The 4-28-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. NAR Issues a New Legal Pulse!
2. State of the U.S. Housing Market
3. 35 Marketing Ideas To Consider
4. Social Media Mistakes!
5. What Realtors Spend on Technology
6. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS!
7. HOT LINE: The Home Inspection Report?
8. HOT LINE: Attachments to the Contract?
9. HOT LINE: Multiple Backup Offers?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“In school, you’re taught a lesson and then given a test. In life, you’re given a test that teaches you a lesson.” — Tom Bodett

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


1. NAR Issues a New Legal Pulse Report!

Each quarter, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) issues the Legal Pulse newsletter tracking when — and for what reason — real estate professionals are currently being held liable! The Legal Pulse also identifies emerging issues and trends, helping to reveal where additional risk reduction training is needed.

A new edition of the Legal Pulse, issued on April 15 (Tax Day!), highlights research from the fourth quarter of 2014, including a review of the entire past year, and looks at trends and emerging issues such as Agency, PCD, RESPA, and Fair Housing.

The latest Legal Pulse focuses on three major topics of concern — Agency, Property Condition Disclosures, and RESPA!

To read and/or download the report, go HERE.


2. State of the U.S. Housing Market

This past week on April 21, the nation’s leading housing economists spoke at an economic and policy forum to appraise the state of the U.S. housing market. The event, held by the National Association of Realtors, National Association of Home Builders, and McGraw Hill Financial Global Institute, drew more than 80 attendees representing industry analysts, congressional staff, and members of the media.

“Realtors support legislative and regulatory efforts to protect homebuyers from the risky and predatory lending practices that contributed to the nation’s financial crisis nearly a decade ago,” said NAR Immediate Past President Steve Brown during his opening remarks. “In some cases though, well-intentioned but overly-corrective policies are hampering access to credit and holding back the housing market from a full recovery. We need to strike a balance.” [Just a few days prior to this forum, NAR President Chris Polychron told the U.S. Senate Banking Committee at an April 16 hearing that unnecessary regulatory burdens are preventing qualified, creditworthy borrowers from purchasing homes.]

At the April 21 forum, NAR’s Chief economist Lawrence Yun made this observation: “I do expect first-time buyers to slightly pick up this year as the economy and job market continues to stabilize.” Yun added that a combination of new home construction and a responsible increase in credit access would create more opportunities for first-time and move-up buyers to enter the market.

To read a report on the entire conference, including comments by several different presenters, go HERE.


3. 35 Marketing Ideas To Consider

Writer Megan Marrs recently posted an article online (“35 Radical Real Estate Marketing Tips“) with a number of good ideas to ponder as you plan your spring and summer activities! Many of these are not new, nor are many of them that “radical”, but it’s VERY unusual to see such a large collection of marketing ideas in one place!

As she says, “The competition is fierce, and these days you’ll need expert online and offline marketing skills to set yourself apart from the pack.

To read her suggestions, go HERE.


4. Social Media Mistakes

Realtor Bill Gassett just posted an entertaining — and informative — look at “The Biggest Social Media Fails in Real Estate” on NAR’s YPN Blog.

While social media has become an inescapable adjunct to almost everyone’s marketing, there are MANY opportunities for wrongheaded actions that can drive away business rather than generate it!

As Gassett says, “You do get points for actually having accounts on all of the main platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, and Pinterest), but if you’re not seeing the results you had hoped for, chances are you’re making one or more of these common social media mistakes. These blunders not only cause you lose business, but you quickly gain a reputation as the person nobody wants to see when they log in.

To read about the biggest “fails”, go HERE.


5. What Realtors Spend on Technology

Hundreds of new software products have flooded the real estate community, designed to help agents succeed as the prime spring sales season gets into full swing. Practitioners are committed to spend a handsome amount of money for those products, too, according to research by the NAR (National Association of Realtors) Center for Realtor Technology. The findings estimate that property brokers and agents spend an average of $1,410 and $848, respectively, on technology.


6. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS!

Another three classroom GRI courses of 2015 are coming up soon in Memphis:

May 20 — GRI 401: Doing the Right Thing (6 hrs. CE)
May 21 — GRI 402: Staying in Business and Out of Court (6 hrs. CE)
May 22 — GRI 403: Working More Effectively with Buyers (6 hrs. CE)

Once again, the GRI EXPRESS option can be used to register for ALL THREE GRI courses in a given location …for a savings of $55! The complete Schedule of ALL UPCOMING GRI COURSES — with links to registration for them — is posted on the TAR website at: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/

There are 10 good reasons to earn YOUR GRI! Just go to: https://vimeo.com/90565297

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

For an overview of all UPCOMING COURSES, as well as links for more information or registration, go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/


7. HOT LINE: The Home Inspection Report?

QUESTION: If a Buyer has a home inspection and doesn’t buy the house and the Seller requests a copy of that home inspection, can the Seller then make that inspection available to future buyers? I know the Seller has the obligation to disclose any items in the report that he knows about, but the home inspector is saying the actual inspection is the property of the original Buyer.

ANSWER: This question seems to come up regularly, and we’ve dealt with it before.

The home inspection belongs to the person who paid for it, generally the buyer. Therefore, the buyer would have to approve of anyone receiving a copy. In addition, the home inspector may have a requirement that he be told prior to its distribution for approval as well.

This is all documented in the TAR Purchase and Sale Agreement. Lines 418-424 state:

“In further consideration of Buyer’s right to legally, properly and in good faith invoke a right to terminate this Agreement pursuant to any specific Buyer contingency as stated herein, Buyer agrees, upon Seller’s request, to provide Seller or Seller’s representative with copies of any supporting documentation which supports Buyer’s right to exercise said contingency, the sufficiency and adequacy of said additional consideration being acknowledged. Any such supporting documents shall be provided for Seller’s benefit only and Seller shall not disseminate the same to third parties. However, Buyer shall not be required to provide any documents to Seller in violation of any confidentiality agreement or copyright protection laws, if applicable.”

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


8. HOT LINE: Attachments to the Contract?

QUESTION: For years I have always done what I was taught regarding attaching addenda to the purchase and sale agreement. The ones that I attached are the ones that both parties sign. Recently I was told not to do that. Only the FHA/VA addendum, if it is that type of loan.

I am told to not attach the Lead Based Paint Disclosure, Disclaimer, Agency Status, and just anything and everything that both parties sign. Is this the correct way to write offers? It almost comes across to me as protection for the seller, when our duties are to protect the buyer as well.

ANSWER: This is not exactly true. You can legally attach the Lead Based Paint Disclosure and the Agency Status form according to the statute. HOWEVER, we do not recommend that you do so, as this extends the statute of limitations on these matters to six years. You can have these documents be stand alone documents and shorten the statute of limitations on these matters.

A simple rule of thumb that we recommend is that, if the title of the form has the words “exhibit”, “addenda”, or “amendment”, then it would be appropriate (and probably necessary) to attach to the Purchase and Sale Agreement. Otherwise, the documents will likely be better as stand-alone documents.

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


9. HOT LINE: Multiple Backup Offers?

QUESTION: With regard to backup offers — What is the ethical and/or legal way to handle multiple backup offers? Are they handled like regular multiple offers? Or are they handled on a first-come first-serve basis?

ANSWER: There is not a specific manner in which backup offers must be handled. If you have multiple people wanting to submit backup offers, they can do so. You would then need to present all of these to the seller. If the seller wants to accept one of them, he can do so. If there are multiple backups, number them and go in order. It’s important to present ALL of the offers to the seller.

If a buyer or buyer’s agent asks about other offers, then you will need to disclose the existence of other offers and backup offers.

[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/