The 10-23-12 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


UPCOMING TAR EVENTS:
Nov. 1-2 – Nashville: The Learning-Centered Instructor Workshop (16 hrs. CE) – a two day instructor-development workshop at the TAR Office, Nashville. For more info, CLICK HERE.

Nov. 21 – Knoxville: Tips, Tools, & Technologies for Your Business (GRI 406, 8 hrs. CE). For more info, CLICK HERE.

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: Interference with an Agency Agreement?
2. HOT LINE: Former Agent Left Sign Up?

IN OTHER NEWS:
3. TREC Issues New Policy re: Electronic Records!
4. Multi-Generational Households Part of the Future
5. Just in Time for Halloween…
6. Foreclosures Lowest in Five Years
7. NEW Online CE Course Offerings!
8. Rates Inch Lower Again …to 3.37
9. To Ask a Hot Line Question
10. Still Time To Save on Online CE!

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: Interference with an Agency Agreement?

QUESTION: I have a buyer’s rep agreement with a client. Another agent showed her a property, and now states that I cannot represent my client, only receive a referral fee. Is this correct?

ANSWER: First, if you have a buyer’s rep agreement with this buyer, then you can go after the other agent for interference with a contract which is a violation of the Broker’s Act, TREC Rules, and the Code of Ethics.

If an agent attempts to have your client terminate their relationship with you and sign a listing agreement with them, then they may be in violation of the Broker’s Act. Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(10), an agent can be punished for “Inducing any party to a contract, sale or lease to break such contract for the purpose of substitution in lieu thereof a new contract, where such substitution is malicious or is motivated by the personal gain of the licensee.” You could also have a lawsuit which you could file. We would recommend speaking with your attorney concerning this issue.

Also, if the individuals contacting your clients are Realtors, then they may be in violation of Article 16 of the NAR Code of Ethics which states “Realtors shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation agreements that other Realtors have with clients.” Furthermore, Standard of Practice 16-5 states in pertinent part, “Realtors shall not solicit buyer/tenant agreements from buyers/tenants who are subject to exclusive buyer/tenant agreements.” Also, Standard of Practice 16-13 states in part: “All dealings concerning property exclusively listed, or with buyer/tenants who are subject to an exclusive agreement shall be carried on with the client’s representative or broker, and not with the client, except with the consent of the client’s representative or broker or except where such dealings are initiated by the client.”

Your firm may also have a legal cause of action against them. This would be something your broker should discuss with the firm’s legal counsel.

Finally, there may be a procuring cause claim. We cannot determine who is the procuring cause of a transaction as that is a decision to be made by the local board after the property is closed. You can request the local board to hold a hearing once the closing has occurred if there is a dispute between the two firms. Another option may be to have the principal brokers involved come to an agreement for a split of the commission. This is because a procuring cause hearing is usually an all or nothing situation.

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


2. HOT LINE: Former Agent Left Sign Up?

QUESTION: If a listing has been expired for a week, and the agent that had the listing has not removed their signs from the property, can the new listing company take those signs down? The signs in question were not taken away, but put together for the agent to get when they found time to visit the property again. I was told it was against the Code of Ethics to do this. I was further told it was against the Code of Ethics to retrieve the seller’s key from the lockbox, as per seller’s instructions once the listing had expired. I would like clarification please.

ANSWER: We are not aware of this being a problem. As long as you have permission of the seller to take the signs down and to remove the key, then this is permissible. We would recommend that you contact the agent to let them know where they may pick up their sign. This should soothe any ruffled feathers. If the agent gives you a problem, that agent could themselves be facing a Code of Ethics violation because they have left their sign in a yard which they no longer have listed. This is false advertising. Secondly, they no longer have the seller’s permission to have their sign in that seller’s yard.

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


3. TREC Issues New Policy re: Electronic Records!

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Pursuant to T.C.A. 62-13-312(b)(6), real estate licensees must preserve records relating to any real estate transaction for three (3) years following the consummation of said real estate transaction. Real estate licensees may utilize electronic recordkeeping methods and comply with this requirement provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. All documents required to be maintained must be readily accessible in an organized format providing ease in document identification within twenty-four (24) hours of any request for inspection by representatives of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC).
  2. In order to ensure proper document retention, the principal broker of all real estate firms which use electronic recordkeeping methods must develop and utilize a retention schedule which safeguards the security, authenticity, and accuracy of the records for the entire required retention period and which also provides for the use of technology and hardware which ensures the accessibility of records in a readable format.

