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


CONTENTS
1. Seller’s Market Two or More Years Away…
2. New Risk Management Videos
3. HOT LINE: Who Can Perform Inspection?
4. HOT LINE: Contingency Removal?
5. Upcoming Courses & Events
6. Stigmas Are Sometimes a Plus!
7. Rates Flat, Remain Low

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. Seller’s Market Two or More Years Away…

At least that’s the feeling of 53% of Americans as revealed in a recent consumer survey by American Express!

The latest monthly American Express Spending & Saving Tracker investigated consumers’ sentiments toward the current housing market, outlook for the future, and intentions to enhance property appearance and value. The research sample of 2003 adults included the general U.S population, as well as two subgroups – the affluent and young professionals. Other findings:

  • A majority (52%) of homeowners are not confident they would get their asking price today.
  • When it comes to purchasing a home, 47 percent of the general population – 65 percent of affluents and 62 percent of young professionals – think the real estate market is at its best now.
  • In comparison to the general population of homeowners, young professional homeowners are also more willing to negotiate to close a real estate deal. Eighty-seven percent of young professional homeowners are willing to make concessions to sell their homes, compared with 60 percent of the general population and 70 percent of affluent homeowners.

To read complete survey results, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: American Express]


2. New Risk Management Videos

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) Risk Management Committee has produced three videos covering risk management planning, identity theft, and lead-based paint. To access them, CLICK HERE.

You can watch any of them online OR download them to your computer to watch offline. [If you choose to download them, MAKE SURE that you have a very fast Internet connection and enough disk space to accommodate them; each file/video is VERY large!] Each of these videos is approximately 10 minutes long, give or take a minute or two.

[SOURCE: NAR]


3. HOT LINE: Who Can Perform Inspection?

QUESTION: For the buyer to terminate the contract, does the home inspection have to be performed by a licensed home inspector? Can the buyer terminate the contract on the opinion of a third party inspector?

ANSWER: If an individual is performing a “home inspection”, i.e., an inspection of the entire house, then they are required by law to be a licensed home inspector. However, if an individual component is being inspected, then an individual who meets all of the applicable state requirements for that field may inspect that particular item. For example, if you only wanted the electrical system inspected, then you could have a licensed electrician inspect it and provide a report.  However, a general contractor cannot provide a home inspection of the entire house unless he is also a licensed home inspector.

There is nothing in the home inspector law which would prohibit a buyer from performing their own inspection. Additionally, it is our opinion that the seller would be bound by the list provided by the buyer regardless of whether it was the result of an inspection done by himself or by a licensed home inspector. However, the seller IS NOT obligated to respond to a list that was made as a result of a third party (i.e., Uncle Bob who builds houses) who “inspected” the house.  If the seller does not want to honor a list provided by a buyer, then he/she should negotiate that on the front end.

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


4. HOT LINE: Contingency Removal?

QUESTION: I represent a buyer on a contract who currently lives in another state. When we made the offer on a property located in Tennessee, one of the contingencies under the contract was that their current health insurance be transferable from the other state to Tennessee. We have now ascertained that it is transferable. I need to know what TAR form we need to use to remove said contingency.

ANSWER: TAR only has a form indicating that inspection contingencies have been fulfilled. This is form F4. If you wish to release a different contingency, you can use F6, the Blank Amendment. You would need to write out the release and have all parties sign the Amendment.

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


5. Upcoming Courses & Events

April 27: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) – Kingsport area. For more information, contact the Northeast TN Association of REALTORS at 423-477-0040.

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).

May 5: Homeownership Options for Tennessee’s Workforce! (6 hrs. CE) – Columbia. For more information, contact the Southern Middle TN Association of REALTORS at 931-381-5556.

May 5-6: GRI 6, Sticky Situations (16 hrs. CE) – Mt. Juliet.

May 5-6: ABR 2-Day Course (16 hrs. CE) – Chattanooga. For more information, contact the Chattanooga Association of REALTORS at 423-698-8001.

May 7: Short Sales & Foreclosures (ABR Elective, 8 hrs. CE) – Chattanooga. For more information, contact the Chattanooga Association of REALTORS at 423-698-8001.

May 10-15: NAR’s Midyear Conference, Washington DC.

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

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


6. Stigmas Are Sometimes a Plus!

“Stigmatized properties” where a murder or suicide occurred often sell quickly to buyers who like that their homes have a story attached to them!

National Association of REALTORS President-elect Ron Phipps says, “For a lot of people, it’s not about the house; it’s about the behavior of the prior people.” In other instances, notorious residences sell at a discount or are shunned by buyers, moving off the market only after they have been remodeled, razed and reconstructed, or have undergone a change of address. Phipps says only Alaska and South Dakota mandate that sellers disclose that a murder or suicide occurred in a property, but prospective buyers need only search the Internet and real estate databases to learn a home’s history.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCES: USA Today; Information, Inc.]


7. Rates Flat, Remain Low

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate stayed flat this week, averaging 5.07 percent to remain near historically low levels, reported Freddie Mac. Rates on 15-year fixed loans fell to 4.39 percent from 4.4 percent last week; and the five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 4.03 percent, down from 4.08 percent. One-year ARMs, meanwhile, rose to 4.22 percent from 4.13 percent last week.

“These low mortgage rates are revitalizing the home construction industry,” said Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist.

[SOURCES: Information, Inc.; Freddie Mac]


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