1. Market Updates at Your Fingertips Among the many online resources for timely real estate news, one is Inman News’ free Daily Market Update. The page contains mortgage rates, trends, indexes, housing stats, and more. To access it, use the following URL but change the date to the current month and day, such as Friday’s:
Another option: subscribe to Inman Dailyto receive free daily headlines, story links, breaking news, real estate industry reports, and more. Simply click the S-box icon in theupper right cornerand enter your email address.
2. Secrets of Your Success If you can spare three minutes, check out marketer and success analyst Richard St. John’s classic TED talk, “8 Secrets of Success”, which he based on 500 interviews. Don’t miss his definition of C.R.A.P. (Cheat sheet: The secrets boil down to passion, work, good, focus, push, serve, ideas, and persist.)
*Correction: Last week’s article on John Griess noted incorrect dates for an upcoming TREC session in Jackson, Tenn. The correct dates are May 12-13. To view the TREC calendar, click here.
3. TREC Stars: Vice Chair Janet DiChiara This week our series of profiles on the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) continues with Vice Chair Janet DiChiara of Jackson.
Janet DiChiara knows a thing or two about testosterone. That’s because she’s surrounded by it. Between her five sons and seven grandsons, DiChiara—de-CHAR-uh—has long been outnumbered by the male species.
“There has been so much testosterone in my house that I have lost the lady-compassion aspects of life,” she says with a smile. “I was the only female, so I’m not one to be real girly. I don’t take three hours to get ready to go somewhere, because I never had time for that.”
In her role as Vice Chair of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC), the odds are more in DiChiara’s favor. Among the nine commissioners, she is one of four women (along with Marcia Franks, Diane Hills and Fontaine Taylor). Appointed by Gov. Bill Haslam in 2011 to a five-year term, she’s up for reappointment for a second term in June.
Raising the Bar The main job of TREC, as she sees it: “I think it’s so important for us to protect the consumer, but especially for us to raise the level of professionalism in [real estate]. I think that is certainly lacking, and the only way we can do that is to police our industry.”
The critical issues that TREC tends to deal with include education, personal responsibility, and broker-agent coordination, she says.
On education: “I think grandfathering is a big problem, and a lack of education to managing brokers is an issue.”
On personal responsibility: “I’m amazed at the number of licensees who will come and say, ‘Well, I didn’t get my notice to renew, nobody told me it was time.’ My comment is always, ‘Well, whose responsibility is it to keep up with when your license is due?’ ”
On broker-agent coordination: “One of my big messages is that brokers need to know what their agents are doing, and agents need to keep their brokers informed of what they are doing. Social media is a big challenge. Brokers have got to figure out a better way to keep up with what their agents are doing in all of the media outlets.”
Triple Threat Back home in Jackson, DiChiara is Broker/Owner of EXIT Select Realty. She’s also an instructor for real estate courses. That rare trifecta —broker, instructor, regulator—informs her approach to each area.
“I think the three of them tie really well together and give me a broader perspective in all those respects,” she says. “Being a broker and a regulator provides more knowledge as an instructor, understanding why the laws are the way they are. As a regulator it also gives me the opportunity to look and say, ‘I don’t know why this was made a law, but that’s the craziest thing I’ve ever heard. We need to fix this!’ ”
Before entering real estate in 1998, DiChiara “owned a flower and craft shop business with my mother, where I did most of the flowers and she did most of the crafts, and we also had a produce stand and grew most of the produce we sold.”
As part of DiChiara’s no-nonsense leadership style, innovation is important and new ideas are welcome. “I don’t believe just because we’ve always done it a certain way makes it the right way,” she says. “I’m not opposed to change at all. If there’s a better way that makes a lot more sense, then we need to look at it.”
Female Bonding? As for her free time, DiChiara’s “favorite activity is spending time with my grandkids. That’s the best job in the world,” she says.
Is she destined to remain surrounded only by smelly (but sweet) boys? Time will tell.
“I still have one son who has no family yet, and one who only has one child, so I expect several more grandchildren, and hopefully we’ll get a girl in there someday,” DiChiara says. “If we do, she will either be spoiled rotten by all of these boys, or she’ll be meaner than a yard dog that nobody can get near.”
For more about Janet, visit this link. For more about TREC, click here.
Editor’s Note: When we caught up with Janet, she was waiting to be wheeled into emergency surgery to remove her gall bladder. (Seriously!) Yet she insisted on keeping the interview and sharing her insights. Apparently all of those boys have made her EXTRA tough! At press time her recovery is going well.
