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


HOT LINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. HOT LINE: Is Earnest Money Required?
2. HOT LINE: Listing With No Expiration?

IN OTHER NEWS:
3. You Spoke, We’re listening
4. Tennessee’s Market Shows Improvement
5. The Code of Ethics Turns 100!
6. TAR’s YPN Group
7. “Realtor or Parrot?”
8. TAR DIGEST Website To Be Mobile-Friendly
9. Leadership TAR 2013
10. USEFUL LINKS

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: Is Earnest Money Required?

QUESTION: Is earnest money required to make contract binding?

ANSWER: Tenn. Code Ann. Section 47-50-103 states: “All contracts in writing signed by the party to be bound, or the party’s authorized agent and attorney, are prima facie evidence of a consideration.” Therefore, a written contract for the sale of real estate does NOT require earnest money for consideration of a contract in Tennessee. However, most sellers will still require earnest money before agreeing to a contract.

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


2. HOT LINE: Listing With No Expiration?

QUESTION: On the Exclusive Right to Sell agreement, can you make it where it does not have an expiration date? How would we go about doing that?

ANSWER: You can’t legally do so. 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 MUST be a termination date. However, the parties can agree to extend it as many times as they like.

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


3. You Spoke, We’re listening

THANK YOU for taking the time to repsond to our survey on the TAR DIGEST and its future direction!

The largest number of you (45%) would like us to continue publishing on a weekly basis early in the week, so that is our plan, except for occasions when staff travel doesn’t permit it.

As to the format, two-thirds of you expressed the desire for headlines coupled with a short paragraph description of each article, and links to a more complete DIGEST online. In the coming weeks, we will try to shorten or summarize articles even more and link to longer versions online, to satisfy this desire for something that folks can scan or read more quickly.

As to content, you asked that we continue the Hot Lines, include some regular Ethics cases or challenges [see below], and focus more news stories and announcements on things specific to Tennessee.

Look for these changes and improvements in the weeks ahead!


4. Tennessee’s Market Shows Improvement

News reports from at least two areas show positive growth in the real estate market. The most recent report from the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors indicated that November closings were 38% higher than a year ago, and year-to-date closings are 27% higher than in 2011. Similarly, reports from the Clarksville market – which has remained healthier than most parts of the state throughout the recession – indicate continued strength in both sales and home prices.

With interest rates on 30-year loans still near record lows at 3.34 percent, statewide markets should continue improving unless national policies or events cause a disruption.


5. The Code of Ethics Turns 100!

This past week, TAR’s Executive Committee met for their annual planning session. Among their priorities for the coming year: to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Realtor Code of Ethics!

Yes, the Realtor Code of Ethics came into being in 1913, one hundred years ago!

Many members forget that the one MAJOR difference between being a Realtor and being only a real estate licensee is that Realtors pledge to adhere to, and enforce, a comprehensive Code of Ethics!

To celebrate the Centennial of our Code of Ethics, future issues of the DIGEST will include a regular feature on the Code: either a challenging situation to unravel, or perhaps a “Did You Know?” tidbit about the Code and/or Standards of Practice. Look for it…


6. TAR’s YPN Group

A statewide YPN (Young Professionals Network) is forming, and we would love to know if YOU want to be part of it!

The Young Professionals Network is a dynamic entry point for real estate professionals striving to become more successful in their careers and gain leadership experience. To find out more, or get involved, simply go to the following address on the TAR website:
http://tnrealtors.com/2012/12/interested-in-tars-ypn-group/


7. “Realtor or Parrot?”

Last week, the Nashville Ledger ran an editorial by Nashville Realtor and TAR Executive Committee member Richard Courtney. His article (“Which works best for you, Realtor or parrot?”) makes several pointed observations:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
While it is understandable that Realtors must represent the interests of their clients to the best of their abilities, clients do not understand real estate and, for that reason, have enlisted the assistance of the real estate agent. For agents to merely parrot the words of their client is not true representation.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read all of it: http://www.nashvilleledger.com/editorial/Article.aspx?id=63041

[SOURCE: The Nashville Ledger]


8. TAR DIGEST Website To Be Mobile-Friendly

While our readers know that the TAR DIGEST comes to you by email most weeks, many readers DON’T know that the DIGEST is simultaneously published online at: http://www.tardigest.com

It’s really at the TAR DIGEST website where you can, if you wish, find a print-friendly version of the DIGEST.

Now, with the increasing use of smart phones and tablets to access online content, the TAR DIGEST website in January will become mobile-friendly and more accessible by members on the go!


9. Leadership TAR 2013

We’re taking applications for the 2013 Class of Leadership TAR!

  • Develop your own leadership skills and self-knowledge,
  • Join a growing network of leaders across Tennessee, and
  • Learn more about the issues and challenges facing the REALTOR organization and the real estate industry!

The 2013 Leadership TAR Retreat Dates are March 10-11, June 5-6, and August 14-15. All of the retreats will be held at Montgomery Bell State Park in 2013.

Any TAR member may apply for Leadership TAR! The deadline for application is JANUARY 15, 2013. A panel of Leadership TAR alumni who have served in various leadership roles at TAR will select the members of the 2013 Class from applications received. Enrollment is limited to ensure a good retreat experience for everyone.

For more information, and a downloadable application form, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/leadership-tar/


10. USEFUL LINKS

For CE classroom courses around the state, go to:
http://tnrealtors.com/education/realtor-courses/

For online CE courses, go to:
http://tnrealtors.com/education/online-courses/

To check your CE credits on file with TREC, go to:
http://verify.tn.gov

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question:
http://tnrealtors.com/services-support/legal-ethics-hotline/

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