The 10-8-13 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. HOT LINE: A “Withdrawn” Listing?
3. HOT LINE: Contacting Another Realtor’s Client?
4. HOT LINE: Buyer Wishes To Remain Anonymous?
5. NAR on the Government Shutdown
6. Brokers: What’s Your Mobile Strategy?
7. NOW ..for a refreshing change!
8. Older Americans on the Move
9. USEFUL LINKS


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

Our last three GRI Courses of 2013 are coming up:

Oct. 24 – Nov. 13: GRI 405, Mastering Forms & Contracts (8 hrs. CE) – An E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=bzmpf

Nov. 14 – Dec. 4: GRI 406, Tips, Tools & Technologies (8 hrs. CE) – An E-Class distance-learning course. For more information or to register: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=bzmpd

Dec. 6: GRI 406, Tips, Tools, & Technologies (8 hrs. CE) – KAAR Office, Knoxville. For more information or to register: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=dxycf

To see upcoming offerings of TREC CORE COURSES, ABR COURSES, etc., – at locations around the state – go to the TAR Course calendar at: http://tnrealtors.com/education/realtor-courses/


2. HOT LINE: A “Withdrawn” Listing?

QUESTION: The owner of a listing that is shown in the MLS as “withdrawn” would like for me to list his property. I had the owner speak with the previous agent to make sure they had it shown as withdrawn; the previous agent said it “pretty much was withdrawn”. What other steps can I take to make sure that, if I list the property and get it sold, the previous agent cannot come back and try to get a commission on the sale?”

ANSWER: “Withdrawn from the MLS” is NOT the same as the listing being terminated.

A listing agreement is a written contract which establishes an agency relationship between a seller and a real estate company. In order to terminate this contract, it requires a termination and release in writing and signed by all parties to the listing agreement. It should terminate the contract and release both sides from the obligations under the original listing agreement. Until this is completed, the listing agreement will continue in place until its natural termination. TAR does provide a form which will effectively terminate the listing. This is form F82. This form will allow you to place limitations on agreeing to release the listing such as a carry-over period or a termination fee. However, if the seller lists the property with another agent during the carry over period, the obligation to pay a commission is terminated. Another possibility would be to require a referral fee if the seller sells the property to that particular buyer. This should be done in the release agreement.

Since the question arises as to whether the listing is still active or merely withdrawn from the MLS, you could contact the other company to see if the seller is still subject to the listing agreement. If they are, then you can ONLY advise the seller that they will need to conclude their business with the other firm and/or contact their own attorney. You cannot advise the seller as to the steps necessary to terminate the listing agreement. This could subject you to a claim for interference with a contract which could result in complaints before the Real Estate Commission, the local board or in court!

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


3. HOT LINE: Contacting Another Realtor’s Client?

QUESTION: I represent a seller and I’ve been working with a buyer’s agent. The agent requested my permission to speak with my client, which I allowed twice. I have since discovered that the buyer’s agent contacted my client numerous times, both before and after closing. Does this constitute grounds for a complaint?

ANSWER: We’ve dealt with this issue before. If the agent is a Realtor, he is only permitted to contact someone who is represented by another agent under very limited circumstances. Article 16 of the NAR Code of Ethics states “Realtors shall not engage in any practice or take any action inconsistent with exclusive representation agreements that other Realtors have with clients.”

Furthermore, Standard of Practice 16-13 states in part, “All dealings concerning property exclusively listed, or with buyers/tenants who are subject to an exclusive agreement shall be carried on with the client’s representative or broker, and not with the client, except with the consent of the client’s representative or broker or except where such dealings are initiated by the client.” If the agent is a Realtor and you feel that he has violated the Code of Ethics, you are free to file a complaint with the local association if you wish.

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


4. HOT LINE: Buyer Wishes To Remain Anonymous?

QUESTION: I have a buyer that wants to remain anonymous on a contract. How should I handle this?

ANSWER: We are not aware of any law prohibiting a buyer from submitting an offer in which they remain undisclosed. You would simply put undisclosed in the buyer’s position. However, please bear in mind that this is qualified by the fact that if the buyer is a real estate agent, then this must be disclosed. Additionally, you are not permitted to mislead the seller. For example, if the seller asks whether the buyer is X or a particular company and it is, you cannot tell the seller that it is not.

Also, please bear in mind that if the seller has placed restrictions on who they will sell the property to and the undisclosed buyer is, in fact, a member of the restricted group, you cannot submit the offer. This would be misleading. You are also obligated to honor the requests of your client, the buyer. If he or she wishes to remain anonymous, then you must keep that confidence.

Finally, the seller is not required to accept the offer with the undisclosed buyer based on the fact that the buyer is anonymous. However, once the seller has agreed, the buyer should sign the contract in order to make it binding upon that buyer and the seller be provided a copy of said fully executed contract.

Another option would be to establish a trust to purchase the property. However, the property would then be in the name of the trust. There may be some benefits to this if the buyer does not wish to be disclosed at all.

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


5. NAR on the Government Shutdown

The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has released their analysis of how the current government shutdown will or won’t affect various programs (“What a Government Shutdown Means for Realtors”). To access NAR’s analysis, go to: http://www.realtor.org/articles/government-shutdown-updates

You can also download a PDF summary of their analysis HERE.


6. Brokers: What’s Your Mobile Strategy?

Last week, Tracey Velt posted a new article on the REAL Trends Blog (“Brokers: What’s Your Mobile Strategy?”) that makes some really useful suggestions for evaluating what you’re now doing and updating your marketing approaches to make them mobile-friendly.

This is especially pertinent since NAR’s latest research on home buyers and sellers showed that “100 percent of consumers use the Internet to search for property and that 89 percent of new home shoppers use a mobile search engine throughout the home search.”

To read her posting: http://realtrends.com/blog/brokers-whats-your-mobile-strategy


7. NOW ..for a refreshing change!

In my weekly scan of real estate news around the web, I almost always enjoy whatever Realtor Teresa Boardman (St. Paul, Minnesota) has written for Inman News.

Her latest article (“I’m hardly in the office. I have no brand. My website is neglected. I’m on track for my best year ever.”) is no exception!

As she says, “I am having one of the best years I have ever had selling real estate. It may even be the best ever, but I don’t know because it isn’t over yet and the business just keeps coming.” She then proceeds to list that things she did NOT do to generate this influx of business, as well as the things that she DID do.

Agree or not, it’s worth reading! To do so, go to: http://www.inman.com/2013/10/03/im-hardly-in-the-office-i-have-no-brand-my-website-is-neglected-im-on-track-for-my-best-year-ever/


8. Older Americans on the Move

The Wall Street Journal reports that the number of Americans making interstate moves rose to its highest level in four years, according to new data from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The share of Americans aged 35 to 44 moving between states has risen for two straight years, while the rate for Americans 18 to 34 fell in 2012.

Preliminary data for 2013, based on a separate Census survey, indicates that the share of people aged 35 to 54 who made either long-distance or local moves between March 2012 and March 2013 rose to 9.9 percent from 9.5 percent, while the figure edged down for people 18 to 34, according to an analysis of the data by Trulia chief economist Jed Kolko. The numbers indicate that more middle-age and older Americans are benefiting from the recovery and the rally in stock and real estate prices.

To read more, click HERE.


9. 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