The 5-3-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. Home Prices Near Their Recession Low
2. “Fixer-Uppers” No Longer Appealing
3. You Can Still Become a TV Star!
4. HOT LINE: Referring a Home Inspector?
5. HOT LINE: Adding the Disclosure to the Contract?
6. Upcoming GRI and Other Courses
7. Mortgage Rates Decline Again
8. Useful Web Links
9. No DIGEST Next Week

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 Near Their Recession Low

Last week, Standard & Poor’s released new data about home prices in the U.S. The S&P/Case-Shiller gauge of home prices is down for the eighth consecutive month. The 10-city and 20-city indexes both fell 1.1 percent in February from January and were down 2.6 percent and 3.3 percent, respectively, from a year ago. Year-over-year prices rose only in Washington, D.C., while 10 markets reached their lowest point of the recession and post-recession period. Many economists believe prices will continue to fall, although at a slower rate, through much of 2011.

[SOURCE: Standard & Poor’s]


2. “Fixer-Uppers” No Longer Appealing

A new article published by RISMedia, “Home Buyers Shun ‘Fixer-Uppers'” by Kathleen Lynn, contrast the housing market of five years ago with today’s market and notes that — with so much inventory on the market — homes needing work or repairs will often remain unsold:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
[Five years ago] buyers often felt they had to accept homes in woeful condition. But these days, most look at “as-is” properties and say, “No thanks.” “I try to stay away from things that need a lot of work,” says Michael Lisa of Chestnut Ridge, N.Y., who is searching for a home in northern Bergen County, N.J.

“Buyers will tolerate nothing,” says Maria Rini, a Re/Max agent in Oradell, N.J. A recent Coldwell banker survey found that 87 percent of first-time buyers said a move-in-ready home is important to them.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: RISMedia]


3. You Can Still Become a TV Star!

As noted in a previous DIGEST newsletter, MY FIRST PLACE, HGTV’s popular series, is coming back for a tenth season and they’re looking for first-time homebuyers (and their agents!) in Nashville and surrounding areas RIGHT NOW!

They are STILL looking for fun, high-energy people who are just starting the home-buying process for their first place and would like to share their story with HGTV! The goal is to capture all the trials and tribulations of looking for, bidding on and buying someone’s “first place.” Taping takes place this spring. Ideal candidates will be enthusiastic buyers with a unique story to tell and a desire to share their experiences! Singles, couples and families are all invited to apply.

Candidates who complete taping will receive a monetary gift as part of the show and also a DVD copy of their episode to document their first home buying experience for all time! For more information, you can request an application by emailing: [Or call Kari Woodard at (303) 872-8697.]


4. HOT LINE: Referring a Home Inspector?

QUESTION: Are there any rules and/or regulations regarding a real estate agent referring a certain home inspector to their buyers?

ANSWER: The important thing to remember is that under RESPA you cannot receive anything of value from a home inspector for recommending one to a buyer. The next thing to remember is that all home inspectors in the state of Tennessee MUST be licensed by the state. Do NOT recommend an unlicensed inspector. Next, we would recommend that you give the buyer the names of as many as you can and let the buyer make the selection. We have two forms which may be helpful to you.  The first is the Vendor List which is form F36 on which you can list different vendors.  The next form is the Broker’s Authorization to Hire Vendor (F35).

Recommending only one home inspector could increase your liability unnecessarily.

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


5. HOT LINE: Adding the Disclosure to the Contract?

QUESTION: If we add the Tennessee Residential Property Condition Disclosure as an exhibit in section 17 on page 8 of our purchase agreement, are we opening ourselves up to any liability or is that practice acceptable?

ANSWER: It is not inappropriate to include the Disclosure as an exhibit to the Purchase and Sale Agreement. HOWEVER, it is important to note that the disclosure is to be made BEFORE the contract has been accepted.  Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 66-5-203:

(a) The owner of residential real property subject to this part shall deliver to the purchaser the written disclosure or disclaimer statement, if agreed upon by the purchaser required by this part prior to the acceptance of a real estate purchase contract. For purposes of this part, a “real estate purchase contract” means a contract for the sale, exchange or lease with option to buy of real estate subject to this part, and “acceptance” means the full execution of a real estate purchase contract by all parties. The residential property disclaimer statement or residential property disclosure statement may be included in the real estate purchase contract, in an addendum to the contract, or in a separate document.

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


6. Upcoming GRI and Other Courses

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.

May 16: Short Sales & Foreclosure (8 hrs. CE) – KAAR Office, Knoxville.  For more information or to register, call 865-584-8647.

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) – EMTAR Office, Mt. Juliet. For more information or to register, 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. Mortgage Rates Decline Again

Borrowing costs on mortgages dipped in the week ended April 28, reports Freddie Mac. The firm said that interest on 30-year fixed loans settled at 4.78, down from 4.8 percent a week earlier and 5.06 percent a year ago. The average for 15-year fixed mortgages, meanwhile, dropped down to 3.97 percent from 4.02 percent the prior week and 4.39 percent during the comparable period of 2010.

[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


9. No DIGEST Next Week

Due to staff travel and the NAR Midyear Conference next week, there will be no TAR DIGEST then. The DIGEST will return, however, with the May 17 edition!