The 12-15-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Tennessee Cities Make News Again
2. New Remodeling Report Released
3. Agent Rating Sites Are Rated…
4. Staying In Touch In Ways That Matter
5. Prepping for a Successful 2016!
6. Upcoming Courses & Events
7. HOT LINE: When To Use RF202?
8. HOT LINE: License Number on Business Cards?
9. HOT LINE: Disclosure of Power Lines To Be Installed?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.
11. No DIGEST For Two Weeks

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” — Willie Nelson

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


1. Tennessee Cities Make News Again

Both Memphis and Nashville made news again this past week.

REALTOR.COM just released its list of the 10 metros in the U.S. that are MOST likely to see a surge of millennial buyers in 2016. Number 3 on their list? Memphis, TN! First place in their survey went to Atlanta, GA. Pittsburgh, PA, ranked second. REALTOR.COM bases their projections “the representation of millennial users among viewers of ‘for sale’ listing pages on realtor.com from July to October, and the share of head of households aged 25 to 34 relative to all heads of households, from 2015 Nielsen Pop-Facts.”

To read more, go HERE.

Meanwhile, Business Insider named Nashville as one of the 13 hottest US cities for 2016. The popular business site based its rankings on “job growth, population growth, affordability, livability, and the health and well-being of each city’s residents.” They also looked at “how innovative and ‘cool’ the city is — an important factor in attracting the young creative types who will make each city hot.” Nashville was cited, in particular, because of the prediction that it “will become the new center of the auto and healthcare industries.”

To read more, go HERE.


2. New Remodeling Report Released!

Homeowners preparing to sell often make improvements, both big and small, to their homes that can help yield positive results and garner top dollar from buyers. According to a new report from the National Association of Realtors — NAR’s 2015 Remodeling Impact Report — remodeling projects can also bring major benefits to homeowners who choose to remain in their homes.

The research covered many topics, including which projects tend to produce the greatest satisfaction for homeowners. Among other findings, REALTORS who were surveyed reported that three interior projects and two exterior projects — all estimated to cost under $10,000 — also provide the greatest cost recovery at resale. Topping the list of such projects is one that tends to return slightly more than its cost at resale: a new roof.

To read more, go HERE.


3. Agent Rating Sites Are Rated…

It seems that turnabout is fair play, at least when it comes to rating real estate agents!

With the growth of online real estate sites offering consumers the opportunity to “rate” the services of real estate agents — in much the same way that people rate restaurants, movies, books on Amazon, etc. — it’s hard to know which sites are actually worthwhile and which ones aren’t. To solve this problem, the Pennsylvania Association of Realtors created a Ratings System Report Card and evaluated 10 different online rating sites.

The two top-rated sites from their study: RealSatisfied and realtor.com

For a summary of their methodology and a link to the actual Report Card, go HERE.


4. Staying In Touch In Ways That Matter

Every now and then we run across an article that states simple truths about this business in truly effective ways. One such article is Bob Corcoran’s “Tools Of Touch: Staying In Touch In Ways That Matter,” published online by REAL Trends.

His opening quote by Dale Carnegie sets the tone for the rest of his article: “The royal road to others’ heart is to talk to about the things they treasure most.”

Bob addresses ways to stay in touch with both prospects and past clients to help you get and keep more business. And the holiday season is a GREAT time to put some of his ideas into practice, if you haven’t already made them part of your routine.

To read Bob’s article, go HERE.


5. Prepping for a Successful 2016!

As we note at the end of this issue, this is the last TAR DIGEST of 2015. The next TAR DIGEST will be the Jan. 5 Edition.

During this break, you might do your own business a favor by reading Brian Buffini’s “3 Essential Tasks That Will Keep You On The Path To Success,” published by RISMedia.

Brian addresses the kinds of questions you need to ask yourself at the end of the year, both as you review the past and as you set goals for the year ahead. He organizes everything under three different “activities”: Review, Reflect, and Reward. You might also try out his “My 10 Day Goals” worksheet!

