The 7-1-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. TAR’s Legislative Success in 2014
3. Middle TN’s Growth in the News
4. 2013 Data for Tennessee Public Schools
5. Cyberattacks and Internet Extortion!
6. “Coming Soon” Listings
7. Pocket Listings and the Code of Ethics
8. HOT LINE: Follow-Up on Square Footage Issues?
9. HOT LINE: When To Use the Property Condition Disclaimer Form?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Life is an inside-out adventure. Our insides produce the outside. Don’t look to the outside to make the inside work. It will never happen. It works the other way around.” — Dr. Henry Cloud

From TAR’s Leadership and Staff: Happy 4th of July, Everyone!


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

July 17: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more info or to register, go HERE.

July 17: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more info or to register, go HERE.

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/

July 20th is National Lollipop Day, so The CE Shop has a sweet treat for you! Get 20% off your entire online continuing Education (CE) for the entire month of July! Enroll today at: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/ …and enter promocode “lollipop20” at checkout to receive your discount!


2. TAR’s Legislative Success in 2014

The Tennessee Association of Realtors achieved success again in our legislative efforts to maintain a real-estate-friendly environment in Tennessee!

One of our achievements was a bill, successfully passed, to ensure that brokers who rely on income from commercial rental leases will be allowed to collect the commissions that are contractually due.

The full 2014 Legislative Wrap-Up can be accessed (in PDF format) HERE.

ALSO, a video recap, featuring an exclusive interview with Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey can be seen online at: http://tnrealtors.com/2014sessionwrapup/


3. Middle TN’s Growth in the News

New U.S. Census data prompted two recent stories in both The Tennessean and the Nashville Business Journal. The Business Journal summarizes as follows:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Middle Tennessee grew faster than any other region in the state, according to the data, with Williamson and Rutherford counties alone adding more people than Knoxville and Chattanooga. Memphis, meanwhile, is shrinking, and has seen its population decline by 8,000 over the past four years.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more from the Business Journal, go HERE.

To read the more detailed Tennessean article, go HERE.

The same U.S. Census survey revealed: “Fewer Americans are on the move, with newly released Census data showing that only 11.7 percent of Americans moved between 2012 and 2013 due to job, family, or housing reasons.” That’s down from 15.9 percent a year earlier. To read more, go HERE.

These population trends DO have an impact on the real estate market!


4. 2013 Data for Tennessee Public Schools

The Tennessee Dept. of Education has published its 2013 TCAP Results for all of Tennessee’s public schools. To download an Excel spreadsheet showing results for all schools, go HERE

A recap for the entire state can be seen HERE.

ALSO: The Tennessee School Boards Association recently launched a special website – http://MyTennesseePublicSchools.net – to provide school districts and parents with a resource to help parents get acquainted with the Tennessee public school system. This site presents general information about how to enroll, understanding how our local school systems work, and highlights ways to get involved. The site aims to create a comfortable experience for those entering the Tennessee public school system by providing quick access links and various insights on how best to be prepared. Save the link!


5. Cyberattacks and Internet Extortion!

As many Realtors know, REALTOR.COM was “off line” for two days last week, due to a “distributed denial of service” (DDoS) attack by malevolent hackers demanding ransom before they would discontinue the attack! They also attacked Top Producer as well as other sites. Move, Inc. – that operates both the REALTOR.COM and Top Producer sites – refused to pay the ransom, instead migrating its services to a different network that’s better able to withstand such attacks.

As Inman News explains, “DDoS attackers overwhelm target sites with traffic, sometimes demanding money to turn off the attack.”

The same Inman News article notes: “Other recent victims of DDoS attacks include Evernote, Twitter’s popular messaging app TweetDeck, RSS reader Feedly, video site Vimeo, project management platform Basecamp, and inbound marketing tech firm Moz.”

We’re obviously entering an era in which the security of websites (and website data) demands a more sophisticated approach to website design and maintenance!

To read more, go HERE.


6. “Coming Soon” Listings

On the YPN Blog, Realtor Sam DeBord recently posted a useful article (“‘Coming Soon’ Listings: The Only Question You Need to Ask”) …useful because “Coming Soon” notices seem to be on the rise, both in yards and on Internet portals like Zillow.

