The 4-26-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. Dates Set for Nationwide Open House!
2. Marketing to the New Generation
3. More Trade Landlines for Cellphones
4. HOT LINE: Withdrawal of Counteroffer?
5. HOT LINE: Who Holds Earnest Money?
6. HOT LINE: Property “Coming Soon”?
7. Upcoming Events and Courses
8. Mortgage Rates Dip
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. Dates Set for Nationwide Open House!

The 2011 REALTOR Nationwide Open House will be held on the weekend of  June 4-5, 2011! This event, which began on a local level a few years ago, is a weekend when REALTORS across the country — and across the globe (!) — are invited to hold open houses in their area. It is designed to drive buyers’ attention and interest to homes for sale and offers opportunities to educate the public about the benefits of home ownership.

All local associations and firms are encouraged to capitalize on the national publicity surrounding this weekend and participate in this year’s REALTOR Nationwide Open House!

More information for members and member firms, as well as resources for local association AEs, are available at: http://www.realtor.org/topics/nationwideopenhouse

[SOURCE: NAR]


2. Marketing to the New Generation

Most REALTORS are aware of the age difference between most REALTORS and most homebuyers (especially first-time homebuyers)!

A new article on Realty Times, by its Editorial Staff, provides several useful tips and a good summary of what to do — and what not to do — to market more successfully to Generation Y (born from about 1980 to the early 2000s):

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Social media knowledge is a must. Most Gen Y buyers aren’t going to want to be your Facebook friend. Don’t take it personally. And they probably won’t “like” your page. Having a page and understanding how Facebook and it’s terminology works, however, will help you communicate better with this younger generation. It will signal to them that you have stayed current.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read the full article, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Realty Times]


3. More Trade Landlines for Cellphones

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
According to a Centers for Disease Control study, about 38 percent of Nashville households have dumped their [telephone] landlines. Only the Dallas metro area is higher at 43 percent.

Tennessee’s overall rate of 28 percent is consistent with the national average. Overall, Arkansas and Mississippi lead the pack with 35 percent as cellphone-only, while only 13 percent of households in New Jersey and Rhode Island are cellphone-only.
*** END QUOTE ***

According to Nashville’s TENNESSEAN newspaper, the move to cellphones is less about being tech-savvy and more about saving money!

[SOURCE: Nashville Business Journal]


4. HOT LINE: Withdrawal of Counteroffer?

QUESTION: A buyer makes an offer on a property. The seller makes a counteroffer. Prior to the buyer accepting the counteroffer, the seller receives another offer. Can the seller withdraw their counteroffer if it is done prior to the buyer accepting it?

ANSWER: Under typical contract law (and under a blank TAR Purchase and Sale Agreement), the offeror (the buyer) can withdraw any offer before the offeree accepts it. This would hold true for a counteroffer as well.  As long as the buyer has not accepted the counter, then the seller can withdraw it at any time. This simply needs to be done in writing and signed by the seller. TAR does not have a form for this, it can simply be done on a piece of company letterhead or a regular piece of paper.

Please be sure that you are using the most current version of the TAR forms.

[SOURCE: TAR’S Legal and Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


5. HOT LINE: Who Holds Earnest Money?

QUESTION: I’m working as the buyer’s agent in an offer, and the listing agent insists that it’s standard protocol for the listing broker to always hold the earnest money (in our area/state). I always thought that this is negotiable. Can you tell me if it is standard protocol?

ANSWER: Who holds the earnest money is completely up to the parties. This is an item which should be negotiated between the parties. It is NOT up to the real estate agents.

[SOURCE: TAR’S Legal and Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


6. HOT LINE: Property “Coming Soon”?

QUESTION: Is it legal to have “Coming Soon” signs on property that is not yet listed?

ANSWER: First, pursuant to TREC Rule 1260-2-.12(2)(c), “No licensee shall post a sign in any location advertising property for sale without written authorization from the owner of the advertised property or the owner’s agent.” Therefore, the agent must have written permission of the seller to place a sign in the yard. If the sign is a “Coming Soon” sign, then the agent still must have the permission of the seller to do so.

You will need to check with your local MLS to determine whether they have any rules concerning “Coming Soon” listings and/or signs. Bear in mind that a listing agreement is not required for a “Coming Soon” sign. It only requires written permission of the seller.

[SOURCE: TAR’S Legal and Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


7. Upcoming Events and Courses

April 27-28: GRI 1, Professionalism in Real Estate (16 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

April 28 – June 1: GRI 6, Sticky Situations (16 hrs. CE) – an E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

May 5: 2011-2012 Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, call 615-254-7516.

May 5-6: GRI 2, Smart Marketing (16 hrs. CE) – CAAR Office, Chattanooga. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

May 9-14: NAR Midyear Conference, Washington, DC.

May 12: Agency in Tennessee (4 hrs. CE) – CAAR Office, Chattanooga. For more information or to register, call 423-698-8001.

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

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


8. Mortgage Rates Dip

Mortgage interest dipped this past week for the first time in over a month, according to Freddie Mac, which reported a drop in the 30-year fixed rate to 4.8 percent from 4.91 percent a week earlier. The company also said that 15-year loans averaged 4.02 percent compared to 4.13 percent the prior week. The lower borrowing costs coincide with a growing number of cash-only buyers in the homes market.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


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