The 1-8-13 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


The Happiest of New Years to Everyone!

HOT LINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. HOT LINE ALERT #1: Payment of Commissions at Closing
2. HOT LINE ALERT #2: “Immediate Family” Clarified

IN OTHER NEWS:
3. APPLY NOW for Leadership TAR 2013
4. Reminder About 2013 Forms Info
5. ALERT for Principal Brokers
6. Tennessee Responds to the Call!
7. TAR DIGEST Website Is Now Mobile-Friendly!
8. Howard Brinton – R.I.P.
9. 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 ALERT #1: Payment of Commissions at Closing

In recent meetings of the TN Real Estate Commission, a topic that received considerable discussion was that of agents being paid by someone other than their principal broker. There was a hearing on such an issue in November. In that instance, an agent was paid directly by the client for services rendered. The actual commission was paid in two parts at two different times. The first was paid to the firm and was split between the firm and the licensee. The second was paid directly to the agent. The agent claimed that all of the commission was to be paid to her, so she deposited it directly into her account without running it through the firm. TREC imposed the highest fine possible against the agent – $1000.

One of the Commissioners noted that this seems to be a recurring problem. The Hot Line has also had quite a few calls concerning this. It’s important for agents to understand that any function that requires a real estate license MUST be paid through the real estate company and not directly to the agent.

Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-302(a): “It is unlawful for any licensed broker to employ or compensate any person who is not a licensed broker or a licensed affiliate broker for any of the acts regulated by this chapter. A licensed nonresident broker may pay a commission to a licensed broker or another state if such nonresident broker does not conduct in this state any of the negotiations for which a commission is paid.”

In addition, Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(11) states that an agent can be disciplined for “Accepting a commission or any valuable consideration by an affiliate broker for the performance of any acts specified in this chapter, from any person, except the licensed real estate broker with whom the licensee is affiliated.”

In the past, a principal broker could instruct a closing company to pay an agent directly. This is NO LONGER PERMITTED. Agents need to be mindful that they cannot receive payment from anyone other than their principal broker for services rendered as a licensed real estate agent.

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


2. HOT LINE ALERT #2: “Immediate Family” Clarified

In TREC’s December meeting, the Commission handled a complaint in which the buyer’s agent was the buyer’s nephew. The TN Real Estate Commission is now of the opinion that a nephew must be disclosed under 62-13-403(7) – the statute that deals with the necessity of making disclosure and obtaining written consent for self-dealing or actions on behalf of the licensee’s immediate family.

Previously, the Hot Line has advised people that nephew was not a close enough relationship to constitute “immediate family”.

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


3. APPLY NOW for Leadership TAR 2013

ONLY ONE WEEK LEFT to apply for Leadership TAR!

Any TAR member may apply to be considered for the 2013 Class of Leadership TAR! The deadline for application is JANUARY 15, 2013.

  • 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 April 10-11, June 5-6, and August 14-15. All of the retreats will be held at Montgomery Bell State Park in 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/


4. Reminder About 2013 Forms Info

Recently the 2013 TAR Managing Brokers Forum was held and videotaped. It was an education session for Managing Brokers across the state that specifically examines changes to the TAR standard forms rolling out this month!. The three-part videos along with its supporting documents are NOW AVAILABLE to all TAR members. To view the 3-part video series online, go to: http://bit.ly/TrkQo1


5. ALERT for Principal Brokers

We received the following information from the TN Department of Revenue regarding Tennessee’s Professional Privilege Tax, which is due from every principal broker in the state:

All professional privilege tax returns filed on or after January 1, 2013, must be filed electronically. Professional privilege tax returns can be filed electronically either by individuals, or by companies who file and pay for multiple individuals.

The department will NOT be mailing taxpayers a Professional Privilege Tax Return for the $400 tax due June 1, 2013.

For a step-by-step guide to electronically file an individual professional privilege tax return, please visit the TN Dept of Revenue website at https://apps.tn.gov/privtx/.

If you are a company filing and paying for multiple individuals, please visit their website at https://apps.tn.gov/privbatch/.

[SOURCE: TN Dept. of Revenue]


6. Tennessee Responds to the Call!

In December, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) issued a nationwide Call for Action to “Do No Harm to Housing” in any federal budget negotiations.

Tennessee was one of 24 states and territories that achieved a 15-20% response to this Call For Action! Thanks to our members for once again solidifying our reputation as a “Volunteer State”!

[Of course 18 states achieved a rate OVER 20% …so we can do better!]


7. TAR DIGEST Website Is Now Mobile-Friendly!

The website for the TAR DIGEST is now mobile-friendly!

This means that, if — using your smartphone or any mobile device — you choose to visit the TAR DIGEST on the web at http://www.tardigest.com, you will see a version of the current TAR DIGEST that is much easier-to-read!

To see what this site will look like on your phone, simply go to http://www.tardigest.com/?am_force_theme_layout=mobile


8. Howard Brinton – R.I.P.

We note with great sadness the recent death of Howard Brinton, a longtime national speaker and instructor, who passed away at his home in Utah on December 26 after a long struggle with cancer.

Howard was a great friend of TAR, a popular member of our Tennessee GRI Faculty in the late 1980s, and subsequently a mentor to literally thousands of Realtors across the country through his Star Power programs and speaking engagements. He was unique and will be missed by many in our industry.


9. 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