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

1. Tennesseans Cash In on Home Purchases!
2. Social Media Use on the Rise
3. HOT LINE: A Cooperative Advertising Program?
4. HOT LINE: Co-Listing a Property?
5. TREC Announces FREE 2-Hour CE Seminars
6. Upcoming Courses & Events
7. Rates Jump Upward

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question, CLICK HERE.

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

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1. Tennesseans Cash In on Home Purchases!

A recent Nashville Business Journal story included this tidbit from the IRS:

Tennesseans have qualified for $345.9 million in homebuyer tax credits through the Internal Revenue Service’s tax credit program.

Through mid-February, almost 48,000 Tennessee homebuyers had filed returns to collect their tax credits. Nearly 1.8 million nationally have done so, collecting $12.6 billion in credits for homes purchased in 2008 and 2009, the IRS said in a release.
*** END QUOTE ***

Remember that the program ends soon! To qualify, homebuyers must have a binding contract by April 30 and must close on the home by June 30.

[SOURCES: Nashville Business Journal; IRS]

2. Social Media Use on the Rise

A new article published by RISMedia news service highlights the phenomenal growth of social media use by adults in the U.S., through services like Facebook, as well as other findings of a national Arbitron survey:

The percentage of Americans age 12 and older who have a profile on one or more social networking websites has reached almost half (48%) of the population in 2010 – double the level from two years ago (24% in 2008), according to the new national survey from Arbitron Inc. and Edison Research, The Infinite Dial 2010: Digital Platforms and the Future of Radio.

The new study also reveals that consumer use of social networking sites is not just a youth phenomenon. While nearly eight in ten teens (78%) and 18-24 year olds (77%) have personal profile pages, almost two-thirds of 25-34 year olds (65%) and half of 35-44 year olds (51%) also now have personal profile pages. The study also shows that 30% of Americans age 12 and older, who have a profile on at least one social networking website, use those sites “several times a day” compared with only 18% one year ago.
*** END QUOTE ***

Other intriguing findings:

  • Texting has become a daily activity for nearly half of all mobile phone owners.
  • For the first time, the Internet passes TV as the most essential medium in Americans’ lives.
  • More than six in ten households with Internet access have a Wi-Fi network at home.

To read the complete article, CLICK HERE.


3. HOT LINE: A Cooperative Advertising Program?

QUESTION: I am planning a cooperative advertising campaign with a contractor who is willing to pay the cost of the advertising.  Is this legal as long as other advertising guidelines are followed?

ANSWER: No. This is probably not permitted under RESPA. In the event that the loan is a RESPA regulated loan, then you must abide by RESPA guidelines.

Under RESPA, “No person shall give and no person shall accept any fee, kickback, or thing of value pursuant to any agreement or understanding, oral or otherwise, that business incident to or a part of a real estate settlement service involving a federally related mortgage loan shall be referred to any person.” 12 USC 2607(a).

Since your services as a real estate agent — under 12 U.S.C. 2602(3) — are considered to be a real estate settlement service, you must pay your pro rata share of the advertising being done.

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

4. HOT LINE: Co-Listing a Property?

QUESTION: Is there a co-listing form on the TAR website?

ANSWER: TAR does not have a listing agreement specifically geared for co-listing. However, if any of the TAR listing agreements are used, it would have to be signed by the appropriate representatives from BOTH companies, assuming your question involves more than one company. You would also have to indicate that both firms are representing the seller and outline instructions as to how they would be paid. If the companies are practicing designated agency, it is important that both principal brokers indicate who the designated agent is on the agreement. You may need the assistance of an attorney to assist you with making these changes.

Finally, a word of caution on co-listing property: Make sure that you communicate with the other agent. Since both agents are considered to be the agent of the seller, what one agent knows, they both know. This can get an agent in trouble with misrepresentation and/or failure to disclose if they do not communicate well!

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

5. TREC Announces FREE 2-Hour CE Seminars

The Tennessee Real Estate Commission has announced their 2010 schedule of CE seminars. If you would like to attend one of these – with two seminars offered at each location – contact the association hosting the seminar you wish to attend. Stewart Prather from TREC’s E&O provider Rice Insurance, TREC Executive Director Eve Maxwell and TREC Education Director Steve McDonald will present changes, education, news, and any new rules that will impact real estate in Tennessee. Again, these seminars offer two hours of free CE credit!

  • June 24 (9AM) – Southern Middle Tennessee Association of REALTORS (at Columbia State Campus in Lewisburg)
  • Aug. 19 (9AM and 1PM) – Upper Cumberland Assn. of REALTORS
  • Aug. 20 (9AM and 1PM) – Chattanooga Assn. of REALTORS
  • Sept. 21 (1PM and 5PM) – Memphis Area Assn. of REALTORS
  • Sept. 22 (9AM and 1PM) – Central West Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS
  • Oct. 22 (9AM and 1PM) – Greater Nashville Assn. of REALTORS
  • Nov. 18 (9AM and 1PM) – Northeast Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS
  • Nov. 19 (9AM and 1PM) – Knoxville Area Assn. of REALTORS


6. Upcoming Courses & Events

April 20: TransactionDesk Basic Course (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville.

April 20: Forms 101 Course (4 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville.

April 20: GRI 6, Sticky Situations (16 hrs. CE) – Northeast TN.

April 21: Workshop for Agency Instructors (4 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville.

April 21: 2009-2010 Core CE Course (4 hrs. CE) – Paris, TN. For more information, contact the Tennessee Valley Assn. of REALTORS at 731-336-7844.

April 22: GRI 4, From Offer to Contract to Closing (16 hrs. CE) – Murfreesboro.

April 28-29: Leadership TAR Retreat, “Authentic Leadership!” – Montgomery Bell State Park.

April 28: Homeownership Options for Tennessee’s Workforce (6 hrs. CE) – Chattanooga. For more information, contact the Chattanooga Assn. of REALTORS at 423-698-8001.

April 29 – June 2: E-Class GRI 6, Sticky Situations (16 hrs. CE).

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

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

7. Rates Jump Upward

Freddie Mac reports a jump in 30-year fixed mortgage interest to 5.21 percent for the week of April 8 – its highest level in eight months – from 5.08 percent the prior week. The 15-year fixed rate climbed to 4.52 percent from 4.39 percent, the five-year adjustable rate rose to 4.25 percent from 4.1 percent and the one-year ARM edged up to 4.14 percent from 4.05 percent. Rates are climbing now that the Federal Reserve has ended its campaign to lower borrowing costs and the economy is starting to pick up.

[SOURCES: Information, Inc.; Freddie Mac]

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