The 4-16-13 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. HOT LINE: Size of Company Logo In Agent’s Advertising?
3. HOT LINE: Lender Wants Copy of Home Inspection?
4. HOT LINE: An Antitrust Issue?
5. IN OTHER NEWS…
6. Get Your License To Sell!
7. USEFUL LINKS


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

April 16: GRI 402, Staying in Business & Out of Court (8 Hours CE) – GNAR, Nashville. For more information or to register: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=bxkkk

April 17: GRI 404, Working More Effectively With Sellers (8 Hours CE) – GNAR, Nashville. For more information or to register: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=btggs

April 25 – May 15: GRI 404, Working More Effectively With Sellers (8 Hours CE) – an E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=bzmbf

To see GRI Courses (both classroom and E-Class) scheduled in May and beyond, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/

The CE Shop – a TREEF Partner – is VERY pleased to announce the addition of their latest course, the Tennessee 2013-2014 Residential Core Course (6 Hours CE)! Many have been waiting for this news! To access this course and their other online CE offerings, go to: http://tarnet.theceshop.com

April 15-17 only: Enroll in The CE Shop’s online Fair Housing course for HALF OFF! Enter Promo Code FH50 at checkout to receive 50% off BREAKING BARRIERS: FAIR HOUSING. Enroll at: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/

April 20-21: Remember the upcoming 2013 REALTOR Nationwide Open House, to be this coming weekend. By participating in the largest-ever international open house campaign, you can bring value to home buyers and sellers around the world!


2. HOT LINE: Size of Company Logo In Agent’s Advertising?

QUESTION: In any advertising materials, what size should my company logo be in comparison to my name?

ANSWER: There is only one rule/statute governing the size of font in advertising. Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-310(b) states: “Licensees may not post signs on any property advertising themselves as real estate agents unless the firm’s name appears thereon in letters the same size or larger than those spelling out the name of the licensee.” We checked with the TREC attorney a while back, and TREC has been interpreting this to only apply to yard signs. Obviously, the firm name needs to be legible on other signs and/or advertising, but it is only required to be as large or larger than the licensee’s name on the yard signs. ALL advertising must have, at a minimum, the firm name and telephone number. See TREC Rule 1260-2-.12 for more guidance. Notes that rules on Internet advertising were recently expanded.

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


3. HOT LINE: Lender Wants Copy of Home Inspection?

QUESTION: If a lender requests a copy of the buyer’s home inspection, am I obligated to supply it to them?

ANSWER: In our conversation, you indicated that you represent the buyer. Since the buyer purchased the home inspection, then the buyer owns it. Therefore, the buyer should decide whether to provide their lender with a copy of the inspection. If your buyer does not want to provide it to the lender, then we would recommend advising them that this may cause issues with their lender which could cause delays and possibly denial of the loan. Nevertheless, it is their decision.

You also inquired as to whether you are required to provide the lender with a copy of the Buyer Inspection Contingency Removal/Notification and the final copy of the Repair Counter Proposal. These two documents are part of the entire contract. Since these documents could change the underlying contract and are signed by both parties, then they are part of the contract. If the lender requires a copy of the contract, then these documents should be provided. If the lender advises (in writing) that they do not need these documents, then you would not have to provide them. Failure to provide these documents could get an agent in trouble with the lender for misrepresentation.

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


4. HOT LINE: An Antitrust Issue?

QUESTION: I received a letter from a “Realtor/Appraiser” with the verbiage “I will agree to a X% Commission (with a six month contract) instead of the market standard Y%. You could potentially save thousands of dollars!” Isn’t this a violation of antitrust law? [specific commission rates cited in the original question]

ANSWER: YES, this is likely an antitrust issue and a violation of federal law. Commissions are negotiable and will vary. Agents are not to “fix” commission costs OR reference any specific rate of commission as a “standard” rate. NAR recommends that Realtors not advertise their commissions or even have pre-printed documents containing the amount of commissions they charge on them so as to avoid any antitrust allegations. To get a better understanding of antitrust issues, go to the NAR website (www.realtor.org). Then in the search function enter “antitrust“. There are MANY great articles which provide a lot of guidance on this subject.

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


5. IN OTHER NEWS…

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun was recently in Tennessee and shared three forecasts affecting the real estate market:

  • Forecast No. 1: Inflation will be notably higher by 2015
  • Forecast No. 2: Meaningfully higher home prices
  • Forecast No. 3: More unequal wealth distribution

To get more detail about each of these, go to: http://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/blog/2013/04/three-predictions-from-national.html

Meanwhile, some economist are beginning to share concerns about another housing bubble when and if inflation does kick in and interest rates move higher.

Live free in Tennessee! The Mercatus Center recently released the third edition of “Freedom in the 50 States” by Will Ruger and Jason Sorens. In this new edition, the authors score states on over 200 policy variables. The authors’ calculations are designed to measure the value of the states’ freedom for the average resident. On the overall freedom ranking, North Dakota comes in first in the nation, followed by South Dakota, TENNESSEE, New Hampshire and Oklahoma. The authors note that residents respond to the costs of freedom-reducing policies by voting with their feet!

Instructor-Training Workshop Offered! The Williamson County Association of Realtors is pleased to announce that TREEF’s Learning-Centered Instructor Training Workshop will be held at the WCAR Office in the Cool Springs area on Monday and Tuesday, May 6 & 7. The class runs from 8:30AM – 5:00PM both days, offers 16 hours of TREC credit, and costs $245 (with lunch). The instructor is Steve Champion. For more information or to register, contact Karen at the Williamson County Association: 615-771-6845


6. Get Your LICENSE TO SELL!

Do you have your License to Sell?

plate-mock

TAR is holding a contest for every REALTOR who proudly displays his or her special REALTOR “Celebrate Homeownership!” License Plate! Your assignment for this mission (i.e., contest) is to show your REALTOR pride by submitting a photo of you and your Tennessee REALTOR license plate to TAR’s Facebook page.

Show off your License to Sell on our Facebook page and you could win up to $500! Encourage your friends to vote for you and have an even better chance to win! For more retails, go to: http://goo.gl/qXt1j


7. USEFUL LINKS

To access current and past TAR DIGESTS: http://www.tardigest.com

Follow TAR on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/tnaor

TAR’s LinkedIn page: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=852077&trk=hb_side_g

TAR’s page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689

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

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/

Tennessee Real Estate Commission: http://tn.gov/regboards/trec/

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