The 1-10-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Reconsidering Short Sales
2. Low Rates Likely to Continue in 2012
3. Last Week To Apply for Leadership TAR
4. HOT LINE: Can Prop. Mgmt. Company Collect Mortgage Payments?
5. HOT LINE: Instrument Number?
6. 2012 E-Class GRI Schedule Finalized
7. HAPPENINGS – This Week and Next
8. Record-Low Rates Again
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. Reconsidering Short Sales

There are numerous predictions that short sales (and foreclosures) will likely represent a significant share of the market for the foreseeable future.

That’s why a recent article by real estate educator and speaker Gee Dunsten (“The Real Estate Educator: Given up on Short Sales? Why You Need to Reconsider”) is so pertinent! His point? Getting up to speed on short sales is in your best interest:

First, the facts still speak for themselves. Distressed properties account for approximately 30 percent of the U.S. residential real estate market. While the percentage of homes actually underwater is 15.8 percent, 49 percent of today’s homeowners believe their home is underwater. And an estimated two million homes are currently in the foreclosure pipeline.

Second, and extremely important to note, is the fact that lenders are finally realizing that short sales are really the lesser evil. Loan modifications are few and far between–not because the lender doesn’t want to accommodate them, but because most of these loans have been packaged and sold three or four times over. The rate of return is so small that it’s just not worth it. And, of course, foreclosure is the ultimate fail for the lender.

Third, there is increased pressure on lenders to start moving short sales through the pipeline coming directly from Washington.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read the entire article, go to:


2. Low Rates Likely to Continue in 2012

Housing experts believe that high unemployment and continued home price depreciation in many areas will keep many would-be buyers on the sidelines in 2012. “Remarkably low rates are not enough” to entice buyers worried about the “lack of equity in their properties, poor credit and a weak job market,” notes Michael Fratantoni of the Mortgage Bankers Association. Still, those rates will remain historically low this year, according to Freddie Mac, which predicts that interest on 30-year mortgages will average 4.5 percent for the year before rising to 5.4 percent in 2013.

[SOURCES: Los Angeles Times; Information, Inc.]

3. Last Week To Apply for Leadership TAR

The deadline for applications is JANUARY 15.

We encourage every TAR member to consider applying for Leadership TAR this year — whether you currently hold an elective office in your local association of REALTORS OR you’ve simply thought about it but haven’t done much about those thoughts before now!

Dates for the three Leadership TAR Retreats are: April 19-20, June 7-8, and August 2-3.

Recognizing the financial pressures on everyone, meals at all three retreats are now included as part of the tuition …AND tuition for the program is not due until March of 2012, after the 2012 Class has been accepted!

To learn more, go to:

4. HOT LINE: Can Prop. Mgmt. Company Collect Mortgage Payments?

QUESTION: For a property that is owner-financed, is it legal for a property management company to “collect” the mortgage payment and deduct its fees and/or commission for that service?

ANSWER: We would NOT recommend doing this. Under the new federal and state laws, there are strict rules concerning who can collect mortgage payments. Generally one has to have a license to do so. Where it is permissible for a real estate agent to collect rent and withhold their commission, the same is not true for collection of mortgage payments and withholding commission. The best method is to have the seller collect the mortgage payments and then cut you a check in which you are paid your commission.

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

5. HOT LINE: Instrument Number?

QUESTION: On the new Purchase and Sale Agreement, line 9, there is a blank for an instrument number. What is an instrument number?

ANSWER: Some counties have gone to instrument numbers as a way of identifying property rather than or in addition to book and page numbers. Since these forms are used by members throughout Tennessee, this information was added. If it does not apply to your area, simply put “n/a” in that blank.

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

6. 2012 E-Class GRI Schedule Finalized

The complete 2012 schedule of our E-Class GRI Courses has been finalized and will be posted on the TAR Website this week!

Our popular distance-learning GRI courses — featuring both an instructor-coach and interaction with other students — are each 5 weeks long. These are NOT “online” courses in the sense that most people think of online courses!

Many REALTORS have found these to be a flexible alternative to classroom courses, and each E-Class course gives 16 hours of CE credit.

If they wish, students can meet some of their GRI requirements in the classroom, and others through E-class courses …or they can complete all of their requirements either way. The choice is yours!

How do E-Class courses work? See the description at:

To see how these courses relate to the 8-hour classroom GRI courses, go to:

7. HAPPENINGS – This Week and Next

Jan. 10: 2011-2012 Commercial Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – GCAR Office, Chattanooga. For more information or to register, call 423-698-8001.

Jan. 12: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go to:

Jan. 15: As noted above, applications for the 2012 Class of Leadership TAR are now being taken, and the application deadline is JANUARY 15. For more information, go to:

Jan. 17: Professional Standards Procedures Training (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. This is a training session for local association Prof. Standards and Grievance committee members. For more information or to register, go to:

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

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

8. Record-Low Rates Again

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate matched its all-time low during the first days of the new year, marking the fifth straight week that the benchmark has averaged under 4 percent. Freddie Mac reports that the rate settled at an average 3.91 percent for the week ended Jan. 5, down from 3.95 percent a week earlier and 4.77 percent a year earlier. The 15-year fixed rate averaged 3.23 percent, meanwhile, down from 3.24 percent a week earlier and 4.13 percent a year earlier.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]

9. Useful Internet Links

To access:

Back Issues of the TAR DIGEST:

Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS:

TAR Education:

Follow TAR on Twitter at:

TAR’s LinkedIn page:

TAR’s page on Facebook:

Online Risk Reduction Resources:

Online Resources for Association Leaders:

Tennessee Real Estate Commission: