The 8-18-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. TREC Disciplinary Actions: July, 2015
2. Two New TREC Commissioners!
3. Upcoming Deadlines
4. Firms Are Upbeat about the Future
5. Photo “Scraping” a Growing Problem!
6. Ten FREE Online Courses To Fuel Your Success
7. Don’t Miss These Upcoming Events!
8. HOT LINE: Possession of the Property?
9. HOT LINE: Agency Disclosure Form or Agency Agreement?
10. HOT LINE: Incomplete Buyer Agency Agreement?
11. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“We on this continent should never forget that men first crossed the Atlantic not to find soil for their ploughs but to secure liberty for their souls.” — Robert J. McCracken

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

1. TREC Disciplinary Actions: July, 2015

At its July meeting, the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) assessed significant civil penalties (ranging from $500 to $3,000) and additional penalties on six (6) individuals for the following offenses:

Failure to be loyal to the interests of the client (MULTIPLE)
Failure to exercise adequate supervision over the activities of any licensed affiliate
Failure to exercise reasonable skill and care
Not keeping listing information updated and accurate
Listing another licensee’s property without written permission from the owner
Posting a sign without written authority from the owner
Accepting a commission/any valuable consideration by an affiliate from anyone except the broker with which they are affiliated
Operating an unlicensed property management company
Failure to pay over all deposits and earnest money to the broker with whom affiliate is under contract
Operating an unlicensed vacation lodging service
Assuming an agency relationship without a written bilateral agreement

NOTE: (MULTIPLE) means more than one licensee was found guilty of this!

2. Two New TREC Commissioners!

Congratulations to our newest Tennessee Real Estate Commissioners!

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam has appointed two new Real Estate Commissioners to the Board. TAR extends its congratulations to Fontaine Taylor of Memphis and Bobby Wood of Mt. Juliet.

Gov. Haslam has great faith in these Realtor members and we look forward to working with them as they support and safeguard the real estate industry.

3. Upcoming Deadlines

August 28: Deadline for all requests to serve on a TAR Committee in 2016!

If service on a state association (TAR) committee has ever been a goal of yours, then 2016 could be the year you turn that goal into a reality! Serving at the state level is a wonderful way to make friends and contacts with others across the state, not to mention the positive difference you can make on the future of our industry! To submit an application, go to:

Sept. 3: Deadline for Advance Registration for the 2015 TAR Convention at the Peabody Hotel in Memphis!

After this date, only on-site registration will be available, and that will cost $130 more for members, so save some money and register this month! To do so, go to:

4. Firms Are Upbeat about the Future

Real estate firms are confident in the industry’s future growth and their increasing profitability, according to the 2015 National Association of Realtors Profile of Real Estate Firms:

“A majority of firms have a positive view of the future, with 95 percent of all firms expecting their net income to either increase or stay the same in the next year,” said NAR President Chris Polychron, executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, Ark.

…The annual survey found that commercial firms are the most optimistic, with 75 percent expecting net income to increase, and 22 percent anticipating it to stay the same. Residential firms are only slightly less optimistic; 69 percent report that they expect to see an increase in their net income next year, 25 percent expect it to stay the same, and 6 percent predict a decrease. Only 3 percent of commercial firms predict a decrease in net income in the next year.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.

5. Photo “Scraping” a Growing Problem!

Stronger protections for online listing photos may be on the horizon thanks to NAR’s recommendations to the U.S. Copyright Office. NAR is stepping in to curb illegal photo scraping. Learn more in Edition #28 of The Voice for Real Estate, NAR’s news video for the week of August 10. You can view it online HERE.

Other segments in this latest edition: Millennials increasingly seek walkable communities, preferring to walk rather than drive, according to NAR research. And, pending home sales slip in June, but remain high, with good projections for the rest of the year!