To read his article, go HERE.


6. Upcoming Courses & Events

The 2016 GRI schedule has been posted! Go to: http://tnrealtors.com/education/gri/

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: When To Use RF202?

QUESTION: Could you please explain to me the times when using an RF202 would be necessary? Is that form required if my seller has made minor repairs to the home prior to closing (fixed condensation in windows, plugs that didn’t work, etc)? Would that form be necessary if my seller filled out a Property Disclosure Exemption? He never occupied the home as it was an investment flip.

ANSWER: RF 202 is the Tennessee Residential Property Condition Disclosure Update. This is not required to be completed until closing. Tenn. Code Ann. 66-3-205 states:

“If information disclosed in accordance with this part is subsequently rendered or discovered to be inaccurate as a result of any act, occurrence, information received, circumstance or agreement subsequent to the delivery of the required disclosures, the inaccuracy resulting therefrom does not constitute a violation of this part; provided however, that at or before closing, the owner shall be required to disclose any material change in the physical condition of the property or certify to the purchaser at closing that the condition of the property is substantially the same as it was when the disclosure form was provided.”

Therefore, it is required at or before closing on ALL transactions. Note that this RF 202 is the Tennessee Residential Property Condition Disclosure Update. This is not required to be completed until closing. However, this is NOT required when a disclosure was not completed in the first place.

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


8. HOT LINE: License Number on Business Cards?

QUESTION: Is it required that agents put their license number on their business cards?

ANSWER: We seem to keep getting questions like this ever since the new closing procedures were implemented in October.

This information is not legally required to be included on business cards by real estate agents. However, with the implementation of the new CFPB standards, lenders are required to put this information in their disclosures to the buyer 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, business cards, etc. 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, business cards, etc.

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


9. HOT LINE: Disclosure of Power Lines To Be Installed?

QUESTION: With regard to a homebuilder disclosing adverse facts about a property — we have lots that will have power lines installed behind them. We have no information other than that they are going to be installed. How do we handle this situation?

ANSWER: Pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-403(2), a real estate agent is required to “[d]isclose to each party to the transaction any adverse facts of which the licensee has actual notice or knowledge.” Tennessee law defines an adverse fact as “conditions or occurrences generally recognized by competent licensees that have a negative impact on the value of the real estate, significantly reduce the structural integrity of improvements to real property or present a significant health risk to occupants of the property.” — Tenn. Code Ann. 62-13-102(2). Therefore, if an agent has actual knowledge of an adverse fact, he must disclose it, particularly if the seller does not. This could be seen as an adverse fact.

If you do feel that it is an adverse fact, you are required by law to disclose it. You will have to notify future prospective buyers of any adverse facts. If you so decide, we recommend advising your client that you will be making the disclosure and have any disclosures made in writing and signed by the potential buyer. If you determine that the information must be disclosed, we advise you to notify your clients in writing as to why you are doing so. If disclosures are made, we also encourage you to disclose all of the information that you have concerning this issue including repairs, reports, tests, etc. Since this would impact the sales price of the property, TREC would likely view this as an adverse fact under the statute. If you feel that it is an adverse fact, we recommend that you notify your seller of this and have him sign off indicating that he understands that you must disclose it and that he will not hold you responsible for the disclosure. If he refuses, we recommend that you release the listing and allow him to list the property with someone else. In the event that you do disclose something, we recommend following it up with documentation of the repairs done to remediate the problem. We recommend disclosing previous issues and also disclosing what has been done to repair the issue.

Furthermore, you have an obligation pursuant to Article 2 of the Code of Ethics. It states:

“Realtors shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. Realtors shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency of non-agency relationships as defined by state law.”

[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/


No DIGEST For Two Weeks

The TAR DIGEST takes a two-week break after this issue, but the DIGEST will return with the January 5, 2016 Edition. Meanwhile, the TAR staff and leadership hope that you and yours will enjoy the holidays in peace and prosperity!