The 5-20-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. NAR Board OKs Higher Standards for Local Associations!
3. TAR Leaders Meet With Tennessee’s Senators
4. Key Findings RE: Agent Happiness
5. Three Surprising Revelations!
6. TECH TIP: Creating Better Real Estate Videos
7. HOT LINE: Forms Used for Home Inspections and Repairs?
8. HOT LINE: Can Seller Accept the Original Offer?
9. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.” — John Wayne


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

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

Why Should YOU Earn Your GRI? 10 Reasons!

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/

May is a great time of year. Warmer weather, baseball, the promise of summer fun and so much more! To help you have some CE fun, the CE Shop is extending a 15% discount on online courses through the month of May! Enroll today: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/ …and enter “homerun15” at checkout to receive your discount!


2. NAR Board OKs Higher Standards for Local Associations!

In a sweeping move to improve the professionalism of associations of REALTORS across the country and the level of service they provide to members, the NAR Board of Directors just passed a set of mandatory standards that touch on every aspect of association operations.

“This is an issue of professionalism in our industry,” said Andrea Bushnell, chair of the Organizational Alignment Presidential Advisory Group (PAG), which drafted the standards. “We want to ensure unity within — and the long-term viability of — the 100-year-old REALTOR organization. All three levels of the organization must thrive together as a true and strong association, rather than acting as group of independent but federated organizations.”

Specifically, the country’s approximately 1,400 state, local, and territorial associations have to meet standards in six areas: 1) Code of Ethics education and enforcement, 2) advocacy, 3) consumer outreach, 4) organizational unification, 5) technology, and 6) financial solvency.

Among other things, under the new standards, associations must:

  • Provide Code of Ethics training
  • Participate in Calls for Action
  • Make an effort to collect fair-share contributions to the REALTORS Political Action Committee, or write a check to cover the fair share
  • Promote the value proposition of using a REALTOR
  • Maintain a strategic or business plan
  • Maintain a website with links to other levels of the association
  • Meet minimum financial performance

The Board approved up to $20 million to help associations meet their new responsibilities: $5 million to help associations create or update their strategic plan; $3 million to help states implement the standards; and $12 million to facilitate association mergers or dissolutions. For more information, go to: http://www.realtor.org/articles/mandatory-core-standards-for-local-associations


3. TAR Leaders Meet With Tennessee’s Senators

Leaders of the Tennessee Association of Realtors met this past week in Washington with U.S. Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker, along with key staff members of Tennessee’s U.S. congressional delegation, to discuss vital real estate-related legislative issues.

As a part of serving its members statewide, TAR champions legislative priorities that help to protect homeowners, buyers/sellers and private-property owners from Memphis to Knoxville, Jackson to Chattanooga, Nashville to the Tri-Cities.

TAR officials Neal Clayton (2014 president), Pat Beech (2014 president-elect), Randy Durham (2014 secretary-treasurer) and Steve Harding (executive vice president), with a delegation of 60 Tennessee Realtors, met with Senators Alexander and Corker, along with staff designees of several Tennessee congressional leaders (who are in recess).

To read more, go HERE.


4. Key Findings RE: Agent Happiness

Market Leader recently surveyed over 3,000 real estate professionals to determine how happy they are. Their findings are worth reading!

Real estate agents are remarkably happy people. A whopping 53 percent of agents claim they are “very happy” with their lives, while only 33 percent of Americans can say the same. This means that real estate agents are 60 percent more likely to be very happy with their lives than the average American!

The real estate industry also produces an impressive number of happy workers. Eighty-four percent of agents say they’re happy with their careers, while only 53 percent of Americans report the same. Despite their long and irregular hours, real estate agents are 58 percent more likely to enjoy their jobs than the average American.

Many real estate agents cite helping and meeting people as their favorite part of working in the real estate industry – 37.1 percent claim this is their favorite part of the job! Of the remaining agents, 8.4 percent enjoy their flexible schedules the most, 7.9 percent enjoy the unlimited income potential, and 2.6 percent like the challenges of the job (e.g., finding the perfect home for a client).

Here is what all “Happiest Agent on the Block” respondents enjoyed the least about the real estate industry:

  • Rude, disloyal, and uncooperative clients – 11.9 percent of respondents.
  • Rude, immoral, and unprofessional agents – 10.7 percent.
  • Paperwork – 10.3 percent.
  • Issues with leads or lead generation – 5 percent.
  • Long hours – 2.8 percent.

To read more, and access an interesting infographic highlighting key results of the survey, go HERE.


5. Three Surprising Revelations!

Last week’s Realtor Party Convention in Washington, DC, was a busy place to be …and it offered a few genuine surprises for those attending!

In a new post on the Speaking of Real Estate blog, Graham Wood — a senior editor for Realtor Magazine — describes three things he learned at the Realtor Party Convention …things that surprised him and will probably surprise you:

1. Your Website Discriminates Against People With Disabilities
2. Landlords May Have to Let Tenants Smoke Pot
3. Tax Reform Could Neuter the Mortgage Interest Deduction

For background on each of these, and to learn why these revelations may be part of your real estate future, go HERE.


6. TECH TIP: Creating Better Real Estate Videos

For a quick one-minute lesson on creating better videos, Nashville Realtor Brian Copeland offers three tips in an online video produced for Inman News. To watch it, go HERE.


7. HOT LINE: Forms Used for Home Inspections and Repairs?

QUESTION: I know we have new forms with regard to home inspection and repairs, but do we use the 2013 contingency removal form?

ANSWER: Adjusting to the different 2014 forms has been a challenge for some.

You do not need a contingency removal form for the inspection contingency. In actuality, an inspection contingency should not be removed until repairs have been negotiated, completed, and approved by the buyer since this is all part of the same section of the contract. In fact, we would recommend that most contingencies (with the exception of sale of property and similar types of contingencies) not be removed until closing.

The Repair/Replacement Proposal (F4) is not part of the purchase and sale agreement. It is merely a worksheet on which the parties can propose repairs and replacements. It is used as a negotiating tool. Thus, the buyer would complete an F4 with the items he wants repaired or replaced. If the seller does not agree with the list, then he would complete a NEW F4 with the items he is willing to repair or replace. This process would continue with each party completing a new F4 until the parties have reached an agreement. Once the parties have agreed to repairs and/or replacements, the information is transferred to the Repair/Replacement Amendment (F5) which IS a part of the purchase and sale agreement.

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


8. HOT LINE: Can Seller Accept the Original Offer?

QUESTION: I have some buyers who put an offer on house A on Friday afternoon. Seller of house A countered their offer with a $10,000 lower price but the house would be offered as-is with no repairs. Buyers had until 5:00 on Saturday to respond. Saturday morning, house B came on the market and buyers made offer on house B and it was accepted. We immediately rejected the counter offer on house A. My question is could the seller of house A, after countering an offer, go back and accept the buyer’s original offer?

ANSWER: Please note that this question concerns the legal rights of the parties to the transaction. As such, it falls outside the scope of the Hotline, which is here to provide guidance to our Realtor members only. If the parties have a question concerning their legal rights and/or obligations, they should speak with their own attorney.

HOWEVER, we can provide you with some basic contract law for your own personal knowledge since you are a real estate agent and need to understand the process. If a seller (or anyone) counters an offer, the original offer is dead (due to the counter) and cannot be accepted. The counter is, in effect, a new offer which can only be accepted, rejected or countered.

[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/