The 6-25-13 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. HOT LINE: Agent Liability for Buyer’s Actions?
3. HOT LINE: Renegotiating the Commission in the Offer?
4. HOT LINE ALERT: Good E & O News!
5. Nashville, Memphis Recognized by NAR
6. Mortgage Rates on the Rise
7. Success Principles Worth Studying!
8. A Quick & Easy Guide to Dropbox
9. Instagram Adds Video Sharing
10. A Convention You Should Attend!
11. USEFUL LINKS


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

Online CE Course Promotion for June: Enroll in any online CE Shop courses during the month of June and save 20%! Enter JUNE20 at checkout to receive your discount. Enroll at: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/

GRI Courses start up again in August and September! To see the full year’s schedule, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/


2. HOT LINE: Agent Liability for Buyer’s Actions?

QUESTION: Is an agent liable for their buyer’s actions? If an agent is aware that their buyer, an investor, is bidding on a foreclosure that clearly states, “Owner occupied bids only” and lets his buyer-client, the investor, sign the Owner Occupied document stating that he/she will live in the home, is the agent liable? I’ve come across investors buying properties as owner-occupied several times in the last few months. I think most have been represented by an agent or are themselves, agents.

ANSWER: Yes, they could indeed be liable for “going along” with a client’s untruthful statements if they know that they are false. There have been incidents in which a real estate agent has gotten into trouble for assisting their clients commit mortgage fraud. In many transactions, the real estate agent must sign documentation stating that all information presented is true and that there are no side agreements. If the agent signs this and it is later discovered that the agent knew that the information (i.e., owner occupied statement) was not true, the agent could potentially be in serious trouble. If you have a client that you know is doing something illegal, then it is best to terminate the client relationship immediately.

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


3. HOT LINE: Renegotiating the Commission in the Offer?

QUESTION: Can an agent put terms in the contract which state that compensation must be divided equally between the listing company and selling company, when that was not the commission arrangement offered in the MLS?

ANSWER: Not according to the Realtor Code of Ethics. Cooperative commissions should be established PRIOR to an offer being submitted. The NAR Code of Ethics has several standards of practice which address this situation. See especially the last sentence in Standard of Practice 3-1: “Terms of compensation, if any, shall be ascertained by cooperating brokers before beginning efforts to accept the offer of cooperation.” Also see Standard of Practice 16-16 which states:

“Realtors, acting as subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers, shall not use the terms of an offer to purchase/lease to attempt to modify the listing broker’s offer of compensation to subagents or buyer/tenant representatives or brokers nor make the submission of an executed offer to purchase/lease contingent on the listing broker’s agreement to modify the offer of compensation.”

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


4. HOT LINE ALERT: Good E & O News!

A week ago, we published an alert in the TAR DIGEST (http://www.tardigest.com/6-18-13-tar-digest/) about the Real Estate Commission’s stricter policies on suspending licenses for anyone without E & O insurance.

Then last week, the Real Estate Commission issued some GOOD news about the Real Estate Commission’s E & O group policy that many licensees in TN purchase in order to comply with TN law. It sounds as if owner/agents selling their primary residences will now have coverage of these transactions! In addition, there is an endorsement that they can purchase if they are in the investment business for coverage of those sales if they follow certain guidelines. HOWEVER, there is still no coverage if the agent or their spouse is the builder of the homes!

Details will appear in the next TN Real Estate Commission News Journal, TREC’s online newsletter.

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


5. Nashville, Memphis Recognized by NAR

For several years, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) has awarded Smart Growth grants to various local and state associations of Realtors around the country, for local projects to make their communities nicer places in which to live and work. NAR recently produced a video to showcase this program, and chose projects undertaken by the Greater Nashville Association of Realtors and the Memphis Area Association of Realtors as 2 of the 3 projects covered in this 4-minute video! Congratulations, Nashville & Memphis!

You can watch it online at: http://speakingofrealestate.blogs.realtor.org/2013/06/17/how-communities-become-nicer-places-to-live/


6. Mortgage Rates on the Rise

Rate reports differ slightly, but almost all reports show mortgage rates rising. Bankrate.com, which averages current rates offered by various institutions, puts the 30-year rate at approximately 4.25%, considerably above the record lows of a few months ago …but still at VERY affordable levels. NAR reportedly sees rates rising to about 5% by early 2014.


7. Success Principles Worth Studying!

Leighton Dees, CEO at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Generations, posted an article recently (“Top 4 Real Estate Success Principles that Every Agent Must Follow”) that is frankly one of the best summaries of what it takes to be successful that we’ve seen anywhere. The article, posted to a BH&G Blog, is not long but is full of nuggets worth thinking hard about …and applying to your personal business: http://bhgrealestateblog.com/2013/03/28/top-4-real-estate-success-principles-that-every-agent-must-follow/


8. A Quick & Easy Guide to Dropbox

If you’ve been in a seminar or seen a TV commercial about “working in the Cloud”, but you aren’t quite sure you understand what this means or how it could benefit you, read this.

Perhaps the most popular and proven tool out there – for using the Cloud as a place to keep and share files – is Dropbox. On Lifehack, a website specializing in reviews of tools to make life easier or more manageable, a new article (“Everything you need to know about Dropbox”) lives up to its title, including a link to a 7-minute online video to show you how to use this really effective tool. Several members of the TAR staff have been using Dropbox for years and can attest to its usefulness! The article can be found at: http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/everything-you-need-know-about-dropbox.html


9. Instagram Adds Video Sharing

From RealtorMag Online:

Company officials with Instagram, a popular Facebook-owned photo sharing service with more than 130 million users, announced that it will now include video sharing capabilities.

…Real estate professionals have become big users of Instagram. “The real estate community has had a colorful presence among the photos in the Instagram community, many of whom create large followings, close deals, lead generate and connect with other local residents,” Inman News reports. “From listing photos, community landmarks and hot spots, the creative filters give agents a social edge, and can even show off their creative branding with their followers, creating a visual brand.”

To read more: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2013/06/21/instagram-adds-video-sharing-feature


10. A Convention You Should Attend!

Register for the 2013 TAR Annual Convention (Sept. 18-20) in Destin, Florida and enjoy great education featuring a selection of national speakers, as well as a beautiful beach, wonderful events, area golf, and a chance to network with other Tennessee Realtors! Learn how to be more productive and successful in a beautiful setting!

With the revival of a healthy real estate market, this whould be the PERFECT WAY to reward your own hard work this year! For more information or to register, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/convention/


11. 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