The 2-4-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. Registration is OPEN for the 2014 TAR Spring Conference!
3. Selling Is Dead, Serving Is Alive!
4. When To Hire An Assistant
5. Subprimes Returning Under a New Name…
6. Upcoming Instructor-Training Opportunities!
7. HOT LINE: Seller Doesn’t Like the Home Inspector?
8. HOT LINE: Property for Lease AND For Sale, Simultaneously?
9. HOT LINE: Commission Applied to Daughter’s Closing Costs?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” — Zig Ziglar

There will be no TAR DIGEST next week. The next TAR DIGEST will be the 2-18-14 Edition. Between now and then, Happy Valentines Day!


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/

Save 15% on your online CE purchase this February in any of our CE Shop courses! This is a Limited Time Offer! Enroll today: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/ …and enter “hearts15” at checkout to receive your discount!


2. Registration OPEN for the 2014 TAR Spring Conference!

You can now register online for the 2014 TAR Spring Conference on March 24-25! The Spring Conference at the Cool Springs Marriott, just south of Nashville, is often our biggest event of the year, and features 10 hours of Education Sessions with national speakers, all designed to give your business a boost. [For a registration fee of only $75, it’s also one of the best bargains you’ll find anywhere!]

This year’s Conference features the following sessions:

Maura Neill: “Customer Before Company: Revolutionizing Your Business the Nordstrom Way”
Nobu Hata: “Mobile Realtors & Mobile Apps: What’s Useful & What’s Not!”
Amy Smythe Harris: “Video for the Rest of Us”
Trista Curzydlo: “I Don’t Give A Twit . . . Social Media Risk Management”
Sean Carpenter: “Give ‘Em Something to Talk About!”

For more information, or to register, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/spring-conference/

There is NO on-site registration. Everyone must register in advance!


3. Selling Is Dead, Serving Is Alive!

Real estate agents need to understand that consumers have short attention spans and do not want to be “sold”. That’s the message in a recent Inman News article by Greg Harrelson (“Top real estate agents understand that selling is dead and serving is alive”). Rather, it would benefit property professionals to provide consumers with valuable information in a quick and precise manner. To prevent prospects from unsubscribing from their newsletters, for instance, agents should keep these communications short and to the point, giving readers the opportunity to obtain additional information if they choose.

Ultimately, agents must shift their focus from selling to serving, thinking about considerations like how they are helping the consumer, the type of information they provide them, how often they talk to them, and what tools they can use to improve their message.

To read more, go HERE.


4. When To Hire an Assistant

As business starts picking up for many of you, it may be time to consider bringing on extra help!

Last week, in the “YPN Lounge” on NAR’s website, Realtor Scott Newman tackled a challenge that many Realtors face: deciding when the time is right to add an assistant, whether licensed or not. As he says, “One of the biggest [problems] as a real estate professional is how to spend your money wisely to continue to grow your business.”

To read Scott’s “3 signs” that will tell you it’s time to hire an assistant, go HERE.


5. Subprimes Returning Under a New Name…

According to a recent Bloomberg/BusinessWeek article, more executives are working to revive the subprime lending market, though the loans now are called “nonprime” and require as much as 30 percent down. Lenders believe this niche holds opportunity for growth as stricter federal standards keep millions of Americans with bad credit out of the mortgage market. Nonprime loans go to the riskiest borrowers — including those with low credit scores, high debt loads, or an inconsistent income.

To read more, go HERE.


6. Upcoming Instructor-Training Opportunities!

TREEF’s 2-day Learning-Centered Instructor Workshop has been held for instructors in Tennessee, Missouri, and Arizona, and consistently receives great reviews. It’s designed for both current and potential instructors and trainers who want to improve their skill-set and know-how as instructors or trainers, and it’s approved for 16 hours of CE!

It’s being offered in TWO locations, for your convenience:

On February 20-21, the Greater Chattanooga Association is hosting it. For more details, go HERE …and click on the 20th of February!

On March 11-12, the Williamson County Association is offering it. For more details, go HERE.


7. HOT LINE: Seller Doesn’t Like the Home Inspector?

QUESTION: Does a seller have the right to reject the buyer’s choice of a home inspector?

ANSWER: If a seller does not want a particular home inspector to be used, that needs to be established in the contract. Otherwise, the buyer has a right to select any licensed home inspector they choose.

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


8. HOT LINE: Property for Lease AND For Sale, Simultaneously?

QUESTION: Is it okay for a property owner to list their property AND place it with a property management company for lease?

ANSWER: Possibly. The problem arises when the two agents have not been advised of the activity of the other. The listing agent needs to know that the property is being sold, possibly subject to a lease. This MUST be disclosed to a buyer if there is a tenant. As long as all agents know and understand that the property is listed for sale as well as being advertised for lease by another. If this is not discussed up front, the seller may be in violation of the listing agreement.

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


9. HOT LINE: Commission Applied to Daughter’s Closing Costs?

QUESTION: I am about to assist my daughter in making an offer on an inexpensive VA foreclosure property intended for Owner Occupancy. If there is a legal way, I would like to have my commission benefit the Buyer as far as being applied to the Buyer’s closing cost. Is there a way to legally and correctly accomplish this?

ANSWER: TREC does NOT permit agents to pay closing costs. The Legislature recently passed a law that states: “A real estate licensee shall not give or pay cash rebates, cash gifts or cash prizes in conjunction with any real estate transaction. As part of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission’s general rulemaking authority the commission may regulate the practices of real estate licensees in regard to gifts, prizes or rebates that are not otherwise prohibited by law.” Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-302(b).

TREC has interpreted this law as prohibiting agents from paying closing costs for their clients. Therefore, if these items are closing costs which appear on the HUD, then you cannot pay them. Furthermore, an agent should make sure that the lender approves this as well. Otherwise, an agent can offer to reduce his or her commission, but cannot pay the closing costs. However, this does not mean that the overall commission would be reduced. A buyer’s agent would have to have both the seller’s agent and the seller agree to reduce the commission and apply this to the closing costs (this is because the seller is under contract to pay a certain percentage to his agent regardless of whether there is an agent working with the buyer). Then, the contract would have to indicate that the seller was paying that portion of the closing costs.

[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/