The 3-17-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Spring Conf. Registration DEADLINE – Monday, March 16!
2. Don’t Forget: RPAC Reception at Puckett’s
3. A Prediction: 2015 Will Be Great!
4. Generational Trends Study Just Released
5. Keep More of Your Commissions with Tax Breaks!
6. Moving Beyond “Surface” Networking
8. HOT LINE: When Is a Backup Contract Valid?
9. HOT LINE: Buyer Wants To Remain Anonymous
10. HOT LINE: How Are Complaints Handled by TREC?
11. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Love your family more than you love your possessions, money, career, or hobbies. That other stuff can’t love you back.” — Dave Willis

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

1. Spring Conf. Registration DEADLINE – Monday, March 16!

Registration CLOSES as of March 16! So act NOW. There will be NO on-site registrations!

If you plan to attend ONLY a committee meeting, the Board of Directors Meeting, OR the TransactionDesk Demo Lounge (see below), there is NO CHARGE, but, you still need to register by going HERE.

If you plan to attend the FULL conference, please go HERE.

SPECIAL OFFERING: A TransactionDesk Demo Lounge will be available Monday-Tuesday, March 23-24. Please see the online schedule for specific topics and times. There are only 40 seats per session so 1st come – 1st served!

* New Transaction Desk Features Brought to you by TAR: A quick overview of the new features released to all members in January
* Broker Tools: How to take Your Office Paperless! The QB Dashboard and TransactionDesk — TARGET AUDIENCE: Managing Brokers & Office Administrators/Managers
* AuthentiSign: Paperless Files — for e-Signing — Overview of AuthentiSign — the platform independnt eSignature technology for TAR members.

2. Don’t Forget: RPAC Reception at Puckett’s!

Live music, hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, and free parking …all for only $15 in support of RPAC and the Realtor Party! Join your fellow Realtors for a RPAC Reception at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant on MONDAY, MARCH 23, from 5:30 to 7:00PM! 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!

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”.

To register, go HERE.

3. A Prediction: 2015 Will Be Great!

The coming year will be the best for housing since 2007, just before the crash, according to Freddie Mac’s March forecast!

Improving job prospects for Millennials is a big reason for the optimism. Over the past year, employment for those in the 25-to-34 age bracket has risen nearly a full percentage point to 76.8 percent, the highest level since 2008. Also, escalating rents should drive more people to the housing market. Rents have climbed by almost 11 percent over the last three years and increased by an average of about 3.6 percent in 2014 alone. Other factors include low mortgage rates and slowing home price growth.

“Overall, we’re feeling good about housing and we expect this year to be the best year for home sales and new home construction since 2007 when we saw total home sales about 5.8 million for the year,” said Freddie Mac deputy chief economist Len Kiefer.

To read more, go HERE.

In related news, TD Bank’s third annual Mortgage Service Index reveals that 30 percent of Americans consider now to be a very good time to purchase a home, compared with just 20 percent in 2014, and 29 percent of consumers are likely to purchase a home this year, compared with 21 percent in 2014!

4. Generational Trends Study Just Released

NAR’s 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study was just released!

The survey, which evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers, found that an overwhelming majority of buyers search for homes online and then purchase their home through a real estate agent, with millennials using agents the most. For the second consecutive year, NAR’s study found that the largest group of recent buyers was the millennial generation, those 34 and younger, who composed 32 percent of all buyers (31 percent in 2013). Generation X, ages 35-49, was closely behind with a 27 percent share. Millennial buyers represented more than double the amount of younger boomer (ages 50-59) and older boomer (60-68) buyers (at 31 percent). The Silent Generation (ages 69-89) made up 10 percent of buyers in the past year.

To read the full press release, go HERE.

5. Keep More of Your Commissions with Tax Breaks!

As the infamous April 15 approaches, TAR has some good news for you!

