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

1. Four Demographic Waves to Watch
2. 2010 TAR Forms Explained in Online Video
4. HOT LINE: Referral Fee to Retired Agent?
5. HOT LINE: Which Domain Names Are OK?
6. Upcoming Courses & Events
7. Rates Still Low, Nearly Flat

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

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

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1. Four Demographic Waves to Watch

As this recession was first getting underway, former Chief Economist for NAR John Tuccillo was interviewed and asked what REALTORS should be studying to succeed in the real estate era ahead. His first answer to that question was simple: demographics. The population changes that are coming will affect everything about the real estate business and those who work in this industry!

Echoing John Tuccillo’s advice, a recent RISMedia article (“4 Major U.S. Demographic Waves to Watch in New Decade”) reports on four demographic trends that will shape residential real estate very differently over the next ten years:

As the U.S. economy recovers, emerging trends in demographics and consumer behavior will become major drivers of new housing opportunities, resulting in a residential market vastly different from the one that existed prior to the recession, according to Housing in America: The Next Decade, a new research paper authored by John K. McIlwain, senior resident fellow, Urban Land Institute/J. Ronald Terwilliger Chair for Housing.
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To read the entire article and discover the “four waves” to watch, go HERE.


2. 2010 TAR Forms Explained in Online Video

Recently, the Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS held a Managing Brokers Forum on the 2010 TAR Forms Changes and Points of Interest.

Todd Sholar (Forms Committee Special Legal Liaison) and Deanna Cooper (TAR Counsel and “Voice of the Hot Line”) made presentations, and TAR videotaped the session!

View the latest TAR video podcast (vodcast) of the “MTAR Managing Broker Forum” – Q&A of 2010 TAR Forms and Points of Interest HERE.

The video has been split into two parts, and both videos total about an hour and 45 minutes.


  • This past week in a RealTrends webinar on the real estate economy, (Bank of America Sr. VP) Dr. Carter Murdoch predicted:
    • an economic “SeeSaw” in 2010, caused by an ebb and flow between positive GDP growth and recessionary fears (and continuing high unemployment); and
    • a 2010 that will look a lot like 2009, and stronger in the first two quarters than in the third and fourth quarters.
  • TAR welcomes a new online CE partner, The CE Shop, with six new online offerings for TAR members! TAR now offers a total of TWENTY-TWO (22) different online CE courses HERE.
  • THREE (3) Upcoming Events for Real Estate Instructors — both veterans and aspiring instructors — have been posted HERE.

4. HOT LINE: Referral Fee to Retired Agent?

QUESTION: I am a broker and was wondering if I can pay a referral fee to a retired real estate agent for sending me a client to show property to. How can I compensate him?

ANSWER: It will depend upon whether the agent’s license was active when the property came under contract. An agent is deemed to earn their commission or referral fee when the contract is signed. Therefore, even if their license is inactive or in retirement when the property closes, they could still get their commission. HOWEVER, if the agent’s license was not active when the property went under contract, then that agent CANNOT be paid a commission or referral fee. Furthermore, whether the agent is entitled to a commission or referral fee will depend upon the terms of their independent contractor’s agreement.

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

5. HOT LINE: Which Domain Names Are OK?

QUESTION: I have a question about domain names used for websites. For example, is it legal to buy and use a domain with the letters “MLS” listed in the domain name?

ANSWER: Please bear in mind that your advertising cannot be misleading to the public under the Broker’s Act and under the NAR Code of Ethics. The Broker’s Act states that an agent can be reprimanded for “Pursuing a continued and flagrant course of misrepresentation or making of false promises through affiliate brokers, other persons, or any medium of advertising, or otherwise” and “Misleading or untruthful advertising”. Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(3 and 4).

In addition, Standard of Practice 12-12 of the REALTOR Code of Ethics states:

REALTORS shall not:
1. use URLs or domain names that present less than a true picture, or
2. register URLs or domain names which, if used, would present less than a true picture.

Although we can’t say with certainty that either the Real Estate Commission or an Ethics Hearing would find you guilty of misleading anybody with a domain name that appears to point to a MLS, it would seem misleading.

In addition, of course, any advertising (and this would include your new website) must also carry your office name and phone number.

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

6. Upcoming Courses & Events

You can click on most events below for more information!

Feb. 3: 2009-2010 Core CE Course (4 hours CE) – Contact the Clarksville Assn. at 931-552-3567.

Feb. 4 – March 10: GRI 2 – Smart Marketing (16 hours CE) – An E-Class Course

Feb. 4, 9, 10: Divisional Information Exchange Forums & Professional Standards Training sessions – West, Middle & East TN

Feb. 11: RESPA Really Matters! (4 hours CE) – TAR Office, Nashville

Feb. 25 – March 31: GRI 3 – Financing the Successful Transaction (16 hours CE) – An E-Class Course

March 8-10: 2010 TAR Spring Conference (8 hrs. CE) – Murfreesboro

April – August: Leadership TAR 2010

The complete 2010 schedule of Classroom and E-Class GRI Courses is online HERE.

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

7. Rates Still Low, Nearly Flat

Mortgage interest for the past week held fairly close to the previous week’s rates, reports Freddie Mac. Average interest on 30-year fixed loans slipped a notch to 4.98 percent from 4.99 percent and was down from 5.10 percent a year ago. While still higher than the historic lower of 4.71 percent established in early December, long-term mortgage rates have hovered around a very favorable 5 percent thanks to the Federal Reserve’s mortgage-backed securities program meant to keep rates low and make home buying more affordable. The central bank’s policymaking committee confirmed on Jan. 27 that it will keep rates near those record lows in order to prop up the economy; but it still plans to terminate the program at the end of March.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]

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