The 9-11-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

Sept. 12: GRI 405, Mastering Forms & Contracts (8 hrs. CE) – EMTAR Office, Mt. Juliet.
Sept. 13: GRI 402, Staying in Business & Out of Court (8 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville.
Sept. 13 – Oct. 17: GRI 405 Plus, From Offer to Contract to Closing (16 hrs. CE) – An E-Class distance-learning course.
Sept. 14: GRI 402, Staying in Business & Out of Court (8 hrs. CE) – RCAR Office, Cleveland.
Sept. 19-21: TAR Annual Convention, Kingsport, TN! [You can still register on-site to attend!]

To see a complete calendar of CE courses around the state, go to:

1. HOT LINE: Door Left Unlocked After Showing?
2. HOT LINE: No Termination Date?
3. HOT LINE: An Inquiry About Other Offers?

4. Title Problems That Can Kill a Closing
5. Thought Leaders Surveyed on Real Estate’s Future
6. Sixteen Ways to Keep Your Seller Happy!
7. The Drug Called Negativity
8. TAR Offers Instructor Training Opportunity
9. Rates, Days on Market Move Lower
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 to access the current issue with “live” links!

1. HOT LINE: Door Left Unlocked After Showing?

QUESTION: If an agent shows a home and leaves the door unlocked and the home is vandalized or something is taken, is the agent responsible for the damages?

ANSWER: Yes, it is possible that the agent could be responsible. The agent should speak with their own attorney in order to determine any possible liability under the specific circumstances of their particular situation.

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

2. HOT LINE: No Termination Date?

QUESTION: I have a listing, received an offer on this listing, and presented it to the seller. The seller countered back to the buyer, but did not hear anything. Is there a set amount of time for the buyer to respond to a counteroffer?

ANSWER: Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(9), an agent can be disciplined for “Using or promoting the use of any real estate listing agreement form, real estate sales contract for, or offer to purchase real estate form which fails to specify a definite termination date.

Therefore, there will have to be a termination date. The TAR Counteroffer form has an offer termination date on lines 31-32.

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

3. HOT LINE: An Inquiry About Other Offers?

QUESTION: I have a multiple offer situation, and I sent out the forms to the three (3) buyer’s agents. I got a response back from one, with the following question: “Who are the other offers from?” I responded that “we have multiple offers and I am not authorized by my seller (bank) to divulge that information.” I then received an email asking: “Is the other offer from within your firm?” I then responded that is was with a cooperating broker. Then I got another email asking, “So, it is from another firm?” It is my understanding that a cooperating broker would be another firm. Am I correct?

ANSWER: The Standard of Practice applicable in this situation is Standard of Practice 1-15:

Realtors, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, Realtors shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.
*** END QUOTE ***

Yes, a cooperating broker is one from another office.

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

4. Title Problems That Can Kill a Closing

A clear title is necessary for a successful real estate closing, but there are a couple of title problems that can derail transactions.

A closing can fall apart, for example, if there is a break in the chain of title — which occurs when a deed showing the transfer from one party to another is missing and needs to be tracked down and recorded or when a deed was recorded improperly or with the wrong information. Although an affidavit from the people involved can remedy such problems, it becomes a bigger challenge when the problem occurred years ago and the parties are deceased or otherwise unavailable. Such a situation requires a “quiet title” action that calls on the court to determine who actually is the current owner, and the transaction can proceed only if the seller is found to be vested in the title.

Another problem involves encroachments on the property, which can be resolved by removing the offending structures and erecting a fence on the legal border. However, if part of the structure overlaps, the integrity of the house could be jeopardized by removal, requiring the owners to bring an “adverse possession” claim before the court that would enable them to claim legal title to the land because the encroachment occurred over an extended time period. For such a claim to be approved, the encroachment must have been obvious to all and not opposed by the owner of the property being encroached. Agents can minimize the impact of title problems by performing due diligence and a title search early on.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCES: RealtyBizNews; Information, Inc.]

5. Thought Leaders Surveyed on Real Estate’s Future

According to the Imprev Thought Leader Survey of the top real estate brokerage executives (nationally), more than 80 percent of respondents are more confident about the nation’s housing market now than they were at the start of 2012; and more than 67 percent are confident that the market will continue to improve during the next 12 months.

Asked to cite the biggest factors affecting the market right now, 80 percent named the absence of job creation, 55.4 percent pointed to threats to the mortgage interest deduction, and 53.8 percent blamed underwater mortgage borrowers. Only 53.8 percent of the executives polled were “confident” or “highly confident” that the overall U.S. economy would continue to improve during the next 12 months, and 85.2 percent were less confident about the global economy than in January.

These survey results seem to indicate that the “Thought Leaders” are more confident in the continued recovery of the real estate market than they are about the economy as a whole!

To read more, CLICK HERE.


6. Sixteen Ways to Keep Your Seller Happy!

We have heard SO many Realtors comment on how much harder it’s been in this economy to keep either buyers or sellers happy through the transaction!

In a new article on Realty Times (“Sixteen Ways to Keep Your Seller Happy”), Jennifer Allan offers a laundry list of ways to keep your seller-clients less likely to complain! She gives various concerte suggestions on how to communicate with and “educate” your seller-clients more effectively. Even if only a few of them are ones that you can use, they are well worth reading. to do so, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Realty Times]

7. The Drug Called Negativity

Realtor Dave Robison posted a good reminder (at NAR’s YPN Lounge) as to why maintaining a positive attitude about others is important to our own well-being and success! As he notes, “Talking negatively about other people is like taking cocaine. It becomes addicting, and before you know it, your business suffers.”

To read the entire post, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: NAR’s YPN Lounge]

8. TAR Offers Instructor Training Opportunity!

On October 17-18 at the TAR Office in Nashville, we are offering our popular two-day instructor-training program – The Learning-Centered Instructor!

Anyone may attend our instructor-training workshops. They are recommended for anyone handling in-house training for their company, teaching Local Association Orientation, teaching Continuing Education classes for their Local Association, OR teaching prelicensing classes. They have been used successfully by the Tennessee, Arizona, Missouri and other State Associations to train real estate instructors for greater impact in the classroom! This workshop also offers participants 16 hours of CE credit.

To learn more:

To register online, CLICK HERE.

9. Rates, Days on Market Move Lower

Last week, average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages according to Freddie Mac retreated to 3.55 percent, down from 3.59 percent a week earlier!

And 15-year rates remained low at 2.86 percent!

ALSO, NAR statistics show median days on market is down 29.6 percent from a year ago, from 98 days in July 2011 to 69 days in July 2012.

To see current mortgage rates, go to:

To see THDA rates and programs, go to:

10. To Ask a Hot Line Question…

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question, go to: