2-8-16 Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 6 • Randy Durham, 2016 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor
In the News
1. Law Update: Ethics & Off-MLS Listings
2. How Drones Affect E&O Coverage
3. Content Ideas for a High-Impact Blog
4. Suit-Picking Tips for Men
Member Services
5. TransactionDesk: When You Move Offices
6. Free Tax-Planning Webinar Feb. 11
7. FedEx® Savings for NAR Members
Legal & Ethics Hot Line
8. Backing out of Closing/Contingencies?
9. Filling in Title Expenses on RF401?
10. Rental to Group of Veterans vs. Single Family?
Key Links & Resources
Spring Conference Registration

1. Law Update: REALTOR® Code of Ethics & Off-MLS Listings
In this timely, five-minute “Window to the Law” update, NAR General Counsel Katie Johnson addresses MLS and the Code of Ethics, and then covers the in’s and out’s of how to deal with “Pocket Listings” (off-MLS).

Click here or on the image to watch the video.

2. How Drones Affect E&O Coverage in Tennessee
The use of drones in real estate is a white-hot topic. When it comes to insurance, have we seen any claims involving drones in Tennessee? Not yet, says Dan Chandler, claims specialist with Rice Insurance Services, the state’s vendor for Errors & Omissions (E&O) coverage.
“I don’t think we’ve yet had a drone claim; we’re in unchartered territory,” he says. The E&O policy “applies to non-excluded allegations of error or omission in professional services as a real est
ate licensee. Coverage does not depend on whether or not a drone was used in rendering the professional services.

“Anything that is otherwise covered would still be covered even if a drone is involved,” Chandler adds. “For example, let’s say a drone is used to photograph a property, and the wrong property is photographed, and the wrong images are uploaded to the MLS. Coverage would not be denied simply because a drone was used in the process.”
In another scenario, “Let’s say a licensee is using a drone to photograph a large tract of land, and the drone crashes into a neighbor’s property. Property damage, violation of right of privacy, and trespass are all excluded under the group policy. These matters typically are in the realm of general liability insurance. Thus, I don’t think our insurance would apply to a situation where the only allegation is that the drone trespassed onto someone’s property.”
Here are several other insightful resources on the subject of drones and real estate:
“Drone Landscape Still Evolving as REALTOR®, Other Commercial Uses Grows (NAR, 11/15/15)
Drones: Frequently Asked Questions (NAR, 7/21/15)
“REALTORS® weigh the benefits—and pitfalls—of using drones” (Kingsport Times-News, 1/16/16)

3. Content Ideas for a High-Impact Blog
Creating blogs that connect with your audience can help to establish you and your office as an influential real estate professional. The best blogs inform and inspire readers in ways that generate leads and clients. Content is king, and this insightful Ragan.com post shares keys to effective blogging through five types of posts: educational, expertise/innovation, humanizing, buying-decision, and case studies/examples. Read the full article here.

4. Suit-Picking Tips for Men
Let’s face it: Every client’s crazy ’bout a sharp-dressed REALTOR® (with apologies to ZZ Top).

To help the men out there, Entrepreneur magazine (via MSN/Money) offers 10 tips for picking the perfect suit.

The insights range from color, sizing and cost down to buttons, tie styles, cuffs, socks, and shoes.

The full list begins here. (Ladies: we’ll look to include tips for you in a future edition!)

Member Services
5. TransactionDesk: When You Move Offices
If you as an agent move from one office to another, the transactions in your TransactionDesk profile STAY with the original office and do NOT move with you. You and the Principle Broker of the original office will receive an email confirming that all transactions have been transferred to the original office (Principal Broker). Because transactions belong to the office, it’s a good idea to prepare before you move offices:

  1. Back up your transactions by archiving them for your personal records.
  2. Wrap up all of your business prior to moving.
  3. Create a mutual agreement with your original Broker if all or some transactions will move to your new location. Get this in writing, on office letterhead, and submit it to TAR upon your move. 
  4. Follow up with your local association to make sure your office has changed in the National Realtor Database System (NRDS) and in TransactionDesk. If not, this will cause delays. 

What happens after a move? Transactions can be transferred back to the agent but ONLY if PERMISSION is received from the original Principle Broker.

6. Free Tax-Planning Webinar: Thursday, Feb. 11
TAXBOT is a resource that can help you save thousands of dollars and keep you in good shape with the IRS by making it much easier to track and manage your tax deductions throughout the year. To learn more, join us for a FREE webinar Thursday, Feb. 11 @ 10 a.m. CST/11 a.m. EST. Visit here to register. **Register and attend the full webinar for your chance to win an Apple Watch.**

7. FedEx® Savings for NAR Members
NAR is offering members who enroll in FedEX Advantage® special savings on Avis Signature Series vehicles (10%), plus discounts on FedEx® shipping and FedEx Office®, through the REALTOR Benefits® program. The offer expires next Monday 2/15. Visit here to get started.

Legal & Ethics Hot Line

8. Backing out of Closing Without Contingencies?
QUESTION: I have a closing today, and my buyer wants to back out. The buyer is aware that they will lose their earnest money. When I called the listing broker to inform them of my buyer’s decision, they stated that since there were no contingencies the buyer could not just back out. How should I handle this situation?
ANSWER: The TAR Legal Hotline cannot provide legal advice to buyers or sellers. However, you should advise your client that there could be legal consequences for failing to close if there is not a contingency available to them to terminate. Therefore, the buyer should speak to their own legal counsel in order to determine the possible outcomes of that decision.

9. Filling in Title Expenses on RF401?

QUESTION: With regard to the RF401, what do we put in the Title Expenses blank? If the seller has agreed to pay a portion of buyer’s closing costs, does that change what goes here? Or do we put in special stipulations?

ANSWER: On lines 85-87, the parties are to enter who will pay for the cost of the title search and abstract, the lender’s title insurance policy, and the owner’s title insurance policy. Different areas of the state tend to operate differently. In some areas, the buyer pays for all of these; if that is the case, enter buyer to pay. In other areas, the seller pays for all of these; if that is the case, enter seller to pay. In still other areas, the costs are split between the parties; in that case, be very specific about who pays for what. If you have questions concerning what is typically done in your area and how to address it, contact your favorite title company.

10. Rental to Group of Veterans vs. Single Family?
QUESTION: A group of veterans would like to rent some property. I sent them to the listing firm to fill out a rental application, and they informed the veterans that they would not rent to them because they were not a single family. Is this allowed?
ANSWER: We are not aware of a law that protects the service personnel in this situation. There arelaws in place to protect against discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, and national origin, but these do not cover multiple people living as tenants in a home. If the group has questions, they should probably speak with the appropriate agency on post to see if the officials are aware of any laws and/or further guidance regarding this matter.

Editor’s Note: On this subject, TAR is hosting the Military Relocation Professional (MRP) Certification course on Thursday, Feb. 25, to equip you to best serve active-duty and retired military personnel clients with their real estate needs. To register or learn more, click here.

To check your CE hours: verify.tn.gov/default.aspx
For CE and other courses around TN: tarnet.com/education/
For online CE courses: tarnet.com/education/?target=online-CE-courses/
To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question: tarnet.com/technology-support/legal-ethics-hotline/
TAR websitetarnet.com
TAR on Twitter: twitter.com/tnaor
TAR on LinkedIn: linkedin.com/groups?gid=852077&trk=hb_side_g
TAR on Facebook: facebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689


This is a perfect day to register for TAR’s 2016 Spring Conference, March 21 and 22 at Franklin Marriott Cool Springs! 

Click here or on the ad.

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