The 8-12-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. Proposed Rules Regarding Teams…!
3. News of Interest
4. RPAC-A-THON on August 20
5. NAR Chief Economist To Visit TN
6. REMINDER – TAR Committee Positions Available
7. HOT LINE ADVISORY: Unlicensed Assistants
8. HOT LINE: Placing SOLD Signs on Property?
9. HOT LINE: Listing “Slandered” by Another Agent?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“The course of your life is shaped by the words ‘yes’ & ‘no’… what you say ‘yes’ to, and what you say ‘no’ to. Spend those words well.” — Dr. Henry Cloud

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

1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

Aug. 12-13: Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR) 2-Day course, approved for 16 hrs. CE – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Aug. 14: Contracts 101 (4 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Aug. 21: Agency in Tennessee (4 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

To see our 2014 GRI Schedule, go to:

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:

National Joke Day is upon us but these savings are no joke. Have a laugh and save 20% on any CE Shop purchase in August using promo code “joke20“. Get 20% off your entire online CE courses this month! Enroll today: …and enter promo code “joke20” at checkout to receive your discount!

2. Proposed Rules Regarding Teams…!

The Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) has announced a number of proposed rules and rule changes. The proposal would make substantial changes to a number of sections:

* Duplicate or Confusingly Similar Firm Names
* Appearances Before the Commission for the Purpose of Obtaining a License
* Military Applicants for Licensure
* Reinstatement of Expired Licenses
* Termination of Affiliated Licensees
* Managing Escrow of Trustee Accounts
* Advertising Rules

AND …TREC is proposing new rules to deal with:

* Commissions Earned by Affiliated Licensees
* Electronic Records
* Licensees Who Hold Themselves Out as a Team, Group, or Similar Entity Within a Firm

This last item, the new rules regarding teams, will be of particular interest to many TAR members! The Rulemaking Hearing will be held at 9:30AM on November 5, 2014.

To read or download the entire set of proposed rules, you can do so HERE.

3. News of Interest says that average closing costs in Tennessee are the second-lowest in the nation! The survey by shows the national average to be $2,539 on a $200,000 purchase. Tennessee’s average: $2,366. To read more, go HERE.

Realtors welcomed last week’s announcement from Fair Isaac Corp., or FICO, that it will no longer penalize borrowers for certain debt-collection activities when calculating credit scores. To read more, go HERE.

The TAR DIGEST may be the only real estate newsletter that has not weighed in on the Zillow-Trulia deal so far. Some love it, some hate it, some feel it’s a big deal, and some feel it can safely be ignored …for the present. For more insight on the merger/acquisition, from an investment perspective, go HERETo read one Realtor’s take on the Zillow-Trulia deal, go HERE.

4. RPAC-A-THON on August 20

August 20, 2014, will be a great day for the Tennessee Association of Realtors and the Realtor Party. Join us for the RPAC-A-THON and reach out to potential RPAC investors in a statewide RPAC phone bank to encourage RPAC participation.

We have 10 satellite RPAC-A-THON locations across the state starting at 10:00 a.m. Central. Sign up for a shift to help make a difference for the Realtor Party at:

Learn more at:

5. NAR Chief Economist To Visit TN

Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS, will address Chattanooga Realtors and the Chattanooga Home Builders Association on Tuesday, August 12. He is scheduled to provide a national perspective of the trends impacting the housing market. For more information about this program, contact the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors at: 423-698-8001

6. REMINDER – TAR Committee Positions Available!

2015 could be YOUR year to serve and make a difference in the future of your state association! It’s time to step up and step forward!

It won’t be long before TAR’s 2015 Leadership will be appointing members to the state association’s 2015 committees. To complete an EASY online application and express YOUR interest in a 2015 committee appointment, log into the Members Only area of, and go to:

The deadline for TAR committee requests is August 30, 2014.

7. HOT LINE ADVISORY: Unlicensed Assistants

Recently some Hot Line questions have again asked what an unlicensed employee, assistant, or secretary may and may not do, under the rules of the TN Real Estate Commission. According to the Commission, an unlicensed assistant MAY NOT:

1. Make cold calls by telephone or in person to potential clients.
2. Show properties for sale and/or lease to prospective purchasers.
3. Host open houses, home show booths or fairs.
4. Discuss or explain listings, offers, contracts, or other similar matters with persons outside the firm.
5. Negotiate any terms of a real estate transaction.
6. Negotiate or agree to any commission split or referral fee on behalf of a licensee.
7. Be paid any compensation which is dependent upon, or directly related to, a real estate transaction.

To read the list of functions that an unlicensed assistant MAY perform, go to:

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

8. HOT LINE: Placing SOLD Signs on Property?

QUESTION: We have another company here in town where the agents are putting SOLD signs in the yard when they sell our listings. Is there an issue with this?

ANSWER: This issue has come up before and is addressed by the NAR Code of Ethics. Standard of Practice 12-7 states:

“Only Realtors who participated in the transaction as the listing broker or cooperating broker (selling broker) may claim to have “sold” the property. Prior to closing, a cooperating broker may post a “sold” sign only with the consent of the listing broker.”

Once the property has closed, however, the new owner is the one who determines who is permitted to place a “sold” sign on the property.

If the agent who placed the “sold” sign is not involved in the transaction and/or places the sign on the property too soon, you can file a complaint with the local board. If the agent is not a Realtor, then you may file a complaint with TREC. They may well find this practice to be misleading if the agent is not involved in the transaction.

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

9. HOT LINE: Listing “Slandered” by Another Agent?

QUESTION: I had a listing on a property. A competitive broker had a listing on another property. A buyer was shown both properties. The buyer made an offer on my property, but it was withdrawn after the competitive broker made false statements about my property to the buyer. How should I handle this situation?

ANSWER: If the agent told his buyer lies about your client’s property, you (or your client) could have several different options. According to the Broker’s Act, a licensee owes a duty to all parties to “provide services to each party to the transaction with honesty and good faith“. – Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403(4).

Furthermore, an agent can be disciplined for “Making any substantial and willful misrepresentation” and for “pursuing a continued and flagrant course of misrepresentation“. – Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(1) and (3).

In addition, if the agent is a Realtor, he may have violated provisions of the Code of Ethics. Article 1 states:

“When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, Realtors pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve Realtors of their obligation to treat all parties honestly.”

Article 12 states:

“Realtors shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations.”

If you wish, you and/or your client can file a complaint with TREC and/or the local board. Additionally, if your sellers feel that the agent has highjacked the offer on their property by his statements, then they may have a legal claim against the agent. They should speak with their own attorney about this.

[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:

To go to the TAR website:

To access current and past TAR DIGESTS:

Follow TAR on Twitter at:

TAR’s LinkedIn page:

TAR’s page on Facebook:

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question:

For CE classroom courses around the state, go to:

For online CE courses, go to:

Tennessee Real Estate Commission: