The 12-8-15 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Tennessee’s Home Prices Hit New Highs
2. Memphis Makes the Top 10 List!
3. FSBO Sales Drop To Lowest Level on Record
4. FHFA Loan Limits for 2016
5. Best Tech Gifts for 2015!
6. Upcoming Courses & Events!
7. HOT LINE: Seller Countered Two Offers?
8. HOT LINE: Tennessee a Community Property State?
9. HOT LINE: Agent Liable for False Advertising?
10. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“I prefer the pain of discipline over the pain of regret.” — Jake Gyllenhaal

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


1. Tennessee’s Home Prices Hit New Highs

In CoreLogic’s latest US Home Price Report, ten states — including Tennessee — reached new highs in home prices, as of October, 2015!

“Many markets have experienced a low inventory of homes for sale along with strong buyer demand, which is sustaining upward pressure on home prices. These conditions are likely to persist as we enter 2016,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic.

The ten states with new price highs are: Colorado, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Maine, Nebraska, New York, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Wyoming. [Yes, they refer to D.C. as a state.]

The rise in home prices, of course, has a potential downside or risk, noted by Corelogic’s CEO Anand Nallathambi, with the release of this latest report: “As we move forward, the rise in home prices will need to be better correlated to family income trends over time to avoid homes becoming unaffordable for many. This is especially true in several metropolitan areas where home prices have grown rapidly.”

To read more, go HERE.


2. Memphis Makes the Top 10 List!

REALTOR.COM’s chief economist Jonathan Smoke released the site’s 2016 Housing Forecast, including its predictions as to which metropolitan areas would be the hottest markets next year. Making the list at number 7: our own Memphis, TN!

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Smoke and his team took past trends and seasonal variations of housing and economic data for the 100 largest markets in the country and stuck them into a time machine — oops, we mean a statistical model that predicts future values for home sales and prices. Then they identified the markets whose forecasted growth was equal to or better than the U.S. average. The resulting top 10 list is of the real estate markets that look the most bullish for the coming year.
*** END QUOTE ***

The complete Top 10 List:

1. Providence, RI
2. St. Louis, MO
3. San Diego, CA
4. Sacramento, CA
5. Atlanta, GA
6. New Orleans, LA
7. Memphis, TN
8. Charlotte, NC
9. Virginia Beach, VA
10. Boston, MA

To read more, go HERE.


3. FSBO Sales Drop To Lowest Level on Record

Owners have many options for selling when they decide they’d like to move on from their current home, but fewer are looking to do it alone.

According to the National Association of REALTORS 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, only 8 percent of home sales last year were those in which the seller went through the process without an agent — known as for-sale-by-owner sales or FSBOs — the fewest percentage since NAR began tracking these sales in 1981! In fact, FSBO sales have dropped 5 percent in the last 10 years, down from 13 percent in 2005.

The reasons vary for going FSBO; the most common reasons are that sellers didn’t want to pay a commission or fee (48 percent); they were selling to a friend, relative or neighbor (21 percent); or they were contacted directly by a buyer (18 percent). As FSBO sales have gone done over the last decade, the use of a real estate agent has increased; 89 percent of sellers used a real estate agent – up 1 percent from last year and 5 percent from 10 years ago.


4. FHFA Loan Limits for 2016

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced that the maximum conforming loan limits for mortgages acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2016 will remain at existing levels for most of the United States, except in 39 high-cost counties where they will increase. In most of the country, the loan limit will remain at $417,000 for one-unit properties.

It’s noteworthy, however, that of the thirty-nine (39) U. S. counties where the maximum conforming loan limits will increase, fourteen (14) of those counties are in Middle Tennessee: Cannon, Cheatham, Davidson, Dickson, Hickman, Macon, Maury, Robertson, Rutherford, Smith, Sumner, Trousdale, Williamson, and Wilson.

In these Tennessee counties, the loan limit in 2016 will increase from $425,500 to $437,000.


5. Best Tech Gifts for 2015!

Just in time for the holidays, the Wall Street Journal has posted “Our Favorite Gadgets” — its pictorial guide to the the Best Tech Gifts for 2015.

Whether you’re looking for a VERY nice thank-you gift for a recent client, a fun gift for a family member, or a new tech tool for yourself as you “gear up” your own business for the New Year, you’ll surely get a few ideas by browsing this online catalogue.

We’ve always found the technology editors at the Wall Street Journal to be pretty reliable, so their list is worth a look. The graphic is interactive, so click on any of the images for more information.

To see it for yourself, go to: http://graphics.wsj.com/image-grid/tech-gift-guide-2015/


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: Seller Countered Two Offers?

QUESTION: I had an agent that wrote an offer on a property on behalf of a buyer. The seller countered our buyer’s offer, and at the same time, was countering another buyer’s offer. What are the rules regarding this type of situation? When there are two (2) offers, isn’t the seller required to ask for highest and best?

ANSWER: There are a couple of ways that multiple offers can be handled. The listing agent must present all offers to the seller. Then the seller has several options.

One, the seller can review the offers received and select one to counter. The other option would be to notify all interested buyers to submit their highest and best offer by a particular date and time. The seller would then review all offers and select the one they wish to work.

TAR has a form for the second option. You can review form RF 663, the Multiple Offer Disclosure and Notification form. Although this is technically a residential form, you could also use it in a commercial setting.

The Code of Ethics does address multiple offers. Standard of Practice 1-15 states:

“Realtors, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, Realtors shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker.”

Either option is permissible and it is up to the seller as to which route he wishes to pursue.

We do NOT recommend that a seller counter more than one offer at a time. Although it is not illegal per se, it could be dangerous in the event that two buyers accept the counter offer at the same time.

However, it is ultimately up to the seller to determine which way to proceed.

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


8. HOT LINE: Tennessee a Community Property State?

QUESTION: Is Tennessee a community property state? If a father and his daughter want to purchase a property together, does the daughter’s husband have to be on the contract and deed?

ANSWER: Tennessee is not a community property state. Therefore, the daughter can own the property independent of her husband. However, if they ever got divorced, the husband could make an argument that the property was marital property if he made contributions to its maintenance and/or the mortgage. If the father and daughter have questions concerning how to structure the transaction such that the husband has no interest in the property, they should speak with a title attorney.

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


9. HOT LINE: Agent Liable for False Advertising?

QUESTION: Can an agent be liable for a false advertisement? If so, how is this handled?

ANSWER: Yes, depending on the circumstances. The agent could be facing complaints before the TN Real Estate Commission and a possible lawsuit. If the agent is a Realtor, the agent could also face an ethics complaint before the local association. If you or someone else has questions concerning possible legal action, you should speak with your own legal counsel.

[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/