The 11-17-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. NAR Convention Update
2. An Interview With Lawrence Yun
3. Getting a Buyer Rep Agreement Signed
4. HUD Announces Changes to FHA Condo Policy
5. Professional Standards Training – Jan. 12, 2016
6. Upcoming Courses & Events!
7. HOT LINE: How Much Can They Tell Me?
8. HOT LINE: Listing for a Family Member?
9. HOT LINE: Getting Out of a Listing?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“We cannot always oblige; but we can always speak obligingly.” — Voltaire

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


1. NAR Convention Update

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) held its Annual Convention this past week in San Diego, Nov. 13-16, and Tennessee was well-represented at the meetings! Here are just a few of the many highlights featuring TAR members at the NAR Convention: http://tnrealtors.com/?p=8010


2. An Interview With Lawrence Yun

NAR’s Annual Convention always features the opportunity to get an up-to-date reading on the current real estate market and the economic outlook. NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun was in San Diego to provide his much-appreciated analysis of the residential and commercial real estate markets.

Apart from his presentation to Realtors, Yun was interviewed by NAR staff member Nobu Hata for a “Conference Live” video that you can watch online. It’s a 12-minute look at the market, including trends for first-time buyers, millennials, and sellers. To see it for yourself, go HERE.


3. Getting a Buyer Rep Agreement Signed

By now, we HOPE that every Tennessee Realtor knows that, under Tennessee law, you won’t actually become a buyer’s agent without a signed buyer representation agreement. An agency disclosure form alone doesn’t “cut it.” Having the conversation with a buyer about signing that agreement, however, is not always easy, even for a seasoned Realtor.

Marc Gould, Vice President of Business Specialties for NAR and Executive Director of REBAC, has written a new article to help you out! Published on RISMedia and titled “The Buyer Representation Agreement: Tips for Getting It Signed,” the article provides sound advice on how to move even a reluctant buyer into a relationship with you.

To read it, go HERE.


4. HUD Announces Changes to FHA Condo Policy

The NAR Convention was the site of several major announcements, one of which was made by FHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Ed Golding. He took the stage with 2015 NAR President Chris Polychron to announce changes to FHA’s condominium policies. NAR has been a consistent advocate for improvements to overly restrictive condominium policies, and the coming new policies certainly seem like progress!

Calculations for owner-occupied percentages are changing, so that second homes will no longer be counted against the 50% owner-occupied requirement for eligible developments. Insurance requirements are also being adjusted to allow more developments to qualify. Third, the old recertification process that had to occur every two years is being revamped.

More details will likely be forthcoming in the weeks ahead! For a press release by FHA, go HERE.


5. Professional Standards Training – Jan. 12, 2016

EVENT: Professional Standards Training for Committees & AEs
COST: Free*
COURSE: Enhancing the Code (3 hours CE)
DATE: Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016
TIME: 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
PLACE: Williamson County Association of Realtors (WCAR)
FACILITATOR: Trainer extraordinaire Steve Champion of Keller Williams in Chattanooga
TO REGISTER: Email Karen Czarnecki,

*Each year, TREEF provides three sessions of Professional Standards training for Local Association Committee Professional Standards and Grievance Committee Members, one in each Grand Division, at no cost to participants. This course is the Middle Tennessee region’s opportunity for 2016.


6. Upcoming Courses & Events!

Nov. 18: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) — 9 a.m.-Noon, TAR Office, Nashville. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Nov. 18: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE) — 1-4 p.m., 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!


7. HOT LINE: How Much Can They Tell Me?

QUESTION: As a buyer’s agent, I’m often in multiple-offer situations, wondering how high to go with our offer. If I ask the listing agent about details of the other submitted offers (offer amount, net to seller, etc.), are they allowed to tell me? How much information about the other offers are they allowed to divulge?

ANSWER: The listing agent can only disclose that information which the seller gives him permission to disclose. However, we routinely discourage a listing agent from disclosing the contents of one offer to another buyer. First, this puts the listing agent in a troublesome spot. It encourages a bidding war. He runs the very real risk of having one of the buyers claim that the listing agent “played favorites” with one over the others.

As an agent, he has a duty to “diligently exercise reasonable skill and care in providing services to all parties to the transaction” (Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403(1)) and to “provide services to each party to the transaction with honesty and good faith.” (Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403(4)). This means that if he discloses the contents of one offer to one buyer, he should disclose the contents of all offers to all buyers. He could easily be caught up in an endless circle of offers and changed offers by competing buyers.

In addition, it only takes one unhappy buyer who did not get the property to file a complaint against an agent. Instead, we recommend that the listing agent discuss with all buyers the importance of putting forth their best offers, especially if it is a hot property.

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


8. HOT LINE: Listing for a Family Member?

QUESTION: I need some clarification with regard to disclosure of personal interests when listing a property for a family member.

ANSWER: You are required to disclose this to interested buyers. Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403(7)(A) states that agents owe a duty to all parties to:

“Not engage in self-dealing nor act on behalf of licensee’s immediate family, or on behalf of any other individual, organization or business entity in which the licensee has a personal interest without prior disclosure of such interest and the timely written consent of all parties to the transaction.”

TAR provides form RF 305, Personal Interest Disclosure and Consent, for this purpose.

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


9. HOT LINE: Getting Out of a Listing?

QUESTION: I have a seller that listed their property with me. They have overpriced it and we have had very few showings. This seller calls me on a regular basis stating that I am not doing my job, etc. I would like to get out of this listing, and I believe I need to use the “Notification of Change in Status or Agency Relationship” form. Am I correct? Please advise.

ANSWER: A listing agreement is a written contract which establishes an agency relationship between a seller and a real estate company. In order to terminate this contract, it requires a termination and release in writing, signed by all parties to the listing agreement. It should terminate the contract and release both sides from the obligations under the original listing agreement. Until this is completed, the listing agreement will continue in place until its natural termination.

TAR does provide a form which will effectively terminate the listing. This is form RF/CF 151. This form will allow you to place limitations on agreeing to release the listing such as a carry-over period or a termination fee. (See lines 9-17). However, if the seller lists the property with another agent during the carry-over period, the obligation to pay a commission is terminated. Another possibility would be to require a referral fee if the seller sells the property to that particular buyer. This should be done in the release agreement.

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


10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

To check your own CE hours, go to: http://verify.tn.gov/default.aspx

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

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/