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
If you attempt to sell your client’s listing during a “coming soon” time period on an Internet portal that receives less than 20 percent of all real estate Internet traffic, but not advertise it simultaneously on the MLS and other websites (with delayed showing instructions if necessary): “What specific benefit are you telling your sellers they will receive by skipping the exposure to agents on the MLS, and buyers on agent, broker, and other portal websites?”
*** END QUOTE ***

To read his entire article, go HERE.

AND BY ALL MEANS, if you are considering a “Coming Soon” ad, first read what NAR’s legal counsel says on the subject HERE.


7. Pocket Listings and the Code of Ethics

Related to the above, a new REAL Trends article by Terry Penza (“Pocket Listings and The Realtor Code of Ethics”) highlights some ethical concerns that agents should address when they withhold a listing from the MLS. As she notes, always giving priority to what is “best for the client will result in a legal and ethical transaction.”

To read her entire article, go HERE.

This past November, California Association of REALTORS attorney Elizabeth Miller-Bougdanos discussed the legal issues raised by pocket listings in a NAR podcast that you can listen to online at: http://www.realtor.org/audio/legal-podcast-pocket-listings


8. HOT LINE: Follow-Up on Square Footage Issues?

QUESTION: Thank you for addressing the issue of square footage claims and the liabilities associated with it. In a prior DIGEST you stated: “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.”

In our MLS, when you look at a buyer or agent listing profile, at the bottom of the page it states: “Information believed to be accurate but not guaranteed. Buyers should independently verify all information prior to submitting any offer to purchase.” This is in bold red. My question: Is that sufficient? I see many agents using their 255 max characters in the remarks to state again that “the information is not guaranteed”. I do not see why that is necessary when the MLS shows the disclaimer on every page. I also see in in the Realtor Remarks with relation to school districts. I don’t see why that is necessary either.

ANSWER: As long as any needed disclaimers appear in ANY advertising, you should be covered. This includes any IDX feeds or other websites where your listing information may also be displayed outside of the MLS. Agents may include this simply because if the information is “pulled” from the MLS to an IDX feed or something similar, the disclaimer may not also be pulled. This would depend upon how the IDX feed is set up. We would strongly recommend speaking with your MLS to determine whether the disclaimer is pulled on these types of feeds.

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


9. HOT LINE: When To Use the Property Condition Disclaimer Form?

QUESTION: When do you use the Tennessee Residential Property Condition Disclaimer?

ANSWER: There are three TAR forms that deal with the Tennessee Residential Property Disclosure Act. One of these three forms should be completed in every transaction involving residential property. All of these should be completed by the seller and disclosed to potential buyers. They are: Form F16 (Tennessee Residential Property Condition Disclosure form), Form F42 (Tennessee Residential Exemption Notification form), and Form F43 (Tennessee Residential Property Disclaimer form).

Form F16 is the one most commonly used. This is the one given to the seller where he discloses information about the property for the benefit of any prospective buyers.

Form 42 concerns those exemptions that the statute describes, when a disclosure is not required. These include things such as seller has not lived on property at any time in the last three years, some bankruptcies, foreclosure sales, auctions, etc. [Please see the form for a complete list.] In these instances, no form is required, but we recommend using the F42 so that your file has documentation in it clarifying that the seller is exempt.

The third form is F43. This is the form you use when the seller wants to sell the property “as is”. The seller is stating that he is not going to make repairs and is not disclosing anything. However, in these circumstances, the buyer MUST agree to this disclaimer. If not, then the Condition Disclosure form must be completed if the sale is to proceed. If the buyer agrees to accept the Disclaimer, the seller is not obligated to present the Disclosure statement (and the buyer does not have to sign it). In certain situations (such as someone has a power of attorney for the seller), you can explain that the seller is not able to provide an adequate disclosure form (get the seller’s permission or the person holding the power of attorney before stating this to the buyer). This may make them more agreeable to accept the Disclaimer, especially if they understand that they can make whatever inspections they wish and can terminate the contract if they are not happy with the outcome of the inspections.

[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/