The 7-5-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. 15-Year Mortgages Gaining in Popularity
2. TransactionDesk Now Works With Tablets!
3. We Need Your Opinions!
4. HOT LINE: Giving the Contract to the Appraiser?
5. HOT LINE: Saving Rental Paperwork?
6. Upcoming Deadlines
7. Upcoming Courses
8. Rates Remain VERY Low
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. 15-Year Mortgages Gaining in Popularity

Freddie Mac reports that more borrowers who refinance today are opting to switch from a 30-year fixed mortgage to a fixed-rate loan with a term of only 15 or 20 years. The trend, which is at a level not seen since 2004, partially is the result of a shift in attitudes by consumers — who no longer view their homes as an investment and who are working to reduce their debt. Refi patterns in the past year, by contrast, have seen more borrowers cash out some of their equity.

[Sources: American Banker; Information, Inc.]


2. TransactionDesk Now Works With Tablets!

Starting today, you can access Instanet Forms on the most popular Apple, Windows, and Android-based tablet devices such as the iPad/iPad2, Xoom, Galaxy, Playbook and others at no additional charge.

As a current Instanet Forms user, all TAR members need to do is simply log into your existing TransactionDesk or Instanet Forms account through your tablet browser and you will be automatically accessing the new version. There is no new software to install or apps to download.

Instanet Solutions is TAR’s provider of online forms.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Log into TransactionDesk by visiting http://tnrealtors.com/members/welcome.php and tapping on the TransactionDesk button.

[SOURCE: Instanet Solutions]


3. We Need Your Opinions!

We NEED your opinions …to serve you better!

Please take just a minute or two and respond to a SHORT (6-Question) survey of the TAR membership by going to:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/2011TARMemberSurvey

Once again, we are preparing to update our Strategic Plan for the Tennessee Association of REALTORS and we want to know what YOU think about the future! This won’t take long, the survey ends in one week, and we’ll publish a summary of survey results in next week’s TAR DIGEST, for your viewing pleasure!

Thanks in advance for your help!


4. HOT LINE: Giving the Contract to the Appraiser?

QUESTION: What is the proper response from an agent to an appraiser when they ask for a copy of the sales contract? What are the restrictions and what is appropriate protocol for handling this situation?

ANSWER: Pursuant to the 2010-2011 Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice:

“When the value opinion to be developed is market value, an appraiser must, if such information is available to the appraiser in the normal course of business:
(a) analyze all agreements of sale, options, and listings of the subject property current as of the effective date of the appraisal; and
(b) analyze all sales of the subject property that occurred within the three (3) years prior to the effective date of the appraisal.” (Standards Rule 1-5)

However, this does not necessarily mean that the contract should be provided by the real estate agent.

Before distributing a copy of the contract to an appraiser or an appraisal management company, the agent should get the permission of their client. This is because the client may deem the contract to contain confidential information. The other party involved in this issue is the lender. If the appraiser or appraisal management company is hired by the lender and the lender requests that the agent provide a copy of the contract to the appraiser or appraisal management company, it is acceptable to do so once the agent has the consent of all parties to the contract.

If possible, it would be a BETTER practice for the agent if the appraiser or appraisal management company is provided a copy of the contract by the lender. This would allow everyone to receive the information they need and will prevent the agent from inadvertently upsetting either the parties to the contract or the lender.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


5. HOT LINE: Saving Rental Paperwork?

QUESTION: We have so many sellers that are leasing their homes and paying a leasing fee to the listing REALTOR. Our MLS has a rental section. What paperwork should we have in our files? This is what I thought we should have:  Listing agreement (has a place for compensation if rented), copy of the lease agreement and Lead Base Paint for rental if necessary. Do we need to have our other business interest forms, F14 and any other forms? I am sure that a lot of firms are trying to figure this out as well.

ANSWER: According to the Frequently Asked Questions section of the TREC Manual, TREC requires that these records must contain, at a minimum, the following: listings; offers (even those that do not become contracts); contracts; closing statements; agency agreements; agency disclosure documents; property disclosure forms; correspondence; notes; and any other relevant information. Therefore, we recommend that ANY document related to this transaction be kept in the file.

We would ALSO recommend that you contact your E & O carrier to confirm that you have coverage on these particular transactions.

[SOURCE: TAR’s Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


6. Upcoming Deadlines

July 7: Deadline for 2012 TAR Officer Nominations

July 7: Deadline for 2011 TAR REALTOR of the Year Nominations

Forms for both of the above have been sent to each local association.

July 7: Deadline for 2012 TREEF Trustee Nominations [You can fill out an online nomination for TREEF Trustee at: http://tnrealtors.com/members/officerforms.php]

July 29: Deadline to Register for the 2011 TAR Annual Convention at Early-Bird Registration Rates [You can get more information, or register online, at: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings/convention/schedule.php]


7. Upcoming Courses

July 11: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – NETAR Office, Gray, TN. For more information or to register, call 423-477-0040.

July 12: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, call 615-254-7516.

July 13: Effective Negotiating for R.E. Professionals, a WCR Course (8 hrs. CE) – Gatlinburg. For more information or to register, contact:

July 14 – Aug. 17: GRI 1, Professionalism in Real Estate (16 hrs. CE) – An E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register, CLICK HERE.

July 18: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, call 901-818-2421.

July 28: 2011 TREEF Faculty Conference – TAR Office, Nashville. This is not an instructor training course, but rather a series of briefings and workshops for current instructors. 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!


8. Rates Remain VERY Low

Mortgage interest remained near annual lows last week, with the 30-year fixed rate averaging 4.51 percent compared to the year’s low of 4.49 percent reached three weeks ago. The 15-year fixed rate, meanwhile, stood fast at 3.69 percent after hitting its 2011 low of 3.47 percent two weeks ago. Trackers say expiration of the central bank’s $600 billion bond purchasing program — which pushed down Treasury yields and, subsequently, mortgage rates — could mean higher interest this summer.

[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 LinkedIn
TAR on Facebook
Follow TAR on Twitter
Online Risk Reduction Resources
Online Resources for Association Leaders
Tennessee Real Estate Commission