The 6-5-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


TAR EVENTS – THIS WEEK & NEXT:
June 6: TREEF Conference Call Meeting
June 7: TAR Executive Committee Conference Call Meeting
June 7-8: Leadership TAR Retreat at the TAR Office
To see a calendar of courses around the state, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/realtor-courses/

HOT LINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. HOT LINE: Confusing Offers of Cooperation?
2. HOT LINE: Keeping Utilities On For Inspections?
3. HOT LINE: Countering a Full-Price Offer?

IN OTHER NEWS:
4. 2012 Convention Info Is Online!
5. Mortgage Bankers Lower Their Forecast
6. Hispanic Homebuyers on the Rise
7. Tenant Threatens Agent With Gun!
8. Your Email Inbox Is Not a Filing Cabinet
9. Mortgage Rates Fall to ANOTHER New Low
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: Confusing Offers of Cooperation?

QUESTION: Lately, I’ve seen several MLS listings that offer one cooperative offer of compensation for Buyer’s Agent, and a MUCH HIGHER offer of compensation for Facilitators! What’s going on here? If I represent a prospective buyer as the buyer’s agent and encountered one of these, why wouldn’t I simply default to facilitator with my buyer’s consent and collect a higher commission?

ANSWER: MLS entries like this are most likely the result of a failure by the listing agent to understand agency law.

The listing agent most likely thinks that ANY licensee bringing a buyer would be the “buyer’s agent,” and that the only time a facilitator would be involved is if the listing agent himself/herself defaulted to facilitator in order to work with an unrepresented buyer, thereby collecting both the listing agent’s and selling agent’s commissions.

What the listing agent (making these illogical offers of compensation) fails to understand is that ANY licensee bringing a buyer to the transaction might be doing so as a facilitator and would therefore be eligible for the higher rate of compensation offered! In fact, no licensee in Tennessee would legally be a “buyer’s agent” unless that licensee had a signed buyer agency agreement – and not just a disclosure form – with his/her buyer-client.

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


2. HOT LINE: Keeping Utilities On For Inspections?

QUESTION: Is there anything in the rules, etc. that sets forth the responsibility of the seller with regard to having the electricity and utilities on for the home inspection and/or appraisal?

ANSWER: There is nothing by law which requires a home to have electricity and utilities on during an inspection. This is typically addressed in the contract to purchase. TAR has included this type of language within its Purchase and Sale Agreement. Lines 221-223 state “Seller shall cause all utility services and any pool, spa, and similar items to be operational so that Buyer may complete all inspections and tests under this Agreement.

This is one more reason to use TAR forms.

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


3. HOT LINE: Countering a Full-Price Offer?

QUESTION: After a buyer makes a full price offer on a property, can the seller counteroffer at a higher price than the listing price?

ANSWER: As long as it’s not done for a discriminatory (or other illegal) reason, a seller can certainly counter a full price offer requesting a higher price. They should, of course, understand the risks involved in doing so.

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


4. 2012 Convention Info Is Online!

If you’ve visited the newly-designed TAR website, hopefully you’ve already found information about our upcoming 2012 Annual Convention, September 19-22, in Kingsport, TN!

Our theme this year is “Race To Excellence”, and we couldn’t have picked a more attractive setting than the beautiful mountains surrounding the Tri-Cities area. For those who don’t want to travel out-of-state for Conventions, this year is YOUR CHANCE to enjoy an outstanding lineup of speakers and events in the Volunteer State!

Speakers includes such names as David Knox and Jerry Rossi, and education sessions are designed around the need to get your businesses in shape for recovery!

To learn more and/or to register online, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/convention/


5. Mortgage Bankers Lower Their Forecast

Record low mortgage rates simply aren’t producing significant gains in mortgage applications for home purchases, down 3.9 percent below last year’s level. As a result, last week the Mortgage Bankers Association lowered its 2012 estimate for home sales. They still expect sales to exceed 2011 levels, but by less than one percent. To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Real Estate Economy Watch]


6. Hispanic Homebuyers on the Rise

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
According to national housing surveys, despite worries over jobs and the economy, [Hispanic buyers] are more eager to become homeowners for both emotional and financial reasons.Though only 32 percent of all Americans consider owning a home a symbol of success, 56 percent of Hispanics believe that it is. Additionally, 68 percent of Hispanics versus 57 percent of all Americans are more likely to think purchasing a home is a sound economic decision. And 73 percent of Hispanics compared to 57 percent of all Americans feel that home ownership is a good path to building family wealth for future generations.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Forbes.com]


7. Tenant Threatens Agent With Gun!

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
A real estate agent says she was showing a four-unit apartment house in Pinellas County, Fla., to a customer when the tenant threatened her at gunpoint as they walked out the front door.

Sherry Lowrey says the tenant “started waving [the gun] at me [and] said to get out of here and that I was never coming back. Then he pointed [the gun] at me.”
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: REALTOR Mag Online]


8. Your Email Inbox Is Not a Filing Cabinet

This is a tech tip for everyone (including your friendly Editor)!

A recent posting by Dave Caolo on the popular blog Unclutterer – “Your email inbox is not a filing cabinet” – hit home with some useful tips for getting your email inbox under control. Some of the advice is just plain common sense if we had to self-discipline to use it (!), but if you have an inbox that isn’t emptied regularly, you should read THIS.

[SOURCE: Unclutterer]


9. Mortgage Rates Fall to ANOTHER New Low

Last week, Average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages fell to yet ANOTHER new low, 3.75 percent, once again the lowest level since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s, according to Freddie Mac! [After last week’s jobs report, they fell even further, to 3.625%!]

Also, 15-year rates fell last week to an unprecedented 2.97 percent, breaking the 3.0% barrier

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, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/services-support/legal-ethics-hotline/