The 10-13-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. ALERT: New Rules Take Effect Next Week
2. Size of Names in Advertising
3. HELP WANTED – TransactionDesk BETA Testers
4. Three Reasons to Buy Now
5. Growing Your Business With Instagram
6. Upcoming Courses & Events!
7. HOT LINE: The Intent To Proceed Notification?
8. HOT LINE: Limitations of E&O Coverage?
9. HOT LINE: Termite Inspection Done Too Late?
10. USEFUL LINKS

“It is hard to fight an enemy who has outposts in your head.” — Sally Kempton

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


1. ALERT: New Rules Take Effect Next Week

The Tennessee Real Estate Commission’s new rules take effect on October 18, 2015!

Among other things, the new and amended rules address:

Duplicate or Confusingly Similar Firm Names,
Appearances Before the Commission for the Purpose of Obtaining a License,
Military Applicants,
Reinstatement of Expired License of a Broker, Affiliate Broker, Time-Share Salesperson or Acquisition Agent,
Commissions Earned by Affiliated Licensees,
Advertising,
Electronic Records, and
Licensees Who Hold Themselves Out as a Team, Group, or Similar Entity Within a Firm.

Your own copy of the new rules can be downloaded HERE.


2. Size of Names in Advertising

In 2013, Tennessee’s real estate law (specifically TCA 62-13-310(b)) had been interpreted by the TN Real Estate Commission to mean that a licensee’s name on a sign or billboard could not be any larger than the smallest font in the firm name as licensed with TREC. The statute will remain as written, but as of October 18, 2015, it will be interpreted in accordance with the provisions of the updated Rule 1260-02-.12(3)(b):

“(b) All advertising shall be under the direct supervision of the principal broker and shall list the firm name and the firm telephone number as listed on file with the Commission. With regard to the size and visibility of the firm name and firm telephone number, all of the following shall apply:
1. The firm name must be the most prominent name featured within the advertising, whether it be by print or other media; and
2. The firm’s telephone number shall be the same size or larger than the telephone number of any individual licensee or group of licensees….”

For other advertising provisions — especially those that apply to the use of team names, etc. — see the complete rules HERE.

Please bear in mind that the penalty for an advertising violation is up to $1,000 per violation, per day. This can add up very quickly if you have the same violation on signs, websites, etc.!


3. HELP WANTED – TransactionDesk BETA Testers

A new release of TransactionDesk is scheduled for sometime in 2016. There are no set dates at this time. It will have a totally new look and feel and should make our members’ lives easier. When the time comes to implement the release, TAR will run parallel systems so people will have time to adjust to the product.

Tennessee has been chosen as one of the states for BETA Testing. We are looking for BETA TESTERS who will take the time to thoroughly test the new release and provide important feedback.

REQUIREMENTS: Be able to dedicate at least 2 hours a week to testing, providing feedback for up to 3 months (maybe longer).

This is not for the faint of heart, but it does give Tennessee Realtor members the opportunity to assist in the development of a service that they use on a daily basis! Obviously, a limited number of BETA TESTERS will be selected, but we’re looking for Beta Testers with a wide variety of skill sets when it comes to TransactionDesk.

Here’s your chance to affect future developments of the impending NEW RELEASE of TransactionDesk. Please click this link to apply: http://bit.ly/1QZKbSu


4. Three Reasons to Buy Now!

A new article by Hal Bundrick on Nerdwallet (“Mortgage Rates: Three Reasons to Buy in the Next Three Months“) is one your prospective buyer-clients need to read. The author gives some compelling reasons why the next three months are an ideal time to make a home purchase:

1. Continuing low (and stable) mortgage rates
2. Declining prices after the spring and summer buying seasons
3. Homes staying on the market longer

To read a full explanation of each of these, go HERE.

If you like what you’re reading, pass this article on to buyers still sitting on the fence.


5. Growing Your Business With Instagram

Not that long ago, Facebook was the only social media platform that many Realtors took time to master. The social media universe, however, has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and there are more — and perhaps better — ways to use social media to get more business.

A new RISMedia article by Patty McNease — “Five Ways To Grow Your Real Estate Business through Instagram” — offers several practical and effective ways to use this popular picture-based platform, Instagram, to tell your stories and market yourself more successfully.

As the author points out: “What better way for an agent to tell these stories than through a picture? It’s this idea that has turned Instagram into one of the largest social media platforms, with over 400 million monthly active users and about 3.5 billion ‘likes’ happening each day. And if you plan on marketing to Millennials, Instagram is a great way to connect with this booming audience.”

