The 4-22-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. Get It In Writing!
3. Staging Homes With “Shine”
4. Are You Financially Sexy?
5. The Must-Have Mobile Apps for You
6. HOT LINE: Buyer Changing Financing?
7. HOT LINE: Whose Buyer?
8. HOT LINE: A Form for Exclusive Agency?
9. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.” — Oscar Wilde


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

April 23: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more info or to register, go HERE.

May 7-9: Register for our three-course GRI package (GRI 404, 405, and 406) in Memphis through our GRI EXPRESS option and save $55! For more info or to register, go HERE.

May 7: GRI 404, Working More Effectively With Sellers (6 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. To register for this course only, go HERE.

May 8: GRI 405, Mastering Forms and Contracts (6 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. To register for this course only, go HERE.

May 9: GRI 406, Tips, Tools & Technologies For Your Business (6 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. To register for this course only, go HERE.

Why Should YOU Earn Your GRI? 10 Reasons!

To see our 2014 GRI Schedule, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/

To see upcoming offerings of TREC CORE COURSES, ABR COURSES, etc., – at locations around the state – go to the TAR Calendar at: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/calendar-of-events/

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. Get It In Writing!

Experienced real estate agents know they can find themselves embroiled in legal battles even when they did nothing wrong, leaving them on the hook for attorneys’ fees as well as errors and omissions insurance deductibles and causing them to lose commissions.

RealEstateCoach.com CEO Bernice Ross says she learned a lesson when she referred a seller to a colleague in another office, agreeing on a 20 percent referral fee. The agent unfortunately died in a car accident, his commissions and assets were tied up in probate court, and Ross could do nothing to recoup the referral fee because there was no written agreement. As a result, she stresses that agents should get all contracts — even those with family members — in writing.

She also was named in a lawsuit stemming from a mistake by a title company; and even though the title company was responsible for paying fees associated with the error, the broker had to refund the entire commission. Although Ross emphasizes the need for errors and omissions insurance, she notes that agents can wind up in court without having made an error themselves.

To read more, go HERE.


3. Staging Homes With “Shine”

A new blog post by Melissa Tracey (“Stage it With Shine: Add Some Bling to Your Spaces”), on NAR’s Styled, Staged, and Sold blog, offers several useful tips (with photos) to help your listings stand out:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Grays have been catching on in more interiors this year and so has the color’s “flashier cousin” — silver, which is becoming a popular accent color in 2014, according to the Paint Quality Institute’s latest color forecast. Silver is adding some sparkle to rooms, through shimmering fabrics and reflective glassware to even kitchen backsplashes and furniture.

Human beings are drawn to glossy objects, according to a new study in the April issue of the Journal of Consumer Psychology. But our love for bling may run much deeper than just because it’s “pretty.”
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.


4. Are You Financially Sexy?

If April 15 and your income taxes put you in a bad mood last week — or gave you added incentive to manage your finances better in 2014 — then a new article on the “Financially Blonde” weblog will give you some concrete targets to aim for!

Humorously titled “Are You Financially Sexy?”, the article by Shannon McLay proposes four measurements that can reveal what kind of financial “shape” you’re in: 750, 35, 15, and 35!

To see how you measure up (it’s a quick read), go to: http://financially-blonde.com/financially-sexy/


5. The Must-Have Mobile Apps for You

Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC project specialist Kalpana Krishna-Kumar tested and rated hundreds of real-estate-specific and other apps, and her findings have been released in a FREE new white paper, “App-thology.” The white paper details the best apps that bring value to real estate professionals. It rates nearly 50 apps on ease of use, cost, availability across devices, app store ratings and reviews, app stability, availability and quality of support, and longevity. The apps are in a variety of categories, including personal assistant, photo, content, and video apps.

To access her paper, go HERE.


6. HOT LINE: Buyer Changing Financing?

QUESTION: With regard to lines 102-105 of the TAR contract, is there a problem with changing the type of loan the buyer will be securing (from FHA to conventional) as long as it does not impact the seller’s closing costs?

ANSWER: Lines 102-105 state:

“Buyer may apply for a loan with different terms and conditions and also Close the transaction provided all other terms and conditions of this Agreement are fulfilled, and the new loan does not increase any costs charged to Seller. Buyer shall be obligated to Close this transaction if Buyer has the ability to obtain a loan with terms as described herein and/or any other loan for which Buyer has applied and been approved.

Therefore, the committee intended that the buyer be allowed to obtain a loan different than the one originally selected as long as it does not increase the cost to the seller and the loan can be closed within the time frame permitted in the contract.

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


7. HOT LINE: Whose Buyer?

QUESTION: I have a property listed. A prospective buyer called me to see the home. I asked her if she had an agent, and she stated “no”. I have showed her this property 3 times and done other things for her. After showing her the property again last Friday, I had an offer on my desk from another agent. This agent stated that, “the buyer had forgotten that I have her property listed for sale . . . “. I have spent a lot of time with this buyer and feel like I procured the buyer for the sale. How should I handle this situation?

ANSWER: The fact that the buyer has their property listed with an agent may have no impact on whether that agent is entitled to a commission on a piece of property which that buyer purchases. These are two different transactions. Unless that agent also has a buyer’s representation agreement, it may be difficult for the agent to demonstrate that they are entitled a commission for that person’s purchase of another home.

Whether your company is required to pay a cooperative compensation to this other firm is up to the local board, as this is a matter of determining procuring cause. We cannot determine who is the procuring cause of a transaction as that is a decision to be made by the local board. We can, however, provide you with some guidance.

Procuring cause is determined by the local board after the property is closed. You can request the local board to have a hearing once the closing has occurred. You may also want to consider having the two principal brokers attempt to reach an agreement on splitting the commission. Often, awards at arbitration are all or nothing. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to reach an equitable split so that everyone receives something. However, if you cannot, you can always bring it before the local board.

Another option for the other firm is to possibly try and enforce the buyer’s representation agreement against the buyer if they have one. If your buyer has questions regarding his obligation to pay a commission to this agent, he should speak with his own attorney. You CANNOT advise them as to whether they have any legal obligation to pay a commission.

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


8. HOT LINE: A Form for Exclusive Agency?

QUESTION: I am looking for a form to create an exclusive agency relationship.

ANSWER: You can use the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement, but you will need to add some language to the Special Stipulations. If you want to convert the listing agreement to an Exclusive Agency agreement, you can use the following special stipulation language which can be found on form F33:

18. SELLER RESERVES THE RIGHT TO SELL — EXCLUSIVE AGENCY AGREEMENT. The Seller hereby reserves the right to sell Property and hereby converts this Agreement into an Exclusive Agency Listing Agreement. If a Buyer is procured for the Property through the sole efforts of Seller acting alone, then Seller is not required to pay Broker the compensation contained herein. However, in the event that the Buyer is obtained through any efforts of Broker (included but not limited to any Broker advertising including but not limited to any internet advertising, listing in the MLS, or traffic created by any signage put in place by Broker), then the aforementioned compensation is due to Broker at closing.” — (Lines 187-193)

Keep in mind that an exclusive agency agreement (as opposed to an exclusive right to sell agreement) enables the seller to sell his/her own property without paying you a commission. You would therefore need to spell out the specifics of the compensation arrangements in Special Stipulations. You may also want to consult with an attorney for assistance in drafting the special stipulation language.

[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 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/