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

1. REALTORS Find Friends & Business Online
2. IMPORTANT Reminder from TREC
3. Statewide REALTOR Numbers Shrink!
4. TAR Forms Issues
5. HOT LINE: Renewing Listings Without Authorization?
6. Upcoming Events & Courses
7. Rates Hold Steady & Low

1. REALTORS Find Friends & Business Online

Last week, the TENNESSEAN reported on a phenomenon that is old-hat to some, and news to others …the growing use of online social networks like Facebook to both make new friends and generate business.

A Web site created to help college freshmen make friends, Facebook lately has been attracting local real estate agents, who are always ready to make friends.

The social networking site is becoming so popular among agents and brokers that the Williamson County Association of Realtors recently conducted a class for its members on how to utilize Facebook.

“There’s a lot of demand for it,” said Theresa Wilson, WCAR’s executive vice president, who taught the class. “We had 45 people in the class; some of them were already using it. Twenty-four of them started using it right away.”

Agents and brokers who are on Facebook say that it helps them build business contacts as well as friendships, which sometimes lead to sales.
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To read the entire article, go HERE

AND access TAR’s page on Facebook, go HERE!

In a just-released national study of marketing by “top real estate professionals”, Network Communications, Inc. (the parent company of The Real Estate Book) found that 86% of respondents had a personal web site in addition to their broker’s web site. They also found that 61% spent money on search engine marketing to promote themselves, and 25% used blogs or social media as a promotional tool.


2. IMPORTANT Reminder from TREC

The following advisory comes direct from the TN Real Estate Commission and is printed here as a courtesy to the Commission:

Now that the staggered licensing program is fully implemented, everyone’s license has a different expiration date.  During the renewal process it is up to the LICENSEE to make sure that their E&O insurance is currently up to date as well.

If a licensee’s E&O lapses, then the Tennessee Real Estate Commission has discussed fining both the licensee and their broker!

The state mandated E&O insurance has saved licensees millions of dollars. So it is very important that your insurance be up to date.

If you plan on purchasing your E&O from Rice Insurance you may call them toll-free at (888) 248-2444 (Inside Tennessee).

Questions about this reminder may be directed to the Tennessee Real Estate Commission at 615-741-2273 or toll-free at 1-800-342-4031.


3. Statewide REALTOR Numbers Shrink!

The number of REALTOR and REALTOR-Associate members of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS (TAR) dropped by 1,854 in one month, between the end of 2008 and the end of January of 2009 …from 25,161 to 23,307, a one-month drop of over 7%.

One year ago, the number of REALTORS and REALTOR-Associates in TAR totaled 26,226.

In related news, Investors Business Daily, a national newspaper, reports that the “mortgage brokerage business has shrunk from 54,000 firms in 2005 to just under 30,000 today.”

[SOURCES: TAR; Information, Inc.]

4. TAR Forms Issues

Both the TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line attorneys and the TAR Office continue to get questions about the new 2009 forms, especially F9 – the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Changes in the way that inspections and repairs are handled is a popular source of questions!

If you missed it, please go back and review the special 1-16-09 issue of the TAR DIGEST devoted to an explanation of the TAR forms and forms changes. You can find (and print, if you like) that issue of the DIGEST HERE.

ALSO: the podcast reviewing changes to TAR’s Form F9 is WELL wort listening to.  You can access that podcast HERE.

5. HOT LINE: Renewing Listings Without Authorization?

QUESTION: An agent in another county had a listing that expired April 2008. The seller/client did not authorize the agent to continue the listing. I had contacted the seller months ago due to the fact the listing was noted as “expired”. This week the seller gave me permission to list the property. I then did a double check to make sure the old listing was clear on MLS, and  found the listing was noted “active”. In my research with the MLS, I found that the listing had expired and been made active many times since it had expired in April 2008. I obtained archive history from the MLS, and it is clear that the agent would activate the listing for 30 days or so and then when it expired, would activate it again.

The seller insists that he never authorized any further listing agreement with the agent. The seller was very upset over this behavior. He called the agent personally and told him to withdraw the listing immediately, which has now been done this month (January of 2009). Please advise as to what action, if any, can be taken.

ANSWER: Any complaints for this issue would need to be filed with your local board and/or MLS service. You are not required to file a complaint, but you may if you wish. Pursuant to Standard of Practice 12-5 of the NAR Code of Ethics, “Realtors shall not offer for sale/lease or advertise property without authority. When acting as listing brokers or as subagents, Realtors shall not quote a price different from that agreed upon with the seller/landlord.” Since the agent clearly did NOT have the permission of the seller to continue to advertise the property following the expiration of the listing agreement, this activity would be in violation of the Standard of Practice.

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

6. Upcoming Events & Courses

Feb. 4: CORE CE INSTRUCTOR LICENSING — Another offering of the 2009-2010 Core CE Course Instructor Workshop (for instructor-licensing). More information is available HERE.

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. 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!

7. Rates Hold Steady & Low

Freddie Mac reports a drop in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 5.10 percent during the week ended Jan. 29 from 5.12 percent the prior week, while the 15-year fixed rate held steady at 4.80 percent. Meanwhile, interest on five-year adjustable-rate mortgages rose to 5.27 percent from 5.24 percent; and the one-year ARM slipped to 4.90 percent from 4.92 percent.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]

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