The Tennessee Association of Realtors is excited to announce our partnership with Taxbot. Taxbot is an expense tracking system (Mobile App) designed to save THOUSANDS every year. Sandy Botkin, a CPA, Tax Attorney, and former trainer for the IRS developed Taxbot with Realtors in mind! Tennessee Realtors get a huge discount on the service! Sandy Botkin has been featured on FOX, CNN, CBS and CNBC. Try it now. Guaranteed to save at least 20 times your investment in your first 30 days or your money back!

For more information, go HERE.

6. Moving Beyond “Surface” Networking

RISMedia recently published a good article — “Cheat Sheet: 10 Easy Hints to Help You Move Beyond ‘Surface’ Networking” — with sound advice for networking more effectively.

Today’s real estate market requires agents to be able to collaborate, going beyond social media, business card exchanges, and “what can you do for me” networking. Successful collaboration means agents must forge deep, meaningful, and mutually beneficial connections. The 10th hint in the article is perhaps the most important: Be real.

To read all 10 hints, go HERE.


March 23-25: The 2015 TAR Spring Conference — Cool Springs Marriott, Franklin, TN


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

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

8. HOT LINE: When Is a Backup Contract Valid?

QUESTION: I represent the seller on a property. We have a contract that was supposed to close yesterday. We also have a backup contract. If, for any reason, the primary contract does not close on time, does that mean the backup contract is now valid? Would it be advisable, in the future, to give the seller the right to extend the primary contract?

ANSWER: TAR has a Back-Up Agreement which is very helpful in these situations, form RF 622. If you are using this form, it makes it clear that the seller is allowed to negotiate the primary contract, amend the primary contract, etc. HOWEVER, this would have to be done PRIOR to the expiration of the contract.

If the contract fails to close as of the closing date, then the contract is over and the secondary contract moves into a primary position.

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

9. HOT LINE: Buyer Wants To Remain Anonymous

QUESTION: I have a buyer who wants me to make an offer on a property, but do so anonymously. Is this possible and legal? If so, how can I achieve this?

ANSWER: We are not aware of any law prohibiting a buyer from submitting an offer in which their identity remains undisclosed. You would simply put “Undisclosed” in the buyer’s position. However, please bear in mind that this is qualified by the fact that if the buyer is a real estate agent, this MUST be disclosed. Additionally, you are not permitted to mislead the seller. For example, if the seller asks whether the buyer is X or a particular company and it is, you cannot tell the seller that it is not. ALSO, please bear in mind that if the seller has placed restrictions on who they will sell the property to and the undisclosed buyer is, in fact, a member of the restricted group, you cannot submit the offer. This would be misleading.

You are also obligated to honor the requests of your client, the buyer. If he or she wishes to remain anonymous, then you must keep that confidence. Finally, the seller is not required to accept the offer with the undisclosed buyer based on the fact that the buyer is anonymous.

However, once the seller has agreed, the buyer should sign the contract in order to make it binding upon that buyer and the seller be provided a copy of said fully executed contract. Once this has occurred, the seller cannot then attempt to renegotiate things such as price unless the buyer attempts to amend the contract at any point.

Another option would be to establish a trust to purchase the property. However, the property would then be in the name of the trust. There may be some benefits to this if the buyer does not wish to be disclosed at all.

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

10. HOT LINE: How Are Complaints Handled by TREC?

QUESTION: I filed a complaint with TREC a few weeks ago but have not heard anything. Should I expect a reply …how are complaints handled?

ANSWER: When a complaint is filed with TREC, it is logged into their system and a copy is sent to the agent against whom the complaint was made. That agent then has an opportunity to respond. The agent can have up to a month to file a response. Once TREC receives the response, a copy is then sent to the person who filed the complaint. At that time, the person who filed the complaint has an opportunity to add any additional information they deem necessary.

Once that has been completed, the file is sent to TREC’s attorney who reviews and summarizes the file to present to the Commission. The Commission meets at the beginning of every month. The Commission will then debate the issue and make a determination as to whether they believe a violation could have occurred. If they believe that a violation could have occurred, they will propose a settlement (usually, a fine and education) which will be sent to the agent. The agent can agree to the sanction or can request a formal hearing.

[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:

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: