The 11-10-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Fewer First-Time Buyers, Again
2. Your Action Is STILL Needed!
3. If You Can’t Be In San Diego
4. Why It Pays To List In Winter
5. TN’s License Search Is Working Again!
6. Americans Upbeat on Housing And…
7. Upcoming Courses & Events!
8. HOT LINE: Explanation of an Exclusive Agency?
9. HOT LINE: Licensure Information on Websites, Etc.?
10. HOT LINE: Bathroom Added Without a Permit?
11. USEFUL LINKS

“If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?” — Abraham Lincoln

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


1. Fewer First-Time Buyers, Again

The share of first-time buyers declined for the third consecutive year and remained at its lowest point in nearly three decades as the overall strengthening pace of home sales over the past year was driven more by repeat buyers with dual incomes, according to an annual survey just released by the National Association of Realtors (NAR). The survey also found that nearly 90 percent of all respondents worked with a real estate agent to buy or sell a home, which pushed FSBO transactions to their lowest share ever.

This marks the lowest share of first-time buyers in the homebuying market since 1987! The survey includes several interesting findings about today’s buyers, current trends in financing, the home search process, and seller characteristics.

For complete highlights of the 2015 NAR Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, go HERE.

The above link also includes an online video clip with a two-minute overview of the report by Jessica Lautz, NAR’s Director of Survey Research and Communications.


2. Your Action Is STILL Needed!

Join the 134,000 REALTORS — more than 14 percent of NAR’s membership — who have already asked their federal lawmakers to oppose the proposed use of guarantee fees (g-fees) — charged by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae — for transportation projects! G-fees add to the cost of obtaining a mortgage, and NAR is against using them for purposes not related to housing!

Respond to this Call To Action today!


3. If You Can’t Be In San Diego

This coming week, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) travels to San Diego, California, for its Annual Conference and Expo, November 13-16!

Realtors from across the country, including many from Tennessee, will convene for several days of business meetings, education sessions, special events, and other activities. Often, decisions affecting the future of the real estate business are debated and made at these meetings.

If you can’t be there, you can STILL stay in touch with events — almost as they occur — by way of the Twitter feed from the event! To do so, go to: https://twitter.com/narannual


4. Why It Pays To List In Winter

If you have any reluctant sellers who think they need to take their properties off the market during the winter months, or wait until spring to list, a new Money Magazine article by Daniel Bortz (“Why It Pays to List Your Home in Winter“) could change their minds, or yours.

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Spring may still be peak home-shopping season, since most families want to move when the kids are out of school. Yet it actually pays to list in the winter, when buyers tend to have more urgency: A study by online brokerage Redfin found that average sellers net more above asking price during the months of December, January, February, and March than they do from June through November, even in cold-weather cities like Boston and Chicago. And homes listed in winter sold faster than those posted in spring.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.


5. TN’s License Search Is Working Again!

The State of Tennessee’s computer system recently went through a transition and, for some time, licensees could no longer access their own CE records online.

The system appears to be fully operational once again! You can look up your own license and, once you’ve found your license, click on “Details” and see every CE course in your record and the date you took it. It’s an easy way to check on your progress in meeting your own CE requirements, AND it’s also a good way for managing brokers to follow up on the educational progress of their sales associates.

To begin the process of looking up a license, go to: http://verify.tn.gov/default.aspx


6. Americans Upbeat on Housing And…

Americans continue to view home ownership in overwhelmingly positive terms, according to NAR’s annual Housing Pulse survey. Learn more in The Voice for Real Estate, NAR’s video news program.

Other stories: Tens of thousands of REALTORS tell Congress not to use the guarantee fees (g-fees) collected by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to pay for transportation projects; NAR President Chris Polychron testifies on Capitol Hill about ways to make condo financing easier to obtain; and existing-home sales rebound.

You can access the latest edition of The Voice for Real Estate online video program HERE.


7. Upcoming Courses & Events!

Nov. 10: Free Webinar, at 10:00AM Central Time — Taxbot and TAR are sponsoring a FREE WEBINAR on November 10 to show you how to keep more of your commission dollars in 2016! Learn how to pay the least amount of taxes possible next year by doing a few simple things today. Most business owners or 1099 employees overpay their taxes between $1,000 – $13,000 each year (even when using a CPA). For more information or to register, go HERE.

Nov. 18: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) — TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Nov. 18: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE) — TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

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!


8. HOT LINE: Explanation of an Exclusive Agency?

QUESTION: I am looking for a document that will explain what an exclusive agency is under a listing type.

ANSWER: An exclusive agency agreement will allow the seller to continue to market the property, but will only allow one real estate company to list it. This agreement states that the commission is due if the Firm secures a ready, willing and able buyer. This is true if the firm is the procuring cause of the sale. If the seller procures the ready, willing and able buyer, no commission is due.

There is language in the Special Stipulations library (RF 707) that you can use to convert an exclusive right to sell agreement into an exclusive agency listing agreement. Simply copy and paste paragraph 15 into your exclusive right to sell listing agreement. For TransactionDesk users, special stipulations are included in the Clause Library. SO, if you’re using TransactionDesk, just insert the special stipulation by using the Clause Library.

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


9. HOT LINE: Licensure Information on Websites, Etc.?

QUESTION: Previously, there has been discussions regarding the license numbers as well as which state the agent has licenses on all forms of advertising, emails, social media, etc. The new rules do not address this. So, is this not going to be required or is it already enforceable now? Agents are updating their social media and have asked this question.

ANSWER: This information is not legally required to be included by real estate agents, with the exception of firm name and telephone number on all email signatures. HOWEVER, with the implementation of the new CFPB standards on October 3, lenders are required to put this information in their initial loan estimates which are due three days after loan application and three days before closing. In order to assist the lender in locating this information, it would be helpful if real estate agents included this information in their email signatures. That way, lenders will not have to hunt for the information and it will assist them in timely moving a transaction forward toward closing which will be for the benefit of both buyers and sellers. As such, you may want to consider adding such information to your email signatures.

Moreover, the Realtor Code of Ethics DOES require that agents put their states of licensure on their websites. Standard of Practice 12-9 states:

“REALTOR firm websites shall disclose the firm’s name and state(s) of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner.

Websites of REALTORS and non-member licensees affiliated with a REALTOR firm shall disclose the firm’s name and that REALTOR’s or non-member licensee’s state(s) of licensure in a reasonable and readily apparent manner.”

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


10. HOT LINE: Bathroom Added Without a Permit?

QUESTION: I represent the seller in a transaction. I was informed the seller needed to get a septic letter; however, the seller built an additional bathroom without getting the proper permit. The County is stating that the seller will have to go through the entire permitting process again. Can the buyer waive this item? How can we handle this situation?

ANSWER: As always, first note that the TAR Legal Hotline cannot provide an interpretation of any executed contract. If the parties have a question concerning their legal rights under a contract, they should really speak with their own attorney.

However, based on the information provided to us, we would strongly recommend that the contract be amended stating that the seller provided notice that the bathroom was added without proper permitting by the septic office and that the buyer waives the septic contingency contained on lines ______. If the contract is not amended, the buyer can state that he is waiving it, but then at the last minute possibly change his mind and cause issues.

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


11. 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