The 8-25-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Healthy Summer Sales in TN!
2. Nominees for 2016 TAR Officers
3. Regarding the Upcoming Changes To Closings…
4. September Is Safety Month!
5. Top Home Feature for TN?
6. Upcoming Deadlines & Events!
7. HOT LINE ADVISORY: Agency Questions Persist…
8. HOT LINE: Form To Withdraw an Offer?
9. HOT LINE: Appraisal Not Ordered Promptly?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“I am careful not to confuse excellence with perfection. Excellence, I can reach for; perfection is God’s business.” — Michael J. Fox

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

1. Healthy Summer Sales in TN!

Sales continue to be strong in several markets across the state! Year-to-date closed sales through July, 2015, for the following markets all show increases over the same period last year:

Memphis: Up 4.2%
Nashville: Up 13.1%
Chattanooga: Up 12.8%
Knoxville: Up 17.7%
Tri-Cities: Up 6.9%

It sure helps when you have a great state and a great lifestyle to sell!

2. Nominees for 2016 TAR Officers

The Nominating Committee of the Tennessee Association of Realtors met on August 6, 2015 to consider nominations for 2016 TAR officers. The committee’s recommendations for election of officers for the Association in 2016 are as follows:

2016 President-elect – Brian Copeland, Nashville
2016 Secretary/Treasurer – Leon Dickson, Memphis
2016-2017 Division 1 Vice President – Brian Williams, Lexington
2016-2017 Division 2 Vice President – Kathy Dunn, Cookeville
2016-2017 Division 3 Vice President – Travis Close, Chattanooga

Submitted by: Sue Turner, Chair
TAR Nominating Committee

3. Regarding the Upcoming Changes To Closings…

We’ve published multiple reminders/warnings about the upcoming changes to the closing process that will take effect on October 3, as a result of actions by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

You can watch an online video of a recent two-hour class that TAR offered (“Say Goodbye to HUD1 & GFE“), explaining the upcoming changes, by going HERE.

On August 14, 2015, the CFPB also released a new online toolkit to help real estate professionals understand the new TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) rule and how to explain those changes to their clients. This “Real Estate Professional’s Guide” explains the new changes coming to the home buying process on October 3 and offers tools that real estate professionals can provide their clients about the “Know Before You Owe” campaign. The goal of “Know Before You Owe” is to empower consumers with the information they need to make informed choices. Since real estate professionals are trusted resources for people choosing to buy a home, the CFPB reached out to NAR for their guidance and feedback on this new online toolkit and the resources available for consumers, and NAR continues to work with CFPB to address the impact TRID will have on closings.

To access the new CFPB Guide, go HERE.

4. September Is Safety Month!

September is REALTOR Safety Month! This year, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is offering four one-hour webinars presented by five noted safety experts. Register NOW to reserve your place and learn valuable tips to keep you safe in your job.

The “Safety Webinar Summit” is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 9, 11AM-3PM Central Time (12-4PM Eastern).

The four topics are:

“Don’t Get in the Pen With the Bull – and Other Safety Tips for Rural Land Professionals”
“REALTOR Safety: Everyday Actions That May Compromise Safety”
“Discover REALTOR Safety Through Technology and Change Management”
“Online Thievery: What to Do If You Experience a Data Breach”

Sounds like quite an event! For more information, or to register, go HERE.

5. Top Home Feature for TN?

According to a recent study by the data team at REALTOR.COM — looking at the top home feature for each state in the country — the top feature for Tennessee is …drum roll, please …the back deck!

To identify each state’s top feature, the data team “took a deep dive into our 1.5 million active listings of single-family homes for sale and parsed out over 200 individual features from their listing descriptions. From there, we finalized the top five features for each state and picked the one with real local flavor.”

To see the top feature for each state in the country, go HERE.

6. Upcoming Deadlines & Events!

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

Sept. 16-18: TAR Annual Convention — Peabody Hotel, Memphis, TN (CE and More!) — An event you don’t want to miss!

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 ADVISORY: Agency Questions Persist…

A number of Hot Line questions in recent months — as well as recent disciplinary actions by TREC! — are evidence of an ongoing need to “brush up” on Tennessee’s agency law. As NAR’s Legal Scans also show, almost every quarter, agency issues are frequently at the heart of many lawsuits involving Realtors!

Several years ago, TAR and TREEF published a FREE Guide to Tennessee’s Agency Law for your use. If you haven’t looked at it lately, you can download another copy and do so now. To get your own copy, go HERE.

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

8. HOT LINE: Form To Withdraw an Offer?

QUESTION: What form do I need to use to withdraw an offer prior to the binding agreement date?

ANSWER: This question has come up before. TAR does not have a withdrawal of offer form. Therefore, we would recommend that you simply have the buyer write out that he wishes to withdraw the offer he made on the property located at 123 Main Street, Anytown, TN on August 1, 2015. Then have the buyer sign it.

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

9. HOT LINE: Appraisal Not Ordered Promptly?

QUESTION: In the TAR contract with regard to appraisal – we have a cash offer, contingent upon appraisal. In the appraisal clause, it states the buyer to order the appraisal within five (5) days of the binding agreement date and notified. If this is not done in the allotted time, does the seller then retain the earnest money? Does this remove the appraisal contingency? How should we handle this situation?

ANSWER: As always, the TAR Legal Hotline cannot provide an interpretation of any executed contract. If the parties have questions concerning their legal rights, they should speak with their own legal counsel.

Nevertheless, lines 52-57 of a blank purchase and sale agreement state:

“In the event that the financing contingency is waived, Buyer must order the appraisal and provide Seller with the name and telephone number of the appraisal company and proof that appraisal was ordered within five (5) days of the Binding Agreement date. Should Buyer fail to do so, Seller may make written demand for compliance via the Notification form or equivalent written notice. If Buyer does not furnish Seller with the requested notice within two (2) days after such demand for compliance, Buyer shall be considered in default and Seller’s obligation to sell is terminated.”

If it is not timely done, then the seller can made written demand to the buyer. If the buyer fails to provide notice that he has done so within two days of demand, then the contract is over and the buyer is in default.

Default is covered by paragraph 13. Lines 353-355 cover buyer default and state: “Should Buyer default hereunder, the Earnest Money shall be forfeited as damages to Seller and shall be applied as a credit against Seller’s damages. Seller may elect to sue, in contract or tort, for additional damages or specific performance of the Agreement, or both.”

However, in a cash deal, note that there is no timeline during which the appraisal must be performed.

[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: