The 3-18-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. TREC Disciplinary Actions
3. First-Time Buyer Market Is Shrinking…
4. Drones and Real Estate
5. TECH TIP: Managing Your To-Do Lists!
6. Instructor Training Rescheduled
7. HOT LINE: Disclosing That There Are Multiple Offers?
8. HOT LINE: Measurement of Square Footage?
9. HOT LINE: Earnest Money for a Back-up Contract?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.” — African Proverb

NOTE: Due to the TAR Spring Conference next week, the TAR DIGEST will not be published at that time. The next DIGEST will be the April 1 Edition!

1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

March 24-25: TAR Spring Conference, Cool Springs Marriott, Franklin, TN

March 26: REALTOR Day on the Hill at the TN State Legislature

April 4: GRI 401, Doing the Right Thing (6 hrs. CE) – GCAR Office, Chattanooga, TN. For more information or to register, contact GCAR at 423-698-8001.

Save $55 by signing up for all three Nashville GRI courses below (401, 402 & 403) under our GRI EXPRESS option HERE.

April 7: GRI 401, Doing the Right Thing (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville, TN. For more information or to register, go HERE.

April 8: GRI 402, Staying in Business & Out of Court (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville, TN. For more information or to register, go HERE.

April 9: GRI 403, Working More Effectively with Buyers (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville, TN. For more information or to register, go HERE.

April 11: GRI 402, Staying in Business & Out of Court (6 hrs. CE) – GCAR Office, Chattanooga, TN. For more information or to register, contact GCAR at 423-698-8001.

To see upcoming offerings of TREC CORE COURSES, ABR COURSES, etc., – at locations around the state – go to the TAR Course calendar at:

Our entire 2014 GRI Classroom Course Schedule is posted in the “Education” section of the TAR website:

During the month of March you can feel the Luck O’ The Irish because The CE Shop is offering our members 15% off every one of their courses and online packages! This is a Limited Time Offer! Enroll today: …and enter “lucky15” at checkout to receive your discount!

2. TREC Disciplinary Actions

At its January 2014 meeting, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) imposed significant fines ($500-$1500) and additional penalties (classes, etc.) on seven individuals for the following offenses:

  • Failure to be loyal to the interests of the client
  • Failure to maintain E&O insurance (MULTIPLE)
  • Accepting a commission or valuable consideration by an affiliate broker from any person except the licensed broker
  • Broker’s failure to adequate supervise the activities of a licensed affiliate broker
  • Misleading or untruthful advertising (Misuse of a designation)
  • Failure to answer a TREC complaint
  • Operation of an unlicensed branch office

NOTE: The (MULTIPLE) notation indicates that more than one licensee was punished for this reason.

IN ADDITION TO the above, eleven (11) licensees had their licenses suspended by the Commission!

3. First-Time Buyer Market Is Shrinking…

According to a recent American Banker article, representatives of the Mortgage Bankers Association say that while fewer Americans are seeking home financing compared to a year ago, there is a healthy level of activity at the high end of the market. Because demand is concentrated among purchase loans for $417,000 or higher, builders are catering to the move-up crowd and focusing less on first-time home buyers.

The trend is impacting all government-backed lending and FHA’s single-family program especially, since first-time buyers account for more than half of the agency’s business. According to HUD, FHA endorsed 291,200 purchase loans from August 2013 through January 2014 — 27 percent fewer than the 398,700 purchase loans it endorsed during the comparable period a year earlier.

To read more, go HERE.

4. Drones and Real Estate

If you thought aerial drones are just for fighting terrorism, you could be overlooking a great real estate marketing tool!

In NAR’s online YPN Lounge last week, Realtor Brandon Doyle posted an intriguing article (“Going Aerial: Using Drones in Real Estate”) describing his use of a drone with aerial photography to enhance his real estate business. The technology is now more affordable and within reach of many Realtors.

As Brandon writes, “I personally have experience owning and using remote control multi-copters for aerial photography. It has been great for showcasing large acreage, as well as lakefront and agricultural properties online.”

His posting includes a couple of nice photos, showcasing his own work, and his article is well worth reading …especially if you sell the kind of property for which this approach makes sense!

To see and read his article, go HERE.

5. TECH TIP: Managing Your To-Do Lists!

As the market picks up steam, keeping track of all the things you SHOULD do can be a challenge …FAILING to get things done on time could spell disaster for your reputation and your personal business.

A new article by Alan Henry (“Five Best To-Do List Managers”) describes several to-do list tools, and one of these might be the perfect fit for your needs!

Finding the right tool to track your to-dos is highly personal, and one person’s best is another’s junk — but there are some that are better than others. The best offer great syncing and scheduling options, great apps, notifications and reminders, or just the right mix of features and flexibility that make it easy to stay organized. Here are five of the best, based on your nominations….
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more:

6. Instructor Training Rescheduled

The two-day instructor-training workshop (“The Learning-Centered Instructor”) originally scheduled for March 11-12 at the Williamson County Association of Realtors has been rescheduled for Monday-Tuesday, June 16-17. The workshop is accredited for 16 hrs. of CE, and is great for both new and experienced instructors!

For more information, or to register, just contact Karen Czarnecki, Education Administrator for WCAR, at 615-771-6845 or

7. HOT LINE: Disclosing That There Are Multiple Offers?

QUESTION: When you have multiple offers, whether your seller tells you to ask for highest and best or not, do you have to inform any other prospective buyers that have submitted offers?

ANSWER: The listing agent is required to present all offers to the seller and discuss what the seller would like to do. The listing agent is ONLY permitted to disclose the existence of multiple offers with the permission of the seller. Standard of Practice 1-15 of the Realtor Code of Ethics states:

“Realtors, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, Realtors shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.”

Therefore, it is totally up to the seller as to whether to disclose that there are multiple offers on a property.

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

8. HOT LINE: Measurement of Square Footage?

QUESTION: A house is listed as 2,100 square feet; however, there is no permanent heat in the basement. Can I use the square footage of this space in the total square footage on the listing?

ANSWER: Square footage (or gross living area) is difficult to determine and is ripe for a misrepresentation claim. There are several acceptable ways in which to determine square footage. Additionally, if you have 3 different people determine square footage, you are likely to get three different answers. If the square footage included in the MLS is incorrect, the REALTOR could be liable for negligent misrepresentation depending upon what he or she did to verify the information obtained and when the discrepancy is discovered (i.e. before contract entered into, after closing).

We recommend that square footage be listed as an “approximate” amount and that a disclaimer be included noting that the amount of square footage is not guaranteed. We would ALSO recommend either listing the square footage as what is listed on the tax records or as calculated by an appraiser and indicate the source. The important thing is that the information concerning square footage (i.e., what is included in the basement and that it is not heated) is disclosed so as to avoid misrepresentation. Make sure that it is in a location where the general public will see it. Finally, we would recommend going with either the tax records or from an appraisal.

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

9. HOT LINE: Earnest Money for a Back-up Contract?

QUESTION: We have a contract on a listing, and also a back-up contract. When do we collect the earnest money on the backup offer?

ANSWER: The TAR Back-Up Agreement Addendum does not contain any special language regarding when the Earnest Money is to be provided. Therefore, you would treat it as you would a regular contract. In the event that it is a back-up contract, you may want to put in the special stips that the earnest money is payable to the Holder within ___ days of the back-up contract moving into primary position.

[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:

To go to the TAR website:

To access current and past TAR DIGESTS:

Follow TAR on Twitter at:

TAR’s LinkedIn page:

TAR’s page on Facebook:

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question:

For CE classroom courses around the state, go to:

For online CE courses, go to:

Tennessee Real Estate Commission: