The 7-8-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. 2014 TAR Membership Survey Results
3. Memphis Home Prices in the News
4. TREC Disciplinary Actions!
5. 24/7/365 Toll-Free Support for TransactionDesk
6. NAR Launches a Video News Program
7. The Expense Most Buyers Underestimate!
8. HOT LINE: Renegotiate After a Low Appraisal?
9. HOT LINE: Seller Refuses To Do Repairs?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.” — Stephen King


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. 2014 TAR Membership Survey Results

First, many thanks to those of our members who responded to this year’s TAR Membership Survey!

Some of the highlights…

Members feel that the four biggest problems facing the real estate industry today are:

1. Lending restrictions
2. Federal regulations
3. Competition for listing data
4. Rapid technology changes

The top four TAR services that members use (or have used) to help with their businesses are:

1. TAR Forms
2. The TAR DIGEST Newsletter
3. TransactionDesk
4. TAR Education

When asked which of several statements best describes the purpose of TAR, a majority of members said: “Provides programs and services that will enhance a REALTOR member’s success”.

Again, we appreciate your participation in the survey!


3. Memphis Home Prices in the News

In a recent Forbes article (Bubble Watch: Home Prices Still Undervalued, But Not For Much Longer), the magazine reports on Trulia’s “Bubble Watch” noting that – in a survey of the 100 largest Metro areas – national home prices were undervalued by 3% in the second quarter of 2014.

The article goes on to name the 10 U.S. markets where home prices were most OVERVALUED, and the 10 U.S. markets where home prices are most UNDERVALUED. The Memphis, TN, area made the latter list at number 6, having home prices estimated at 14% below their value!

It’s obviously time for Memphis buyers to take advantage of this opportunity, especially since the article notes that markets like Memphis “are unlikely to stay on the most-undervalued list for many more quarters.

To read the entire article, go HERE.


4. TREC Disciplinary Actions!

At its March, April, and May meetings, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) imposed significant fines ($250-$3,000) and additional penalties (classes, etc.) on forty-seven (47) individuals for the following offenses:

  • Failure to adequately supervise activities of affiliates (MULTIPLE)
  • Failure to adequately supervise advertising activities of affiliates (MULTIPLE)
  • Advertising violation (Agent’s name larger than the firm name) (MULTIPLE)
  • Making a substantial and willful misrepresentation (MULTIPLE)
  • Failure to complete and obtain a signed written disclosure of agency status form (MULTIPLE)
  • Failure to maintain Errors and Omissions insurance (MULTIPLE)
  • Failure to timely complete required education (MULTIPLE)
  • An affiliate’s acceptance of a commission from someone other than the broker with whom they are affiliated (MULTIPLE)
  • Failure to respond to a complaint filed with the Commission (MULTIPLE)
  • Engaging in unlicensed activity (MULTIPLE)
  • Failure to disclose adverse facts of which the licensee has actual notice or knowledge
  • Failure to be loyal to the interests of the client
  • Failure to make a personal interest disclosure
  • Failure to timely disburse or interplead earnest money
  • Failing to furnish a copy of a listing, sale, lease or other contract relevant to a real estate transaction to all signatories of the contract at the time of execution
  • Failing, within a reasonable time, to account for or to remit moneys belonging to others
  • Violation of the gifts and prizes rule
  • Failure to timely complete administrative measures
  • Conducting business with an expired real estate firm license
  • Operating an unlicensed property management company

NOTE: The (MULTIPLE) notation indicates that more than one licensee was punished for this reason.

IN ADDITION TO the above, eighteen (18) licensees had their licenses suspended by the Commission!


5. 24/7/365 Toll-Free Support for TransactionDesk

Yes, you read that right. Effective June 30th, Instanet Solutions provides live TOLL-FREE phone and chat support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year!

To access it, call 800-668-8768.

In addition, Chat support can be found under LIVE SUPPORT when logged into your TransactionDesk account.

In order to provide non-stop, 24 hours a day support, Instanet Solutions has partnered with a support services firm with 13 call centers across North America. This organization does nothing but operate call centers; they are experts in the field. The Service Level Agreement states that all calls will be answered within one minute making the average hold time going forward the very best in the industry and one of the best in ANY industry. Remember, the Instanet Solutions TOLL FREE support is for TransactionDesk only.

TAR still provides tech support as well for questions regarding logging into the TAR site, forms and yes, even TransactionDesk, but only M-F 8:30a – 4:30p CST. For TAR’s tech support, please call 877-321-1477 and select OPTION #1.


6. NAR Launches a Video News Program

NAR launched a video news broadcast this past week called “The Voice for Real Estate.” You can link to it at: http://www.realtor.org/videos/the-voice-for-real-estate

Host Stephen Gasque, NAR’s director of broadcasting, shines a spotlight on the top legislative, regulatory, and legal issues NAR is working on, and summarizes recent research findings. The Voice for Real Estate will come out every two weeks and increase to three times a month later this year. The first program is just over six minutes long, making it a good concise way to stay on top of several national issues.


7. The Expense Most Buyers Underestimate!

A news story in June caught our attention …featuring information that buyer’s agents should probably be passing along to their clients:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
A study released last week by TD Bank showed 65% of homeowners with PMI caused them to pay a higher-than-expected monthly mortgage payment.

A borrower is required to get PMI if the loan exceeds 80% of the property’s value (meaning the borrower provided a down payment less than 20% of the value), according to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The purpose of the insurance is to protect the lender against losses in the event of loan delinquency, and it also allows consumers to purchase a home with a smaller down payment. It’s not a permanent expense: Once the homeowner builds up sufficient equity in the home, PMI is canceled (the homeowner can request cancellation at 20% equity, or the lender cancels it automatically at 22%, as dictated by the Homeowners Protection Act of 1998).

Among people who purchased a home in the past two years, 35% said PMI impacted their decision of which house to buy.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read the entire article, go HERE.


8. HOT LINE: Renegotiate After a Low Appraisal?

QUESTION: I represent a seller in a transaction. The appraisal did not come back where it should have, and now the buyer wants to renegotiate. The seller wanted to keep the shed on the property, but the buyer’s agent is stating that it would not be legal to negotiate anything other than the sales price. Is this correct?

ANSWER: Anything in the contract can be renegotiated at any time. HOWEVER, both parties must agree to the new terms or the former terms will remain in place. Please note that any amendment to the contract MUST be presented to the lender so that they have accurate information concerning the final agreement of the parties.

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


9. HOT LINE: Seller Refuses To Do Repairs?

QUESTION: With regard to the buyer inspection and resolution period: When you are under contract, and there are multiple offers on the property, or there is a backup offer, and the buyer has the inspection done and sends a list of repairs to the seller, can the seller refuse to do the repairs and back out of the contract?

ANSWER: Note that the TAR Legal Hotline cannot provide an interpretation of any executed contract. Nevertheless, we can give you the Forms Committee intent as to a blank contract.

A seller is not obligated to agree to any repairs. HOWEVER, the seller is obligated to negotiate in good faith with the buyer. This means that he must respond to the buyer, but he does not have to agree to any repairs. If the buyer waives repairs, then it is likely that the seller will have to go through with the contract.

[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/