3-7-16 Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 10 • Randy Durham, 2016 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor


✔ Want to be on HGTV? Here’s your chance.
✔ Freshen your Facebook page for more leads.
Are you missing out on TransactionDesk updates? 
✔ If you’re the seller AND the licensee, beware of a bidding war.

1. HGTV House-Hunting Series Seeks TN Agents, Buyers
 A popular house-hunting series is casting for upcoming seasons—seeking younger buyers actively searching for lakefront, lake view, or lake access properties under $375k. They’ll also consider buyers who’ve closed on homes in the past six months. The key is energetic buyers and agents who will be featured in one half-hour episode. Diversity is a plus. Compensation will be provided for network-approved stories. Deadline is ASAP. To learn more, please email  with some info on yourself and your clients. Write “ATTN: Rebecca” in the Subject line. 

2. Put Facebook to Work for You
“What good is a status update if it’s never read? What does a link matter if there’s no one on your page to see that you’ve posted it? Let’s face it: Your Facebook followers are absolutely critical…” So writes Katie Lance in her Inman blog, “4 little things that make a big difference with Facebook.” They are: Be welcoming, Acknowledge others, Ask questions, and Be generous. The whole quick read is here.

3. Avoid the ‘Dirty Dozen’ Tax Scams
The IRS just finished its list of 12 potential pitfalls for tax filers—a good, quick read with insightfor you, your office and your clients. The hottest topics are: Identity Theft, Phone Scams, Phishing, Return Preparer Fraud, Offshore Tax Avoidance, Inflated Refund Claims, Fake Charities, Falsely Padding, Deductions on Returns, Excessive Claims for Business Credits, Falsifying Income to Claim Credits, Abusive Tax Shelters, and Frivolous Tax Arguments. Read descriptions of each of them at this link.

Member Services
4. ERMA Surprises Await at Spring Conference
This year’s TAR Spring Conference will feature several fun surprises with the new Educational Resource Mobile App (ERMA), a learning tool developed exclusively to help our members locate Professional Development/CE courses throughout Tennessee. Don’t miss the fun! Be sure to save your spot at Spring Conference by visiting our Registration page here. The final sign-up deadline is Monday, March 14.

5. TransactionDesk Tip: Correct Email?
We periodically share tech tips to help you navigate TransactionDesk, including step-by-step tutorials featuring our own Buzz Steele. This week: Your Correct Email Address Is CRUCIAL
Ensuring that your address is correct in TransactionDesk is crucial for correspondence and communication. If it’s incorrect, you could be missing out ontimely, relevant info. This brief screencast shows where to check and how to change it if necessary.

6. Up Next: TREC Commissioner Profiles
Two issues ago we featured a Q&A with new TREC Executive Director Malcolm Young. In the coming weeks, we will also spotlight TREC’s nine commissioners to provide a glimpse into who they are and the key role they play. The commissioners are appointed by the Governor to serve TREC, which is part of the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance. TREC’s mission is “to protect the public through establishment and administration of minimum requirements for candidates and licensees, effective professional education of licensees and enforcement of professional conduct.” Stay tuned!

7. RPAC Reception, March 21: Food, Drink, Live Music
Don’t miss the RPAC Reception during our 2016 Spring Conference. The reception is open to all members, even those not attending the conference. Please join us Monday, March 21, from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. at The Bunganut Pig (1143 Columbia Avenue, Franklin). The cost is only $20 and includes hors d’oeuvres + one beverage. Enjoy live music from Smooth Hound Smith, a foot-stompin’ American roots duo coming off performances at SXSW. Learn more and invest today at this link.

Legal & Ethics Hot Line

8. Sales Protocol for ‘Tenants in Common’?

QUESTION: I am ‘tenants in common’ with another individual who is not a licensed REALTOR®. Can they sell the property without me or my agency being involved?
ANSWER: The owner of a property owned as ‘tenants in common’ can only sell their undivided interest in the property. They cannot sell your interest without your permission. And since they do not own your portion of the property, they cannot advertise your portion for sale or negotiate the sale of your portion of the property unless they are a licensed real estate agent. It does not, by law, have to be done through your real estate company, but it would have to be done through a firm. However, if you are selling your portion of the property, you may have to list it with your firm if there is a company policy requiring it.

9. Owner/Agent Offer Disclosures?

QUESTION: I’m an owner/agent of a property, so seller and licensee. Can I disclose the price of an existing offer to another buyer agent?

ANSWER: As a seller alone, you could do that. However, this practice can be very dangerous as a licensee. It encourages a bidding war. He runs the very real risk of one of the buyers claiming that he “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 you disclose the contents of one offer to one buyer, you must disclose the contents of all offers to all buyers. You could easily be caught up in an endless circle of offers and changed offers to try and get the house for the best possible deal. In addition, it only takes one buyer that did not get the property to file a complaint against you. Although these are legal, they are very difficult to do properly. Another option would be to request the highest and best offer if you receive more than one offer. You can use form RF 663, the Multiple Offer Disclosure and Notification form. Although this is technically a residential form, you could use it in the commercial setting.

10. Presentation Folders Considered Advertising?
QUESTION: A presentation folder didn’t seem much different than the items listed as a promotional item. Am I correct?

ANSWER: Although presentation folders are not specifically mentioned in the rule, it is my opinion that TREC would likely view them as advertising. This is because it is being directly used in attempting to gain clients for the firm. It is something more than just a pen, notepad, etc. However, it would be up to the Commission to make that determination.

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/
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**It’s ONE WEEK to our final Registration deadline,
Monday, March 14!

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