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


CONTENTS
1. Spread the Link & Spread the Word!
2. 2009 Governor’s Housing Summit
3. HOT LINE: Property Disclosure by Listing Agent?
4. HOT LINE: Advertising Others’ Listings on the Net?
5. HOT LINE: Reporting Unethical Practices
6. Top Education Awards Announced
7. Upcoming TAR Courses & Events!
8. Rates Drop Below 5!

To ask a TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line question, go HERE.

For other questions about this newsletter, please use the “CONTACT” form HERE.


1. Spread the Link & Spread the Word!

We’ve posted a video on YouTube that you AND your buyers need to see HERE.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNzq345w6MY

Spread the link! Spread the word! Time is running out on the First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit!

Unless this program is extended by Congress — and we hope it IS — a homebuyer is eligible for the tax credit ONLY if the home is “purchased” before December 1, 2009. That means that buyers have to find a house, complete a contract, satisfy any contingencies, secure financing and go to closing by November 30.  Accomplishing those tasks by November 30 will become more difficult with every passing day.  In today’s market, it generally takes between 45 and 60 days to go from contract to closing.


2. 2009 Governor’s Housing Summit

The Tennessee Housing Development Agency is pleased to invite you to its 2009 Governor’s Housing Summit. The Governor’s Housing Summit offers training, exhibits and access to successful programs and those who run them.

This year’s Summit will focus on the future of affordable housing in the midst of our state’s changing economy. A mix of plenary and concurrent sessions with topics such as Green Lending, Green Materials, Recovery Programs and Barriers to Affordable Housing will offer attendees access to the best practices, success stories, financing options and economic analysis. Find out what is still working!

REALTORS can earn 4 hours of CE at this Summit!

For more information or to register (you can do so online), go to:
http://www.thda.org/govsummit/cover.html

[SOURCE: THDA]


3. HOT LINE: Property Disclosure by Listing Agent?

QUESTION: My agent has been in negotiation of a contract with an agent from another firm. In conversation, the other agent commented that he had filled out the property disclosure for the seller and made an error in checking one of the boxes. I know agents are not suppose to touch the property disclosure….it needs to come totally from the seller. Do we have any liability knowing this information? The seller did sign the disclosure.

ANSWER: As long as the buyer’s agent has fully disclosed what the seller’s agent told them about the disclosure, then the buyer’s agent should not have any issues. We would recommend requesting an updated/corrected disclosure form. In addition, the buyer’s agent may be well served to disclose in writing to the buyer what the seller’s agent told them and have the buyer sign off on it.

If any of the agents have a liability problem in this situation, it would be the seller’s agent!

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


4. HOT LINE: Advertising Others’ Listings on the Net?

QUESTION: Is it ethical and legal to take other agents’ (other brokerages’) listing information and post that information on the Internet (on eBay, websites, etc…) in an attempt to find buyers that I may represent as a buyer agent?

ANSWER: You can advertise others’ listings, but only under certain conditions. In order to do this, you will need to make sure that you have the permission of the listing agent (in writing). You also need to ask the listing agent for the owner’s permission as well. Then, you will need to make sure that the advertisement contains the listing firm as well as your own. It is critical that it is obvious from your advertisement that this listing is not yours. Otherwise, the advertisement will be misleading in violation of the Broker’s Act and the Code of Ethics. In addition, the firm name and telephone number for both you and the listing agent is required on the advertisement.

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


5. HOT LINE: Reporting Unethical Practices

QUESTION: What is the process for either myself or my client to report another agent for unethical practices?

ANSWER: Ethical complaints against a REALTOR are to be filed with the local association where that REALTOR is a member. We would recommend contacting that association and requesting the documents required to file the complaint.

NOTE: By NAR policy, every local association of REALTORS is also required to “affiliate with” a neighboring association (under a Multi-Board agreement), so that any complaint can and should be handled objectively even if, given the parties to a complaint, it would be difficult to process that compalint locally.

If you wish to complain about a violation of the Broker’s Act and/or TREC Rules, you will file a complaint with the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. You can access this process at: http://tn.gov/commerce/boards/trec/index.shtml.

As for the legitimate grounds for a complaint to the Real Estate Commission, you may be able to find a starting place at Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312 and 66-13-403.

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


6. Top Education Awards Announced

At the recent TAR Annual Convention, recipients of the state association’s top two education awards were announced.

Sandra Tanksley – a Brentwood REALTOR, well-known trainer, and former TREEF President – was recognized for her outstanding service to REALTOR education by being named State REALTOR Educator of the Year!

Robert Huey – a Chapel Hill REALTOR and member of the Southern Middle Tennessee Association – was named Outstanding GRI Student of the Year. This award is given annually to a REALTOR who has completed the GRI program with excellent grades AND has been actively involved in his or her local association.

Congratulations to both Sandra and Robert!


7. Upcoming TAR Courses & Events!

Forms 101 — Oct. 8 (TAR Office, Nashville), 4 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

TransactionDesk Basic Course — Oct. 8 (TAR Office, Nashville), 3 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

GRI 6: Sticky Situations — Oct. 15-16 (Knoxville, TN), 16 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

GRI 5: Systems for Success — Oct. 22 to Nov. 25 (E-Class distance learning course), 16 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

GRI 1: Professionalism in Real Estate — Nov. 5-6 (Nashville – Cool Springs, TN), 16 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

GRI 6: Sticky Situations — Nov. 12 to Dec. 16 (E-Class distance learning course), 16 hours CE. For more information, go HERE.

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


8. Rates Drop Below 5!

Mortgage rates approach record lows! Freddie Mac reports that the average interest on a 30-year fixed mortgage fell to 4.94 percent during the week ending Oct. 1, the first time since May that the firm’s survey has slipped below 5 percent. The rate on 15-year fixed loans, meanwhile, dropped to an all-time low of 4.36 percent. The Federal Reserve’s effort to purchase $1.2 trillion in mortgage bonds is lowering rates, according to Freddie Mac.

On the “bad news” front, both foreclosures and delinquencies are still rising, and loan modifications are slowing down. More months of pain and stagnation in some markets are obviously still in view …how many months is unknown.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.; Nashville Business Journal]


TAR’s Home Page: http://tnrealtors.com

Members receive the TAR DIGEST automatically, through their email address in NRDS. Non-members (such as Office Managers) may subscribe at: http://www.tardigest.com

Back issues of the DIGEST may be viewed and searched at: http://www.tardigest.com