The 5-22-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


TAR EVENTS – THIS WEEK & NEXT:
May 24: GRI 406, Tips, Tools & Technologies for Your Business (8 hrs. CE) – MTAR Office, Murfreesboro.
May 28: Memorial Day – TAR Office Closed.
For more courses & events: http://tnrealtors.com/calendar/index.php

HOT LINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. HOT LINE: Personal Items To Be Sold With Property?
2. HOT LINE: Listing Expired But Contract Is Pending?
3. HOT LINE: Do Listings Go with the Agent?

IN OTHER NEWS:
4. High School Rankings Are Published
5. 15,000 REALTORS Make a Statement
6. Truthful Representations Are a Must!
7. Learning From The Nordstrom Way
8. Strangest Real Estate Story of the Week
9. Mortgage Rates Fall to New Lows
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!


1. HOT LINE: Personal Items To Be Sold With Property?

QUESTION: My seller has been asked to credit the repairs that came up at inspection in order to close quickly. We were thinking of offering a substantial credit, plus offer some furniture that the buyer is interested in purchasing, for further compensation of the repairs. Is this legal to do? Do I need to show the furniture in the contract, or just do a side contact for the sale of the furniture for $1?

ANSWER: The issue will be what the actual lender (NOT the mortgage broker) will permit. Typically a lender will not allow the buyer to receive cash at closing from the seller. Therefore, you will need to find out what the lender will permit. One idea is to have the buyer select contractors and/or companies which will provide the goods and/or services and have them be paid directly at closing.

We would not recommend including the sale of personal items in the contract itself. We recommend using form F25, Personal Property Agreement. On that form, the buyer agrees to pay a fair market value for the personal property. The important thing to take into account is that, if the loan is to pay for the personal items, they will likely be included in the appraisal. Therefore, the property may not appraise. This has become a problem of late. Therefore, any purchase of personal property should be a separate transaction from the purchase of the real estate.

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


2. HOT LINE: Listing Expired But Contract Is Pending?

QUESTION: If a listing expires and there is a contingency offer in place (contingent on the Buyer’s home selling, but they have no contract on their home at the moment), can the sellers put their home on the market with another firm, knowing the existing contract, due to close on a future date, is still valid with the other firm until that date?

ANSWER: This will depend upon the wording of the original listing agreement. Often, the listing will continue with an agent until any pending contract is completed (either closed or expires).

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


3. HOT LINE: Do Listings Go with the Agent?

QUESTION: We have a lender with whom we have been working on foreclosures. The agent that has handled most of the recent listings has allegedly been signing the listing agreements. She and the lender are under the impression that she can take these agreements with her when she leaves the firm if the bank requests so. Is this legal/ethical? I thought listing agreements were with the firm and not a specific broker/agent.

ANSWER: Any listings, contracts, or buyer’s representation agreements belong to the firm, NOT the individual agent. If an affiliate broker leaves the company, then he/she may only take the listings, contracts and/or buyer’s rep agreements with them if they have the permission of the principal broker to do so. Pursuant to TREC Rule 1260-2-.02(3), “When a licensee terminates his affiliation with a firm, he shall neither take nor use any property listings secured through the firm, unless specifically authorized by the principal broker.”

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


4. High School Rankings Are Published

U.S. News & World Report has released its annual ranking of the top public high schools in the nation. Coming in at No. 49 nationally and No. 1 in Tennessee was Nashville’s Hume-Fogg Academic Magnet High School. Ranked No. 80 nationally was Martin Luther King Academic Magnet, which was the statewide runner-up.

A full list of the Tennessee schools evaluated can be found at: http://www.usnews.com/education/best-high-schools/tennessee/rankings

[SOURCE: Nashville Post]


5. 15,000 REALTORS Make a Statement

This past Thursday, an estimated 15,000 Realtors converged on the grounds of the Washington Monument in DC to make their voices heard on behalf of homeowners, real estate investors, and those who aspire to homeownership! AND over 14,000 additional Realtors joined “virtually” through the rally website: http://tools.realtoractioncenter.com/virtualmap/

At the Rally to Protect the American Dream, Realtors from every state in the country — including Tennessee Realtors! — joined invited members of Congress to demonstrate their commitment to preserving access to homeownership and robust real estate investment.


6. Truthful Representations Are a Must!

At the NAR Midyear Conference last week, the national Directors approved an expansion of Standard of Practice 12-10 that deals with the mandate to use the Internet truthfully and responsibly. Following is the Standard of Practice as amended:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
REALTORS’ obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes Internet content posted, and the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits REALTORS from:

1) engaging in deceptive and unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites;

2) manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing and other content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result;

3) deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic; or

4) presenting content developed by others without either attribution or without permission, or

5) to otherwise mislead consumers.
*** END QUOTE ***

[SOURCE: NAR]


7. Learning From The Nordstrom Way

According to Realty Times columnist Julie Escobar, real estate agents would be wise to read The Nordstrom Way,” taking a cue from the retailer that customer service be the foundation and culture for their business.

These days, consumers are turning to agents who are willing to do more — not just in terms of service offerings but also with regard to experience, connection, and communication. From Nordstrom, agents can learn to “value the nobility of good service,” which means commissions should take a back seat to the customer’s needs, wants, and experiences. Agents also should bond with customers, meaning that they should not bad-mouth clients but should listen to them, be respectful, and act in their best interests. Finally, agents should have stellar follow-up skills in order to create loyal, repeat customers, which might involve hand-written thank you notes and social media interaction, among other practices.

To read more, go to: http://realtytimes.com/rtpages/20120514_nordstrom.htm

To pick up the book from Amazon, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Realty Times]


8. Strangest Real Estate Story of the Week

Make that the most gruesome story:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
A 63-year-old Tokyo man was arrested Friday after chopping off the left arm of an Utsunomiya real estate agency head with a samurai sword and seriously wounding two others.

Hifumi Kuwada was arrested in the alleged attempted murder of Katsumi Jitsukata, 65, president of Daikyo Home, and two employees, wielding a sword with a 70-cm blade. Kuwada has confessed, police said. The two employees …sustained severe stomach wounds and were taken to a hospital, they said. The sword was found at the real estate office.

Kuwada, from the Tokyo suburb of Fuchu, told police he runs a construction business. Police suspect the attack was business-related and plan to investigate further.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go to: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/text/nn20120519a9.html

[SOURCE: Japan Times]


9. Mortgage Rates Fall to New Lows

Last week, Average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to 3.79 percent, the lowest level since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s, according to Freddie Mac!

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

To see THDA rates and programs, go to: http://tn-tennesseehda.civicplus.com/index.aspx?NID=8


10. To Ask a Hot Line Question…

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