The 2-12-13 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


HOT LINES IN THIS ISSUE:
1. HOT LINE: If Seller (Fannie Mae) Will Not Sign?
2. HOT LINE: Post-Closing Time Limits?
3. HOT LINE ADVISORY: A Questionable Contact…

IN OTHER NEWS:
4. JUST IN: A Good Report on Home Prices!
5. Thieves Targeting Open Houses
6. FHA Facing Large Losses
7. TECH TIP: A New Tool for Real Estate Pros
8. Upcoming Courses …One on Feb. 12!
9. 2013 Spring Conference Coming SOON!
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: If Seller (Fannie Mae) Will Not Sign?

QUESTION: What do we do if seller (Fannie Mae) refuses to sign TN related documents such as personal interest and a confirmation of agency?

ANSWER: The TN Real Estate Commission (TREC) has recognized that this has become an issue, especially with foreclosures involving some national lenders. Therefore, they issued TREC Policy 2012-CPS-002 which states:

“It is recognized by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission that the federal government is not bound by the provisions of the Tennessee Real Estate Broker License Act and the rules adopted by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission. It is further recognized that licensees must comply with Federal law, regulations, and/or practice despite inconsistence with state licensing law requirements when working with lenders and/or asset management companies handling the sale of properties for governmental agencies and FDIC insured institutions.”

If the seller will not execute these documents, document that you have sent these to the seller and that the seller refused to do so. If you can get something in writing from them (i.e., a fax or email), that would be best. Place this information in the file. Include the dates as well.

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


2. HOT LINE: Post-Closing Time Limits?

QUESTION: I am working on a transaction that is scheduled to close on a certain date. The contract gives the buyer certain set time limits that run past this date. Would this affect the closing date? If so, how?

ANSWER: We do not recommend that agents put time limits which are to be accomplished AFTER closing. Closing is typically the end of the contact and everything should be completed BEFORE that date. In addition, this can cause some serious issues with the lender, especially if money is involved. Therefore, if you are including clauses in the contract which are to be completed after closing, you should get approval of the lender to do so and have an attorney assist you in drafting the language. You may also need to have an agreement signed at closing that these items are to be performed after closing.

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


3. HOT LINE ADVISORY: A Questionable Contact…

Here’s the situation: You’ve just made a listing presentation to a potential seller, and you’re told that the seller is actually interviewing several possible listing agents.

Ultimately, you notice that the property has come on the market, having been listed with another Realtor, a competitor of yours. You contact the seller, asking why the seller didn’t list with you. The seller interprets your subsequent conversation as an effort to persuade them to cancel their listing with your competitor …while you claim (in an Ethics Hearing about this situation) that you were only trying to find out how you could improve your listing presentation.

Well, what do YOU think this Ethics Hearing should conclude?

HINT: The Hearing Panel didn’t buy the claim that you were only trying to improve your listing skills! To read more about this case – one of many in NAR’s official Case Interpretations – look at Case Interpretation #16-20 HERE.

The Realtor Code of Ethics turns 100 this year! Celebrate it!

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


4. JUST IN: A Good Report on Home Prices!

A growing number of metropolitan areas had higher median home prices in the fourth quarter, with the national price showing the strongest year-over-year increase in seven years, according to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors. A companion report shows record high housing affordability conditions for metro areas in 2012.

The median existing single-family home price rose in 133 out of 152 metropolitan statistical areas1 (MSAs) based on closings in the fourth quarter compared with same quarter in 2011, while 19 areas had price declines. In the third quarter 120 areas showed increases from a year earlier, while in the fourth quarter of 2011 only 29 metros were up.

Metro area data for several TN cities showed increases (or very small declines):
Memphis: Up 4.4%
Nashville: Up 5.2%
Chattanooga: Up 2.6%
Knoxville: Down .6%

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: NAR Research]


5. Thieves Targeting Open Houses

Phony home buyers are making off with prescription drugs taken during open houses, confirms the Drug Enforcement Administration, which says the meds are then making their way onto the black market.

“Stealing drugs from open houses is indeed a technique drug thieves use to obtain controlled substance prescription drugs” such as painkillers, ADHD medicines, and muscle relaxers, notes the DEA’s Barbara Carreno.

Although the article below specifically cites the San Diego area, this can happen anywhere!

To read more: http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/02/thieves-target-open-houses-for-prescription-drugs/

[SOURCE: ABC News]


6. FHA Facing Large Losses

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is facing billions of dollars in potential losses, as many home loans that it backed during the recession have gone bad. An independent audit conducted last fall showed that at its current pace, the agency would deplete its reserves and need $16 billion from the federal government to cover projected losses. It would be the first time since it was established in 1934 that the FHA has required such aid. The FHA insures lenders against losses on loans that meet its standards, charging fees to borrowers to cover any losses.

While comparisons to bailed-out mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are inevitable, the FHA never eased its standards during the housing boom. In addition, it did not insure the toxic mortgages that inflated the housing bubble. The agency backs mostly fixed-rate loans but does permit borrowers to make down payments of just 3.5 percent and has done so profitably since the 1960s. Consequently, a large number of lenders flocked to the FHA in 2008 as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac ratcheted up their standards and the private market dried up. The agency proved very important to both the housing sector and the economy at large. Moody’s Analytics economists estimate that already depreciated home prices would have plunged an additional 25 percent without the FHA.

To read more, CLICK HERE.

[SOURCE: Wall Street Journal


7. TECH TIP: A New Tool for Real Estate Pros

NorthReal Inc.’s Real.io is a FREE social media dashboard, similar to hootsuite, that is geared toward real estate practitioners. The desktop tool makes it easy for agents to engage with users on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and other social networks and features one-click snapshot reports of social campaigns, post scheduling tools, property listing marketing, open house promotions, and the Real.io Maps location-based add-on.

Additionally, Real.io Connect lets agents plug the app directly into their Web sites for expanded real-time social reporting and enhanced analytics. An iOS and Android version is in the works. According to Top Agent Resource’s Scott McBride, “The ability to create and track business relationships as it happens gives real.io big potential in the online real estate space.”

To read more: http://agbeat.com/social-media/real-io-social-media-dashboard-for-real-estate-pros/

[SOURCE: AGBeat]


8. Upcoming Courses …One on Feb. 12!

As we go to press (on 2/11), there are two course opportunities coming up …one of which is TOMORROW!

Feb. 12: Contracts 101 (4 hrs. CE) – a classroom course taught at the TAR Office in Nashville, 12:30 – 4:30PM. For more information or to register: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=bjffc

Feb. 21 – March 13: GRI 401, Doing the Right Thing (8 hrs. CE) – an E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=bzmjj

All of our GRI E-Class courses are each accredited for 8 hrs. of CE and are now only three weeks long! To learn more and take advantage of this new format, go to:
http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/
AND
http://tnrealtors.com/education/e-class-gri-information/

REMEMBER, the GRI designation is the ONLY nationally-recognized designation for Realtors that you don’t have to pay annual dues or an annual fee to keep!


9. 2013 Spring Conference Coming SOON!

March 25-26: TAR Spring Conference – Cool Springs Marriott, Franklin, TN!

This is typically our best-attended event of the year, and a SUPER educational bargain! Once again, we feature several national speakers and an assortment of VERY timely topics. 10 hours of education in all …and an opportunity to mix and mingle with Realtors from across the state!

There is NO on-site registration for this event, so you need to sign up ahead of time. You can get more info & register for this one NOW at: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/spring-conference/


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