4. TransactionDesk Tip: Screencast Library We periodically share tips to help you navigate TransactionDesk, including step-by-step tutorials featuring our own Buzz Steele. This week:
What’s the difference between “Sign-In-Line” and “SimulSign”?
When setting up an AuthentiSign, this is an area you need to pay attention to in STEP 1. It can make your life a little easier to know the difference. Watch thescreencast at this linkfor a demo.
5.ERMA Gersh: Find 3 Kinds of Courses In the second installmentof her video series, our real-life ERMA shows you how to find three categories ofclasses on TAR’s educational resource mobile app: Classroom, Online, and Correspondence. (Note: ERMA is still in the early stages of development, so we welcome any feedback after you’ve downloaded it.) Check it out atthis link.
6. Help Sellers Understand Market Analysis To assist brokers and agents in providing guidance to clients about Automated Valuation Models (AVMs), the National Association of REALTORS® has prepared a set of practical FAQs.
Example: For an agent’s situation in which a seller “viewed an AVM online that shows a higher property value than my comparative market analysis,” the guide advises: “Real estate agents incorporate many factors other than property data when preparing a CMA, including property inspection, market trends, and their expert knowledge. Real estate agents also have access to MLS data, which may not be considered by an AVM. CMAs also provide an analysis of various pricing strategies for the seller to consider, depending on his/her goals and objectives.”
The brochure is available free from NAR at thislink(member login required). Additional appraisal resources are available here.
7. New 16-Hour CE Renewal Package To help meet your Continuing Education requirements for licensure, TAR members can order individual courses or a newly updated renewal package from Hondros Learning. For details and to purchase, visit this linkand click on the blue box for course listings. **Use coupon code TAR10 for $10 off either renewal package.** The updated16-Hour Renewal Package with TN Core Course includes:
NAR: Ethical Training through the Standards of Practice — 3 Hours
Pick up theclasses you need, study at your own pace, and stay on track with your CE!
For a complete listing of online CE opportunities via TAR, visit our website here. For an Overview of TAR Professional Development,visit here.
8. How to File a Complaint with TREC?
QUESTION: How does a member of the public file a complaint with the Tennessee Real Estate Commission?
ANSWER: To file a complaint against a real estate agent with TREC, the documents needed are on TREC’s website. First,go here. Click on “Consumer Resources” in the left column, then “File a Complaint” and follow the prompts.
9. Non-resident Owner Sign Lead-Paint Disclosure?
QUESTION: I’m listing a home owned by a married couple and a father. The couple has lived there but the father never has. Does the father need to sign the lead-based paint and property disclosures?
ANSWER: The father would have to sign the Lead-Based Paint disclosure regardless of whether he has lived there or not. There is no exemption for this disclosure. The couple would be required to sign the Residential Property Condition disclosure form. The sellers should discuss the matter with their own legal counsel concerning whether the father would be required to sign the latter form as well.
10. Inspection Costs for As-Is Contract?
QUESTION: For a property being sold as-is, inspections found $14,000 of termite damage in the crawlspace. They buyer feels the seller should pay all even thought the contract says as-is. The seller would like to raise the price to cover half of the damage or cancel the contract. Any guidance?
ANSWER: Please note that the hotline cannot interpret any executed contract. If the parties have a dispute concerning their legal rights and obligations under the terms of the contract, they should speak with their own legal counsel. However, we can provide the forms committee’s intent of a blank, unexecuted contract. Lines 264-275 state:
C. Wood Destroying Insect Infestation Inspection Report. If desired by Buyer or required by Buyer’s Lender, it shall be Buyer’s responsibility to obtain at Buyer’s expense a Wood Destroying Insect Infestation Inspection Report (the “Report”), which shall be made by a Tennessee licensed and chartered pest control operator. The foregoing expense may be subject to governmental guidelines relating to VA Loans (See VA/FHA Loan Addendum if applicable). The inspection shall include each dwelling, garage, and other permanent structure on the Property excluding _____________ for evidence of active infestation and/or damage.
Buyer shall cause such Report to be delivered to Seller simultaneously with any repairs requested by the Buyer or the end of the Inspection Period, whichever is earlier. If the Report indicates evidence of active infestation, Seller agrees to treat infestation at Seller’s expense and provide documentation of the treatment to Buyer prior to Closing. Requests for repair of damage, if any, should be addressed in the Buyer’s request for repairs pursuant to Subparagraph 8.D., Buyer’s Inspection and Resolution below.
In light of this, repairs for termite damage are negotiable between the parties. If the property is sold “As Is”, then it is likely that the buyer could still terminate if they found something unsatisfactory in the inspections. If the parties do not wish to do this, they can negotiate repairs and/or a change to the purchase price.