The 12-6-11 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. Getting Our Financial Houses In Order
2. Foreclosures Suspended During Holidays
3. New GRI Program in 2012!
4. HOT LINE: Clients To Be Given a New Agent?
5. HOT LINE: Copies of Earnest Money Checks?
6. HAPPENINGS – This Week and Next
7. 30-Year Rate Hovers Around 4
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. Getting Our Financial Houses In Order

‘Tis the season to be merry AND smart! Hopefully, in the new year we’ll all renew our resolutions to plan for success …and work our plans!

An important part of our planning should be getting our financial houses in order for the new year and beyond! To address this need, Dirk Zeller recently published a useful and readable article (“Four Rules For Your Financial Future”) on RealtyTimes.com:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
According to the Social Security Administration, statistics indicate that, out of a randomly selected one thousand people from age twenty-five to age sixty-five:

  • 190 would have died – 19%
  • 150 would have incomes over $30,000 – 15%
  • 660 would have incomes less than $30,000 – 66%

Let’s look at these numbers. There are more people who have deceased than are earning something even close to a decent quality of life. Of the people still alive, 66% exist on less than $30,000 per year. My question is which group do you want to be in? Which group are you heading for based on your financial plan, investment choices, and savings plan?
*** END QUOTE ***

To read his article in its entirety, go to:
http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20111125_rules.htm

[SOURCE: Realty Times]


2. Foreclosures Suspended During Holidays

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced that they will put a hold on foreclosures between Dec. 19 and Jan. 2, although legal and administration proceedings for evictions will continue as usual. Bank of America, Chase, and Wells Fargo also have said that they will temporarily halt foreclosures during the holiday period.

[SOURCES: Central Coast News; Information, Inc.]


3. New GRI Program in 2012!

As previously announced, there are exciting changes coming in the 2012 GRI program — new courses, as well as greater flexibility in earning the GRI designation!

BUT …THREE things won’t change:

  • GRI remains the ONLY nationally-recognized professional designation that you don’t have to pay annual dues to keep! In these financially-challenging times, that’s important!
  • The GRI program provides the most comprehensive training available for anyone in residential real estate, with our courses designed even for those with several years in the business!
  • You can take all of the courses in the classroom OR by distance-learning (interacting with both an Instructor and other students) OR by mixing and matching courses, taking some one way and some another, to fit your schedule and needs!

To learn more about the GRI Program in 2012, go to:
http://tnrealtors.com/main/education/gri_in_2012/


4. HOT LINE: Clients To Be Given a New Agent?

QUESTION: We released an agent from our company yesterday. Her listings stayed at our office, and we practice designated agency. What is required to change the designated agent for the contracts?

ANSWER: This would be done through an amendment to the listing agreements. Simply state that the designated for the seller is now _______. You will also need a new confirmation of agency status form with the new designated agent.

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


5. HOT LINE: Copies of Earnest Money Checks?

QUESTION: I am told that agents in our market want copies of the earnest money check, even when the monies are not being held in that firm’s escrow account. Is there any reason that the firm NOT in possession of the earnest money should retain a copy of the check in their files? Does TREC require this?

ANSWER: There is not a specific rule, per se. However, TREC Rule 1260-2-.09(3) states that “Brokers are responsible at all times for deposits and earnest money accepted by them or their affiliate brokers, in accordance with the terms of the contract.” It would be advisable for a broker to make a copy of the check for their files and note when they forwarded the check to the other broker who is designated to hold the funds under the contract. Some TREC auditors could even interpret this rule as requiring it.

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


6. HAPPENINGS – This Week and Next

Dec. 6: NAR Ethics Course (3 hrs. CE) – CAR Office, Clarksville. For more information or to register, call 931-552-3567.

Dec. 6: Professional Standards Procedures Training (3 hrs. CE) – CAR Office, Clarksville. For more information or to register, call 931-552-3567.

Dec. 7: Agency in Tennessee (4 hrs. CE) – CAR Office, Clarksville. For more information or to register, call 931-552-3567.

Dec. 7: Leadership Conference for Local Associations Presidents and Presidents-elect – TAR Office, Nashville.

Dec. 12: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – MTAR Office, Murfreesboro. For more information or to register, call 615-893-2242.

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: http://www.maar.org

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

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: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/

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!


7. 30-Year Rate Hovers Around 4

Freddie Mac data show that 30-year fixed mortgages have averaged 4 percent or lower for the past five weeks. The latest survey puts the benchmark at 4 percent even, while interest on 15-year fixed loans came in at 3.3 percent. Initial interest on adjustable-rate mortgages, meanwhile, have fallen to record lows, according to the mortgage finance giant.

[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 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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