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



CONTENTS
1. Tennessee Boasts Two “Safe Havens”!
2. Top 10 Remodeling Paybacks
3. HOT LINE: Proving an Offer Was Submitted?
4. Getting Facts & Figures Straight
5. WORKING SMARTER: Your FREE Web Listing
6. Rates DROP on News…
7. UPCOMING EVENTS & COURSES


1. Tennessee Boasts Two “Safe Havens”!

A recent article on Kiplinger’s website profiles six cities across the U.S., described as “safe havens in real estate” — pockets where the damage from foreclosures and a sagging real estate economy “has been minimal — if nonexistent.”

TWO of the six cities profiled are Tennessee’s own CLARKSVILLE and JOHNSON CITY!  [Other cities completing the list are: Pittsburgh, PA; Burlington, VT; Albuquerque, NM; and Lancaster, PA.]  Congratulations to both!

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
We found six cities with slow, steady growth, using data from Fiserv Lending Solutions, a home-price research company. These cities’ local economies have kept unemployment and foreclosure rates below average. Plus, their affordability index — a measure of home prices versus family income — is low.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.

[SOURCE: Kiplinger.com]


2. Top 10 Remodeling Paybacks

The new 2008-2009 Cost vs. Value Report has just been released.

Remodeling magazine produces the Cost vs. Value Report each year in cooperation with REALTOR magazine. REALTORS responding to a survey in midsummer said home owners could expect to recoup a national average of 67.3 percent of their investment in 30 different home improvement projects. At the height of the housing boom in 2005, home owners could expect to recoup a national average of 86.7 percent on projects.

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Once again, exterior remodeling projects lead the way for recovery on dollars spent in this year’s Cost vs. Value survey. When you compare the national averages, replacement projects that boost curb appeal–siding, windows, and decks–give you the greatest chance of recouping your money. Inside, only kitchen remodels can compare, at least on a national level.

1. Upscale fiber cement siding (86.7%)
2. Midrange wood deck (81.8%)
3. Midrange vinyl siding (80.7%)
4. Upscale foam-backed vinyl (80.4%)
5. Midrange minor kitchen remodel (79.5%)
6. Upscale vinyl window replacement (79.2%)
7. Midrange wood window replacement (77.7%)
8. Midrange vinyl window replacement (77.2%)
9. Upscale wood window replacement (76.5%
10. Midrange major kitchen remodel (76.0%)
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.

[SOURCE: REALTOR Magazine Online]


3. HOT LINE: Proving an Offer Was Submitted?

QUESTION: What are the responsibilities of a selling agent to prove that an offer was submitted to the seller?  Our offer was never rejected nor countered. The property closed for $20,000 less than my buyer offered.

ANSWER: As an agent, you cannot contact the seller directly if they are represented by another agent. However, the buyer can. Your responsibility as an agent is to present the offer to the seller’s agent. It is then his responsibility to present all offers to his client.

TREC Rule 1260-2-.08 states:

“A broker or affiliate broker promptly shall tender every written offer to purchase or sell obtained on a property until a contract is signed by all parties. …In the event 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.”

You can request to be present when the offer is submitted, but you would then have to leave immediately so that the seller could discuss it with his agent.

If the agent did NOT present the offer (and did so without the seller’s explicit instructions to do so), then he may have violated Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403 and 404. In addition, if he is a REALTOR, he may have violated Article 1 of the NAR Code of Ethics.

To file a complaint with TREC, you can go to their website: http://state.tn.us/commerce/boards/trec/index.shtml
…and download the appropriate forms. To file a complaint with the local association for violations of the NAR Code of Ethics, you will need to call the local association to request the appropriate documents.

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


4. Getting Facts & Figures Straight

To assist you in your consumer education efforts…

The news these days is full of facts, figures, and statistics about the housing market, the economy, the latest bailout, etc.

ONE item that most REALTORS surely understand may still baffle or mislead some of your consumer clients and customers. That’s the issue of “home prices” which — according to most news reports — are going DOWN in many parts of the country.  The confusion comes when they confuse the rise or fall of home prices in the news with the price that a home in any community should bring on the market.

What is most often reported is the movement in the median price of homes that SOLD …therefore it’s NOT measuring how much the price of an individual home in the community should rise or fall (or its value in the marketplace). INSTEAD, what’s being reported will simply tell you which price ranges are selling faster than others!

Lately, it’s apparent that lower-priced homes are selling faster (and in greater numbers) than higher-priced homes in many areas, bringing DOWN the median price of homes sold.


5. WORKING SMARTER: Your FREE Web Listing

Every now and then, we remind ALL of our TAR members that, since 1996, EVERY TAR member has had a free web page on the Tennessee Living Network!

It’s the closest thing we have to an ONLINE MEMBERSHIP DIRECTORY for the entire state of Tennessee!

To “find yourself” (in a non-Sixties way!), simply go to:
http://tn.living.net
…and click on REALTORS to do a search for your own page.

While the Tennessee Living Network is probably not visited by huge numbers of consumers, it IS frequently visited by your fellow-REALTORS looking for good agents to whom they can refer business. It’s also an easy way for REALTORS and consumers to check out a REALTOR that someone else has recommended!

To edit your page and add some useful information about yourself and your services, or add a photo, etc., look at the top frame of the page for the link to “How To Edit Your Page“, click on it, and read the instructions there!


6. Rates DROP on News…

The Nov. 25 announcement of a Federal Reserve commitment to purchase $600 billion of mortgage-related debt from Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Federal Home Loan Banks put immediate downward pressure on U.S. mortgage rates. Bankrate Inc. reports that average interest on 30-year fixed loans [nationally] dropped to about 5.5 percent on the news, falling from 6.38 percent at the start of the day.

According to Bankrate’s Holden Lewis, the slide represented the biggest one-day decline in at least seven years. The lower borrowing costs will especially benefit homeowners who still have enough equity to refinance, said Quicken Loans chief economist Bob Walters, who noted that, “I’ve been trading mortgages for 20 years and you don’t see many days when one thing moves rates like this. You’ll see a pickup in demand for housing.”

Freddie Mac’s economists reported a drop to 5.97 percent on Nov. 26 for 30-year loans, with an average of .7 points.

[SOURCES: Information, Inc.; Bloomberg.com; Freddie Mac]


7. UPCOMING EVENTS & COURSES

Dec. 3: 2009-2010 Core CE Course Instructor-Training (TAR Office)

Dec. 9: 2009 TAR Executive Committee Planning Session & Meeting (TAR Office)

Dec. 10: Leadership Session for Local Association Presidents & Presidents-elect for 2009 (TAR Office)

Dec. 11: Governmental Affairs Training Session (TAR Office)

To register for any GRI courses (E-Class or Classroom) or Instructor-Training offerings, or for more information about any of them, go HERE.


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

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