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

1. TREC’s New Rules Effective June 14, 2010
2. TAR Survey Results!
3. HOT LINE: Listing Advertised by Someone Else?
4. HOT LINE: Listing a Condo?
5. Special Offer on Our Online Courses!
6. GRI and Other Courses
7. Rates and Mortgage Applications BOTH Hit New Lows!

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. TREC’s New Rules Effective June 14, 2010

The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) passed new rules last year, which became effective this week on June 14, 2010!

Everyone needs to become familiar with the new rules, as they will may affect your business in several areas:

  • Handling of deposits and earnest money
  • Advertising (in print, in signage, and on the Internet)
  • CE courses and requirements
  • Termination of affiliation with a company

To download your own PDF copy of the new rules, CLICK HERE.


2. TAR Survey Results!

Last week, many of our readers (approximately 700!) were kind enough to give us their opinions in a 2010 TAR Membership Survey, and the answers were interesting:

  • 61.4% of members feel SOMEWHAT or VERY OPTIMISTIC about the future of the real estate business!
  • 65.4% of members feel SOMEWHAT or VERY OPTIMISTIC about the future of their PERSONAL real estate business!

Note that more people feel confident about their own future success than they feel about the industry’s success. In both cases, however, most members are optimistic about the future.

Another question asked about which of TAR Services members have used or are using:

95.4% — TAR Forms
91.8% — TAR DIGEST
60.2% — TAR Education (GRI and CE courses)
48.1% — TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line
38.7% — Governmental Affairs Updates
26.9% — TAR Spring Conferences (in March)
17.5% — TAR Fall Conventions (in September)
14.1% — Other reference materials on TAR’s website
8.7% — Instructor Training
8.5% — Podcasts (Audio and Video)
6.7% — Leadership Training (Leadership Conferences and/or Leadership TAR)

WE NEED YOUR HELP AGAIN! This week, we ask everyone to respond to the (VERY SHORT) 2010 TAR Communications Survey! This is the only other survey planned for this summer, and it will only take you a minute or two. To complete this survey, CLICK HERE.

Thanks again! We love our readers!

3. HOT LINE: Listing Advertised by Someone Else?

QUESTION: My company represents the seller in an Exclusive Right To Sell Listing Agreement and my client has contacted me regarding another firm marketing their home in a postcard mailing. The postcard lists and describes my client’s property (along with 6 other properties), and the marketing material makes it appear as though this other firm has the listing. It is not a “farming” mailing, but rather states: “The following homes are now offered For Sale”. Do they have the right to send out these mailings without my permission and the seller’s permission?

ANSWER: As specified in Rule 1260-02-.12, part (2) of the new TREC Rules now in effect [see above]:

(d) No licensee shall advertise property listed by another licensee without written authorization from the property owner. Written authorization must be evidenced by a statement on the listing agreement or any other written statement signed by the owner.
(e) No licensee shall advertise in a false, misleading, or deceptive manner.

The REALTOR Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice emphasize the same requirement. Pursuant to Standard of Practice 12-4: “REALTORS shall not offer for sale/lease or advertise property without authority….”

This type of advertising could certainly be deemed to be misleading by TREC and/or the local board. When advertising someone else’s listing, you should take the following steps to avoid possible complaints:

  1. Get the permission of the listing agent and the seller;
  2. On ALL advertising, you should list the firm name and telephone of both the advertising company AND the listing company.  This will prevent the public from being misled.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]

4. HOT LINE: Listing a Condo?

QUESTION: What form do I use when listing a condo?

ANSWER: TAR does not have a listing agreement specifically geared toward condominiums. However, we would recommend that you use the Listing Agreement for residential property. You will want to include a better legal description that will be suitable for condos. You can use the language on F19, the Condominium Legal Exhibit (for the Purchase and Sale Agreement). You should also request that the seller obtain a copy of the bylaws, the declarations, etc. You will also need to get the name of the condominium association and/or declarant.

Although it is not something that you will have the seller complete, you may see form F23, Request for Condominium Association Information. This is a form which would be given to the condo association or declarant (usually the developer) to produce the documents requested.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]

5. Special Offer on Our Online Courses!

NEW! An online version of the 2009-2010 Core CE Course (4 hrs. CE) – developed with assistance from TREEF – is now available through one of TAR’s education partners, The CE Shop, at a special 25% discount!

This course is designed to clarify the common misconceptions and misunderstandings related to the TAR Purchase and Sale Agreement. The course walks through the Agreement along with the required disclosures and other forms. You will learn how to complete the common forms, adhere to timelines and notices, disclose material defects, and handle earnest money appropriately. The course also addresses important legal issues, including agency law and the rules and regulations of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. To access the course, CLICK HERE …and enter the following Promo Code at checkout: TN25

AND…the seven other online courses offered by The CE Shop to TAR members are now available at a 15% discount! To get this discount, enter the following Promo Code at checkout: EDU15

Discounts are available only through the end of June, so act soon!

6. GRI and Other Courses

June 28: TransactionDesk Basic Course (3 hrs. CE) – Union City. For more information contact Jennifer Hooks with the Reelfoot Regional Association of REALTORS at:

A new series of E-Class GRI courses begins in July, and more classroom GRI courses are scheduled in 2010, beginning in August. The complete 2010 schedule of Classroom and E-Class GRI Courses is online and accessible by CLICKING HERE.

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

7. Rates and Mortgage Applications BOTH Hit New Lows!

Mortgage rates this past week dropped to another record low. The benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell 7 basis points this past week, to 4.88 percent, according to the national survey of large lenders. A basis point is one-hundredth of 1 percentage point.

This was the third time in four weeks the benchmark 30-year rate has set a record low in Bankrate’s weekly survey. The old record, set two weeks ago, was 4.92 percent.

Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) reported the fifth consecutive weekly decline in mortgage applications on June 9, marking a 13-year low as purchase requests fell 5.7 percent and refinancing applications plunged 14.3 percent. Michael Fratantoni, vice president of research and economics at MBA, says low mortgage rates have failed to trigger another refinancing boom because borrowers have already refinanced, owe more than their homes are worth, or lack the job security or credit necessary to do so. Observers believe the decline indicates that the federal tax credits ending in April stole from future sales.

[SOURCES:; Newsday; Information, Inc.]

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