The 3-10-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Only One Week Left To Register!
2. RPAC Reception at Puckett’s!
3. Realtors Ready To Kiss Winter Goodbye
4. Why You Lost That Client…
5. Want To Serve on a National Committee?
6. RESPA Compliance in Marketing Agreements
7. UPDATES on COURSES & EVENTS!
8. HOT LINE: Offer or Counteroffer With No Expiration?
9. HOT LINE: Providing a “Value Report”?
10. HOT LINE: Changing the Buyer Agent’s Commission?
11. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Know yourself. Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.” — Ann Landers

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


1. Only One Week Left To Register!

The Registration Deadline for the TAR Spring Conference (March 23-25 at the Cool Spring Marriott) is MARCH 17 …just a week away! NO REGISTRATIONS will be accepted after March 17th, and there is NO on-site registration for the most popular TAR event of the year.

REMEMBER: On Wednesday morning, March 25, popular speaker and attorney Trista Curzydlo will present “Go Forth and Sin No More: Professional Standards Training” for Spring Conference attendees! There is no CE attached to this particular session, BUT it should give everyone a much better handle on both the Code of Ethics and its enforcement!

For more information about the TAR Spring Conference, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/meetings-and-events/spring-conference/


2. RPAC Reception at Puckett’s!

Please join your fellow Realtors for a RPAC Reception at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant on MONDAY, MARCH 23, from 5:30 to 7:00PM!

Known for great food and great live music, Puckett’s is located in downtown Franklin. With historic, small-town charm, Puckett’s in Franklin is a popular destination both for locals and for visitors. The food critics of “Where the Locals Eat” have named Puckett’s in Franklin a “Top 100 Restaurant”.

Live music, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and free parking …all for only $15 in support of RPAC and the Realtor Party!

To register, go HERE.

P.S. You don’t have to be registered for the TAR Spring Conference to attend, and you can also purchase a ticket for a spouse or guest (providing their name) for $15!


3. Realtors Ready To Kiss Winter Goodbye

“Call it a snowpocalypse, snowzilla or whatever you want, Realtors know that the weather can deliver a cold blow to the real-estate industry, but only in the short term,” said Memphis broker Pat Beech, 2015 President of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS (TAR). “At least we know that spring is coming soon, and Tennessee’s market is ripe with plentiful possibilities for the savvy consumer.”

To read more, go HERE.


4. Why You Lost That Client…

Inman Next posted a hard-hitting article by Lee Davenport — “6 reasons you lost that real estate client (and what to do next)” — that’s worth reading, since you’re likely to lose at least one at some point in your career. When that happens, a little candid self-examination may be in order, and this article could help!

Her six reasons:

1. You have high commission rates and offer low value.
2. You have too many clients.
3. You have double the agents — and double the frustration.
4. Liar, liar.
5. You give off a “hungry eyes” vibe.
6. Your website looks like it is from 1999.

To read an explanation of each of these, go HERE.


5. Want To Serve on a National Committee?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is taking recommendations for those who would like to serve on a 2016 NAR committee. The national association has an online form on REALTOR.org that members can access from March 9 to May 22. Members can recommend themselves or others for appointment to a national committee. To access the online form, go HERE.


6. RESPA Compliance in Marketing Agreements

We’re hearing more and more about RESPA, both its requirements and its enforcement!

On Thursday February 19, 2015, NAR hosted a webinar on marketing and services agreements (MSAs) and other agreements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). There have been a number of enforcement actions targeting disclosures and practices under the anti-kickback provisions of RESPA. No one may give or accept anything of value for the referral of settlement services in residential transactions involving a mortgage. MSAs are under particular scrutiny.

A recording of the Feb. 15 webinar is now available online for members to watch at: http://www.realtor.org/articles/respa-marketing-webinar

Another webinar is scheduled for March 19 at 2:00 PM EDT on changes to the closing process that take effect on August 1. For more information about this webinar or to register for it, go HERE.


7. UPDATES on COURSES & EVENTS!

March 23-24: The 2015 TAR Spring Conference at the Cool Springs Marriott in Franklin is the BEST 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 ALSO 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/


8. HOT LINE: Offer or Counteroffer With No Expiration?

QUESTION: When you make an offer or counteroffer, there is a space where you can put an expiration date of the offer/counter. Can this space be left blank with no expiration date?

ANSWER: NO. Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-312(b)(9), an agent can be disciplined for “Using or promoting the use of any real estate listing agreement form, real estate sales contract form, or offer to purchase real estate form which fails to specify a definite termination date.” This would cover both offers and counter offers since counter offers are basically offers back to the seller. If you leave this line blank, you could be subject to fines from TREC.

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


9. HOT LINE: Providing a “Value Report”?

QUESTION: Can a real estate agent provide a homeowner with a “value report” on their property? It has always been my understanding that an agent provides a suggested price and an appraiser provides a value. Please advise.

ANSWER: BPOs are not referred to in the Broker’s Act; but they are mentioned in the Appraiser’s Act which states that “This chapter does not apply to a real estate broker or salesperson licensed by this state who, in the ordinary course of business, gives an opinion to a potential seller or third party as to the recommended listing price of real estate or an opinion to a potential purchaser or third party as to the recommended purchase price of real estate. This opinion as to the listing price or the purchase price shall not be referred to as an appraisal and no opinion shall be rendered as to the value of the real estate or real property.” — Tenn. Code Ann. 62-39-104(a).

You are NOT legally permitted to give an opinion as to the VALUE of a property. This would be a violation of the Appraiser’s Act. In order to provide an opinion as to LIST PRICE or purchase price, you must be a real estate broker or salesperson who is licensed by the state.

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


10. HOT LINE: Changing the Buyer Agent’s Commission?

QUESTION: On the listing agreement, the commission is set. If the listing agent and the buyer’s agent want to change this amount, can they do so between themselves, or does the seller have to be involved in the transaction?

ANSWER: Offers of compensation are negotiated between the two real estate firms. The seller DOES need to be notified of any changes, but he would not be part of the negotiations themselves.

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


11. 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/