The 9-27-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. The American Dream Remains Very Much Alive!
2. FSBOs On the Decline
3. GNAR Celebrates Its Centennial Anniversary!
4. HOT LINE: Amend the Offer or Write a New One?
5. HOT LINE: Can An Agent Pay His/Her Team Members?
6. HOT LINE: Facilitator for One, Agent for Another?
7. Upcoming GRI & Other Courses
8. Fed Moves To Lower Rates
9. No DIGEST Next Week
10. 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. The American Dream Remains Very Much Alive!

Last week, Trulia released the results of its biannual American Dream Survey, which has tracked American attitudes towards homeownership since 2008. Harris Interactive conducted this online survey on Trulia’s behalf between August 30 to September 1, 2011 among 2,207 U.S. adults aged 18 and over.

According to the research, “70 percent of Americans said homeownership is part of achieving their American Dream. …Notably, more than half (57 percent) of current homeowners said owning a home is among the best long-term investments they could make, ahead of putting money in a 401K or other retirement accounts (52 percent). In fact, 80 percent said they plan to buy another home in the future which includes 69 percent of homeowners aged 55 years old or older.

Among those who are currently renters, the biggest obstacle they must overcome before becoming homeowners (for 51% of them) is saving enough for a down payment in the current market. Qualifying for a mortgage is the second most often cited obstacle.

To read a recap of the entire survey — there is a LOT of interesting data in it — CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Trulia.com]


2. FSBOs On the Decline

One bright spot in data on the current market is the fact that For-Sale-By-Owners are on the decline, according to the latest NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
FSBO sales accounted for 14 percent of the market in 2003 and 2004 when the market was booming. Sellers took advantage of the fact that many times a simple sign or newspaper listing could sell a home in days, especially in highly desirable market.

2010 saw only 9 percent of sales originating from FSBOs. According to the report, the majority of FSBOs take place in rural areas and central city locations, both areas that experience less traffic. The boom of the mid-2000s is over. These sellers are realizing that if they want to sell, they need your help.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more on how to tap into the FSBO market, see this recent Realty Times staff report on FSBO Trends: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20110923_fsbo.htm

[SOURCE: Realty Times]


3. GNAR Celebrates Its Centennial Anniversary!

This past week, the Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS celebrated its 100th anniversary. Congratulations to the staff, leadership and members of one of our largest and oldest local associations!


4. HOT LINE: Amend the Offer or Write a New One?

QUESTION: We have submitted an offer on a short sale. While we were waiting on approval from the lender, the contract expired.  Do we need to amend the offer or write a new one?

ANSWERS: You could do either one. However, it is complex to “re-activate” an expired contract. If possible, you may look to just completing a new offer IF it does not pose problems with the lender. Otherwise, we would recommend having an attorney recommend language which will effectively revive the expired contract.

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


5. HOT LINE: Can An Agent Pay His/Her Team Members?

QUESTION: I have an agent that has a couple of buyer’s agents working for him. He has asked me to pay him all of the commission and then he would pay his buyer’s agent their percentage directly. I told him I thought that was against the rules. Is there any legal way for him to pay the licensed buyer’s agents directly?

ANSWER: First of all, remember that neither TREC nor the TN license law recognizes the existence of teams. All team members operate under the supervision and authority of — and must be paid by — the principal broker of the firm, not their team leader.

Any payments to an agent for any real estate activities must be paid through their principal broker. Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(11), an agent can be disciplined for “Accepting a commission or any valuable consideration by an affiliate broker for the performance of any acts specified in this chapter, from any person, except the licensed real estate broker with whom the licensee is affiliated.” Therefore, this agent CANNOT pay the buyer’s agents directly. They must be paid by the principal broker of the firm.

Although you did not ask about agency issues in your question, this situation raises other concerns as well. If one team member is representing sellers and other licensees working in the same team are representing buyers involved in purchasing those sellers’ properties, then there could be a serious agency problem or conflict of interest.

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


6. HOT LINE: Facilitator for One, Agent for Another?

QUESTION: If I have a listing and show my listing to a buyer, and the buyer is interested, I  become the facilitator on the transaction. If another different buyer brings an offer on the same property, and I go into a multiple offer situation, can I be the listing agent on this transaction and still a facilitator on the first transaction?

ANSWER: NO. The problem with this situation is the definition of transaction in the broker’s act. It is the actual selling of the property, so it would encompass all potential buyers. Transaction “means the purchase, sale, rental, or option of an interest in real estate or business opportunity.” Once you default to a facilitator, you default to facilitator across the board. You cannot be an agent for the seller as to one buyer and a facilitator as to another.

HOWEVER, be aware that (unless your office agency policy dictates otherwise) you do not have to default to a facilitator in the situation with an unrepresented buyer. The buyer can simply remain unrepresented while you remain the agent for the seller. In addition, if you practice designated agency in your office, as long as one buyer has one designated agent and the seller has another, then there is no need to default.

If the same designated agent works with both the buyer and seller, then there is a dual agency situation and it is recommended that the agent default unless you refer the buyer to a different licensee. Once the buyer is no longer in the picture, the TAR listing agreements have language in which the agent automatically reverts to his/her previous agency status.

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


7. Upcoming GRI & Other Courses

Sept. 28-29: GRI 2, Smart Marketing (16 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register online, CLICK HERE.

Sept. 29: E-Pro Day 1 Course (7 hrs. CE) – CAAR Office, Chattanooga. For more information or to register, call 423-698-8004.

Oct. 3: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – NETAR Office, Gray. For more information or to register, call 423-477-0040.

Oct. 3: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, call 615-254-7516.

Oct. 10: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – MTAR Office, Murfreesboro. For more information or to register, call 615-893-2242.

Oct. 11-12: GRI 1, Professionalism in Real Estate (16 hrs. CE) – KAAR Office, Knoxville. For more information or to register online, CLICK HERE.

Oct. 11-12: 2-day ABR Course (16 hrs. CE) – CAR Office, Clarksville. For more information or to register, call 931-552-3567.

Oct. 13: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, call 901-818-2421.

Oct. 13 – Nov. 16: GRI 5, Systems for Success (16 hrs. CE) – An E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register online, CLICK HERE.

Oct. 13-14: Seniors (SRES) Course (14 hrs. CE) – Sumner Assn. Office, Hendersonville. For more information or to register, call 615-824-6629.

Oct. 13-14: Seniors (SRES) Course (14 hrs. CE) – CAR Office, Clarksville. For more information or to register, call 931-552-3567.

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

For information on the NEW 2012 GRI Program, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/main/education/gri_in_2012/

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


8. Fed Moves To Lower Rates

The Federal Reserve plans to buy $400 billion in long-term Treasury securities by June 30 in an attempt to drive down longer-term interest rates and pump up the economy. The central bank also will keep the key Fed funds rate between 0 percent and 0.25 percent, probably through June 2013, and buy mortgage-backed securities to keep mortgage rates low.

Fized-rate mortgages changed very little this past week amid sluggish economic, mixed housing data, and ongoing concerns over the European debt markets. The 30-year fixed remained unchanged at 4.09 percent, the lowest since Freddie Mac started tracking the statistic in 1970, while the 15-year fixed dropped a single basis point to 3.29 percent, marking a new record low.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCES: USA Today; Information, Inc.]


9. No DIGEST Next Week

Due to staff travel, there will be no 10-4-11 Edition of the TAR DIGEST.  The DIGEST will return however, with the 10-11-11 Edition!


10. 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

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