate, with a special pin, certificate, and an announcement of their name at the next TAR Directors meeting.

A complete description of the (revised) Leadership TAR program is available as a PDF download, along with links to more information about all three retreats, in the “Education Information” section of the TAR website at:
http://tnrealtors.com/main/education_information/


3. HOT LINE: Bought When Single, Selling When Married?

QUESTION: I have a client who bought a home and at the time of the purchase he was not married. He has since gotten married and wants to sell the home. His spouse is not on any of the documentation as far as the house is concerned. Can he sell/list this property without including his spouse in the transaction?

ANSWER: We would recommend going ahead and getting the wife’s signature to be safe. This is because under family law, if the wife has contributed to the payment or upkeep of the house, she has an interest in the house.

In following up, you indicated that this seller may be getting divorced. If that is the case, we would recommend that the seller speak to his own attorney concerning whether he can legally sell the property without his wife.

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


4. HOT LINE: Clients Want the Same Property?

QUESTION: I have an agent who has two buyer-clients wanting to make an offer on the same property. Does this have to be disclosed?

ANSWER: YES, this information MUST be disclosed to both buyers, and we would recommend doing so in writing. The buyers must understand that the agent cannot assist them by advising them about pricing, etc., because the agent has a conflict of interest. A safer solution would be to have another agent in the office work with one of the buyers on that particular house, especially if both buyers want to put down an offer. If both of the buyers have an agency relationship with the company, then two different agents can be named as Designated Agents for these two buyers (with the buyers’ consent).

In the event that one of the buyers does not wish to put an offer on the property, there is not a problem. However, in the event that both do want to make an offer, it would be in the agent’s best interests to have two separate agents work with these two buyers.

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


5. HOT LINE: Property For Sale, Now Being Leased?

QUESTION: I have a builder who is going to lease some of his current inventory and take it off the market for 12 months.  Our question concerns the Security Deposit. Can this go into our regular escrow account, or do we need a separate account? Or can the builder simply put it in his operating account?

ANSWER: Under the Landlord and Tenant Act (which only applies to certain counties in Tennessee), all deposits must be kept in a separate account which only holds deposits. In addition, the information on where those funds are held must be disclosed to the tenant.

The Landlord and Tenant Act only applies to certain counties which have populations over 68,000. Counties which are included in this are Shelby, Davidson, Knox, Hamilton, Anderson, Blount, Bradley, Madison, Maury, Montgomery, Sevier, Sumner, Sullivan, Rutherford, Williamson, Washington and Wilson. If you are in a county which is governed by the LTA, we highly recommend that you speak to an attorney to get some assistance in drafting the lease agreements, since there are many things which must be included in the lease under this law.

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


6. 2009 GRI Schedule Is Online!

The 2009 schedule of Classroom GRI Courses is posted online in the “Education Information” section of the TAR website.

The 2009 schedule of (distance-learning) E-Class GRI Courses will also be posted in the same location no later than Wednesday of this week!


7. Rates Fall to Lowest Point in 4 Years

Freddie Mac reports a decline in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 5.47 percent during the week ended Dec. 11 from 5.53 percent the prior week and 6.11 percent a year ago. Some lenders are locking in even lower rates as they build on momentum started when the Federal Reserve announced plans last month to purchase a substantial number of mortgage-backed securities, with HSH Associates and Inside Mortgage Finance reporting interest on 30-year fixed loans at 5.33 percent and 5.09 percent, respectively.

Freddie Mac chief economist Frank Nothaft says mortgage rates also were driven downward by the recession and rising unemployment.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


8. UPCOMING EVENTS & COURSES

There are no committee meetings or courses scheduled in the TAR Office between now and the first of the year! But watch the weather and drive carefully wherever you go during the Holidays!


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

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