The 1-14-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. REMINDER Regarding 2014 TAR Forms!
3. Getting Rich in Real Estate
4. Mortgage Availability Tightening?
5. Aging Boomers Will Boost Demand For….
6. TREC’s Disciplinary Actions
7. HOT LINE: Seller Won’t Sell?
8. HOT LINE: Listing Agent Won’t Present Offer?
9. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Getting over a painful experience is much like crossing monkey bars. You have to let go at some point in order to move forward.” — C.S. Lewis


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. REMINDER Regarding 2014 TAR Forms!

The entire inventory of 2014 TAR Forms will not be published and released to the TAR membership until Monday, February 3, 2014! When using the latest version of a form in 2014, please look for “Version 2/01/2014” which will be located within the footer of every page – bottom right side of the form.

The Copyright Year, also located in the footer, will be different per form in 2014 due to copyright updates that are in process. The copyright year will reflect the last significant modification that were made to each individual form.


3. Getting Rich in Real Estate

The Motley Fool, a popular financial education and information service, just published an interesting article (“Plan on Getting Rich as a Real Estate Agent? Read This First”) on the actual income figures for most real estate professionals.

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
In reality, the median income of a Realtor in 2012 was $43,500, which is well above the $34,900 figure from 2011. This really illustrates how much a Realtor’s income can fluctuate — and can plummet in a bad housing market. Only 2% of Realtors earn more than $250,000 per year, and even to get in the upper five-digit range is rare, especially in the early stages of a realtor’s career.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.


4. Mortgage Availability Tightening?

The qualified mortgage (QM) rule took effect last Friday, and NAR has told regulators it will be watching to see what impact the rules have on mortgage availability.

According to a NAR posting on Friday:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Under QM, lenders are required to make sure borrowers have a reasonable ability to repay before they can make what’s known as a qualified mortgage. A qualified mortgage represents what CFPB views as a safe mortgage, and thus a mortgage that is expected to cost borrowers less, because the risk is less to lenders. How CFPB defines the “ability to repay” includes a maximum debt-to-income ratio of 43 percent. Also, while Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are in conservatorship, their conforming loans are considered qualified. Also, loans by small community banks that meet certain criteria are considered qualified, as are FHA, VA and Rural Housing Service (RHS) loans.
*** END QUOTE ***

The “CFPB” above refers to the new federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

To read more, go HERE.


5. Aging Boomers Will Boost Demand For….

According to a Wall Street Journal post last week by Ben Leubsdorf, demand will increase for apartments, condos, and townhouses:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
The single-family home isn’t obsolete, yet. But the aging of the baby boomers could reshape the U.S. housing market and economy in the coming years.

As the boomers get older, many will move out of the houses where they raised families and move into cozier apartments, condominiums and townhouses (known as multifamily units in industry argot). A normal transition for individuals, but a huge shift in the country’s housing demand.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.


6. TREC’s Disciplinary Actions

Last week, we posted a summary of the Disciplinary Actions taken by the Tennessee Real Estate Commission in the month of December, describing the types of offenses (without names) that resulted in either substantial fines and/or license suspension.

The actual reports with names, etc., are posted online, if you would like more details:
http://www.tn.gov/regboards/archive.shtml

NOTE #1: As of Monday, Jan. 13, only the reports through November of 2013 have been posted online. There is evidently a time lag in how quickly reports are posted.

NOTE #2: Each report covers Disciplinary Actions taken by all of the regulatory boards (not just TREC), so you will need to scroll down quite a ways to see the actions taken by the Real Estate Commission. Actual license suspensions are recorded separately from Disciplinary Actions, at the end of this report.


7. HOT LINE: Seller Won’t Sell?

QUESTION: I have a full price offer from my clients for a home but the listing agent doesn’t use a listing agreement that obligates her seller to sell with a full price offer. Can the seller be legally required to sell with this full price offer?

ANSWER: A seller is not required to sell their home, even if they receive a full price offer. This is because there could be other contingencies which are not favorable, such as contingent upon selling property, inspections, appraisals, timing of the closing, etc. However, this does not mean that they may not be required to pay a commission to the listing firm in the event that they receive a full price offer. If you have specific questions concerning whether your firm may be entitled to a commission under these circumstances, you should have your firm attorney review the listing contract that your firm uses and advise you accordingly.

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


8. HOT LINE: Listing Agent Won’t Present Offer?

QUESTION: A contract was presented to a seller. The seller countered, the buyer re-countered, and the seller wanted to think on it. Meanwhile, another agent presented a buyer’s offer. The listing agent informed the second buyer that the seller was already in negotiations on a contract. The buyer’s agent for the second offer insisted the listing agent present the offer to the seller. What is the proper procedure for this type of situation?

ANSWER: The Broker’s Act states: “Unless the following duties are specifically and individually waived, in writing by a client, a licensee shall assist the client by receiving all offers and counter-offers and forwarding them promptly to the client.” – Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-404(3)(A)(ii).

TREC Rule 1260-2-.08 states: “A broker or affiliate broker promptly shall tender every written offer to purchase or sell obtained on a property until a contract is signed by all parties.” Therefore, an agent MUST present all offers to the client unless they have instructed them not to do so in writing and signed by the seller.

Furthermore, under Standard of Practice 1-6, “Realtors shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible.” In addition, Standard of Practice 1-7 states in a pertinent part, “When acting as listing brokers, Realtors shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller has waived this obligation in writing.”

Therefore, unless the seller has instructed his agent in writing to not present certain offers (should be specific — i.e., must be at least $x, no sale of house contingency, etc.), then the agent is required to present all offers to the seller.

Furthermore, unless there is a contract signed, the seller can withdraw any counter and/or can reject any offer from a buyer and turn to a different offer.

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


9. 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/