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


CONTENTS
1. NAR Announces REALTOR Property Resource
2. NAR Also Debuts New Website for Consumers
3. Problem Mortgages Still Growing
4. HOT LINE: Submitting All Offers?
5. HOT LINE: Disclosing Agent Names?
6. A Briefing on the Imported Drywall Issue
7. Upcoming Courses & Events
8. Rates Near All-Time Lows!

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

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


1. NAR Announces REALTOR Property Resource

At NAR’s Annual Convention in San Diego, the news causing the biggest stir was the announcement of NAR’s most ambitious project in years — the creation of a national online database of “all properties in the U.S. so Realtors can better assist consumers in a high-tech, fast-paced business world” — to launch this coming spring:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
The REALTORS Property Resource will contain rich data on more than 140 million properties; the interface is made possible through the integration of technology and data, according to RPR CEO Dale Ross. NAR is investing $20 million for a five-year build-out, which will cover licensing and development of the front-end and acquisition of data from LPS, which operates Cyberhomes, and other sources.

RPR President Marty Frame walked the board through the site’s features. Members will access the site using their NRDS number. They’ll be able to view each property’s characteristics and transaction history and add information based on their personal knowledge of the property. The system is expected to save members millions of dollars in data acquisition costs, and access to members will be free. NAR 2009 President Charles McMillan called the launch of RPR a “watershed moment.”
*** END QUOTE ***

To learn more, go HERE.

[SOURCE: NAR]


2. NAR Also Debuts New Website for Consumers

NAR has also debuted a new web site for consumers — http://www.HouseLogic.com — launched in a beta version on Nov. 12. HouseLogic was developed by NAR to help its REALTOR members extend their relationship with consumers through the lifecycle of homeownership and to provide an opportunity for homeowners and REALTORS to speak together to federal legislators on public policy issues of common interest.

The site is a comprehensive resource for homeowners of the information they need to protect, maintain and enhance the value of their home. The site also gives NAR members free access to various content packages from the site that you can use in your own marketing efforts, at: http://www.houselogic.com/members/

Take a few minutes and explore this new resource through both links above!

[SOURCE: NAR]


3. Problem Mortgages Still Growing

Approximately 14 percent of mortgages across the U.S. were delinquent or in foreclosure during the third quarter — a record high, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, which attributed the gain mainly to rising unemployment. Nationally, the delinquency rate was 9.6 percent and the foreclosure rate was 4.5 percent, with 43.4 percent of foreclosures in California and Florida alone. According to MBA chief economist Jay Brinkmann, “The outlook is that delinquency rates and foreclosure rates will continue to worsen before they improve.”

To read more, go HERE.

[SOURCES: Washington Post; Information, Inc.]


4. HOT LINE: Submitting All Offers?

QUESTION: I am a commercial REALTOR and I specialize in tenant representation work. I have a client interested in leasing space. An agent with a different commercial real estate firm submitted an unsolicited proposal to me and asked that I submit it to my client. My client has rejected this property because it is too far away from the airport. Am I required to submit this proposal to my client?

ANSWER: YES, by law an agent must present any and all proposals and offers to his/her client, unless the client has instructed them not to do so. This holds true, regardless of whether it’s a residential or a commercial transaction. To do otherwise would not be in the best interests of the client.

If your client does not wish to receive all offers, we would recommend that this instruction be in writing. We would also recommend that this be on a separate document. If possible, get your client’s permission to share this document with other agents, buyers and/or sellers as they will likely ask for proof that your client has instructed you in this fashion.

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


5. HOT LINE: Disclosing Agent Names?

QUESTION: I represent a buyer on a foreclosure property. We submitted an offer on a property. The seller’s agent has now informed me that we are in a multiple offer situation. I requested the names of the competing agencies from the selling agent, but she will not disclose this information to me. Is it against the law to disclose this information? I do not want the names of the other prospective purchasers or the amount of their offers, only the names of their agents (if applicable).

ANSWER: This is not information that the listing company has to disclose. Pursuant to Standard of Practice 1-15:

“REALTORS, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.”

Therefore, REALTORS are not required to disclose the names of the agents or firms representing the competing buyers (unless it is the same firm and only then if asked).

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


6. A Briefing on the Imported Drywall Issue

NAR’s latest Legal Affairs Podcast deals with the emerging “Imported Chinese Drywall” issue and the health concerns that have been raised in connection with this material. This podcast features an interview with Florida attorney David Durkee, who has significant litigation experience with this and similar issues. Mr. Durkee talks about the effects of this material, ways in which its presence can be spotted, and resources that REALTORS and their clients can access for more information.

To listen to the podcast online (it’s just over 7 minutes long), go HERE.

[SOURCE: NAR]


7. Upcoming Courses & Events

Local Assn President/President-elect Leadership Session — Dec. 9 (TAR Office, Nashville). [This session is for local association Presidents and Presidents-elect only.]

Joint Governmental Affairs/RPAC Training Workshop — Dec. 10 (TAR Office, Nashville). [This session is for local association Governmental Affairs and RPAC chairs and vice-chairs, local AEs and Governmental Affairs Directors, and TAR RPAC and Governmental Affairs Committee members.]

2010 Schedule of Classroom and E-Class GRI Courses is now online HERE.

How do E-Classes work? These are NOT your typical online courses! To understand how they work, go HERE.

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


8. Rates Near All-Time Lows!

Rates for 30-year mortgages approached the all-time low of 4.78 percent again last week, falling to 4.83 percent from an average of 4.91 percent a week ago. The 15-year rate did reach a new bottom, dipping from 4.40 percent to 4.32 percent — the lowest level since Freddie Mac began tracking rates in 1991. Wellesley College economist Karl Case says the Federal Reserve’s efforts to purchase mortgage-backed securities from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is lowering rates on home loans.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


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

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