The 7-21-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. TREC Disciplinary Actions: June, 2015
2. NAR Issues a Call For Action
3. ONE WEEK LEFT To Save $$!
4. Tennessee Hits New Home Price Peak
5. Leigh Brown Sounds Off!
6. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
7. HOT LINE: More on the Sinkhole Disclosure…
8. HOT LINE: Agent Paying For Certain Repairs?
9. HOT LINE: Buyer No Longer Wants Repairs?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for poise, walk with the knowledge that you are never alone.” — Audrey Hepburn

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

1. TREC Disciplinary Actions: June, 2015

At its June meeting, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) assessed SIGNIFICANT civil penalties (ranging from $50 to $269,000!) and additional penalties — including hearing costs and, in one case, license revocation — on six (6) individuals for the following offenses:

Unlicensed property management
Being convicted in a court for theft of property
Conduct that constitutes improper, fraudulent, or dishonest dealing
Failing to timely notify the Commission of a conviction
Operating an unlicensed firm
Offering referral fees to unlicensed individuals
Failure to exercise adequate supervision over the activities of any licensed affiliate (advertising)
Advertising violation
Operating an unlicensed vacation lodging service
Failure to timely respond to a complaint

2. NAR Issues a Call For Action

This past week, NAR issued a Call For Action to promote comprehensive patent litigation reform to protect Main Street businesses and Realtors from patent troll abuse.

Realtors across the country receive threatening demand letters and lawsuits alleging patent infringement based on the use of common business tools such as drop down menus or search alert functions on websites and the scanner function on a copier. These patent trolls buy vague patents and use them to turn everyday business practices into potential lawsuits.

H.R. 9 is scheduled for U.S. House floor consideration later this summer. ALL TAR members are encouraged to take action! To do so, please go HERE.

3. ONE WEEK LEFT To Save $$!

The Early-Bird Registration Deadline for the 2015 TAR Convention in Memphis is JULY 27, just one week away! Register before that date and save $55!

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

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!

4. Tennessee Hits New Home Price Peak

A new CoreLogic study of home prices shows that ten states (including TN!) and the District of Columbia hit new home price peaks in May, 2015, and 33 other states “are now at or within 10 percent of their price peaks, going back to January 1976, when CoreLogic began tracking.”

The ten states reaching new home price peaks were: Alaska, Colorado, Iowa, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Vermont.

To read more, go HERE.

5. Leigh Brown Sounds Off!

In a priceless couple of minutes — well worth watching — Realtor Leigh Brown (a past speaker at TAR events) offers her tips on proper phone etiquette for real estate professionals in a “Realtor Public Service Announcement,” courtesy of Inman News!

To see Leigh sound off, go HERE.

Good tips, offered with a smile!

6. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS!

Aug. 3: Real Property Information (RPI) Training (6 hrs. CE) — TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Aug. 4: Real Estate Collaborative Specialist-Divorce (RCS-D) Training (6 hrs. CE) — TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Aug. 12: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) — TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Aug. 12: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE) — TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Sept. 16-18: TAR Annual Convention — Peabody Hotel, Memphis, TN (CE and More!) — An event you don’t want to miss! For more information, 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: More on the Sinkhole Disclosure…

QUESTION: With regard to the new sinkhole disclosure form:
1. If a seller listed their property prior to July 2, should we have them complete a new property disclosure form or should the buyer’s agent request an update?
2. On land/lot contracts, will this new disclosure be added to the existing form, or is it necessary?

ANSWER: The disclosure is required for any contract entered into on or after July 1st. If you have listings which were not under contract as of July 1st, you have several options. You can have the seller complete a new disclosure, disclaimer or exemption (all of the forms have the required language). Another option would be to simply amend the original disclosure. Finally, you can counter any offer you receive to disclose the existence of any known sinkholes.

We would recommend simply having the sellers make a new disclosure. This will require the sellers to affirmatively address the question by selecting “yes”, “no” or “unknown”. Additionally, it demonstrates that you posed the question to the sellers.

As for your second question, the sinkhole disclosure is only required on residential transactions (of 1-4 units). They are not required on vacant land sales. This is just like the disclosures which were required several years ago for exterior injections wells, PUDs, etc.

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

8. HOT LINE: Agent Paying For Certain Repairs?

QUESTION: I am working as a buyer’s agent and my buyers have secured a contract on a home. During the inspection process, the pool inspector said that the pool should be resurfaced. The seller refused to consider this request, and the buyers were prepared to walk. In order to save the contract, (1) can I legally pay a vendor any part of my commission (after a sale has closed) in order to make a deal work, without notating this on the HUD Settlement Statement? And, (2) can the closing attorney LEGALLY reduce my commission to 2%, pay the pool company $7,000, if it is notated on the settlement statement?

ANSWER: To your first question, yes, you may pay a vendor to make the deal work. However, we would recommend that this be fully disclosed in writing to the parties involved as well as to the lender.

As to your second question concerning the reduction of your commission in order to pay the pool company, the answer is also yes. However, all parties (including your principal broker) must be in agreement to do this.

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

9. HOT LINE: Buyer No Longer Wants Repairs?

QUESTION: I have a buyer who had a home inspection done, requesting that the seller make some repairs in the buyer’s proposal. The seller came back with a counter repair proposal and submitted it to the buyer. The buyer now says forget it, they don’t want the repairs done, and they want to purchase the property “as is”, while negotiations have begun. Can the buyer do that in the middle of negotiations?

ANSWER: This is fine. The parties are negotiating what, if any, repairs are to be made. They may decide that no repairs will be made. This situation is not all that surprising given the seller’s market in which most of the state finds itself. The buyer may be getting nervous because the seller could decide not to make any repairs and the deal may fail.

[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: