The 4-29-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. TAR Welcomes New Education Director!
3. Nashville Make a National Top 10 List
4. Local TN Association in a Unique Partnership!
5. Pinning Like a Pro
6. HOT LINE: Buyer’s Agent Reducing Her Commission?
7. HOT LINE: Size of Agent’s Name in Advertising?
8. HOT LINE: Putting a Team Logo on the Contract?
9. HOT LINE: Writing an Offer for a FSBO Property?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Do, or do not. There is no ‘try’.” — Yoda, from Star Wars


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

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. TAR Welcomes New Education Director!

Later this week, Steve McDonald will join the staff of the Tennessee Association of Realtors as TAR’s new Director of Education, effective May 1! After serving four years as the Education Director for TREC, Steve is widely known, well respected, and well-liked by members and local associations across the state. He will be a valuable resource for TAR, for TREEF, and for TAR members. Pug Scoville has announced his retirement from the position of Education Director after a long career with TAR.

The entire TAR staff and TAR’s leadership welcome Steve McDonald to his new post!


3. Nashville Makes a National Top 10 List

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Nashville has ranked in another top 10, this time landing on a list of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

Music City’s population grew 1.8 percent from July 2012 to July 2013, ranking 7th among metro areas with populations of 1 million or more, according to a report from CNN Money based on U.S. Census data.

CNN cites Nashville’s famed Music Row, $30 billion health care industry, startup scene and low cost of living as reasons for its growth.
*** END QUOTE ***

SOURCE: Nashville Business Journal


4. Local TN Association in a Unique Partnership!

The Eastern Middle TN Association of Realtors (EMTAR) has formed a partnership with Wilson County title companies and the Wilson County Election Commission “to make voter registration and voter registration maintenance a part of every real estate closing.” Sounds like a great project!

From the Lebanon Democrat newspaper:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
“Realtors and real estate closing agents see clients every day that are moving to Wilson County, moving to a new address within the county or that are selling their home and moving out of the county,” said Amy Hamilton, president of the Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors. “Each real estate closing represents an opportunity to register a new voter or keep a voter’s record current.”
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.


5. Pinning Like a Pro

In a recent posting on Real Trends (“Pin Like a Pro), writer Tracey Velt described the undeniable importance of the “visual web”. As she notes, “The rise of the visual web and the growing popularity of visual communication are among inbound marketing’s most prominent trends. Humans are hardwired to respond to pictures, and have been since before the days of hieroglyphics and Paleolithic paintings in caves. We may read long-form content and web features galore, but still, we often find that images reign supreme.

To learn how to effectively use Pinterest – a great visual tool – to build your business, here’s some information that can help:

Realtor Charlie Allred has a great article on NAR’s YPN Lounge — “How to Capitalize on Pinterest“. To read it, go HERE.

Another helpful article, “Pin Like a Pro: 8 Simple Ways to Take Your Pinterest Pins Up a Notch” on the HubSpot blog, will give you some ways to make your pictures an asset and not an embarrassment! To read it, go HERE.


6. HOT LINE: Buyer’s Agent Reducing Her Commission?

QUESTION: I received an offer on a listing. We countered the offer. The buyer accepted and signed the contract. The buyer’s rep emailed it back to me and asked that I bind the agreement. I told them yes I would. They included an addendum with the following: buyer’s agent to reduce commission …and seller to apply toward price reduction; new price is $X; buyer’s agent total commission to be $X. The buyer’s rep wants to apply part of her commission to the purchase price for the benefit of their buyer. Is this legal and/or ethical?

ANSWER: This is permissible, but all parties, including the listing agent, must agree to this. This is because the buyer’s agent’s commission is based upon an agreement with the listing agent, and the listing agent’s commission is based upon an agreement with the seller.

Therefore, the seller and the listing agent must agree to an overall reduction in the compensation offered to the listing agent. Then, the listing agent must agree to a reduction in the compensation offered to the buyer’s agent. Finally, the seller must agree to a reduction in the sales price. The two principal brokers must also agree to this change. Finally, this would actually NOT be an addendum, but would instead be an amendment to the contract since it is being negotiated after the original contract was executed by both buyer and seller.

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


7. HOT LINE: Size of Agent’s Name in Advertising?

QUESTION: With regard to the rules on advertising and the requirement that the firm’s name be in a font as large as (or larger than) the agent’s, does this apply to all advertising or just yard signs? Where can I find the rules regarding this in the law?

ANSWER: There is only one rule/statute governing the size of font in advertising. Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-310(b) states: “Licensees may not post signs on any property advertising themselves as real estate agents unless the firm’s name appears thereon in letters the same size or larger than those spelling out the name of the licensee.”

TREC has recently held that this would apply to both yard signs and billboards. In addition, TREC has indicated that it interprets this to mean that the “agent’s name cannot be any larger than the smallest font of the firm name” on any sign which is located on property.

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


8. HOT LINE: Putting a Team Logo on the Contract?

QUESTION: Can I put a team logo at the top of the TAR contract? If so, what are the regulations regarding same? Do I also need the name and telephone number of the firm?

ANSWER: At this point, we would NOT recommend putting a team logo on the TAR forms. TAR will allow the firm logo to be placed on the top of the forms, as directed by the principal broker.

The reason that we would not recommend placing the team logo on the top of the forms is that it creates the impression to the public (and probably TREC) that the team is a licensed real estate firm. TREC is really cracking down on teams that advertise, etc., in a manner which leads the public to believe that they are an independent real estate firm. Therefore, we would strongly recommend NOT doing such a thing.

In addition, TAR only permits firms to place their logos on the forms. They have not taken the step to allow teams to do so. Based upon TREC’s actions in recent times, we doubt that TAR will allow such in the near future.

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


9. HOT LINE: Writing an Offer for a FSBO Property?

QUESTION: How do I write an offer for a FSBO property?

ANSWER: You would draft an offer for a FSBO just as you would for a MLS-listed property. There are a few differences in that you may need to provide the seller with some disclosure forms for them to complete. You will also need to make sure that you provide the seller with the Confirmation of Agency Status and have the seller sign it before submitting the offer. This is required by law.

The central challenge is that you may not get compensation from the seller. To remedy this problem, you can use the Agreement to Show Property form (F22). This will establish how you would be paid in the transaction.

[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/