The 11-3-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Interest Rates Likely To Stay Low Longer
2. Scaring Buyers Away From Your Listings
3. A Realtor Safety Video — For Consumers!
4. Lowe’s Program for Realtors Ends
5. TECH TIP: Twitter & Real Estate
6. Upcoming Courses & Events!
7. HOT LINE: Differences Between Types of Agents?
8. HOT LINE: Where To Find a Sinkhole Disclosure Form?
9. HOT LINE: Where To Find a Mold Disclosure Form?

“True friends are those who, when you make a fool of yourself, don’t believe that this condition is permanent.” — Erwin T. Randall

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

1. Interest Rates Likely To Stay Low Longer

The Federal Reserve once again decided not to raise the federal funds rate this month, saying the economy is still falling short of benchmarks. That likely means home buyers will be able to take advantage of lower mortgage rates for awhile longer too.

. . . Jonathan Smoke,’s chief economist, predicted earlier this week that a rate hike was not likely.

“The new home sales report covering September shows a rate well below the consensus estimate and indicates that real issues emerged late this summer in the new homes market, questioning the supposedly strong growth signals that were previously interpreted by many,” Smoke said. “Last year we picked up momentum in the late summer and fall. This year seems to be the opposite — we are losing momentum.”

What’s more, pending and existing-home sales also posted declines in August, which Smoke says also has an impact on the Fed’s decision.

“That decline was likely a result of the stock market declines in August and September,” he said. “If builders are not focusing on first-time buyers, they are focusing on the segments most likely to be disrupted by declines in stock portfolios and retirement plans.”
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To read more, go HERE.

2. Scaring Buyers Away From Your Listings

Halloween may be over, but some things can still be frightening . . . at least for some prospective buyers!

CBS Moneywatch recently ran a story by Ilyce Glink (“10 signs of a scary real estate listing“) that provides a good overview of factors — some of which you can control in your property or listing descriptions — that can scare buyers away from your listings. Some of her ten signs are obvious; some aren’t:

1. Lack of photos
2. Fixer-upper
3. TLC
4. “As is” listing
5. Cash transactions only
6. Tenant-occupied properties
7. Vacant homes
8. Bring your toolbox
9. Land lease buildings
10. “All work has been done for you”

To read her article, with a photo illustration of each sign, go HERE.

3. A Realtor Safety Video — For Consumers!

Real estate professionals know they need to be extra cautious in the field, but many worry that putting strict safety measures in place may drive potential clients away. And some might think, “They’re going to think I’m invading their privacy if I ask to make a copy of their photo ID. If I tell them to drive separately, they’re going to be offended.”

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) has now produced a short 3-minute video for consumers, explaining why safety is important. Realtors can send the link to prospective clients ahead of their initial meeting to explain, for example, why they might need to meet at the office first before visiting any properties.

To view the video online, go HERE.

4. Lowe’s Program for Realtors Ends

As of 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time, on Friday, Nov. 6, the Lowe’s Program for Realtors will no longer be available, and Lowe’s will no longer be an NAR REALTOR Benefits Program partner. Lowe’s is deploying a series of communications to its existing program participants, the first of which released Oct. 26. Existing program participants will have the opportunity to close out any open items with their Lowe’s program account. All active orders, including gift cards and e-coupons, will be processed without interruption. More details can be found at:

Additionally, Lowe’s dedicated help desk, at 888/913-6060, will be available to members through Nov. 29.

5. TECH TIP: Twitter & Real Estate

The political campaign season is in full swing. A new PR “playing field” for every campaign — and for many businesses — is the Twitter universe! Twitter is here to stay, and it CAN ALSO be an asset to a Realtor’s business if it’s managed effectively.

To help you out, NAR has recently updated its Field Guide to Twitter, as recently as October of this year. NAR’s Field Guides, covering almost every aspect of the real estate profession, are a great resource. Each Field Guide contains links to a variety of articles and other resources you can use to get “up to speed” on that particular topic!

To access NAR’s Field Guide to Twitter, go to:

To access the complete Library of Field Guides, go to:

6. Upcoming Courses & Events!

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: ……and scroll down the page to see all upcoming courses!

7. HOT LINE: Differences Between Types of Agents?

QUESTION: Please explain the difference between the categories “Agent for Seller/Buyer” and “Designated Agent for Seller/Buyer”. Do both choices on the Confirmation of Agency Status Form require a signed Listing Agreement -or- Buyer’s Representation Agreement?

ANSWER: The first things that must be understood are the different types of agency which are practiced in Tennessee. Designated seller agency occurs when a listing agreement is signed with a seller and the principal broker has appointed ONE agent to represent that seller to the exclusion of all other agents in the office. See Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-102(7). Seller’s agency (also known as standard or straight agency) is one in which ALL of the agents in the office represent that client. This occurs when the seller signs a listing agreement and the principal broker does NOT designate one agent to act as the designated agent for that client.

The differences between the two agency relationships become important when there are in-house transactions. In a standard agency situation, any in house transaction will raise the issue of dual agency. For example, Suzie Seller has a standard seller agency agreement and is working with Agent A for XYZ Realty. Bob Buyer has a standard buyer agency agreement and is working with Agent B for XYZ Realty. Even though they are working with different agents, in a standard agency situation, all agents represent all clients. Therefore, Agent A and Agent B represent BOTH Suzie and Bob. In that situation, there are two options. One is to have the broker appoint Agent A to be the designated seller’s agent for Suzie and designate Agent B as the designated buyer’s agent for Bob. This will prevent dual agency.

In a DESIGNATED agency situation, as long as different agents within the same company represent the buyer and seller, there is no danger of dual agency. However, if the same agent is the designated agent for the buyer and seller in a transaction, then there will be a danger of dual agency. In that situation, the agent should default to a facilitator for both parties to avoid dual agency.

You should check with your principal broker in order to determine whether your office practices designated agency or standard agency.

As both of these classifications create agency relationships, they BOTH require a signed listing agreement or buyer representation agreement.

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

8. HOT LINE: Where To Find a Sinkhole Disclosure Form?

QUESTION: We need a link to the Sinkhole Disclosure or the Form number on the TARNET.COM Forms On The Fly Page. I’ve looked for this form but I have not seen it.

ANSWER: There is not a separate sinkhole disclosure. Instead, the forms committee added it to the current disclosure forms – RF 201 (Tennessee Residential Property Condition Disclosure), RF 203 (Tennessee Residential Exemption Notification) and RF 204 (Tennessee Residential Property Disclaimer).

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

9. HOT LINE: Where To Find a Mold Disclosure Form?

QUESTION: We are looking for a mold disclosure form. Please advise.

ANSWER: TAR does not have a form that deals solely with mold disclosure. However, the TAR’s Tennessee Residential Property Condition Disclosure form does have a line that deals with mold. On page three, it asks if the seller is aware of known existing or past mold presence on the subject property. (See lines 138-142). If you are looking for a disclaimer form to put the parties on notice that the agents are not experts in this area and that they should have an inspection done, then you can use form RF 304, Disclaimer Form.

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


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