The 5-17-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. NAR Passes Political Survival Initiative
2. Instanet Forms Announces iPad/Tablet Support!
3. NAR’s 2011 Legal Scan Identifies Hot issues
4. HOT LINE: Property Placed in Trust?
5. HOT LINE: Agency Agreements and Vacations …and Teams?
6. Upcoming GRI and Other Courses
7. Mortgage Rates Fall Again
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 Passes Political Survival Initiative

Among other actions taken this past weekend, the Board of Directors of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) passed the proposed REALTOR Party Political Survival Initiative, a proposal that includes a $40 increase in NAR dues beginning in 2012.

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Statement by Ron Phipps, 2011 NAR President, on the passing of the REALTOR Party Political Survival Initiative:

“Earlier today, the NAR Board of Directors voted in favor of the REALTOR Party Political Survival Initiative and agreed to fund it through a dedicated dues increase of $40 per member, beginning in 2012. The initiative will allow NAR to provide millions of dollars in additional support to state and local boards, which are facing a cadre of policy proposals that would restrict private property rights and drain home owners’ pocketbooks.
*** END QUOTE ***

For more information on this action by NAR, go to: http://realtoractioncenter.com/

Comments and concerns about this action should be directed to the National Association of REALTORS (NAR).

[SOURCE: NAR]


2. Instanet Forms Announces iPad/Tablet Support!

Instanet Solutions (TAR’s provider of online forms, TransactionDesk, etc.) will support the iPad and other tablet devices, starting in June of 2011!

Instanet Solutions has announced the availability of a zero footprint version of InstanetForms enabling real estate professionals to be able to create and maintain contracts and forms through popular tablet devices such as the iPad, Xoom, PlayBook or any other Android based tablet device.

“As more real estate professionals migrate to tablet technologies we saw the need empower our users to be able to work with their forms and contracts using tablet devices” says Martin Scrocchi, President and CEO of Instanet Solutions. “InstanetForms was originally released in 1998 and was the first web based contract and form management service and is now the first service of its kind to enable users to be truly mobile when it comes to managing their forms.”

Starting in June 2011 the zero foot print version of InstanetForms will be available to all existing InstanetForms and TransactionDesk users at no additional cost. Users simply need to login to their existing TransactionDesk or InstanetForms account through their tablet browser and will automatically be accessing the new version.

[SOURCE: Instanet Solutions]


3. NAR’s 2011 Legal Scan Identifies Hot issues

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has just published their 2011 Legal Scan, that identifies the most common legal issues involved in court cases across the country. The top five sources of lawsuits involving REALTORS in the 2011 survey are:

  1. Agency
  2. Property Condition Disclosure
  3. RESPA
  4. Fair Housing
  5. Employment Practices

For more information about the Scan, CLICK HERE (login required).

[SOURCE: NAR]


4. HOT LINE: Property Placed in Trust?

QUESTION: I had a property that I listed. The parents are in an assisted-living facility. Since the property disclosure was completed, the property has been put in a trust with the daughter being the executor of the trust. Do we need to complete a new property disclosure to be signed by the daughter, and if so, do we use the exemption form?

ANSWER: There are a few things to take into account on this. First, you will need to make sure that you have all of the documentation concerning the trust to ensure that the trustee has the authority to sell the property. Secondly, you will need to make sure that the listing agreement is in the name of the trust. This will ensure that the commission is paid to the firm.

The trustee will need to speak to her attorney concerning whether to make these disclosures or not.  Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 66-5-209(3), sales involving “Transfers by a fiduciary in the course of an administration of a decedent’s estate, guardianship, conservatorship or trust” are exempt from the disclosure requirement. However, it may be in the best interests of the trust to disclose what it knows about the trust. Please advise the trustee to consult with their own attorney.

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


5. HOT LINE: Agency Agreements and Vacations …and Teams?

QUESTION: Should we have vacationing agents amend their listing agreements to include their substitute agent(s) to cover for them while they are away? The listing agreement says the listing agreement should be amended if necessary in the Subsequent Designated Agent paragraph. When does it become necessary or unnecessary for it to be in writing?

Also, in a team structure, is there a need for licensed staff, licensed buyer’s agents, licensed listing agents to be listed in the buyer’s rep agreement or listing agreement if there is a possibility that they will be negotiating on the seller’s behalf in the transaction? This is where the lead agent is normally the only one mentioned in either of these agreements.

ANSWER: An amendment naming the substitute agent(s) in the event of a vacation would be a good idea, especially in a designated agency situation. We would recommend that it simply state that they will be a substitute designated agent for a specific period of time. This information is also included in the listing agreement in the event that an agent leaves the firm, becomes ill, etc.

You also inquired about teams. If the company practices designated agency, it is important that the members of the team are disclosed and not just the team name. In addition, if you have a situation in which the same “team” is representing the buyer and seller in a transaction, it is our opinion that this would constitute dual agency.

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


6. Upcoming GRI and Other Courses

May 18: 2011-2012 Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – SMTAR Office, Columbia. For more information or to register, call 931-381-5556.

May 19-20: GRI 3, Financing the Successful Transaction (16 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

May 19: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, call 901-818-2421.

May 25: 2011-2012 Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, call 615-254-7516.

May 26-27: GRI 2, Smart Marketing (16 hrs. CE). NOTE: This course, originally planned for May in Mt. Juliet, is being rescheduled for the fall of 2011.

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. Mortgage Rates Fall Again

The 30-year fixed mortgage declined this past week to 4.63 percent, down from averages of 4.71 percent the previous week and 4.93 percent a year ago, Freddie Mac reports. Interest has mostly risen this year until recently, but mixed economic reports have more investors seeking the safe haven of U.S. government debt — which has lowered Treasury yields. The 15-year fixed loan fell to 3.82 percent from 3.89 percent; and the five-year adjustable-rate mortgage averaged 3.41 percent, down from 3.47 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