The 6-23-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. TREC Disciplinary Actions: May, 2015
2. ALERT: Check Your License Expiration Date!
3. NETAR Challenged To “Get Political”
4. NAR’s Commercial Members Profiled
5. Rock ‘n’ Roll in September!
6. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
7. HOT LINE: Client Purchasing Property “Sight Unseen”?
8. HOT LINE: Selling My Own Property?
9. HOT LINE: Changing Verbiage in the Contract?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one’s work is terribly important.” — Bertrand Russell

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

1. TREC Disciplinary Actions: May, 2015

At its May meeting, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) imposed significant fines ($1,000-$9,000) and additional penalties on eight (8) individuals for the following offenses:

Failing to diligently exercise reasonable skill and care (MULTIPLE)
Advertising violation (MULTIPLE)
Advertising violation – signage (62-13-310(b))
Improper, fraudulent, or dishonest dealing
Failure to be loyal to the interests of the client
Failing to furnish a copy of contract at the time of execution
Failing to disclose agency status in writing
Failure to exercise adequate supervision over the activities of an affiliate
Failure to exercise adequate supervision over the activities of an affiliate (advertising)
Failure to meet terms of Consent Order

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

P.S. If we’re not mistaken, that $9,000 penalty for one individual may be the biggest we’ve seen, at least in recent memory!

2. ALERT: Check Your License Expiration Date!

In an effort to better serve all licensees, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) is in the process of updating many important facets of its database. TREC does, however, anticipate a delay in processing renewals during the transition, which will take place September 1-15. In order to minimize the impact on licensees, they have sent renewal notices (in an envelope) to all licensees whose licenses have a renewal date during the period June 1, 2015 – November 30, 2015. They are encouraging these licensees to ACT NOW to complete your required CE and pay your renewal fee (either online or by mailing the renewal fee), in order to avoid any possible delay in renewal during, and possibly following, the transition to the upgraded system.

PLEASE check your license expiration date AND, if that date is on or before November 30, 2015, complete your CE and pay your renewal BEFORE the transition period begins at 12:01 a.m. on September 1, 2015, to avoid any unnecessary snags!

NOTE: See the link under item #10 below to check your CE hours currently on file with TREC!

3. NETAR Challenged To “Get Political”

It’s a lesson the rest of the state can take to heart as well!

Recently, Kenny Parcell — a member of NAR’s 2015 Leadership Team and Realtors Party Director — spoke to a membership luncheon of the Northeast Tennessee Association of Realtors (NETAR) and encouraged everyone to be more politically active.

“If you don’t go to the polls … it’s all for naught,” he told NETAR. “Seventeen percent of NAR members are not registered to vote … We need to get our friends to the polls to support Realtor-friendly candidates … I don’t care if they are Democrat or Republican. If you don’t take an interest in politics, don’t think that politics doesn’t take an interest in you … How we buy and sell real estate will change in the next five years if we don’t get our stuff together.”
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, see this article in the Kingsport Times-News, HERE.

4. NAR’s Commercial Members Profiled

Last week, we reported on NAR’s latest profile of its residential members. This week, we look at what NAR’s most recent survey of its commercial members reveals about their income and transactions.

The profile shows the median gross annual income of commercial members, which has increased steadily for the past five years, was $126,900 in 2014, an increase from $96,200 in 2013. Appraisers and brokers reported the highest annual gross income while sales agents, often newest to the field, reported the lowest. Sixty-seven percent of Realtors who specialize in commercial real estate reported they derived 50 percent or more of their income from commercial real estate in 2014.

Commercial members completed a median of 11 sales transactions in 2014, up from last year’s median of eight. Six percent reported no sales transactions, down from 9 percent in 2013.
*** END QUOTE ***

One other sentence, in particular, caught our attention: “Thirty-two percent of commercial members were involved in international transactions in 2014.

To read more survey results, go HERE.

5. Rock ‘n’ Roll in September!

This coming September 16-18 “Rock ‘n’ Roll in Memphis” at the Peabody Hotel, where TAR will hold its Annual Convention. It should be a GREAT time!