ADOPTED BY THE COMMISSION ON OCTOBER 12, 2012
*** END QUOTE ***

[SOURCE: TREC]


4. Multi-Generational Households Part of the Future

Multi-generational households are likely to proliferate in coming years, if a new PulteGroup survey is any indication. Of more than a thousand homeowners polled, nearly a third anticipate having adult offspring or aging parents eventually living under the same roof. About one in seven, meanwhile, say that is already the case for them. Home builders are responding with new floor plans and features. “We’re looking at housing now for usable space,” explains PulteGroup’s chief marketing officer, Deborah Wahl Meyer. “How do we make it practical?” One way, she says, is by eliminating showy living rooms and formal dining areas that are used only on occasion. Instead, builders are incorporating such designs as multiple master suites on different levels to accommodate adults relatives and open, multifunctional space off the kitchen where kids can do homeowners and parents can pay bills.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: USA Today]


5. Just in Time for Halloween…

Based on a Realtor.com poll, nearly a third of prospective home buyers would not rule out buying a “haunted house” or a property where some sort of paranormal activity is said to have to occurred. However, 29 percent of those house-hunters said they would expect a discount of at least 20 percent for stigmatized property. Warm or cold spots in a house, possibly from a supernatural source, are deal-breakers for 62 percent of those polled. Strange noises and/or voices, flickering lights or appliances, eerie sensations, ghost sightings, and levitating objects are other occurrences that are likely to put a buyer off from going through with a deal. About 35 percent of those surveyed, meanwhile, signaled that they would not even consider buying a haunted house in the first place. At the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, 2 percent of poll participants said they would pay a premium for a haunted property.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Housing Wire]


6. Foreclosures Lowest in Five Years

Good news…

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
U.S. foreclosures are down for the second consecutive month, reaching a five-year low.

According to RealtyTrac, there were 180,427 foreclosure filings across the country in September, down 7 percent from the previous month. That’s 16 percent lower than last September and the lowest number of filings nationally since July 2007.

Real Estate Center Research Economist Dr. Jim Gaines noted that the drop was driven primarily by declines in several large non-judicial foreclosure states, including California, Georgia, Texas, Arizona and Michigan.
*** END QUOTE ***

[SOURCE: RECON, Newsletter of the Texas A&M Real Estate Research Center]


7. NEW Online CE Course Offerings!

NEW!!! REALTOR University – NAR’s online education provider – features several online courses, all of which can be pursued for either a designation or certification — including GRI Elective credit — and a number of them are approved for CE in Tennessee! To take any of the following REALTOR University courses for CE Credit, CLICK HERE.

  • At Home With Diversity [8 hrs. CE] …ABR & GRI Elective
  • BPOs: The Agent’s Role in the Valuation Process [8 hrs. CE] …ABR & GRI Elective
  • e-PRO Certification Program Day 1-2 Bundle [14 hrs. CE] …ABR & GRI Elective, e-Pro Core Course
  • e-PRO Certification Program Day 2 only [7 hrs. CE] …ABR & GRI Elective, part of e-Pro Core Course when Day 1 is taken in the classroom
  • Real Estate Marketing Reboot [6 hrs. CE] …ABR & GRI Elective
  • RPR: Real-Time Data, Market Knowledge, Informed Consumers [3 hrs. CE] …ABR & GRI Elective
  • Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) [12 hrs. CE] …ABR & GRI Elective, SRES Core Course

To access these and other online CE courses, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/online-courses/


8. Rates Inch Lower Again …to 3.37

Last week, average interest on 30-year fixed mortgages according to Freddie Mac moved slightly lower to 3.37 percent, near record lows, with an average 0.7 point.

And 15-year rates also moved slightly downward to 2.66 percent, with an average 0.6 point.

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


9. 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/


10. Still Time To Save on Online CE!

Give yourself a TREAT! Enroll in any online CE courses offered by The CE Shop this month, and take 15% off your order! You have up to 12 months to complete any courses you begin this month.

This includes the online version of the current 2011-2012 Core Course.

Enter TREAT at checkout to receive your discount.

To see available courses, log onto: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/