The 12-17-13 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. Secrets for a Successful 2014!
3. You Can Make a Difference …PLEASE ACT
4. TREC To Require Fingerprinting, Background Checks
5. The 2014 Code of Ethics!
6. About the New .REALTOR Domain…
7. HOT LINE: Advertising for Recruits at Pre-License Courses?
8. HOT LINE: Representing Both Buyer and Seller?
9. HOT LINE: Getting a Copy of the Prior Appraisal?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“A day without laughter is a day wasted.” — Charlie Chaplin

The TAR staff and leadership hope your holidays are filled with laughter! The TAR DIGEST is taking a Christmas break, but we will return with the Jan. 7, 2014 issue!


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

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/

Our 2014 GRI Classroom Course Schedule is posted in the “Education” section of the TAR website: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/


2. Secrets for a Successful 2014!

As the TAR DIGEST takes a Christmas break, we open this last issue of 2013 with a VERY timely article (“8 Secrets for a Successful 2014”) by Chris Kiel, posted on the Real Trends blog.

As Chris writes: “Real estate sales tend to slow down around the holidays, but if your goal is to increase your brokerage’s profitability in 2014, the end of the year is vital to your team’s success. Set the scene for a prosperous 2014….”

So don’t “hibernate”! The eight tips she offers are applicable both to individuals and to teams. To read the whole article – and you should! – go to: http://realtrends.com/blog/8-secrets-for-a-successful-2014


3. You Can Make a Difference …PLEASE ACT

The National Flood Insurance Program needs to be modified to make it more affordable for Tennessee homeowners. Fewer than 10% of Tennessee Realtors responded to the first Call For Action on this issue! We CAN make a difference, but only if we answer the Call!

Don’t let Congress take a break for the year without taking action on legislation on the severe implementation problems with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and threaten to undermine real estate transactions where flood insurance is required to obtain a mortgage. Please Take Action today and tell your Member of Congress and Senators that Realtors support the “Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act” and how rate increases will hurt home sales and our economy.

Take action today by clicking HERE.

For more information on the issues involved, go to: http://www.realtor.org/topics/national-flood-insurance-program-nfip/nar-issue-brief-homeowner-flood-insurance-affordability-act


4. TREC To Require Fingerprinting, Background Checks

A new state law was passed in 2013, requiring that all NEW applicants for a real estate license – on or after January 1, 2014 – be fingerprinted, with prints provided to the Tennessee Bureau of investigation (TBI) for a criminal background check. This includes applicants for time-share licenses. All applicants are requested to use electronic fingerprint submission.

Applicants will be responsible for the costs of fingerprinting, estimated at $40-$45 per application, and – as we understand it – will ALSO be responsible for payment of the costs of the background check with the TBI.

For more information, you can read the actual legislation: http://www.tn.gov/sos/acts/108/pub/pc0420.pdf

The Electronic Fingerprint Submission instructions can be downloaded HERE.


5. The 2014 Code of Ethics!

The 2014 Code of Ethics has been posted to Realtor.org and is now available for immediate download. To do so, go HERE

Changes taking place as of January 1, 2014, include:

  • Modification of Standard of Practice 3-2 regarding changes in compensation to cooperating brokers,
  • Modification of Article 10 and its Standards of Practice regarding prohibitions against discrimination, and
  • Modification of Standard of Practice 11-1 regarding the preparation of any opinion as to property value or price.

BUT this might be a good time, after downloading the 2014 edition of the Code, to review the whole eight pages. You never know what you’ll find!

Apart from the Code, NAR’s Pathways to Professionalism would make a great topic of discussion and instruction at your next sales meeting! To review it, go to: http://www.realtor.org//code-of-ethics/pathways-to-professionalism


6. About the New .REALTOR Domain…

We understand that there’s a lot of buzz and excitement building about new domain names in the real estate industry, especially the launch of the new .REALTOR top level domain. In all the excitement, misinformation and confusion can abound. Don’t be confused!

Only members of the National Association of REALTORS (NAR) and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) can call themselves REALTORS, and only REALTORS will be allowed to use the .REALTOR domain in connection with their names and businesses. Domains will also be available to state and local REALTOR associations; association owned and operated multiple listing services; affiliated institutes, societies and councils; and other NAR-approved partners.

Act Now! Priority Registration Available First Year is FREE.

The .REALTOR domain will launch in 2014. NAR will provide the first 500,000 members who register with a FREE one-year license for one .REALTOR domain.

To ensure members have enough time to register for priority notification, the deadline has been extended until January 31, 2014. Sign-Up to receive advance email notification for priority registration of your .REALTOR domain(s) one day before the general release of the .REALTOR domain, at: http://www.SignUpForDotREALTOR.com.


7. HOT LINE: Advertising for Recruits at Pre-License Courses?

QUESTION: Would it be illegal to advertise my firm in the parking lot of a building where real estate classes are offered?

ANSWER: We would NOT recommend this. TREC Rule 1260-5-.06 states:

“(1) No course in real estate which is designed to satisfy educational requirements in T.C.A. 62-13-303 may be:

(a) conducted in a facility which is utilized for conducting business of a broker or brokerage firm; or

(b) advertised in conjunction with any advertisement for the business of a broker or brokerage firm.

(2) No broker or brokerage firm shall use or cause to be used any facility in which a course in real estate designed to satisfy education requirements established in T.C.A. 62-13-303 is conducted for the purpose of discussing, inducing, or promoting affiliation with such broker or brokerage firm.”

TREC would likely not look favorably on this. We would think that TREC would look at advertising in a parking lot the same as in a “facility” under the rule.

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


8. HOT LINE: Representing Both Buyer and Seller?

QUESTION: I have a client that asked me to sell his commercial property. No tenants are in place. I thought that, to better serve him, I should co-list with someone who is well versed in leasing commercial property. An unrepresented buyer came and wanted to purchase the property. Now my co-listing agent has decided to represent the buyer on an exclusive basis, AND continue being co-broker on the listing side! It this ethical and/or legal?

ANSWER: There are several things which trouble us about this situation. First, the other agent could “technically” represent both the buyer and seller. He would then be a dual agent. HOWEVER, there are rules one must follow when being a dual agent. These apply to commercial agents as well as residential agents.

Under the Broker’s Act, an agent is required to disclose to all parties and get their written permission BEFORE acting as a dual agent. Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(7) states that an agent can be disciplined by TREC for “Acting for more than one (1) party in a transaction without the knowledge and consent in writing of all parties for whom the licensee acts”.

If the other agent is a Realtor, similar language is contained in the Code of Ethics. Standard of Practice 1-5 states “Realtors may represent the seller/landlord and buyer/tenant in the same transaction only after full disclosure to and with informed consent of both parties.”

If the other agent failed to do this, either you or the seller can file a complaint against him with TREC and/or the local board.

Since you’ve told me that this is an in-house transaction, the broker has the ultimate authority to decide who represents whom and who is paid what. However, it is important to realize that the agent likely has confidential information regarding both sides of the transaction. The broker must decide who is the designated agent for whom and the clients must agree. The broker must also decide who is entitled to what compensation. If it involved another agency, then the local board would make that decision.

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


9. HOT LINE: Getting a Copy of the Prior Appraisal?

QUESTION: Is there any way to obtain a copy of a previous appraisal?

ANSWER: The appraisal is typically owned by the person who pays for the appraisal. Therefore, you would need to contact the person who had paid for such appraisal, BUT they may not be able to provide such a copy under the agreement with the appraiser. Another option would be to contact the appraiser who had performed the appraisal to determine how to obtain a copy.

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


10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

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

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/