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

2. The New Normal
3. FHA Loan Limit Ceiling Unchanged for 2011
4. Join the 2011 Class of Leadership TAR!
5. HOT LINE: Disclosing School Information?
6. HOT LINE: Agency Disclosure Exemptions?
7. HOT LINE: Right of Rescission?
8. Upcoming Events and Courses
9. Rates Hit 6-Month High
10. Useful Web Links

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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The staff and leadership of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS extend our warmest wishes to all of our members for a wonderful holiday season and a very prosperous New Year!

This will be our final TAR DIGEST for 2010, so please enjoy yourselves until we return with the January 4, 2011 Edition of the TAR DIGEST!

2. The New Normal

Everyone is wondering what the “New Normal” in real estate will be! To answer this question, we could think of no better article to feature in our final issue of 2010 than an interview with Dale Stinton, the CEO of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR). In this article by Maria Patterson (“The Year in Review…and the Shape of the Future – An Interview with Dale Stinton”), Stinton grades 2010 and then makes his predictions for 2011:

It’s all about the consumer — everything now is about consumer behavior. The consumer is really doing their homework now. They walk into a REALTOR’s office and they know almost as much about the property as that REALTOR does in a lot of situations. They’re very demanding — incredibly demanding — and they’re abnormally sensitive to price, commissions and all the costs involved in the transaction. But that’s good news for professional, experienced REALTORS because they can meet those demands. They’re well versed about the market and capable of addressing the consumer’s concerns.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read the entire interview, CLICK HERE.


3. FHA Loan Limit Ceiling Unchanged for 2011

The Federal Housing Administration released approved loan limits on mortgages it would insure in 2011, leaving the ceiling unchanged at $729,750.

The Economic Stimulus Act of 2008 and the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 raised the FHA loan-limit ceiling to help stabilize a shaky housing market. The national floor remains unchanged as well at $271,050.

The limits apply to all mortgages originated between Jan. 1, 2011, and Sept. 30, 2011, or the fiscal year for the FHA.

[SOURCE: HousingWire]

4. Join the 2011 Class of Leadership TAR!

Registration is now OPEN for the 2011 Leadership TAR Program! For more information about Leadership TAR and registration for the three retreats, CLICK HERE!

Since 2003, we have graduated an impressive array of local and state association officers and directors, as well as committee chairs and others wishing to join a statewide network of program graduates!

TAR remains committed to the critical importance of leadership development. Leadership TAR will help you improve your leadership skills to address the challenges that your real estate businesses and REALTOR associations face. In these difficult times, wise leadership is more important than ever!

You can also learn more about the program by going to:

5. HOT LINE: Disclosing School Information?

QUESTION: Please advise what we can and cannot say with regard to schools, enrollment, test scores, re-zoning, etc.

ANSWER: We would only recommend stating that this property is served by ____ County Public Schools. Then we would recommend that they contact the School Board directly for more specific information concerning the specific school for which it would be zoned (when they plan to occupy the property), enrollment, test scores, possible rezoning and any other specific information concerning particular schools. This will prevent you from disclosing too much and/or from disclosing inaccurate information which could lead to a lawsuit and/or complaints filed.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]

6. HOT LINE: Agency Disclosure Exemptions?

QUESTION: It is my understanding that in the Realtor Code of Ethics, if BOTH agents in a transaction are REALTORS, then agency status for each REALTOR must be disclosed to the other REALTOR. It is also my understanding that as a REALTOR, I can accomplish this disclosure of my agency status to the other REALTOR by means of the TAR F1 “Confirmation of Agency Status”.

I have prepared this to two different transactions; one being when the other agent, a REALTOR represented a bank, and the second transaction being a REALTOR who represented a governmental agency. Both REALTORS in both transactions REFUSED to fill out any agency status paperwork. Are REALTORS exempt from this Code of Ethics disclosure when representing a Bank and or Governmental Agency?

ANSWER: Under Standard of Practice 16-10, “REALTORS, acting as buyer or tenant representatives or brokers, shall disclose that relationship to the seller/landlord’s representative or broker at first contact and shall provide written confirmation of that disclosure to the seller/landlord’s representative or broker not later than execution of a purchase agreement or lease.”

Agency disclosure is also required of REALTORS representing the seller under Standard of Practice 16-12.

There is no exemption under the Code of Ethics for governmental agencies or financial institutions. The Code does indicate that if there are state laws which would overrule these Standards of Practice, then state laws would apply. We are not, however, aware of any Tennessee state law which would exempt another REALTOR from making the required disclosures.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]

7. HOT LINE: Right of Rescission?

QUESTION: I’ve heard that someone has three (3) days to cancel a contract. Where in Tennessee law can I find the statute regarding this?

ANSWER: We’ve answered this one before, but in case you missed it…

The right of rescission is a drastic remedy in Tennessee. In our state, there is not an automatic right to be able to rescind the contract for the purchase of real property or on a buyer’s representation agreement. Under federal law, a person is entitled to change their mind regarding a loan within a set period of time. This does not, however, rescind the contract.

The only way in Tennessee to rescind a contract is through a court order. This is usually only granted in extreme cases in which there was a mutual mistake between the buyer and seller or fraud. If you have a buyer who has entered into a contract and is now trying to rescind it, they should speak with their own attorney. Remember that you cannot give legal advice unless you have a law license.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]

8. Upcoming Events and Courses

There are no more TAR-sponsored classroom CE courses scheduled for 2010, although we continue to offer a wide variety of online CE courses (including the 2009-2010 Core Course) that you can access by CLICKING HERE.

We are now taking registrations for the 2011 offering of our popular 2-day instructor-training course (The Learning-Centered Instructor Workshop), scheduled for March 10-11, 2011. You can get more information or register online by CLICKING HERE.

The complete 2011 schedule of GRI Courses (both Classroom and E-Class) is now posted HERE.

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

9. Rates Hit 6-Month High

Mortgage rates rose for a fourth straight week to reach a six-month high, as yields on government bonds continue to rise. The average interest on a 30-year fixed loan hit 4.61 percent this past week, up from 4.46 percent a week earlier, Freddie Mac reported. Also, 15-year fixed loans averaged 3.96 percent, up from 3.81 percent the previous week; and rates for variable adjustable-rate mortgages floated higher as well.

[SOURCE: Freddie Mac]

10. Useful Internet Links

Click on any of the following to access:

Back Issues of the TAR DIGEST
Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS
TAR Education
Online Risk Reduction Resources
Online Resources for Association Leaders
Tennessee Real Estate Commission