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


CONTENTS
1. The Do’s and Don’ts of Short Sales
2. Monitoring Your Online Reputation
3. HOT LINE: Respecting Your Agency Relationships
4. New RESPA Course!
5. Online Video: Managing Broker Forum
6. WORKING SMARTER: How You Spend Your Time
7. Upcoming Events & Courses
8. Rates Rise, But Remain Low


1. The Do’s and Don’ts of Short Sales

A new article by Marylyn Schwartz on RisMedia’s website addresses a topic that’s inescapable in the current economic downturn: short sales. Ms. Schwartz interviews an experienced attorney, Rick Cowle, about the procedures and pitfalls involved in the short sale process.

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
No matter who you might happen to speak with, they know someone who knows someone who is an “expert” at handling one or all parts of the distressed properties’ options.

Well, to paraphrase the Trojans, beware of Greeks bearing gifts — especially when the gift bearers are claiming to be experts within a market segment fraught with pitfalls and legalities at every turn.
*** END QUOTE ***

The advice given may help someone you know avoid a real problem. To access this article, go HERE.

[SOURCE: RISMedia]


2. Monitoring Your Online Reputation

Last week, Inman News posted a valuable commentary by one of their Executives, Joel Burslem, on the importance of monitoring what’s said about YOU on the Web:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
The explosion of social media use has meant that online reputation management is becoming increasingly important for companies of all sizes — and in certain cases, even important for individual real estate professionals.
*** END QUOTE ***

Burslem offers five (5) different (mostly FREE) online services you can use to monitor any mention of you or your company!

To read the entire article — with tips worth pursuing — go HERE.

[SOURCE: Inman News]


3. HOT LINE: Respecting Your Agency Relationships

QUESTION: While I worked for a builder I handled several contracts. Some of the contracts were contingent upon the sale of the buyer’s current property. The contract stated that if the buyers current house did not sale, they would get their earnest money back. Some buyers know to request the return of earnest money and others do not. The builder stated he would, in fact, give the buyer their earnest money back if they requested it, otherwise he would just offer to give it back. I feel a moral obligation to let these buyers know that they have to request their earnest money, but do not want to go against my seller. How do I handle this situation?

ANSWER: We appreciate your concern and desire to do the right thing by these buyers. Your first obligation, however, is to protect and advance the interests of your client within the bounds of the law. This is where an understanding of agency law and the real importance of an agency relationship is so critical.

You are under no obligation to advise the buyers of this information. You represented the builder/seller. The buyers have a copy of the contract and know the terms of the contract. If they want their earnest money back, then they should take upon themselves to take action to get it back. You should not say anything to the buyers.

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


4. New RESPA Course!

RESPA Really Matters! is the title of a new 4-hour course developed by TREEF. The initial offering of this course is scheduled for Tuesday, Feb 24, 8:30AM – 12:30PM, in the TREEF Training Center at the TAR Office in Nashville. The course is accredited for four (4) hours of CE credit!

This new workshop is designed to enhance understanding and compliance with the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act, or RESPA. The primary focus of the workshop will be RESPA’s anti-kickback provisions, or Section 8. For more information or to register, go HERE.


5. Online Video: Managing Broker Forum

With the assistance of the Williamson County Association of REALTORS, TAR recently captured video of a Managing Brokers Forum discussing the 2009 TAR Form Changes! Todd Sholar, special attorney liaison to the Residential Forms Committee as well as Deanna Cooper, from the TAR Counsel’s office, were on hand to explain the changes and the impact of those changes.

If you’re more of a visual person, TAR has provided two videos that are ideal for your viewing, and can be watched online by anyone in your office. Each video is about 45-50 minutes in length.

You DON’T need to download the videos to watch them, and you DON’T need any special software to do so other than your web browser and a good Internet connection! To view, go HERE.


6. WORKING SMARTER: How You Spend Your Time

Not long ago, the Nashville Business Journal ran an interesting article entitled, “Knowing where to spend time is valuable in down economy.” [The article is available to subscribers only, so we can’t link to it here.]

Among other things, the article reminded us that our true priorities are often revealed by how and where we spend our time! Telling yourself that prospecting is your foremost priority, is self-deception if you never truly carve out a large block of time in your schedule to prospect. The same holds true for personal and family priorities; they deserve priority time if they are truly priorities in your life. Your Editor is feeling awfully guilty at this point, so we’ll leave it at that…


7. Upcoming Events & Courses

Feb. 12: E-Class GRI 2 – Smart Marketing (a 5-week distance-learning course) begins. For more information, go HERE.

Feb. 12, 19, & 20: REGIONAL LEADERSHIP MEETINGS — A meeting of TAR’s elected leadership and staff representatives with local association leaders has been scheduled in each of Tennessee’s three Grand Divisions for February:

  • West Tennessee — Feb. 12, 1-3PM at the Central West TN Assn. office in Jackson
  • East Tennessee — Feb. 19, 1-3PM at the Knoxville Area Assn. office in Knoxville
  • Mid-state — Feb 20, 1-3 PM at the Middle TN Assn. office in Murfreesboro

Feb. 24: RESPA Really Matters! (TAR Office, Nashville). For more information, go HERE.

Feb. 25-26: GRI 1 – Professionalism in Real Estate (Memphis). For more information, go HERE.

Feb. 25-26: GRI 2 – Smart Marketing (Knoxville). For more information, go HERE.

March 5-6: INSTRUCTOR TRAINING WORKSHOP — Our popular 2-day instructor-training program — “The Learning-Centered Instructor” Workshop. More information is available HERE.

March 18-19: TAR EDUCATION CONFERENCE & TRADE SHOW. [TAR’s Spring Business Meetings will be held at the same location — the Cool Springs Marriott & Convention Center, just south of Nashville — on March 16-17.] Online information & registration is located HERE.

Watch each week’s TAR DIGEST for schedule changes and additions!


8. Rates Rise, But Remain Low

Despite the Federal Reserve’s campaign to lower mortgage rates, Freddie Mac reports a jump in the 30-year fixed rate to 5.25 percent in the week ended Feb. 5 from 5.10 percent the prior week. Experts say home-loan interest is on the rise because long-term Treasury bond yields have climbed and because mortgage lenders are upping rates to ease the flood of refinancing applications.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


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