The 7-15-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. TAR Goes Mobile, With YOUR Help!
3. TAR Convention Highlights
4. Dangerous Listings To Avoid
5. Prospect a Little Every Day, Regardless…
6. Top Amenities That Homebuyers Want
7. HOT LINE: With Regard to the BAD…?
8. HOT LINE: Choice of Closing Companies?
9. HOT LINE: A Commercial Property Condition Disclosure?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door.” — Coco Chanel

NOTE: If you’re reading this on a mobile device (iPhone, etc.), GO HERE for a mobile-friendly DIGEST.


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 Goes Mobile, With YOUR Help!

This is YOUR chance to help us design something for you!

The Tennessee Association of Realtors (TAR) is exploring the development of a mobile app for our membership. With more and more members using smartphones and pads to access the Internet, we want to make our information and services truly mobile-friendly!

We’d like to know what you would be interested in seeing. This is a SHORT survey and won’t take more than a couple of minutes of your time! Please give us your opinion. To respond, please go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/tarapp


3. TAR Convention Highlights

The upcoming TAR Annual Convention in Chattanooga (Sept. 17-19) promises to be fun, educational and a great way to end a busy summer! Realtors really are going to ROCK Chattanooga!

The education sessions feature great topics to help you build your business, stay out of trouble, and be even more successful. And you don’t want to miss this year’s speakers: Darryl Davis, G. William James, Leigh Brown, and Cheryl Knowlton.

Registration at early-bird rates is now available! For more information, or to register, go HERE.


4. Dangerous Listings To Avoid

A posting by Melissa Zavala on the Inman Next weblog last week (Take these listings at your own risk: 3 scenarios that could put your real estate career on the line) describes three types of listings that are truly danger-filled for any Realtor.

At one time or another, most real estate agents have heard that you must “list to last”. As Melissa points out in this article, however, there are some listings that you need to walk away from:

1. A listing with too many liens on the property,
2. A listing for which the seller wants far more than the property is worth, and
3. A listing for which the seller wants you to compromise your ethics.

This article is worth your time and would make a great starting point for discussion at your next sales meeting. To read it, go HERE.


5. Prospect a Little Every Day, Regardless…

Realtor Teresa Boardman, a Minnesota broker whose occasional articles we’ve referenced in the past, wrote one this past week for Inman News that ought to be required reading for anyone who has ever felt they were too busy to prospect!

Her title was self-explanatory: “No matter what happens in my life, I spend some time each day prospecting”. She describes some family-related challenges that – for most people – would have been a good excuse NOT to prospect, but emphasizes the importance of doing it no matter what. As Teresa writes, “As long as I have a pipeline, I have a business.

Not everyone can prospect the way Teresa does, but everyone can do something. To read her article, go HERE.


6. Top Amenities That Homebuyers Want

This past week, NAR reported on a Pulte Homes survey of more than 1,000 adults ages 25 to 65, as to the amenities they would most want to see in a home:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Among the most important features home buyers identified:
– “His and her closets” in the master bedroom (31%) and spa-like master bathrooms (23%)
– A large eat-in kitchen area (23%) and a kitchen island (22%)
– At least one bathtub in a home (54%)

…The most important areas to home buyers when choosing a new home: kitchen (29%), bedroom (22%), and living room (18%).
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.


7. HOT LINE: With Regard to the BAD…?

QUESTION: With regard to the Binding Agreement Date (BAD), I understand which agent is supposed to bind the contract, but what if said agent doesn’t bind the contract and/or provide you with a copy of same?

ANSWER: You need to hound that agent for a copy of the contract with the BAD on it. If they will not provide it, inform them that they are in violation of both the Broker’s Act and TREC Rules. Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(8) states that an agent can be punished for “Failing to furnish a copy of any listing, sale, lease, or other contract relevant to a real estate transaction to all signatories thereof at the time of execution“.

Article 9 of the Code of Ethics states that:

Realtors, for the protection of all parties, shall assure whenever possible that all agreements related to real estate transactions including, but not limited to, listing and representation agreements, purchase contracts, and leases are in writing in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties. A copy of each agreement shall be furnished to each party to such agreements upon their signing or initialing.

If you cannot get a copy from the agent in a timely fashion, contact their broker.

As far as what that date would be when the agent “receives” it, we would recommend that the agent documents it as being the date and time when it either (1) arrived at their firm (for mailing, personal delivery); (2) when it hit their fax machine; or (3) when it hit their server if emailed.

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


8. HOT LINE: Choice of Closing Companies?

QUESTION: We have a credit union & one bank that I have run across that say they have a list of “Approved” vendors to do the closings. The credit union has since opened their own closing company & let go of at least one other closing company. The bank only gave my people a choice of 2 different places to close after saying that the place I had in the contract was not on their “Approved” list. Can the Bank/Credit unions do this legally?

ANSWER: If the buyer is paying for the title insurance, then the lender that the buyer is using can dictate who closes the loan, since they often have the largest financial interest in the transaction. HOWEVER, if the seller is paying for the title insurance, then the buyer’s lender likely cannot dictate from whom they purchase the insurance. Nevertheless, the bank can choose their own closing attorney in the transaction.

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


9. HOT LINE: A Commercial Property Condition Disclosure?

QUESTION: Is there a commercial property condition disclosure? If so, is it required by law in a commercial transaction?

ANSWER: There is not a “required” property condition disclosure form for the sale of commercial property as there is in residential real estate. However, there is one statute which governs commercial leases. Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 66-7-108(a):

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
At the request of a prospective tenant, the owner of commercial or industrial real property where the commercial property space is one thousand five hundred square feet (1,500 sq. ft.) or less, and the industrial real property is five thousand square feet (5,000 sq. ft.) or less, shall furnish to such prospective tenant a signed disclosure statement detailing the extent to which such real property is understood by the owner to be in compliance with local and state fire, plumbing, and electrical codes for a building of the type under construction. If, at the time such disclosure is made, an item of information required to be disclosed is unknown or not available to the owner, the owner may state that such information is unknown.
*** END QUOTE ***

TAR provides a form for this purpose, form F51, Commercial/Industrial Real Property Disclosure.

If the property is such that it can be used for living quarters or places where children will be (schools, day care centers, etc.) and was built prior to 1978, you must also have the seller complete the Lead Based Paint Disclosure.

[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/