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

1. Preparing Yourself for 2009
2. Fewer Americans Are Moving
3. HOT LINE: Who’s Included?
4. HOT LINE: Reimbursement for Marketing Expenses?
5. More 2009 Events Are Now Scheduled
6. Memphis Announces a Winner!
7. Rates Hit 37-Year Low!
8. NO DIGEST Next Week

1. Preparing Yourself for 2009

Last week, RISMedia published an article by Fayette Wester — “5 Ways to Make Yourself Stronger in 2009” — that includes several practical steps that ANYBODY can take to improve their business in our current, very challenging market!

Of course, there is typically a pretty wide gap between what we know we OUGHT to do, and what we ACTUALLY end up doing!  That’s why so may New Year’s Resolutions are hard to take seriously.  Nevertheless, the above article elaborates on five steps that make sense:

1. Stay in touch.
2. Keep Learning.
3. Expand your comfort zone.
4. Take care of yourself.
5. Write it down.

To access and read the entire article, go HERE.


2. Fewer Americans Are Moving

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau indicates that only 12 percent of Americans changed residences in 2008 and 13 percent the prior year, down from over 20 percent mobility per year from the 1950s to the mid-1960s.

A poll by the Pew Research Center shows that 60 percent of Americans have moved one or more times. However, over 33 percent remain in their hometowns, and 57 percent have stayed in their state of origin. Of those characterized by Pew as “movers,” almost 40 percent say they are not living in their “heart home.”

Pew says Americans are not moving as often because two-career couples cannot easily find new jobs in another location, and an increase in the older population also has decreased mobility. The study indicates that “movers” tend to have college degrees and often cannot find a job in their hometowns.

[SOURCES: RISMedia; Information, Inc.]

3. HOT LINE: Reimbursement for Marketing Expenses?

QUESTION: It is not specified in the listing agreement, but a seller agreed to reimburse me for marketing costs. If he does so, does it have to be paid through my broker or can it be paid directly to me?

ANSWER: Payment for marketing expenses will have to be paid through your company. Advertising another person’s property for sale requires a real estate license. If you are being paid for any activity which requires a real estate license, then you MUST be paid through your broker.

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

4. HOT LINE: Who’s Included in My Family?

QUESTION: Please define Personal Interest Disclosures. Who is included? What would TREC consider to be an immediate family member (i.e. mom, dad, brother, sister, aunt, uncle)?

ANSWER:  We cannot speak for the TN Real Estate Commission, but in our opinion an immediate family member would be a parent, child, sibling, spouse, in-laws, grandparent, or grandchild.

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

5. More 2009 Events Are Now Scheduled

The 2009 Schedule of E-Class GRI courses is now posted online in the “Education Information” section of the TAR website at:

The 2009 schedule of Leadership TAR Retreats — you can now register for any/all of them individually (but enrollment will be limited) — is also online, along with a program description, at:

Another offering of the 2009-2010 Core CE Course Instructor Workshop (for instructor-licensing) is scheduled for Feb. 4, 2009. More information is available HERE.

Our popular 2-day instructor-training program — The Learning-Centered Instructor Workshop — is scheduled for March 5-6, 2009. More information is available HERE.

6. Memphis Announces a Winner!

In our October 7, 2008, issue of the TAR DIGEST, we reported on an imaginative contest initiated by the Memphis Area Association of REALTORS — their Your Memphis: Take One Video Contest. Cash prizes totaling over $20,000 were offered for the best YouTube videos telling the world “in a creative fashion about why they like their home in the Memphis area and/or what makes Memphis home to them.”

Over 50 people entered the contest, and the winners were announced last week.  It’s WELL worth a few minutes of your time to watch these.  To do so,  simply go HERE …and scroll down to page to play the winning videos!  They are impressive.

This looks like a good idea that other associations could copy to promote their own communities. Well done, MAAR!

7. Rates Hit 37-Year Low!

In response to the Federal Reserve’s cut in the federal funds rate to near zero, Freddie Mac reports that the 30-year fixed mortgage rate fell to 5.17 percent during the week ended Dec. 18 — down from 5.47 percent the previous week and the lowest since the survey’s inception in 1971!

Interest on 15-year fixed loans slipped to 4.92 percent from 5.20 percent. Meanwhile, the five-year hybrid adjustable mortgage rate dropped to 5.60 percent from 5.82 percent; and the one-year ARM dipped to 4.94 percent from 5.09 percent. A year ago, the 30-year fixed rate stood at 6.14 percent, the 15-year fixed rate at 5.79 percent, the five-year hybrid ARM at 5.90 percent, and the one-year ARM at 5.51 percent.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]

8. No DIGEST Next Week

The TAR DIGEST is taking a break for the holidays! There will be no TAR DIGEST next week, but the DIGEST will return with the January 6 issue!  We wish everyone a happy and PROSPEROUS 2009!

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