The 12-13-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. 2012 TAR President’s Message
2. Home Builders Await Improvements in Financing
3. TECH TIP: How To Twitter, Step by Step!
4. HOT LINE: Meaning of “Days” in the Contract?
5. HOT LINE: How Is Former Agent To Be Paid?
6. HOT LINE: Other Issues
7. HAPPENINGS – This Week and Next
8. Rates Remain VERY Low
9. Useful Web Links

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question, go to:

For other questions about this newsletter, please use the “CONTACT” form at:

1. 2012 TAR President’s Message

2012 TAR President Sue Turner addresses the TAR membership about the transition from 2011 and 2012, and our priorities for the new year! Watch her 4-minute video message online at:

And share this message with anyone else in your office who doesn’t receive the TAR DIGEST!

P.S. If you are a TAR member but you’re reading someone else’s TAR DIGEST and don’t currently receive the DIGEST yourself, that’s a problem we may be able to solve! Let us know you’re not receiving the DIGEST (or no longer receiving it) by using the “CONTACT” form at:

2. Home Builders Await Improvements in Financing

“Restoring the flow of credit to housing is critical for the [home building] industry to rebound, provide jobs and boost the economy,” said National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) Chairman Bob Nielsen, a home builder from Reno, Nev.

More than half of the single-family builders and developers surveyed by the NAHB indicated they had decided to put any new construction or land activity on hold until the financing climate improves.

In a recent survey of NAHB members, survey respondents who indicated that lenders were clamping down further on credit availability in the third quarter noted several ways in which the tightening was occurring:

  • 77 percent said lenders were reducing the amount they were willing to lend.
  • 75 percent reported seeing the allowable loan-to-value ratio being lowered.
  • 66 percent found lenders who were not making any new real estate loans.
  • 63 percent said they encountered lenders who were requiring personal guarantees or collateral not related to the project.

Lenders most often told builders they were tightening on loans because the regulators were forcing them to do so.

To read more, go to:


3. TECH TIP: How To Twitter, Step by Step!

OK, you’ve heard a lot about people “tweeting” and couldn’t understand what all of the fuss is about. OR you’ve been curious enough to try out Twitter, but were unsure about how to begin or exactly what to do.

A recent blog post by [Former Thomas Nelson CEO] Michael Hyatt offers the best, easy-to-understand Guide to Twitter that we’ve seen! Titled “The Beginner’s Guide to Twitter,” it’s written for non-techies and in 20 minutes will take you through the entre process of setting up and using your own Twitter Account. You can access Michael’s Guide at:

If you’re still doubtful that this is a worthwhile investment of time, Michael also wrote a good blog posting on “12 Reasons to Start Twittering” at:


4. HOT LINE: Meaning of “Days” in the Contract?

QUESTION: With regard to an inspection period in the TAR contract, does “days” include only business days or does it include weekends and holidays?

ANSWER: We can only provide you with the Forms Committee’s intent concerning an unexecuted contract (one not modified or amended).

If you are utilizing a TAR Purchase and Sale Agreement, the forms provide a definition of days. The contract provides definitions for the calculation of time. In Section 14, E, it states that all days will be calendar days. However, if the deadline is on a Saturday, Sunday or legal holiday, it will roll over to the next business day. If the last day is a weekend, it would roll to the next business day (not necessarily Monday if Monday is a legal holiday). There are several exceptions to the “roll over”. If the deadline is a closing date, date of possession, or offer expiration date, it will NOT roll over to the next business day.  Therefore, the closing date is written in stone. If you have it on a legal holiday, that is the closing date.

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

5. HOT LINE: How Is Former Agent To Be Paid?

QUESTION: Agent gets a sales contract. However, before closing, the agent changes firms. The agent earned commission when contract was final, is that correct? If so, how is the commission paid at closing? Does the agent’s original firm pay the commission to the agent, or does the agent’s commission get paid to the new firm with the agent then paid by this firm?

ANSWER: If the agent was licensed at the time that the contract under which he is owed commission was executed, then he may be entitled to receive a commission even though the agent’s license is retired, the license is inactive, or the licensee has moved to a different firm.

Commission is earned upon the signing of the lease, purchase and sale agreement, etc. Therefore, if he was licensed at that time, then if his independent contractor’s agreement or office policy dictates that he is to receive commission even after leaving the company, he can receive it. The commission may be paid to him directly. It is not required to pay through another principal. Whether the agent is paid at all is up to your office policy or the independent contractor’s agreement.

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

6. HOT LINE: Other Issues

The TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line has recently fielded questions on two issues that were fully addressed in previous TAR DIGESTS, but may have been forgotten or overlooked.

One issue concerned how long records on a transaction should be kept. To see the answer to this one, go to:

Another question dealt with rental security deposits and how they should be handled. To see the answer to this one, go to:

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

7. HAPPENINGS – This Week and Next

Dec. 14: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – CAR Office, Clarksville. For more information or to register, call 931-552-3567.

Dec. 16: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, go to:

Dec. 16: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, go to:

During the month of December, The CE Shop (our partner for online courses) is offering TAR members 25% OFF Online Continuing Education courses! This promotion starts December 1st and ends December 31st. Use the Promo Code DEC25. To access courses, go to:

For information on the NEW 2012 GRI Program, go to:

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

8. Rates Remain VERY Low

Average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages slipped to 3.99 percent this past week from 4 percent the week before, reports Freddie Mac. The average rate on 15-year fixed loans, meanwhile, declined to 3.27 percent from 3.30 percent. Nine weeks ago, the 30- and 15-year rates fell to record lows of 3.94 percent and 3.26 percent, respectively, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research. Despite the favorable borrowing costs, 2011 could be the worst for home sales in 14 years.

[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