The 2-24-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. TREC Disciplinary Actions: Jan., 2015
2. Changes Coming to HUD-1 & Closings
3. Hottest Home Improvements for 2015
4. When You Should Let a Buyer Go
5. UPDATES on COURSES & EVENTS!
6. HOT LINE: Commission for an Expired Listing?
7. HOT LINE: Liability for Vendors’ Access to a Listing?
8. HOT LINE: When a Buyer’s Agent Leaves the Firm?
9. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“You can close more business in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get people interested in you.” — Dale Carnegie

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


1. TREC Disciplinary Actions: Jan., 2015

At its January meeting, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) imposed significant fines ($500-$1,000) and additional penalties on nine (9) individuals for the following offenses:

Failure to exercise adequate supervision over the activities of an affiliate broker (MULTIPLE)
Failure to list firm name and telephone number conspicuously on each page of a website (MULTIPLE)
Engaging in unlicensed activity (MULTIPLE)
Failure to diligently exercise reasonable skill and care in providing services to all parties to the transaction
Failure to respond to a complaint
Advertising violations

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

In addition, the Commission suspended the licenses of six (6) individuals!


2. Changes Coming to HUD-1 & Closings

The days of filling out the HUD-1 settlement form and getting a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) from the lender are winding down! The Truth in Lending Act (TILA) disclosure form is going away, too!

Starting Aug. 1, you will have to work with two new forms, the Closing Disclosure and the Loan Estimate. Also, you will have to get all of the transaction paperwork finalized three days before closing. You can learn about these changes HERE.

The page linked above also features a five-minute online video to watch — from NAR Government Affairs — explaining the changes.


3. Hottest Home Improvements for 2015

The Redfin Blog recently carried an interesting article by Christin Camacho (“7 Home Improvement Projects That Are a Safe Bet for 2015“), based on a survey of their agents and an analysis of listing descriptions.

The seven are:

1. Quartz Countertops
2. Smart Home Features
3. Stainless Steel Appliances
4. Fire Pits
5. Wine Tasting Rooms
6. Outdoor Kitchens
7. Freestanding Tubs

It’s a good overview of newer trends. To read more, go HERE.


4. When You Should Let a Buyer Go

Inman News published an article by Realtor Rae Catanese this past week (“When real estate agents should let a buyer go“) that will surely “hit home” with many of our members …since almost everyone has worked with a customer or client who exhausted their patience! She sets the stage for her story with a great beginning:

“In 13 years of practicing real estate, I had never told a buyer to find another agent, but this person was ruining my life. I’m sure many (if not all) Realtors have thought about firing a buyer who was driving them crazy, but how many Realtors have actually let the buyer go, along with the potential to making upwards of $30,000?

Her article really makes several excellent points. It could put you on the path toward greater peace and sanity in your dealings with the public! To read more, go HERE.


5. UPDATES on COURSES & EVENTS!

The courses below, originally scheduled for this past week, were RESCHEDULED due to recent weather:

Feb. 23: Contracts 101 (4 hrs. CE) — TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Feb. 24-25: 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.

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: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/spring-conference/

The complete 2015 Schedule of GRI courses is posted on the TAR website at: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/

You can ALSO begin work toward your GRI designation in 2015 ONLINE! To find out how, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/e-class-gri-information/


6. HOT LINE: Commission for an Expired Listing?

QUESTION: I had a listing on a property for approximately 6 months. The listing expired at the end of last month. I showed the property to a couple of buyers while I had it listed. One of these buyers is now putting an offer on the property, which has been listed with another agent. Will I be entitled to a commission on this sale?

ANSWER: This will depend upon the terms of the listing agreement and whether there was a carry-over clause. If you used a TAR listing agreement, there is a carry-over clause within it. Lines 39-45 of form RF101 (Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement (Designated Agency)) state:

Carry-Over Clause. Should the Seller contract to sell or exchange, or contract to lease the Property within _________ days after the expiration of this Agreement to any Buyer/Tenant (or anyone acting on Buyer’s/Tenant’s behalf) who has been introduced to the Property, directly or indirectly, during the term hereof, as extended, the Seller agrees to pay the compensation as set forth below. This includes but is not limited to any introduction or exposure to property by advertisements or postings appearing in any medium which originated as a result of listing the Property with Broker.

This carry-over clause shall not apply if the Property is listed with another licensed real estate broker at the time of such contract.

The important language is this last sentence. The TAR Forms Committee did not intend for the carry-over clause to be in effect in the event that the seller listed the property with another firm.

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


7. HOT LINE: Liability for Vendors’ Access to a Listing?

QUESTION: Now that our MLS is giving access to vendors such as inspectors, terminate companies, etc. to listing via the Sentrilock card, what, if any, liability do we have if that vendor is entering the property on our client’s behalf? Also, does the listing agent have any liability too? Or does the liability go to the MLS?

ANSWER: TAR actually put some new language into its listing agreements based upon this new practice by MLSes. For example, on form RF 101 (Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement (Designated Agency)), lines 146-153 state:

“Seller authorizes Broker and/or his affiliated Licensees to conduct showings or ‘Open Houses’ of the Property. Seller additionally authorized Broker and/or his affiliated Licensees and any duly authorized key holder key entry access to the Property. Seller also authorizes Broker and/or his affiliated Licensees to place a lock box on said Property for the purpose of conducting or allowing cooperating brokers to conduct key-entry showings of this Property. Seller represents that adequate insurance will be kept in force to protect Seller in the event of any damage, losses or claims arising from entry to Property by persons though the above use of the key and agrees to hold Broker, its licensees, salespersons and employees harmless from any loss, theft, or damage incurred as a result of showings, Open Houses or other authorized entry thereof.

You may also want to get in touch with your MLS to determine what is required for approval to the Sentrilock system if one is not a Realtor. Also, ask your MLS what their policies are concerning liability.

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


8. HOT LINE: When a Buyer’s Agent Leaves the Firm?

QUESTION: With regard to a buyer’s agency — if an agent leaves a firm, does the agency relationship expire upon their leaving? How does this affect a buyer’s agency?

ANSWER: Buyer’s representation agreements work just like listings. They belong to the FIRM unless the principal broker agrees to let the agent take it to the new firm. In order to terminate a buyer’s representation agreement before its natural expiration, you can use TAR form RF 151. Otherwise, you can use form RF 641, the Amendment to the Buyer’s Representation Agreement to transfer it to another firm.

[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: 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/