To read more, go HERE.


6. Upcoming Courses & Events!

Oct. 13-15: Sign up for all three upcoming GRI Courses (404, 405, and 406) being held at the Greater Nashville Assn. of Realtors. When you sign up for all three, you save $55! To do so, go HERE.

Oct. 13: GRI 404, Working More Effectively with Sellers (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Oct. 14: GRI 405, Mastering Forms & Contracts (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Oct. 15: GRI 406, Tips, Tools, and Technology (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Oct. 21-23: Sign up for all three upcoming GRI Courses (404, 405, and 406) being held at the Knoxville Area Assn. of Realtors. When you sign up for all three, you save $55! To do so, go HERE.

Oct. 21: GRI 404, Working More Effectively with Sellers (6 hrs. CE) – Lighthouse, Knoxville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Oct. 22: GRI 405, Mastering Forms & Contracts (6 hrs. CE) – Lighthouse, Knoxville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Oct. 23: GRI 406, Tips, Tools, and Technology (6 hrs. CE) – Lighthouse, Knoxville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

There are 10 good reasons to earn YOUR GRI in 2015! 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/ ……and scroll down the page to see all upcoming courses!


7. HOT LINE: The Intent To Proceed Notification?

QUESTION: Under the new loan disclosure requirements, the buyer has to notify the lender of their intent to proceed. If the buyer does NOT sign the intent to proceed, does that void the contract or does the buyer proceed to making a new loan application for the same contract? Proceeding with the same contract would assume that other timelines are in compliance.

ANSWER: The revised TAR purchase and sale agreement requires the buyer to notify the seller that he has notified his lender of an intent to proceed within 14 days of the binding agreement date. If the buyer does not do so, the seller can make written demand for compliance. If the buyer fails to do so within two days, he is in default and the seller is no longer required to proceed. The buyer may apply for as many loans as he chooses during the initial 14 day period as long as he intends to proceed within the required 14 day period.

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


8. HOT LINE: Limitations of E&O Coverage?

QUESTION: I am a new agent and secured E & O insurance. I sell properties for my husband who is an investor. The insurance company informed me that I would not be covered under their policy for this type of work. How do I obtain coverage for these sales?

ANSWER: This kind of exclusion is common with E & O policies and is often the case, as well, with agents selling a builder spouse’s properties.

Whether an insurance company covers matters such as this is up to the individual insurance company. If the standard policy does not cover this scenario, inquire as to whether they have a rider which will cover it. If not, and you wish to be involved in these transactions, you may want to consult other E & O carriers to determine whether they will cover it.

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


9. HOT LINE: Termite Inspection Done Too Late?

QUESTION: In the Purchase & Sales Agreement, it states that if there is ACTIVE infestation, the Seller will treat. It also states that the termite inspection will be conducted during the Inspection Period. My question is this: if the Termite Inspection is conducted AFTER the inspection period, is the SELLER still required to treat the property?

We understand that the buyer cannot ask for repairs if there was termite damage to the home, however, opinions differ on whether the SELLER should still HAVE TO treat.

ANSWER: Remember that the TAR Legal Hotline cannot provide an interpretation of any executed agreement. If the parties have a question concerning their legal rights and obligations under a contract, they should speak with their own legal counsel.

However, we can provide you with the Forms Committee’s intent of a blank, unexecuted TAR purchase and sale agreement. Lines 249-252 state:

“In the event Buyer fails to timely make such inspections and respond within said timeframe as described herein, the Buyer shall have forfeited any rights provided under this Paragraph 8, and in such case shall accept the Property in its current condition, normal wear and tear excepted.”

Furthermore, lines 267-268 state that “Buyer shall cause such Report [the Wood Destroying Insect Infestation Inspection Report] to be delivered to Seller simultaneously with any repairs requested by the Buyer or the end of the Inspection Period, whichever is earlier.”

In the scenario you presented, this was not done. As such, the Buyer forfeits his rights under Paragraph 8, which includes the requirement to treat active infestation.

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


10. USEFUL LINKS

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/technology-support/legal-ethics-hotline/

For CE classroom courses around the state, go to:†http://tnrealtors.com/education/

For online CE courses, go to:†http://tnrealtors.com/education/online-courses/

Tennessee Real Estate Commission: http://tn.gov/commerce/section/real-estate-commission