The 7-17-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


UPCOMING TAR COURSES & EVENTS:
July 17-18: TAR Strategic Planning Retreat – TAR Office
July 19 – Aug. 22: GRI 401-402, Professionalism in Real Estate (16 hrs. CE) – A Distance-Learning Course.
July 20: Residential Forms Committee Meeting – TAR Office
July 25: GRI 406, Tips, Tools & Technologies (8 hrs. CE) – GCAR Office, Chattanooga.
To see a complete calendar of other courses around the state, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/realtor-courses/

HOT LINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. HOT LINE: Working With an Unrepresented Buyer?
2. HOT LINE: Is a Lot/Land Disclosure Required?
3. HOT LINE: Follow-Up Regarding “Nanny Cams”!

IN OTHER NEWS:
4. Aging Population Top Industry Issue
5. Housing Passes a Milestone
6. Consumers More Confident, But…
7. TECH TIP: A Nice App for Team Management
8. Register Now for the 2012 TAR Convention!
9. Mortgage Rates Set MORE Record 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: Working With an Unrepresented Buyer?

QUESTION: Can I treat the buyer as a customer and be the designated agent for the seller? In this case the buyer would not have representation. Is that legal for me to do or should I change status to facilitator?

ANSWER: If you have a listing agreement with a seller and an unrepresented buyer approaches, you have several options as to how to handle the situation. First, the buyer can simply remain unrepresented and you would remain the agent for the seller. The agency disclosure should be completed which indicates that you represent the seller. You should also make clear that the buyer is unrepresented.

Another option would be to have the principal broker assign another agent in the firm to work with the buyer IF (and only if) your firm practices designated agency.

Finally, depending upon your office agency policy, you could default to a facilitator if your listing agreement with the seller permits this. DO NOTE, however, that if you default to a facilitator, this can only be done with the permission of your seller, AND (even if the seller gave prior pemission to do this in the listing agreement) you need to go back to the seller and inform the seller that from this point forward you no longer represent the seller. [As a facilitator, you would represent nobody.]

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


2. HOT LINE: Is a Lot/Land Disclosure Required?

QUESTION: Is a Lot/Land property disclosure required under the law or optional?

ANSWER: If you have an undeveloped piece of property with no buildings on it, it would not be subject to the Residential Property Condition Disclosure Act. The law does not require that the F80 Lot/Land Seller’s Disclosure Form be completed under the Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure Act. However, we do recommend that the SELLERS complete this form as it assists in making disclosures to potential buyers. This may lessen the likelihood that a buyer could come back after the sale and claim that misrepresentation occurred.

Do have the form completed by the seller; if you assist it could open you up to liability.

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


3. HOT LINE: Follow-Up Regarding “Nanny Cams”!

Last week a question was posed concerning a seller setting up a “nanny cam” in their home.

Upon further investigation, there are laws which concern video and audiotaping individuals without their knowledge and consent. THEREFORE, we would recommend that anyone with a seller-client who proposes to do this encourage them to speak with their own legal counsel. It is permitted, but under very specific conditions. This is why it is critical that a property owner speak with their own legal counsel to ensure that they are doing so in compliance with the law!

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


4. Aging Population Top Industry Issue

An aging population will be the leading issue defining real estate for the next ten to 30 years, according to the Counselors of Real Estate (CRE).

When asked to identify the top issues that will define the industry in coming decades, the counselors listed issues with strong interrelationships and that were common across industries:

  1. Aging population
  2. Funding public employee retirement systems
  3. Student debt burdens
  4. Infrastructure funding and U.S. competitiveness
  5. Changing office and retail demand
  6. Real estate capital markets liquidity
  7. Global change and uncertainty
  8. Integration of sustainability
  9. Low cap rates
  10. Civil discord and political gridlock

“The aging of the population will broadly and dramatically affect the real estate markets from housing, retail sales, health care, and the myriad of factors that define the success of different geographic areas,” said a CRE news release. “Aging will most directly affect the demand for real estate but will have scores of less direct impacts, such as potential capital impacts, as the pensioners by the scores of millions move from being net contributors to net users of capital.”

[SOURCES: Counselors of Real Estate; RECON]


5. Housing Passes a Milestone

Reports are beginning to show that the housing market has indeed bottomed out, with most home price indexes registering gains seven years after the market collapse. Existing-home sales rose nearly 10 percent during the year-over-year period ended in May, and single-family housing starts surged 26 percent over the same span. Moreover, the resale home supply is down to almost the six-month level that generally reflects a normal market. On the other hand, experts point out that single-family starts are down 60 percent from 2002, home equity is 50 percent below the market’s peak, and 24 percent of mortgages remain underwater. Although the housing bust appears to be over, they stress that a huge shadow inventory of unsold homes remains a concern; and changes in government policy following the November elections could make lenders or buyers more wary.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCES: Wall Street Journal; Information, Inc.]


6. Consumers More Confident, But…

The latest quarterly Prudential Real Estate Outlook Survey reveals that 69 percent of Americans believe real estate is a good investment, up 6 percentage points from the first three months of the year, and 72 percent expect improvements in the housing market and in property values over the next two years. Interest rates are at historic lows; and 96 percent of respondents at least “somewhat agree” that now is a great time to buy, unchanged from the previous survey. Also, 65 percent report that financing is more challenging than before the market crisis, up from 58 percent.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

Meanwhile, Federal Reserve policymakers’ assessment of economic expansion and job growth has dimmed, but they remain split over when and even whether to take introduce more stimuli. Many economists expect the central bank to launch a new bond-buying program before year-end. However, according to the minutes from the Fed’s June policymaking meeting, there is not a great deal of support for such an effort. In all likelihood, the Fed probably will not consider any major new actions unless the economy deteriorates further.

[SOURCES: RISMedie; Washington Post; Information, Inc.]


7. TECH TIP: A Nice App for Team Management

Looking for an easy program that allows you to manage your team’s activities? Try iDoneThis. It works like this:

  • Every evening, they email each member of the team to ask, “What’d you get done today?” You stop, reflect and write about your day just by hitting “reply” to their email.
  • The next morning, they email you a digest that shows everyone’s accomplishments from yesterday to kick off your day.
  • Share gratitude, celebrate accomplishments and start a conversation with a single click in your email digest.

Log on to the web and they show you a week, month, or year’s worth of dones.

To learn more, go to https://idonethis.com/

[SOURCE: REALTrends Blog]


8. Register Now for the 2012 TAR Convention!

Our 2012 TAR Annual Convention takes place September 19-22, in Kingsport, TN, and our theme this year is “Race To Excellence”! You won’t find a more attractive setting than the beautiful mountains surrounding the Tri-Cities area. AND this is everyone’s opportunity to enjoy an outstanding lineup of national speakers and events here in the Volunteer State!

Speakers include David Knox and Jerry Rossi, as well as some new faces! Education sessions are designed 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/


9. Mortgage Rates Set MORE Record Lows!

Last week, average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages according to Freddie Mac set ANOTHER record low at 3.56 percent (with an average 0.7 point), the lowest level since long-term mortgages began in the 1950s!

Also, 15-year rates hit a record low at 2.86 percent.

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/