It’s been FIVE years since the State Association’s Annual Convention has been held in Memphis, and it’s been TEN years since it’s been held at the world-famous Peabody Hotel.

Our Keynote Speaker, Jeanne Robertson, will set the tone for what should be a fun and exciting three days! The TAR Annual Convention is a great opportunity for affordable education featuring national speakers and 10 hrs. of education sessions, networking, and learning more about the services provided on a local, state and national basis to Realtor members.

For more information, or to register online at Early Bird rates, go to:

Don’t put this off! The 2015 Annual Convention promises to be a spectacular event!

6. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS!

July 8: Say Goodbye to HUD1 and GFE (2 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. This course provides detailed analysis of the planned changes for real estate transactions with an explanation of the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure. We’re offering this course two times, so you can pick either one….

9-11AM — To register for this one, go HERE.
1-3PM — To register for this one, go HERE.

For an overview of all UPCOMING COURSES, as well as links for more information or registration, go to: ……and scroll down the page to see all upcoming courses!

There are 10 good reasons to earn YOUR GRI in 2015! Just go to:

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

7. HOT LINE: Client Purchasing Property “Sight Unseen”?

QUESTION: I have a client from out-of-state that wants to purchase a property “sight unseen”. We Facetimed and I walked through the property and discussed the terms of the offer. The offer has been made and the buyer has financing in place. Are there any precautions I need to take to protect myself?

ANSWER: The TAR Forms Committee included language in the TAR purchase and sale agreements to handle this particular issue. We would make sure that you point out (in writing) the language within paragraph 11 of the PSA (RF 401) which states:

11. Disclaimer. It is understood and agreed that the real estate firms and real estate licensee(s) representing or assisting Seller and/or Buyer and their brokers (collectively referred to as “Brokers”) are not parties to this Agreement and do not have or assume liability for the performance or nonperformance of Seller or Buyer. Buyer and Seller agree that Brokers shall not be responsible for any of the following, including but not limited to, those matters which could have been revealed through a survey, flood certification, title search or inspection of the Property; the insurability of the Property; the insurability of the Property or cost to insure the Property; for the condition of the Property, any portion thereof, or any item therein; for any geological issues present on the Property; for any issues arising out of the failure to physically inspect Property prior to entering into this Agreement and/or Closing; for the necessity or cost of any repairs to the Property; ….”

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

8. HOT LINE: Selling My Own Property?

QUESTION: Where all do I have to disclose that I am the owner/agent of a property for sale? Front yard sign? Pamphlets? Ads?

ANSWER: We recommend that it be disclosed on both the signage and in advertising that the property is an owner/agent sale. This prevents any claims of misrepresentation. You may also check with your local MLS and board to see if they have any rules concerning this matter. Technically, it is not required under the new TREC Rules, but we still recommend that it be done. The owner will also have to give a personal interest disclosure. TAR provides form RF 305 for this purpose.

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

9. HOT LINE: Changing Verbiage in the Contract?

QUESTION: I need help in changing the verbiage of the TAR contract to specify that the buyer is required to get a home inspection, pay for same and give a full report to the seller. How should I handle this situation?

ANSWER: The TAR Purchase and Sale Agreement already states that the buyer is responsible for obtaining the inspections and paying for them. The contract as written only requires that the actual inspection report be given to the seller in the event that the seller requests it. However, you can draft a special stipulation that requires the seller to provide a copy of the inspection report by a particular date.

We would give you a word of CAUTION… advise the seller that, if something comes up in the inspection report and you automatically receive a copy (which you would in this case) that includes anything that constitutes an adverse fact, you would then be required to disclose it to ALL future buyers if the transaction falls through, even if the seller chooses not to do so. Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403(2), a real estate agent is required to “[d]isclose to each party to the transaction any adverse facts of which the licensee has actual notice or knowledge.”

Tennessee law defines an adverse fact as “conditions or occurrences generally recognized by competent licensees that have a negative impact on the value of the real estate, significantly reduce the structural integrity of improvements to real property or present a significant health risk to occupants of the property.” — Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-102(2).

Therefore, if an agent has actual knowledge of an adverse fact, he must disclose it, particularly if the seller does not.

[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:†

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: