The 2-17-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Home Price Growth in the Fourth Quarter of 2014
2. New TAR Website Now Fully Responsive!
3. What VA Homebuyers Need
4. How One Agent Survived an Attack!
5. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
6. HOT LINE: Who Qualifies as “Immediate Family”?
7. HOT LINE: Recommending Vendors?
8. HOT LINE ADVISORY: Agency Is Still an Issue!
9. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose…. There is no reason not to follow your heart.” — Steve Jobs

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

1. Home Price Growth in the Fourth Quarter of 2014

According to the latest quarterly report by the National Association of Realtors, the majority of metropolitan areas in the U.S. experienced steady but slightly stronger price growth in the fourth quarter of 2014, behind a decline in housing supply and an uptick in demand fueled by lower interest rates and a stronger job market.

Tennessee’s metropolitan areas fared very well in this report with the following price gains for existing single-family home sales, comparing the fourth quarter of 2014 with the fourth quarter of 2013.

Memphis: Up 6.7%
Nashville: Up 8.8%
Chattanooga: Up 8.8%
Knoxville: Up 4.2%

NAR’s Research Department has indicated that supply remains a problem in some areas (with many sellers still sitting on the sidelines), so this may contribute to even more price growth in 2015 than originally thought.

To access the entire release from NAR, go HERE.

NAR’s news release includes a link to the full report for all metropolitan areas in the country.

2. New TAR Website Now Fully Responsive!

If you’ve not visited the TAR website lately – – you should!

As our headline says, it’s been totally redesigned and is now fully responsive. Wondering what “responsive” means? It refers to the fact that, regardless of what kind of device you’re using to access the site (PC, smartphone, tablet, etc.), the website automatically adjusts to the size of the device and screen you’re using to view it …so your viewing experience is a good one from ANY device!

When you explore the TAR website, you’ll find news about the upcoming Spring Conference, access to various Member Services (NOT just forms), descriptions of upcoming education offerings, Governmental Affairs news, etc.

When you’re there, you may notice that the Early-Bird Registration rate for the TAR Spring Conference ends on MARCH 6! After that date, the registration fee increases by $50 for members. [The cut-off date for hotel reservations at the Cool Springs Marriott is March 4!]

It’s YOUR website, so explore!

3. What VA Homebuyers Need

Most people have surely seen one of the TV commercials advertising the fact that veterans can qualify for home loans with NO down payment.

Inman News recently posted an article by Samantha Reeves (“3 things VA homebuyers need from real estate agents“) with tips for any Realtor working with a veteran as buyer.

IMPORTANT NOTE: As Samantha writes,”Some agents may believe that if they don’t work in a community near a military base, then they don’t need to ask their buyers if they served. But this isn’t the case at all. Buyers don’t have to be active-duty military to use the VA loan, so there are buyers eligible for VA loan benefits all across the country.”

You should read the whole article. You can do so HERE.

4. How One Agent Survived an Attack!

We were alerted to this story by Karen Lowe, Association Executive for the Eastern Middle TN Association of Realtors. A Realtor — Janice Tisdale, a 64-year-old grandmother — fortunately survived an attack and succeeded in getting away, with the help of some nearby teenagers.

It’s noteworthy that, in this case, the Realtor had already shown properties to her attacker previously, so he was not a total stranger. Her instincts ended up serving her well! You can read her story HERE.

It’s a compelling story and another great reminder to practice good safety when showing property, even when you think you know your buyer!

5. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

Feb. 17-18: Real Property Information (RPI) Training & Real Estate Collaborative Specialist-Divorce (RCS-D) Training (6 hrs. CE each!) – TAR Office, Nashville. You can register only for Day 1, or Days 1 & 2 together. These courses are ALSO approved for GRI Elective Credit. For information about, or to register for, either or both of these courses, go HERE.

Feb. 21: Contracts 101 (4 hrs. CE) — TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

March 23-24: The 2015 TAR Spring Conference at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin is the BEST and most affordable opportunity you’ll ever have to hear from excellent national speakers and give your business a boost! This is typically the biggest TAR event of the year! Apart from earning CE credit, you’ll have a chance to network with Realtors from across Tennessee! For more info:

The complete 2015 Schedule of GRI courses is posted on the TAR website at:

You can ALSO begin work toward your GRI designation in 2015 ONLINE! To find out how, go to:

6. HOT LINE: Who Qualifies as “Immediate Family”?

QUESTION: Does “immediate family” include a sister-in-law?

ANSWER: Pursuant to Section 62-13-404(7)(A) of the Broker’s Act, a licensee shall not engage in self-dealing nor act on behalf of the licensee’s immediate family members without prior disclosure of such interest and the timely written consent of all parties to the transaction.

Further, TREC Rule 1260-2-.11 (Personal Interest) requires a licensee to disclose the fact that he/she is a licensee when buying or selling property for themselves. Thus, if you act as a listing agent for an immediate family member (i.e. parent, child, sibling, spouse, in-laws, grandparent, or grandchild), the relationship must be disclosed, and if you sell your own property, you must identify yourself as a licensee. A sister-in-law would likely be considered by TREC to be immediate family, as in-laws are specifically named in the law.

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

7. HOT LINE: Recommending Vendors?

QUESTION: I have never known any real estate company to offer/promote more than one home warranty company. Can you elaborate on what most companies are doing regarding this or shed any more light on the subject? Is this a possible area we are all open to lawsuit exposure?

ANSWER: We don’t know what “most” firms do as far as recommending home warranty companies. Whenever recommending any vendors (be it home inspectors, termite inspectors, mortgage companies, home warranty companies, etc.), we always suggest that you recommend more than one. HOWEVER, it is not required that you do so, but it could lessen your exposure. The issue when only offering one company is that if that company does a poor job, the customer/client could look to you and say it is your fault because you recommended them.

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

8. HOT LINE ADVISORY: Agency Is Still an Issue!

Both the TAR Office and the Hot Line continue to field questions regarding the law of agency and how it is applied in Tennessee.

One question that keeps coming up, for example, revolves around the default to Facilitator status — when that should or shouldn’t be done, and how to do it properly IF circumstances AND your office’s agency policy permit or necessitate it.

If you scan the license law violations that we publish periodically — violations punished by the TN Real Estate Commission — failure to represent clients appropriately, or without conflicts of interest, is often the issue! NAR’s Legal Scans also regularly cite agency law violations as a common cause of lawsuits across the country!

We direct your attention to a FREE Guide to Tennessee’s Agency Law that TAR published a few years ago. It was authored by TAR staff, and it was reviewed and approved by multiple attorneys, including one with the TN Real Estate Commission. It’s a PDF document, and features a question-and-answer section that should clear up any confusion about the law. Above all, brokers might consult this Guide if they haven’t yet decided on an agency policy for the entire office. It is hazardous to let the sales associates in an office simply “do their own thing” in regard to agency.

You can download the Guide at:

On that same page, you can also download a free print-ready brochure for buyers, and another for sellers, explaining Tennessee’s agency law.

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

9. 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: