The 4-1-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. Top 10 Reasons To Earn Your GRI!
3. Attack on Realtor Should Be a Warning to Others….
4. The New Challenges Facing Realtors
5. “But Zillow Says…”
6. Property Taxes Hit Highest Level in 20 Years
7. Asking a HOT LINE Question
8. HOT LINE: Owner/Agent Property For Sale?
9. HOT LINE: Writing a Contract on New Construction?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Your belief determines your action and your action determines your results, but first you have to believe.” — Mark Victor Hansen


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

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: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/calendar-of-events/

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

During the month of April you can STILL get a 15% discount on any of our CE Shop courses and online packages! Enroll today: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/ …and enter “spring15” at checkout to receive your discount!


2. Top 10 Reasons To Earn Your GRI!

At the TAR Spring Conference last week, a video was shown to members and Directors, highlighting TEN great reasons Tennessee Realtors should earn a GRI designation. Unlike other Realtor designations, there are NO annual dues, fees, or renewal costs charged to keep your GRI designation. And that’s just ONE of the reasons to earn your GRI!

To view the entire video and see all 10 reasons, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/

Our 2014 series of classroom GRI courses kicks off this week and next, in Chattanooga and Nashville!


3. Attack on Realtor Should Be a Warning to Others….

A tragic incident in the past ten days should be a stark reminder to ALL of our members to take Realtor safety more seriously! From Realty Biz News:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
A man was arrested after allegedly attacking a real estate agent who was showing him a home in Lincoln County, Tenn., on March 22.

Scotty Bolin was taken into police custody in connection with aggravated kidnapping and robbery, sexual battery, and theft of property between $500 and $1,000, according to police.

Police say the victim was showing a home to a man, who identified himself by the name of John Roberts, when the man allegedly took out a weapon and threatened to kill her if she didn’t give him money. The female agent was able to later escape when the man told her he would take her to the bank to get money, according to a police report.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.

Share this with others in your office! Above all, no female agent should agree to meet a total stranger at a property without someone else accompanying them and/or meeting the individual first at the office and taking down their license number and other identifying information before leaving with them.

For a wealth of Realtor Safety resources and tips, go to NAR’s Field Guide to Realtor Safety at: http://www.realtor.org/field-guides/field-guide-to-realtor-safety


4. The New Challenges Facing Realtors

The 2013 National Association of Realtors Profile of Real Estate Firms reveals that:
69 percent of all realty firms anticipate higher profits during the next year; although
67 percent predict more competition over the next year, including from non-traditional market participants; and
60 percent expect profitability challenges over the next two years.

Meanwhile, the report indicates that the housing market has not recovered equally over all markets, with 44 percent of firms citing local or regional economic challenges and 42 percent anticipating supply issues during the next two years.

Among other findings, the survey reveals that 42 percent of firms consider keeping up with technology to be a major challenge; more than 60 percent of firms offer training and educational programs to agents; just 22 percent offer health insurance; and nearly 80 percent provide errors and omissions coverage.

To read more: http://rismedia.com/2014-03-23/real-estate-agents-facing-new-challenges/


5. “But Zillow Says…”

Listing agents need to know how to handle sellers’ objections to their CMAs based on a higher quote through Zillow. A recent article by Bernice Ross on Inman News (“What to Do When Seller Complains, ‘But Zillow Says My House Is Worth More!'”) may help.

The company’s “Zestimates” and other automated valuation models rely on mathematical averages and cannot factor in the condition or the interior of the property. They also generate a range for their estimates rather than a specific sales price; Zillow’s sampling error of plus or minus 7.5 percent means a $300,000 home has a 95 percent probability of being between $277,500 and $322,500. Most agents can predict the price on a similarly priced dwelling within $5,000 to $10,000, which is far more accurate than Zillow’s $45,000 margin.

To overcome the Zestimate objection from clients, agents should show sellers the range of prices generated by other AVMs (automated valuation models) — such as HomeSnap, CoreLogic’s ePropertyWatch.com, or Move.com — and ask them which price they think the buyer would believe. Once they understand that buyers will believe the lowest price, agents should encourage them to look at actual comparable sales and interior photos and determine a price based on as much information as possible.

The full article is HERE.


6. Property Taxes Hit Highest Level in 20 Years

According to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau, the amount of property taxes collected in 2013 was the most in two decades. Local and state governments collected $488.34 billion in such taxes last year — a 3 percent gain over 2012. Individual quarterly records were set in three of the four periods in 2013. Only the January-through-March period did not achieve record levels, narrowly missing the record $118.58 billion collected in 2009’s first quarter. The $182.76 billion collected from October through December ranked as the biggest quarterly intake of property taxes in any quarter since 1992.

To read more, go HERE.


7. Asking a HOT LINE Question

Many members, especially newer members, are unaware of the TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line and how to use it!

The Tennessee Association of Realtors provides this service FREE to its members! The Legal & Ethics Hot Line is designed to answer members’ real estate related legal questions, as well as questions concerning the Realtor Code of Ethics. It gives members direct toll-free access to a qualified attorney and is intended to provide legal preventative maintenance to all TAR members. [The Hot Line is NOT provided, however, as a service to your customers and clients, nor will the Hot Line attorneys answer questions about an executed contract.]

The Hot Line can be accessed in 3 WAYS: Phone, Email, or through the Online Help Desk.

To learn more, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/services-support/legal-ethics-hotline/

PLEASE NOTE: The Hot Line questions and answers that we select for the weekly TAR DIGEST are only a FEW of the questions that the Hot Line attorneys handle, and any questions and answers chosen for publication are edited to conceal the identity of the parties and their city or region.


8. HOT LINE: Owner/Agent Property For Sale?

QUESTION: When a property is put on the market to be sold by owner/agent, does this have to be on the yard sign, or simply disclosed to any prospective buyer?

ANSWER: We recommend that it be disclosed on the signage and in advertising that the property is an owner/agent sale. This prevents any claims of misrepresentation. You may also check with your local MLS and board to see if they have any rules concerning this matter. Technically, this is not required under the new TREC Rules, but we still recommend that it be done. The owner must also give a personal interest disclosure in writing. TAR provides form F17 for this purpose.

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


9. HOT LINE: Writing a Contract on New Construction?

QUESTION: I am writing a contract for a buyer of a new construction home. There are no impact fees; however, there are water and sewer tap fees. Do I still need to complete the impact fee form?

ANSWER: You are required to have an Impact Fee form completed on every transaction of new construction, EVEN IF no impact fees or adequate facilities taxes have been charged. If nothing is charged, you simply write “0”.

An impact fee is defined as: “a monetary charge imposed by a county or municipal government pursuant to any act of general or local application, to regulate new development on real property. The amount of impact fees are related to the costs resulting from the new development and the revenues for this fee are earmarked for investment in the area of the new development.” — Tenn. Code Ann. 66-5-211(b)(3).

An adequate facilities tax is defined as: “any privilege tax that is a development tax, by whatever name, imposed by a county or city, pursuant to any act of general or local application, on engaging in the act of development.” — Tenn. Code Ann. 66-5-211(b)(1).

[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 go to the TAR website: http://tnrealtors.com

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/