6. Ten FREE Online Courses To Fuel Your Success

There is no catch here. These courses are indeed FREE! Several of these courses are provided through Coursera, a service that many universities around the country use to disseminate good courses to everyone as a public service. The courses are from different providers, and you don’t obligate yourself to anything by trying out one or more of them! As you can tell by the titles, they cover a variety of topics:

1. Work Smarter, Not Harder: Time Management for Personal & Professional Productivity
2. Successful Negotiation: Essential Strategies and Skills
3. Love Your Money
4. Effective Altruism
5. Psychology of Popularity
6. Behavioral Economics in Action
7. Personal & Family Financial Planning
8. The Language and Tools of Financial Analysis
9. Financial Markets
10. Financial Evaluation and Strategy: Investments

To learn more, go HERE.

7. Don’t Miss These Upcoming Events!

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:

8. HOT LINE: Possession of the Property?

QUESTION: I represent a seller on a transaction. The closing date is today. I was under the impression that the seller had until 11:59 pm on the date of closing to vacate the premises. The buyer’s agent is under the impression that the seller should be out of the house when they sit down at closing. Which one is correct?

ANSWER: As always, the TAR Legal Hotline cannot interpret any executed contract. If your clients have questions concerning their legal rights and obligations under their contract, they should speak with their own legal counsel.

However, lines 176-183 of the TAR contract state that possession is given “with delivery of warranty deed and payment of purchase price”. This may or may not be at the time of closing. But it also does NOT mean that the sellers have until 11:59 on the day of closing to convey possession. The sellers should be prepared to convey possession when they go to closing or other arrangements should be made concerning the conveyance of possession.

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

9. HOT LINE: Agency Disclosure Form or Agency Agreement?

QUESTION: Under what circumstances would a buyer need to sign a “Non-Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement” and/or an “Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement”? Does one or the other need to be filled out with all buyers or does the “Agency Disclosure” state the same?

ANSWER: The forms are NOT interchangeable. Please understand how each is used.

If you do NOT intend to work as an agent for a consumer, then all you would use is an Agency Disclosure form, indicating on that form that you are a facilitator or a transaction broker.

If, on the other hand, your office policy is to have a buyer agency relationship with all buyers, then a buyer representation agreement would be required. Buyer representation agreements are used to create buyer agency with a client. They also outline each party’s responsibilities and outline how and when a firm will be paid. By creating agency, you owe extra duties to the buyer. You owe the duties contained under both Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403 and 62-13-404.

The Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement establishes an agency relationship with the buyer. It also indicates that the buyer cannot work with any other agency. Typically, it also indicates that the firm will be paid upon closing, regardless of whether the agent was involved in the sale if the sale occurs during the term of the contract.

A Non-Exclusive Buyer Representation Agreement still creates an agency relationship, but it allows the buyer to work with other agents if they wish. The firm would only be paid for a closing on a property in which the agent was directly involved.

A Confirmation of Agency Status form is simply a disclosure form; it DOES NOT create an agency relationship. You must have a separate form (one of the above) to create agency. Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-401 states:

“A real estate licensee may provide real estate services to any party in a prospective transaction, with or without an agency relationship to one (1) or more parties to the transaction. Until such time as a licensee enters into a specific written agreement to establish an agency relationship with one (1) or more parties to a transaction, such licensee shall be considered a facilitator and shall not be considered an agent or advocate or any party to the transaction. An agency or subagency relationship shall not be assumed, implied or created without a written bilateral agreement that establishes the terms and conditions of such agency or subagency relationship. The negotiation and execution of either an exclusive agency listing agreement or an exclusive right to sell listing agreement with a prospective seller shall establish an agency relationship with the seller.”

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

10. HOT LINE: Incomplete Buyer Agency Agreement?

QUESTION: Do buyer agency agreement have to be completely fill out to be valid?

ANSWER: This has come up before, not just on this form but on others. All blanks on all contracts should be completely filled in!

If a blank is not completed, it could make the contract unenforceable. There are certain things which have to be included in a contract or the contract is void. In addition, the other blanks could result in a court finding that there was no meeting of the minds so that the contract is unenforceable.

[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: