The 4-5-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. NAR Launches “Political Survival Initiative”
2. Cybertips That Could Prove Useful!
3. HOT LINE: Termite Contract Cancelled?
4. HOT LINE: Disclosing One Offered Price to Another Buyer?
5. HOT LINE: Calling an Expired Listing?
6. Upcoming Events and Courses
7. Rates Tick Upward
8. 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. NAR Launches “Political Survival Initiative”

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
In March 2011, NAR launched the REALTOR Party Political Survival Initiative. The initiative is a bold and powerful proposal to make the Voice of Real Estate one of the most influential advocacy groups in America.

The real estate industry is facing monumental issues–in Congress, in the regulatory agencies that govern mortgage financing, in the statehouses that are dealing with critical budget crises and declining property tax revenues, and in municipalities and counties. Each of these issues impact REALTORS’ ability to do business and serve clients. It is important to act as one to ensure the future of mortgage financing and keep housing affordable in America. We must have the power to shape this pivotal moment for the American Dream of home ownership everywhere and at every level of government.

To fund such a nationwide effort, the REALTOR(R) Party Political Survival Initiative proposes a dedicated dues increase of $40. NAR will be dedicating these funds specifically for use with political advocacy efforts. Nearly 70% of this money is for the use of state and local REALTOR associations for their political advocacy efforts. If approved, over 50% of the NAR budget would be devoted to political advocacy, which consistently ranks among members as the No. 1 benefit they receive from NAR.

The NAR Board of Directors, at the Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, will vote on the proposal in May.
*** END QUOTE ***

[SOURCE: NAR]


2. Cybertips That Could Prove Useful!

Every now and then, Jack Peckham (Executive Director of the Real Estate Cyberspace Society) publishes a few “cybertips” that can save you time and money. His “April Cybertips” are no exception. They include:

  • a way to log into popular websites that require a registration WITHOUT the need to reveal a lot of personal information;
  • a website you can use to edit and enhance your own photos online without purchasing expensive software to do so;
  • a website you can visit to check out the URL of another site to determine if the site is safe or not: and
  • if your own PC is getting overloaded with programs, a website you can visit with “over a thousand applications that you can launch from the web with no installation – so you can use them instantly – no matter where you are.”

To learn more about any of the above, see Jack’s RealtyTimes article by CLICKING HERE.

[SOURCE: RealtyTimes]


3. HOT LINE: Termite Contract Cancelled?

QUESTION: Can a buyer make the seller maintain a termite contract in force until the property is transferred?

ANSWER: You indicated that, in your situation, the seller terminated the termite contract prior to closing. Whether this is permitted will depend upon the terms of the contract itself. If the parties have a dispute concerning the contract, they should speak with their own attorney. In the future, if a buyer wants to ensure that the termite contract is maintained until closing (or even transferred), address this in the contract.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


4. HOT LINE: Disclosing One Offered Price to Another Buyer?

QUESTION: Can a seller authorize the listing agent to legally disclose buyer #1’s offered price to buyer #2 prior to buyer #1’s offer being accepted and subsequently turned into a contract?

ANSWER: A listing agent should NOT disclose the contents of an offer to another buyer without the written consent of all parties to the offer. ALSO, this is a bad idea because it places the agent in a precarious position. Under the Broker’s Act, an agent owes a duty to all parties to “Diligently exercise reasonable skill and care in providing services to all parties to the transaction” and to “Provide services to each party to the transaction with honesty and good faith” Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403(1) and (4).

THEREFORE, if you disclose the contents of an offer to one buyer, you would be expected to disclose to all buyers. This could then start a bidding war since you would then have to disclose the contents of all offers to all buyers. Practically speaking, this could dissuade one or even both buyers from proceeding.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


5. HOT LINE: Calling an Expired Listing?

QUESTION: Is it legal and ethical for me to contact the seller of an expired listing to see if they are still interested in selling their property?

ANSWER: YES, you can certainly contact the seller of an expired listing.  HOWEVER, you need to make sure that the listing is truly expired and not simply removed from the MLS. If the seller is still subject to an exclusive listing agreement, you cannot contact them directly. You must go through their agent.

You will ALSO need to consider whether they are on the “Do Not Call” logs at either the state or federal level if you intend to call them. If they are on these logs, you cannot call them unless they are a FSBO and you have an interested buyer.

[SOURCE: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


6. Upcoming Events and Courses

April 6: Homeownership Options for Tennessee’s Workforce (6 hrs. CE) – EMTAR Office, Mt. Juliet. For more information or to register, call 615-758-9851.

April 7-8: GRI 4, From Offer to Contract to Closing (16 hrs. CE) – MTAR Office, Murfreesboro. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

April 7 – May 11: GRI 5, Systems for Success (16 hrs. CE) – An E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

April 7: 2011-2012 Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, call 615-254-7516.

April 7: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, call 901-818-2421.

April 11: 2011-2012 Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – Tullahoma. For more information or to register, call 615-893-2242.

April 13: 2011-2012 Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – GCAR Office, Chattanooga. For more information or to register, call 423-698-8001.

April 21-22: LEADERSHIP TAR Retreat #1. Registration is still OPEN for the 2011 Leadership TAR Program, that begins APRIL 21! For more information or to become a part of it, CLICK HERE.

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!


7. Rates Tick Upward

Long-term mortgage rates bumped up a bit this past week, according to Freddie Mac. The company reported that interest on 30-year fixed loans came in at an average of 4.86 percent for the week ended March 31, compared to 4.81 percent a week earlier. Meanwhile, 15-year fixed mortgages settled at 4.09 percent, up from 4.04 percent.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


8. 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