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

1. New Short Sale Guidelines!
2. ALERT: You Can STILL Register…
3. REALTOR License Plate UPDATE!
4. HOT LINE: One of the Buyers Died?
5. HOT LINE: Seller’s Agent Out of State?
6. WORKING SMARTER: Social Media & You
7. Upcoming Events & Courses
8. Rates Edge Up, But Remain Very Low

1. New Short Sale Guidelines!

Fannie Mae just released new guidelines — effective March 1, 2009 — affecting short sales. They should be welcomed by any REALTOR who has been pressured to reduce his/her commission on a short sale:

No Negotiation of Preforeclosure Sales Commission

Servicing Guide, Part VII, Section 504.02: Contacting Selected Borrowers

Effective March 1, 2009, closing of preforeclosure sales may not be conditioned upon a reduction of the total commission to be paid to real estate agents to a level below what was negotiated by the listing agent with the borrower, unless the fee exceeds 6 percent of the sales price of the property in aggregate.  Servicers are reminded that they must continue to obtain any approvals that may be required by interested third parties in connection with preforeclosure sales.
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For your own copy, go to Fannie Mae’s website HERE
and download Announcement 09-03, released on 2/24/09.

Note that this only affects Fannie Mae mortgages.

[SOURCE: Fannie Mae]

2. ALERT: You Can STILL Register…

GOOD NEWS! There is still LOTS of room in the upcoming TAR Spring Conference (March 18-19), but you need to act NOW, because we stop taking registrations after MARCH 4!

There are NO on-site registrations at the TAR Spring Conference in Cool Springs, so early this week is your last chance to sign up for an outstanding education program (with 8 hours of CE), featuring Oliver Frascona and other national speakers, and our Trade Show …all for $75!

Registrations must be received at the TAR Office no later than WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4! To register for the Conference, folks should go to:

3. REALTOR License Plate UPDATE

So far, 449 REALTORS have ordered the new REALTOR License Plate — “Celebrating Homeownership” — but we MUST pre-sell 1,000 license plates BEFORE the State of Tennessee will produce and distribute them!  Even if you signed the petition requesting these plates some time ago, we cannot now proceed without 1,000 actual, paid orders!


Our deadline for getting 1,000 paid orders is currently July 1, 2009!

REALTOR license plates only cost $35 for a standard plate and $70 for a personalized vanity plate with 5 characters.

QUESTION: My license plate renews in September, should I just wait to get my plate then?
NO. For the license plate renewal process, the REALTOR license plates will be distributed only after 1,000 are sold. REALTORS who want a REALTOR license plate must PRE-ORDER them now on-line, and they will receive a NEW renewal date and a PRO-RATED renewal amount with their county clerk’s office based on when the plates are shipped. The only cost to the licensee is the COST OF THE PLATE, not the full vehicle’s registration.

QUESTION: Do I still have to renew my license plate with the county clerk’s office once I pre-order the REALTOR plate?
You must continue to register your vehicle as normal — by pre-ordering you are ONLY paying the cost of the REALTOR plate, not your county registration fees.

For more information, go to the NEWSROOM section of the TAR website (at and scroll down to see the License Plate, and order one online! There you can also access a one-page information sheet with more Frequently Asked Questions about the Plates.

All proceeds collected from the REALTOR license plate program goes directly to the Tennessee Real Estate Educational Foundation (TREEF).

4. HOT LINE: One of the Buyers Died?

QUESTION: If, during the contract period, one of two buyers passes away, under Tennessee law does the earnest money get returned to the buyer and the contract is nullified?

ANSWER: Not necessarily. The surviving buyer and the estate may be required to fulfill the contract. The surviving buyer should speak to his/her own attorney in order to determine whether they can terminate the contract.

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

5. HOT LINE: Seller’s Agent Out of State?

QUESTION: I have a buyer interested in a property that is in Tennessee but listed by a company in Alabama. The listing agent is wanting us to write the offer on an Alabama form. Is this legal?

ANSWER: For the sake of this answer, we’ll assume that the seller’s agent IS licensed in Tennessee.

We would NOT recommend using an Alabama contract. The property is in the state of Tennessee, so Tennessee law will apply to the sale of the property. There are numerous things that are required to be in a contact under Tennessee law, especially if there is septic involved. These things may not be required under Alabama law and may therefore not be in the Alabama contract. However, please be advised that if the seller is insisting on an Alabama contract, your offer may not be presented to the seller.

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

6. WORKING SMARTER: Social Media & You

Web 2.0 and the broad array of Internet technologies and tools known as the “social media” are still foreign territory to many in real estate.  You can take some of the mystery out of these topics, however, by reading a new RISMEdia article by Marylyn Schwartz“Social Media Mindfulness – What Every Real Estate Professional Needs to Know”.

In her article, she interviews a popular Colorado instructor, Brad Hanks, about what REALTORS need to know about the social media.

It is a matter of being in front of the curve or playing perpetual catch up. From the time radio was introduced to the public, it took 38 years to reach tens of millions. Today, we reach that many and far more daily. The agent who thinks this is going away is wrong and delusional. If it goes away, it will leave and be replaced by a faster, more effective form of social communication. We are hooked together forever… Pushing back against the oncoming tide is pointless and impossible.
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To read the entire article, go HERE.


7. Upcoming Events & Courses

March 5-6: GRI 6 – Sticky Situations (Nashville area, Cool Springs) – 16 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

March 5-6: INSTRUCTOR TRAINING WORKSHOP – Our popular 2-day instructor-training program — “The Learning-Centered Instructor” Workshop — 16 hours CE. This could be our only offering of this Workshop in 2009! More information is available HERE.

March 5: E-Class GRI 3 – Financing the Successful Transaction (a 5-week distance-learning course) begins – 16 hours CE. 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.

March 26: E-Class GRI 4 – From Offer to Contract to Closing (a 5-week distance-learning course) begins – 16 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

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

8. Rates Edge Up, But Remain Very Low

Freddie Mac reports an increase in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 5.07 percent during the week ended Feb. 26 from 5.04 percent the prior week. The five-year adjustable-mortgage rate rose to 5.06 from 5.04 percent over the same period, while the one-year ARM bumped up to 4.81 percent from 4.80 percent. However, the 15-year fixed mortgage rate held steady at 4.68 percent.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]

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