The 4-30-13 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. HOT LINE: Agent “Filling In” for Another on Vacation?
3. HOT LINE: Inspection Report Passed Along to Someone Else?
4. HOT LINE: Referral Fee Wasn’t Paid?

ALERT: The TAR website ( will be taken OFFLINE this coming Sunday evening, May 5, at 10:00PM for several hours. If you need to access the forms area or any other part of the website, please do so prior to that time!

1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

April 30: Candidate School Training Academy – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to apply:

May 8-10: GRI Express! Sign up for GRI 401, 403, and 405 to be held in Memphis as a three-day package and save $55! To do so, go to: …OR you can register for any of the three individually by using the links that follow….

May 8: GRI 401, Doing the Right Thing (8 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register:

May 9: GRI 403, Working More Effectively With Buyers (8 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register:

May 10: GRI 405, Mastering Forms & Contracts (8 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. For more information or to register:

May 16 – June 5: GRI 405, Mastering Forms & Contracts (8 hrs. CE) – An E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register:

2. HOT LINE: Agent “Filling In” for Another on Vacation?

QUESTION: Are there written guidelines for Realtors when they are on vacation and have another Realtor “filling in” for them on contracts, etc.?

ANSWER: There are not any general guidelines for agents concerning how to handle their customers/clients when they are “unavailable” for any reason. If your office practices designated agency as many offices do, then the managing broker should appoint a different designated agent temporarily until the original agent returns. If your office practices traditional agency, then either the broker or the agent can have another agent assist them in their absence …since, under traditional (NON-designated) agency, all of the agents in the office would already be representatives of that seller or buyer client. Your office’s agency policy should dictate how you handle this situation.

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

3. HOT LINE: Inspection Report Passed Along to Someone Else?

QUESTION: I represented a buyer on a transaction. When my buyer had the home inspection done, they found that the center beam was cracked. My buyer backed out of the contract. Another buyer put a contract on the same property and the seller’s agent gave a copy of my buyer’s inspection report to the new prospective buyer without my buyer’s permission. How should I handle this situation?

ANSWER: The inspection report belongs to the buyer who purchased it. It cannot be disseminated to third parties without the permission of the buyer (and possibly the home inspector). Furthermore, TAR’s Purchase and Sale Agreement states that…

“In further consideration of Buyer’s right to legally, properly and in good faith invoke a right to terminate this Agreement pursuant to any specific Buyer contingency as stated herein, Buyer agrees, upon Seller’s request, to provide Seller or Seller’s representative with copies of any supporting documentation which supports Buyer’s right to exercise said contingency, the sufficiency and adequacy of said additional consideration being acknowledged. Any such supporting documents shall be provided for Seller’s benefit only and Seller shall not disseminate the same to third parties. However, Buyer shall not be required to provide any documents to Seller in violation of any confidentiality agreement or copyright protection laws, if applicable.” (Lines 360-366).

In addition, the home inspector may also limit to whom the report may be given. If your buyer has questions about their rights in this situation, they should speak with their own legal counsel.

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

4. HOT LINE: Referral Fee Wasn’t Paid?

QUESTION: I gave a referral to an agent at another company and they accepted it. Now that the property has closed, the other firm is refusing to pay the referral fee. What are my options?

ANSWER: Your principal broker may file a request for arbitration on this matter. Article 17 of the Code of Ethics states:

“In the event of contractual disputes or specific non-contractual disputes as defined in Standard of Practice 17-4 between REALTORS (principals) associated with different firms, arising out of their relationship as REALTORS, the REALTORS shall mediate the dispute if the Board requires its members to mediate. If the dispute is not resolved through mediation, or if mediation is not required, REALTORS shall submit the dispute to arbitration in accordance with the policies of their Board rather than litigate the matter.

…The obligation to participate in mediation or arbitration contemplated by this Article includes the obligation of REALTORS (principals) to cause their firms to mediate or arbitrate and be bound by any resulting agreement or award. (Amended 1/12)”

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


What will buyers pay EXTRA for? Using data from NAR, a recent USA Today article identifies eleven features. Eight of them and how much extra buyers, on average, would pay for them are:

  • Central air conditioning: $2,520
  • New kitchen appliances: $1,840
  • Walk-in closet in master bedroom: $1,350
  • Granite countertops: $1,620
  • Hardwood floors: $2,080
  • Ensuite master bath: $2,030
  • Kitchen island: $1,370
  • Stainless steel appliances: $1,850

VERY low rates available for homebuyers! 15-year rates hit a new record low last week (2.61%), while 30-year rates (3.40%) were near their all-time low as well!

Need to identify your own market niche? Trainer Amy Chorew posted a way to do so last week – “Defining Your Marketing Niche in Three Simple Steps”!

You could win up to $500! 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:

SUN, SAND, SELL!!! Register now for the 2013 TAR Annual Convention in Destin, Florida, and enjoy great education, a beautiful beach, wonderful events, area golf, and a chance to network with other Realtors across Tennessee! With the revival of a healthy real estate market in so many areas, this whould be the PERFECT WAY to reward your own hard work this year! For more information or to register, go to:

This money-saving offer ends tomorrow, April 30! If anyone is attending Inman’s Real Estate Connect 2013 Conference in San Francisco (July 10-12, 2013), Tennessee Association of Realtors members can save an additional $100 off the published rate by using this link:


To access current and past TAR DIGESTS:

Follow TAR on Twitter at:

TAR’s LinkedIn page:

TAR’s page on Facebook:

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question:

For CE classroom courses around the state, go to:

For online CE courses, go to:

Tennessee Real Estate Commission:

To check your CE credits on file with TREC, go to: