The 4-3-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


THIS WEEK & NEXT AT TAR
April 4: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE)
April 4: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE)
April 11: GRI 405, Mastering Forms & Contracts (8 hrs. CE)

HOT LINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. HOT LINE: Does Temporary Occupancy Agreement Protect My Buyer?
2. HOT LINE: Releasing Part of Earnest Money Prior to Closing?
3. HOT LINE: Husband Owned the Property Prior to Marriage?

IN OTHER NEWS:
4. TAR DIGEST Redesigned for Quick Access
5. First Master GRI Designees in Tennessee
6. Home Demand Continues To Show Recovery
7. Major Shift In Tools & Technologies Used
8. Easter Special: TransactionDesk Offer Extended
9. Current Mortgage Rates
10. To Ask a Hot Line Question…

NOTE: If you are reading a hard-copy of this DIGEST, and want to access some of the links cited, simply go to http://www.tardigest.com to access the current issue with “live” links!

AND: To see a complete calendar of upcoming TAR courses around the state, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/calendar/index.php


1. HOT LINE: Does Temporary Occupancy Agreement Protect My Buyer?

QUESTION: With regard to the temporary occupancy agreement, we are supposed to close on a specific date, and the buyer is willing to give the seller until several weeks after that to vacate the premises. If the seller decides on or before the end of that period that they need additional time to vacate the property, does the Temporary Occupancy Agreement protect my buyer from that happening? Does my buyer have rights under this agreement to forcibly remove the seller from the premises?

ANSWER: TAR’s Temporary Occupancy Agreement does provide some protections to the buyer. First, it has a time limit within paragraph 1. Secondly, there is a penalty built into paragraph 2 if the seller stays too long. If the seller stays beyond the time frame permitted, the buyer should speak with his own legal counsel concerning the steps to take to force them from the property. There are specific steps which must be taken by law.

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


2. HOT LINE: Releasing Part of Earnest Money Prior to Closing?

QUESTION: I represent the buyer in a transaction. The closing was supposed to take place in December and we have done several extensions. The seller has requested, and the buyer has agreed, to have half of the earnest money released to the seller. Would this be legal to do prior to the closing?

ANSWER: This is permitted as long as the contract outlines exactly what is to occur. An amendment will need to be executed which outlines specifically what is to occur. You will then need to ensure that the earnest money is dispersed exactly as the contract states for audit purposes. Make sure that the contract states what occurs if the transaction does not close – in other words, whether the dispersed money is then refundable.

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


3. HOT LINE: Husband Owned the Property Prior to Marriage?

QUESTION: A husband obtains property prior to marrying his wife. Does she need to sign the listing agreement, etc., when he sells the property (even though they are now divorced)?

ANSWER: Since the parties are divorced and the property was purchased before they were married in his name only, the ex-wife will likely not be required to sign. Find out if the divorce decree established ownership of the property and whether the wife signed a quit-claim deed. If the court deemed the property to belong to the ex-husband, then the wife will likely not be required to sign, especially if she has executed a quit claim-deed. However, you may wish to speak to the title/closing attorney. They may request that the wife sign and/or to execute a quit-claim deed at or prior to closing.

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


4. TAR DIGEST Revamped

As you may have noticed, we’ve revised the TAR DIGEST somewhat to make the most frequently-requested items (such as the HOT LINES) easier and quicker to find and read! It’s still a work in progress, but we hope you like it!


5. First Master GRI Designees in Tennessee

Congratulations to REALTORS Jewell McKinney (a past TAR President) and Diane Hills from Kingsport, who became the first recipients in Tennessee of the new Master GRI designation!  They were recognized at last week’s TAR Spring Conference. To learn how YOU too can earn a Master GRI, download the application by CLICKING HERE.


6. Home Demand Continues To Show Recovery

The National Association of REALTORS’ index of pending home sales rose 9.2 percent in February from a year earlier, and the number of contracts signed to buy homes was down just 0.5 percent from January. Investor purchases of foreclosed properties continue to propel rising demand for homes. Still, home builders and realty agents say many contracts are falling through because buyers are having problems qualifying for mortgages amid tough underwriting guidelines. To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCES: NAR; Wall Street Journal]


7. Major Shift In Tools & Technologies Used

A new study from Imprev underscores real estate professionals’ changing preferences in terms of tools and technologies. The findings show that while agents’ current favorite technology is the smartphone, with 50 percent of respondents citing it as their top choice, an iPad Presentation App heads the list as the marketing tool they most desire.

The iPad Presentation App ranked first on a list of 25 different marketing products that agents said they would like to have, followed by automated eMarketing campaigns, single-property Web sites, personal blogs, and video. The Imprev research also indicates that more realty practitioners are moving away from newspaper advertising, while more than half now focus on e-mail marketing. Those that continue to place ads in print publications say they do so in order to satisfy seller expectations and/or requests. To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCES: AGBeat; Information, Inc.]


8. Easter Special: TransactionDesk Offer Extended

The $59 TransactionDesk SPECIAL, by popular demand, has been EXTENDED for ONE MORE WEEK ONLY. Get it before Easter! Sale ENDS 4/6/2012! To learn how to take advantage of this offer, watch this screencast online: http://www.screencast.com/t/a6ztV5dI

That’s how you purchase ONE annual subscription.  If you would like to purchase multiple annual subscriptions, you MUST call a toll-free number instead: 800-668-8768… select #1 option when you hear the automated message.


9. Current Mortgage Rates

To see current mortgage rates, go to: http://www.mortgagenewsdaily.com/mortgage_rates/


10. To Ask a Hot Line Question…

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question, CLICK HERE.