The 3-6-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


CONTENTS
1. Spring Conference DEADLINES!
2. REALTORS Upbeat About Prices
3. What Are You Selling?
4. Rates Hold Near Record Lows
5. HOT LINE: Buyer Unhappy WIth His/Her Representation?
6. HOT LINE: Adjusting Sales Price To Cover Closing Costs?
7. Upcoming Courses!
8. TransactionDesk Special Offered


1. Spring Conference DEADLINES!

As we go to press today (Monday, March 5), the deadline is TODAY for hotel reservations at the TAR Spring Conference (March 26-27)!

And this coming Monday, March 12, is the deadline for registrations for the TAR Spring Conference at the Early-Bird rate of $75! [The rate goes up by $50 after March 12!]

REMEMBER: There is NO on-site registration for the Spring Conference. We’re at the Cool Springs Marriott again this year, and the 2012 Spring Conference offers a great education program!! TEN hours of education in all! This is traditionally our largest meeting of the year.

For links to BOTH register for the Conference AND make your hotel reservations, or just for more information, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/main/meetings/spring_conference/


2. REALTORS Upbeat About Prices

The 4,000-plus National Association of REALTORS members polled for NAR’s latest confidence index are generally upbeat about the market’s outlook for this year, with about 67 percent predicting price gains. Industry optimism was improved in the single-family, townhouse, and condominium sectors, building on a upward trend that took root in the 2011 third quarter. In another positive development, agents participating in the survey reported a slight fall in the median time on the market. An estimated 47 percent of listings have been up for sale for no more than three months, and only 12 percent have been listed for longer than one year.

It can’t come soon enough. A recent CoreLogic report shows that 27.8 percent of all homeowners were near or at a “negative equity position” (i.e., underwater) at the end of 2011 …compared to 27.1 percent in the prior quarter.

[SOURCES: UPI; REAL Trends; Information, Inc.]


3. Generating Buzz

In last week’s Real Estate Roundabout by Mary Umberger, an Inman News compilation of various news items and interesting tidbits, three ideas for “generating buzz” were covered – including one featuring a Knoxville company! To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Inman News]


4. Rates Hold Near Record Lows

Fixed mortgage interest declined slightly this past week to remain near record low levels, reports Freddie Mac. The 30-year fixed rate averaged 3.9 percent for the week ended March 1, down from 3.95 percent a week earlier; and rates on 15-year fixed loans fell to 3.17 percent, down from a 3.19 percent average the prior week. Five-year hybrid adjustable-rate mortgages rose, meanwhile, moving up to an average 2.83 percent from 2.8 percent the previous week.

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.]


5. HOT LINE: Buyer Unhappy WIth His/Her Representation?

QUESTION: We have a buyer under contract in a development, for whom we are building a custom home. The buyer was represented by an agent at the time of contract in June 2011. Now the home is almost complete, and the buyer has advised us that he is not happy with the representation he has received from his agent and wants to change agents. The original agent refuses to agree to this, however, the buyer wants us to change their agent of record and not pay a commission to the original agent. Can we do this on the direction of the buyer and exclude the original agent from the transaction and his commission due?

ANSWER: NO. First, you cannot interfere with the buyer’s agency agreement with the other company. You could be facing interference with a contract claims with both TREC and the local association. If the buyer has questions concerning this issue, they should speak with their own legal counsel.

Secondly, if the commission to the buyer’s agent is based upon the cooperative compensation by the listing company, then whether the agent is compensated is NOT up to the buyer. This is a matter between the real estate firms involved.  If there is a dispute as to whether a commission is to be paid and to whom, then it is a matter which would be determined by the local association in an arbitration, if a request for arbitration is filed by one of the firms. Note that procuring cause is determined by the local association only after the property is closed. You can request the local association to have a hearing once the closing has occurred if there is a dispute between the two firms. Another option may be to have the principal brokers involved come to an agreement for a split of the commission. This is because a procuring cause hearing is often an all-or-nothing situation. The important thing is that neither agent should jeopardize the transaction due to a commission dispute!

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


6. HOT LINE: Adjusting Sales Price To Cover Closing Costs?

QUESTION: With regard to the seller paying closing costs, can you raise the sales price in order to accommodate these costs?

ANSWER: This is permitted as long as the lender will approve it. The problem may be that the property will not appraise for the higher amount. If not, then the lender would likely not approve it. In addition, the lender will likely only allow the seller to pay a certain percentage of the sales price as closing costs.

It is important to note that the agent should not adjust the price in the MLS on an executed contract!

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


7. Upcoming Courses

March 6: GRI 406, Tips, Tools & Technologies for Your Business (8 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go to: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=cvvdh

March 7: GRI 401, Doing the Right Thing (8 hrs. CE) – TAR office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go to: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=cyzxz

March 7: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – RCAR Office, Cleveland. For more information or to register, call 423-476-5912.

March 8 – April 11: GRI 405 Plus, From Offer to Contract to Closing (16 hrs. CE) – An E-Class (distance-learning) course. For more information or to register, go to: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=chvsx

March 8-9: The Learning-Centered Instructor (16 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. This is our 2-day instructor-training program. For more information or to register, go to: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=cnjrp

March 8: BPO Course – ABR Elective (6 hrs. CE) – EMTAR Office, Mt. Juliet. For more information or to register, go to: http://www.emtar.com/BrokersPriceOpinion.htm

March 12-13: ABR Course (16 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, go to: http://www.maar.org/maarcalendar

March 12: Agency in Tennessee (4 hrs. CE) – Hampton Inn, Paris, TN. For more information or to register, call the TVAR Office at: 731-336-7844

March 12: Contracts 101 (4 hrs. CE) – Hampton Inn, Paris, TN. For more information or to register, call the TVAR Office at: 731-336-7844

March 13: 2011-2012 Residential Core Course (6 hrs. CE) – Hampton Inn, Paris, TN. For more information or to register, call the TVAR Office at: 731-336-7844

March 13: Professional Standards Training Session (3 hrs. CE) – Hampton Inn, Paris, TN. For more information or to register, call the TVAR Office at: 731-336-7844

March 14: Effective Negotiating for R. E. Professionals (8 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register, go to: http://www.maar.org/maarcalendar

March 15: Professional Standards Training Session (3 hrs. CE) – NETAR Office, Gray, TN. For more information or to register, go to: http://netartn.org

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

For information on the NEW Master GRI designation, download the Application Form at: http://tnrealtors.com/files/pdf/Master_GRI_Application.pdf

NOTE: E-Class GRI courses are NOT webinars and they are NOT “online” courses in the way that most people think of online courses. How do E-Class courses work? Go to: http://tnrealtors.com/main/education/e-class_gri_info/

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


8. TransactionDesk Special Offered

An all-inclusive “TransactionDesk Special” is now available to all TAR members. A one-year subscription at $59 will get you:

  • UNLIMITED document space (DocBox)
  • UNLIMITED digital signatures (Authentisign)
  • UNLIMITED Faxing (In and Out)…

That’s a $130 savings! To show you how to get it, there’s a screencast presented by TAR’s Buzz Steele that you can view online at: http://www.screencast.com/t/a6ztV5dI

Also… for those attending the Spring Conference, there’s a newly-scheduled TransactionDesk TEASER session on “Digital Signatures” and “Broker File Management” presented by Joe Kazzoun, VP Business and Product Development for InstanetSolutions. Seated will be limited to the first 150.


NOTE TO READERS: To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question, go HERE.