The 2-1-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. Home Prices Go Lower
2. Beware of “Cyberstalking”
3. HOT LINE: On or About?
4. HOT LINE: Amendment or Addendum?
5. REMINDER: TAR Division Forums
6. Upcoming Events and Courses
7. Rates Rise, Sales Don’t
8. No DIGEST Next Week
9. 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.


1. Home Prices Go Lower

Home prices fell year over year in all 28 major metro areas [including the Nashville SMSA] covered by the Wall Street Journal’s survey of housing-market conditions for the 2010 fourth quarter, due to weak demand and tight credit. Zillow.com says Miami, Orlando, Atlanta, Chicago, and other cities hit hard by the slump saw the most dramatic depreciation; and cities such as Seattle and Portland, Ore., also saw price drops. There is concern that market conditions could worsen, as millions of homeowners are delinquent on their mortgages or in foreclosure and the job market has yet to pick up.

[SOURCES: Wall Street Journal; Information, Inc.]


2. Beware of “Cyberstalking”

We all love our laptops, smart phones, iPads, and all the other little electronic gadgets that make our lives so much easier. But are they safe? What are you telling the world about your life?

Stalking. We all know what it is and why it happens. But, how it happens is changing. In the past someone would be stalked through phone calls and physically being followed. But in today’s cyber world there is a new kind of stalking emerging, cyber stalking. Today you can be stalked through social media, text messages and emails along with the traditional methods. And as we become more open with social media, the easier it is for stalkers to find their victims.

So how do you protect yourself? Here are some tips to follow.

  • Do you know all your “friends” on Facebook, My Space and other social media? Do you know all your followers on Twitter? Be selective with whom you accept onto your social media pages.
  • When posting on social media, do not post where you are and where you are going.
  • Do not use social media that requires you to “check in” at locations.
  • On your camera, disable location devices or GPS that tags your photos with a location.
  • NEVER post on social media when you are going out of town for business or vacation.
  • Keep personal information to a minimum on social media. Do not post your home address, telephone numbers or email address.

Crime happens, there are no guarantees. But you can decrease your chances of becoming a victim by guarding what information you share.

[Author: Andrew Wooten, a popular speaker on safety issues]


3. HOT LINE: On or About?

QUESTION: I represent some builders and they are asking for me use “on or about” and “June/July, 2011.” Can I use this language?

ANSWER: Under the Broker’s Act, a licensee can be disciplined for “Using or promoting the use of any real estate listing agreement form, real estate sales contract form, or offer to purchase real estate form which fails to specify a definite termination date.” — Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(9).

This creates issues for builders often because they are often not accustomed to having a definitive termination date. The termination date may or may not be the closing date. You must, nevertheless, have a date on which the contract terminates; this is a requirement for you as a real estate agent.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


4. HOT LINE: Amendment or Addendum?

QUESTION: One of my agents had a change in price after the binding agreement date. In this situation, would she use an amendment or addendum? In what situation would you use an amendment as opposed as an addendum?

ANSWER: An addendum is used BEFORE the contract is executed to add to it. Think of the VA/FHA addendum. An amendment is used AFTER there is an executed contract to change it. Therefore if you have a binding agreement date (and therefore had an executed contract), you would need to use an amendment.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


5. REMINDER: TAR Division Forums

The six TAR Division Forums – being held across Tennessee next week – are open to ALL members, and there is no charge to attend. The goal at each Forum is to update members on governmental affairs, education, and other services of TAR …AND to hear what you, the members, are most concerned about in this challenging time for the real estate business and the REALTOR organization!

FORUMS
Feb. 7 (8:30-11:00AM) – Central West Association office, Jackson
Feb. 7 (1:15-3:45PM) – Memphis Area Association office, Memphis
Feb. 9 (8:00-10:30AM) – TAR Office, Nashville
Feb. 9 (12:00-2:30PM) – Middle TN Association office, Murfreesboro
Feb. 10 (8:00-10:30AM) – Northeast TN Association office, Kingsport
Feb. 10 (1:00-3:30PM) – Knoxville Area Association office, Knoxville

Even though there is no charge to attend, we DO ask that everyone — including any local association staff — register in advance. CLICK HERE for more information or to register for one of the above Forums.


6. Upcoming Events and Courses

Feb. 3: Agency in Tennessee (4 hrs. CE) – Chattanooga Assn., Chattanooga. To register, call: 423-698-8002.

Feb. 8: Middle TN Professional Standards Training for Local Association Professional Standards & Grievance Committee members (3 hrs. CE) – MTAR Office, Murfreesboro. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Feb. 10 – March 16: GRI 2, Smart Marketing (16 hrs. CE) – an E-Class (distance-learning) course. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Feb. 11: TransactionDesk Training — Basic (3 hrs. CE) and Advanced (3 hrs. CE) – EMTAR Office, Mt Juliet. For more information or to register, call 615-758-9851.

Feb. 15: 2011-2012 Core CE Course (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR, Nashville. For more information or to register, call 615-254-7516.

Feb. 16: West TN Professional Standards Training for Local Association Professional Standards & Grievance Committee members (3 hrs. CE) – Central West TN Assn., Jackson. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

Feb. 22: Workshop for Agency Instructors (4 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

The complete 2011 schedule of GRI courses (both Classroom and E-Class) is online HERE.

LEADERSHIP TAR: Registrations are now being taken for the 2011 Class of Leadership TAR! For more information or to become a part of it, CLICK HERE.

INSTRUCTOR TRAINING: Registration is now open for our two-day instructor-training program – “The Learning-Centered Instructor Workshop” (16 hrs. CE) – to be held March 10-11, 2011, in Nashville at the TAR Office. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

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


7. Rates Rise, Sales Don’t

Interest on 30-year fixed mortgages averaged 4.80 percent this past week compared to 4.74 percent the week before, reports Freddie Mac. The rate on 15-year loans bumped up as well, rising to 4.09 percent from 4.05 percent, as long-term mortgages reacted to higher bond yields. The averages are up from 40-year lows reached in November, but even those numbers were not enough to stimulate buyer demand. Fewer resales were purchased in 2010 than in any year since 1997, according to the National Association of REALTORS, and 2010 new-home sales turned in the worst performance in 47 years.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


8. No DIGEST Next Week

Due to staff travel and the upcoming Division Forums, there will be no TAR DIGEST next week. The next issue will be the 2/15/11 Edition!


9. Useful Internet Links

Click on any of the following to access:

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