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

1. That New $8,000 Tax Credit
2. ALERT: TAR Spring Conference Deadline
3. New RESPA Rule!
4. HOT LINE: No Termination Dates?
5. More 2009 Predictions…
6. NAR Debuts Its Own Radio Show
7. Upcoming Events & Courses
8. Rates Fall

1. That New $8,000 Tax Credit

Last week, as the world knows by now, Congress passed a LARGE Economic Stimulus Bill, with the President’s signature expected this week. One of its features — a tax credit of up to $8,000 for “first-time home buyers” within a certain income range — is explained in greater detail via a special report, courtesy of TAR’s Governmental Affairs Department.

To download this report (in PDF format), use this link:

2. ALERT: TAR Spring Conference Deadline

This FRIDAY, FEB. 20th, is the DEADLINE for early registrations for the Education Sessions & Trade Show portion of the TAR Spring Conference!

To receive the “Early Bird” discount, you must register ON OR BEFORE FEB 20TH. Member registration fee for early registration on or before Feb. 20th is $75. After this Friday, the cost of registration JUMPS $50 …the Member Registration fee from Feb. 21st until March 4th is $125.

With three national speakers — Oliver Frascona, Steven David, and Chandra Hall — and eight (8) hours of CE, this program may be JUST what the doctor ordered to give your business a needed boost.

For more information, or to register, go to:

3. New RESPA Rule!

Everyone is still analyzing the full impact and ramifications of the final RESPA rule that was published on November 17, 2008, with most provisions taking effect on January 16, 2009.  One of the more controversial components of the new rule is its “Required use” provisions.

From NAR’s analysis: “In the final rule, HUD makes clear in the Regulatory Impact Analysis that owners of affiliated companies may offer discounts and incentives to consumers and link those discounts to the consumers’ use of affiliate companies.  This provision continues to apply only to “settlement service providers,” which includes real estate brokers and agents and excludes homebuilders.  HUD continues to be intent on restricting the ability of builders to offer discounts and other incentives to encourage the use of their affiliates.

Note ESPECIALLY the last sentence in the preceding paragraph.

Because of a pending lawsuit involving the Home Builders Association, HUD has delayed implementation of the “Required use” portion of the rule for an additional 90 days, until April 19, 2009.

To access a variety of RESPA resources, including NAR’s analysis and the recording of a 79-minute webinar on this new rule that you can watch through your PC, go to:

A 4-hour course on OTHER provisions of RESPA (primarily its anti-kickback provisions) will be held at TAR on Feb. 24 …see Events & Courses below.


4. HOT LINE: No Termination Dates?

QUESTION: I have received an offer from another agent on one of my listings. The offer does not have a closing date filled in or a termination date filled in. I know I must present all offers, but if I present this offer which breaks one of the “21 ways to lose your license”, will I then be held responsible/liable for this offer not having termination dates, etc.? What should I do?

ANSWER: The statute reads that you can be disciplined for “using or promoting the use of any real estate listing agreement form, real estate sales contract form, or offer to purchase form which fails to specify a definite termination date.” Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(9).

You have done the right thing in trying to get in touch with the buyer’s agent to get this blank filled in.  However, since you cannot reach her and the seller is asking for the contract, I would simply state in writing (on the fax cover sheet) that the offer is deficient because it lacks a termination date and that you are trying to get in touch with the buyer’s agent to correct this oversight and are sending the offer pursuant to their request. Keep this documentation in your files.  This will demonstrate that you are trying to comply with the rule regarding termination date but are also complying with promptly submitting the offer and in complying with your seller’s request.

In the event that the seller wants to accept this offer, you will need to counter back with the termination date completed.

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

5. More 2009 Predictions…

Whether you agree or disagree with what she says, marketer Denise Lones makes 15 interesting predictions for 2009 in a recent Realty Times article (“What’s Ahead for Real Estate in 2009“). Her mostly hopeful theme is captured in the first sentence: “2009 will be a year of recovery and stabilization for the real estate industry.”

Read what she has to say HERE.

6. NAR Debuts Its Own Radio Show

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) debuted its own national radio show — Real Estate Today — on Valentine’s Day!

The show will air online at — visit the site any time after the premiere to listen to current or past programs.

Real Estate Today will cover the benefits and challenges of homeownership, from expert advice on buying and selling, to remodeling and landscaping, to the state of the current market and home financing issues. The target audience?  Buyers and sellers.

The show will be an interactive experience that offers listeners an opportunity to exchange information and learn from some of the nation’s most recognized experts on a variety of real estate related topics such as landscaping, gardening, carpentry and general contracting, as well as mortgage experts and respected members of the media.

Hosted by award-winning radio broadcaster Gil Gross, the show will offer a fast-paced format that includes provocative experts, listener call-ins, field reports and a customized segment on local market conditions. You can listen to it through Sirius-XM, OR listen to it via iTunes, Podcast, or eNews.

For more information, go to:


7. Upcoming Events & Courses

Feb. 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:

  • 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: GRI 6 – Sticky Situations (Nashville area, Cool Springs). 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 5: E-Class GRI 3 – Financing the Successful Transaction (a 5-week distance-learning course) begins. For more information, go 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 Fall

A dip in the long-term mortgage rate offered homeowners a refinancing opportunity, according to Freddie Mac, which said average interest on 30-year fixed loans fell to 5.16 percent from 5.25 percent last week. Interest on 15-year fixed loans also declined, slipping to 4.81 percent from 4.92 percent.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]

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