The 11-4-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. REMINDER: Rulemaking Hearing This Week!
3. Exercise Your Right to Vote!
4. 10 Agents You Love To Hate…
5. Current Trend Favors Resales
6. TECH TIP: Use ZIP Lookup for Community Info!
7. HOT LINE: Who Can Bind a TAR Contract?
8. HOT LINE: How To Revive a Contract?
9. HOT LINE: Seller Wants to Change What’s Included…?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“My therapist told me the way to achieve true inner peace is to finish what I start. So far I’ve finished two bags of M&Ms and a chocolate cake. I feel better already.” — Dave Barry

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


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

Nov. 7-10: NAR Annual Convention – New Orleans, LA.

Nov. 11: Be Safe: Real Estate, Robbers, Thugs & Con Men (2 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Nov. 12: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Nov. 12: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

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/


2. REMINDER: Rulemaking Hearing This Week!

REMINDER: As we notified you in earlier editions, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) has announced a number of proposed rules and rule changes. The proposed rules regarding teams (“Licensees Who Hold Themselves Out as a Team, Group, or Similar Entity Within a Firm”) will be of particular interest to many TAR members, although the proposal would make substantial changes in other areas as well.

The Rulemaking Hearing is OPEN TO ALL and will be held THIS WEEK at 9:30AM on November 5, 2014, in Room 1A at 500 James Robertson Parkway in Nashville.

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


3. Exercise Your Right to Vote!

On Tuesday, Realtors have the opportunity to exercise one of our greatest constitutional rights and privileges – the right to vote!

In elections at the local, state and national levels, Realtors have the opportunity to make a difference in determining the future direction of our great country.

Electing candidates who understand the importance of homeownership, real estate investment and property rights will help ensure a stronger housing market and stronger communities. Please vote on Tuesday!


4. 10 Agents You Love To Hate…

Lats month, on the Trulia Pro Blog, contributor Jovan Hackley published an interesting article (“You Told Us! 10 Agents You Love to Hate and the Best Ways to Deal“) that’s worth a look:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Recently, we took to social media and asked real agents to get real and tell us: When you’re working with other agents, what are the little (or big!) bad habits that drive you crazy?

You told us! They may be the minority, but — as with every industry — sometimes agents have to work with other agents who can cause some major headaches!

Luckily, there are some simple solutions for dealing with even the most rage-inducing situations. Check out the list and a few friendly tips to help you have a positive transaction — no matter whom you’re working with!
*** END QUOTE ***

To read his findings and suggestions, go HERE.


5. Current Trend Favors Resales

According to a new Wall Street Journal article, a trend is developing that is favoring resales over newly built homes. The gap between the more expensive median price of new residences and that of existing homes has surpassed $70,000 for most of the economic recovery — the widest spread since the National Association of Realtors and the Commerce Department began tracking the data in 1968!

Zillow chief economist Stan Humphries confirms, “The reason we’re not seeing more new-home sales is definitely a function of price. Builders are making a conscious decision to sell fewer homes at higher prices than to sell more homes at lower prices.” Builders have placed considerable emphasis on erecting larger houses due to demand trends, as wealthier buyers have been the most active segment in recent years. At the same time, entry-level buyers largely have been kept out of the market due to such factors as student loan debt, tighter underwriting, and sluggish wage growth. Consequently, builders have been constructing fewer homes, keeping profit margins high by making those houses big and pricey.

Largely because of this trend, the median price of new homes rose by 24 percent from 2009 to last year, outpacing the 14.7 percent gain in the median resale price during that same time. Sales of new homes climbed just 1.7 percent in the first nine months of this year from the same period a year ago. By comparison, sales soared 16.6 percent in 2013 from the year before.

To read more, go HERE.


6. TECH TIP: Use ZIP Lookup for Community Info!

There is a pretty neat online tool – ZIP Lookup by Esri – that lets you find out community information (demographics) for any ZIP Code in the US!

It’s definitely something your buyer-clients might like to know about. All you do is enter a ZIP Code. The online tool then tells you what the lifestyle profiles are of the typical residents in that community, as well as median household income, median age of residents, and the area’s population density.

There is NO COST to find out the most basic information about any ZIP code, so try it out!

To do so, go to: http://www.esri.com/data/esri_data/ziptapestry


7. HOT LINE: Who Can Bind a TAR Contract?

QUESTION: Who can bind a TAR contract? Does it have to be an agent working the contract or can it be the buyer or seller?

ANSWER: The Binding Agreement Date is an integral part of TAR’s purchase and sales agreements. This date dictates many of the contingency deadlines within the contract.

The Binding Agreement Date can be inserted by either the party receiving notice of acceptance or that person’s agent. Lines 346-349 state:

“The parties hereby authorize either licensee to insert the time and date of receipt of the notice of acceptance of the final offer and further agree to be bound by such as the Binding Agreement Date following the signatory section of this Agreement, or Counter Offer, if applicable.”

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


8. HOT LINE: How To Revive a Contract?

QUESTION: I have a listing that has expired. There were health issues with the seller, and while they would now like to relist their house, they want to use the old agreement and cross out the original expiration and replace it and then initial the updates. Is this legal?

ANSWER: We do NOT recommend that agents attempt to “revive” a contract once it has expired. This is complicated and difficult to do. Therefore, if both the firm and the seller want to move forward, we would recommend starting over with a fresh contract. You can then use the same terms as was used in the previous listing agreement.

This is fairly simple to do and very quick in the event that you use a document system such as TransactionDesk which saves the documents and can be regenerated from previous saved information.

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


9. HOT LINE: Seller Wants to Change What’s Included…?

QUESTION: I represent the buyer on a contract. There was a list of materials that were to be included in the transaction, and these were noted in the contract. After the contract became binding, the seller wanted to change said list. How should I handle this situation?

ANSWER: Any time that a contract is to be changed once it has been executed, you should have the parties execute an amendment if they wish to change the terms of the contract. However, nothing requires either party to agree to any change. Generally, once a contract is signed by all parties, it cannot be changed unless all parties agree to the change.

Please note that, if your clients have any questions concerning their legal rights, they should speak with their own attorney.

[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/