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

1. The Seller Agenda
2. One in Nine TN Mortgages Is Delinquent
4. HOT LINE: Listing a “Withdrawn” Property?
5. HOT LINE: A Question About Signage
6. Upcoming Courses & Events
7. Rates Dropped Last Week

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. The Seller Agenda

Last week, Realty Times published an interesting and helpful column (“The Seller Agenda”) by Dirk Zeller. It deals with the listing presentation, how it often gets off-track, AND how to control the direction and outcome of that meeting:

Agents lose control of the listing presentation when they allow the sellers’ agenda to take over the discussion. I have listened to agents who have lost control to the seller in the first five minutes. The problem for most agents is once they lose control, they don’t have the skill to wrestle it back.

The sellers’ agenda is simple. They want to know what their home is worth. They want to know what you do to sell it and what you will charge for your service. And for sure, they want to know what they’ll put in their pockets when the deal is done. If the sellers cause you to orient your presentation to the order of their interests, you won’t walk out with the listing.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read the entire article, go HERE.

[SOURCE: Realty Times]

2. One in Nine TN Mortgages Is Delinquent

The Nashville Business Journal reports: “Delinquent residential mortgage loans rose in Tennessee in the fourth quarter to 11.31 percent, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Among the 50 states, Tennessee ranked 11th in terms of delinquencies and 23rd in terms of foreclosures started, the MBA said.”

[SOURCE: Nashville Business Journal]


Even if you are only attending the business meetings at the TAR Spring Conference, we STILL need you to register! There is no charge to do so, and you can do so online HERE.

If you DO plan to attend any of the education sessions at the TAR Spring Conference, you must also register …and MONDAY, FEB. 22 is the deadline to do so at the Early-Bird Rate of $75! You can do so HERE.

4. HOT LINE: Listing a “Withdrawn” Property?

QUESTION: If a listing has been withdrawn and is marked “withdrawn” on the MLS, is it legal for another person or firm to list the property?

ANSWER: This will depend upon whether or not the listing agreement has been terminated or has expired. If it has, then you are free to contact this seller about listing his property. However, if it has not, then you may be interfering with that agent’s contract. This could get you into trouble under the Broker’s Act, TREC Rules, and the Code of Ethics. Simply withdrawing the property from the MLS is completely different than terminating the listing agreement. Termination of a listing agreement requires a termination and release in writing, signed by all parties to the listing agreement. It should terminate the contract and release both sides from the obligations under the original listing agreement. Until this is completed, the listing agreement will continue in place until its natural termination. You should NEVER advise a potential client as to the process of terminating their listing with another agent. If one asks, advise them to speak with their own lawyer.

We would recommend that you contact the listing agent to determine whether there is still an active listing in order to protect yourself from inadvertently stepping out of bounds. According to Standard of Practice 16-4 of the NAR Code of Ethics:

REALTORS shall not solicit a listing which is currently listed exclusively with another broker.  However, if the listing broker, when asked by the REALTOR, refuses to disclose the expiration date and nature of such listing, i.e., an exclusive right to sell, an exclusive agency, open listing, or other form of contractual agreement between the listing broker and the client, the REALTOR may contact the owner to secure such information and may discuss the terms upon which the REALTOR might take a future listing or, alternatively, may take a listing to become effective upon expiration of any existing exclusive listing.

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

5. HOT LINE: A Question About Signage?

QUESTION: Does the firm name still need to be as large or larger than the agent’s name on the agent’s signs?

ANSWER: Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-310(b) is a bit confusing. It states: “Licensees may not post signs on any property advertising themselves as real estate agents unless the firm’s name appears thereon in letters the same size or larger than those spelling out the name of the licensee.” We checked with the TREC attorney a while ago, and TREC has interpreted this to only apply to yard signs. Obviously, the firm name and phone number need to be clearly legible on all agent signs, but the firm name must be at least as large or larger than the licensee’s name on the yard signs. This latter requirement is not one that the firm can waive.

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

6. Upcoming Courses & Events

Feb. 22: Deadline for Early-Bird TAR Spring Conference Registrations

Feb. 24: Agency in Tennessee (4 hrs. CE) – Contact the Chattanooga Assn. of REALTORS, 423-698-8001

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

March 3: Agency in Tennessee (4 hrs. CE) – Contact the Clarksville Assn. of REALTORS, 931-552-3567

March 3: NAR Quadrennial Ethics course (3 hrs. CE) – Contact the Clarksville Assn. of REALTORS, 931-552-3567

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

March 17-18: GRI 2, Smart Marketing (16 hrs. CE) – Memphis

March 17-18: The Learning-Centered Instructor Workshop (16 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville

March 18 – April 21: E-Class GRI 4, From Offer to Contract to Closing (16 hrs. CE)

March 24-25: GRI 1, Professionalism in Real Estate (16 hrs. CE) – Chattanooga

March 24-25: GRI 5, Systems for Success (16 hrs. CE) – Knoxville

March 24: Workshop for Agency Instructors – TAR Office, Nashville

March 25: Workshop for Contracts Instructors – TAR Office, Nashville

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 Dropped Last Week

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey showed the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaging 4.93 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending February 18, 2010, down from the previous week when it averaged 4.97 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.04 percent.  The 15-year FRM last week averaged 4.33 percent with an average 0.6 point, down from the prior week when it averaged 4.34 percent. A year ago at this time, the 15-year FRM averaged 4.68 percent.

“Mortgage rates eased for the second week, while economic data releases suggest that the housing market may be in a slow state of recovery,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist

[SOURCE: Freddie Mac]

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