The 8-21-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


UPCOMING TAR COURSES & EVENTS:
Aug. 20: DEADLINE for Hotel Reservations for TAR Convention!
Aug. 23: TAR Budget and Finance Committee – TAR Office, Nashville.
Aug. 24: TAR Executive Committee – TAR Office, Nashville.
Aug. 30: DEADLINE for 2013 TAR Committee Requests!
Aug. 31: DEADLINE for Advance Registrations for TAR Convention!

To see a complete calendar of CE courses around the state, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/realtor-courses/

HOT LINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. HOT LINE: Countering One of Several Offers?
2. HOT LINE: A Question About Steering?
3. HOT LINE: A Team Handling Both Buyer and Seller?

IN OTHER NEWS:
4. TAR Convention Reminders!
5. Good News: Delinquency Rates Decline
6. Inspiring “Buzz” Through Word-of-Mouth
7. TECH TIP: Four Options for Sharing Files
8. More Adult Kids Living At Home
9. Rates Inch Up, But Very 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: Countering One of Several Offers?

QUESTION: I have three offers on a listing and we would like to counter one at this time. Do I need to notify the other two or reject the other two offers prior to countering this one?

ANSWER: If the buyer is rejecting the other two offers to focus on one, then you need to ask them to document this on the offers. Pursuant to the last sentence of TREC Rule 1260-2-.08: “In the event an offer is rejected, the broker or affiliate broker shall request the seller to note the rejection on the offer and return the same to the offeror or the offeror’s agent.”

Another option would be to discuss this with the seller and see if they would like to ask for highest and best offer. All interested buyers are then invited to submit their highest and best offer for consideration by the seller by a particular date and time. At that given time, the seller reviews all offers and selects one.

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


2. HOT LINE: A Question About Steering?

QUESTION: I have a gay couple that wants me to find them a house. They want to be in an area where they will be accepted. I know there are laws against steering. How should I handle this?

ANSWER: You cannot steer them toward a “gay friendly” neighborhood. This is in violation of the Code of Ethics. Pursuant to Article 10 of the Realtor Code of Ethics:

“Realtors shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation. Realtors shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, national origin, or sexual orientation.”

Therefore, you should advise the buyers to research each area for themselves.

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


3. HOT LINE: A Team Handling Both Buyer and Seller?

QUESTION: We have a team in the office. One team member has the seller and another has a buyer. Can one team member be a designated agent for the seller and the other be a designated agent for the buyer, or do they both have to default to facilitator?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, there are not any guidelines concerning teams in any rules or statutes set forth by TREC. Therefore, the team should generally follow the guidelines set forth for individual agents. A team is therefore viewed as ONE agent working on behalf of a buyer or seller.

In a designated agency situation, the team (and all its agents) is named as the designated agent for a buyer OR seller. This means that ALL of the members of that team are the designated agent for that client. They would then all have the same legal responsibilities to that client under the Broker’s Act (specifically see Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-404). Therefore, it is our opinion that ALL of the members of that team are required to sign the listing agreement, buyer’s representation agreement and confirmation of agency status. In addition, if one agent defaults, they all default. Otherwise there is a dual agency situation.

Another important thing to remember with teams is that it is very likely that the knowledge of one team member will be imputed to ALL team members; in other words, what one agent knows, they all know. This is especially true if the team shares files. It is not necessary that all of the members of the team are present at a showing, but remember: what one knows, they all know.

When advertising, it is also important that the advertisement contain the name and telephone number of the firm. If the team name is included, then it should be obvious that this team is NOT another real estate company, but rather is a team within the licensed firm.

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


4. TAR Convention Reminders!

Hotel reservations MUST be made at the Meadowview Resort – site of the 2012 Convention – by August 20! As this issue goes to press, that means TODAY! After today, our room block WILL be released, and another group using the hotel has already indicated that they will use any rooms not taken by today!

To make your room reservation in the TAR block of rooms, call (423) 578-6550 and ask for the “TAR group rate”.

To see what’s in store for you at the Convention, David Knox – one of our featured speakers – created an engaging video just for TAR members, as a short preview of what members can expect at the Convention!

To watch it online, CLICK HERE.

For more information on the Convention: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/convention/


5. Good News: Delinquency Rates Decline

Fewer U.S. consumers fell behind on their home loan and credit card payments in the second quarter, reports TransUnion. The rate of borrowers 60 days or more past due on their mortgages slipped to 5.49 percent from 5.78 percent in the previous three-month period. TransUnion expects mortgage delinquencies to continue to fall for the rest of the year as the economy slowly improves. To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal]


6. Inspiring “Buzz” Through Word-of-Mouth

In order to generate favorable word-of-mouth results, practitioners must be interesting and unique. It is important that they earn public trust and respect, make people feel good, and be real. The goal when interacting with clients is to create a memorable experience that will encourage them to tell their friends about the agent.

One creative way to achieve that experience is to throw a small gathering at the listing, where neighbors can say their goodbyes to the sellers and welcome the new owners. Another way to instill goodwill in clients is to circulate a VIP appointment memo to the office receptionist and sales manager so that clients are greeted by name when they come in for an appointment and told that they are working with one of the firm’s top associates.

One Realtor in Birmingham, Ala., meanwhile, uses the 3-10-30 follow-up system. Sandra Nichols contacts clients three days after closing to answer questions and see how the unpacking is progressing; 10 days after closing to see if they have encountered any problems; and 30 days after closing to ask how she can better the clients’ experience during their next property deal.

To read more of Gee Dunsten’s article on this topic on RISMedia, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: RISMedia]


7. TECH TIP: Four Options for Sharing Files

If you work with an assistant, a partner, or a team with whom you need to share files OR you work on multiple computers/devices and would like to access some working files regardless of which device you’re on at the time, then keeping some files accessible in the “cloud” is a must. There are now several different good options for doing so; Dropbox is just one of them!

Walt Mossberg, Technology Editor for the Wall Street Journal, has recently written a very good evaluation of four different options – Dropbox, SugarSync, Sky Drive, and Google Drive – after testing each of them. His article (“Many Devices, Many Files and Four Ways to Share Them”) can be found online HERE.

[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal]


8. More Adult Kids Living At Home

A report by Ohio State University sociology professor shows that the number of young U.S. adults between the ages of 20 and 34 living with their parents rose to 24 percent during the recent recession in 2007-2009 from 17 percent in 1980. The jump was even bigger — to 43 percent from 32 percent — among those under 25. The trend can be attributed to a 12 percent unemployment rate among young adults, high student debt levels, delayed marriage, and divorce.

While the percentage of young adults with graduate degrees who live with their parents held steady at 8 percent, the report indicates a gain to 29 percent in 2009 from 18 percent in 1980 among young adults with only a high school diploma living at home. While some live with their parents for financial reasons, Sally Koslow, author of “Slouching Toward Adulthood: Observations From the Not-So-Empty Nest,” says lifestyle reasons also play a role. “They don’t have to pay and have access to a full refrigerator,” she points out. To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: USA Today]


9. Rates Inch Up, But Very Low

Last week, average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages according to Freddie Mac inched up again to 3.62 percent (with an average 0.6 point), the third week in a row that they’ve risen, but still very low!

And 15-year rates remained low at 2.88 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/