10-31-16 Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 40 • Randy Durham, 2016 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor

✔  Are you wiring funds safely and securely?
✔  Benefit from these practical year-end financial tips
✔  Set your sights on a professional designation in 2017
✔  Guidance for posting “Coming Soon” signs?

Vote. Act. Invest.
1. Cast Your Ballot Early or on Nov. 8!
In the News
2. Three Steps for the New U.S. President
3. CyberSavvy: Wiring Funds Safely
4. Year-End Financial Tips for You
Member Services
5. Time Change: Safety Reminders
6. RETI Webinar: Promote Listings Online
Professional Development
7. A Worthy Goal for 2017
Legal & Ethics Hot Line
“Coming Soon” Advertising Guidance
8. Listing Agreement Required?
9. How Long to Place a Sign?
10. Posts on Social Media?
Key Links & Resources 


1. Cast Your Ballot Early or on Nov. 8!
Part of our association’s mission is to increase participation and influence in the political process. One major form of that is VOTING. Be sure to cast your ballot in the 2016 General Election, either early (through Thursday 11/3) or on Election Day, Tuesday 11/8. Click HERE for a map of Tennessee election commissions and HERE for general voting information. Let your voice be heard!

2. Three Steps for the New U.S. President
“What should the new U.S. president focus on in the early months of 2017?” So asks NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun in the November-December issue of REALTOR® magazine. He then answers the query with three housing-related steps:

  1. “First, liberate community banks from the onerous financial regulations that arose out of Dodd-Frank, the banking reform law enacted after the financial crisis.”
  2. “Second, provide more resources for community colleges and trade schools.”
  3. “Third, expand tax credits and other incentives for developers and investors to support new affordable housing for working households.” 

For the full article and more details on each of Yun’s three points, visit HERE.

3. CyberSavvy: Wiring Funds Safely
At the 2016 THDA Governor’s Housing Conference, title attorney Laura Perry and mortgage banker Gregg Murphy offered tips to help REALTORS® and lenders outsmart hackers and maintain secure information in cyberspace. We’re sharing some of their insights in the Digest. This week:
Don’t Wire Funds Without Verification
1. When wiring funds, be sure to read the instructions carefully.
2. Before wiring, call the bank to verify that every number is correct.
3. Speak with the person who sent the wiring instructions to verify every number.
4. Do NOT use a phone number contained in the email that included the wiring instructions.
5. Advise clients not to wire funds from an email without calling first to verify the wiring instructions and the accuracy of the information.

4. Year-End Financial Tips for You
Can you believe 2016 is almost over? With fall in full swing and the holidays around the corner, it’s a good
time to examine your financial plan (including tax implications) before 2017 arrives. Among many articles

and resources featuring smart year-end tips, here are six of our favorites:

1. Top 8 Year-End Tax Tips
2. 7 Year-End Tax Tips for Real Estate Agents
3. Your Last-Minute Year-End Financial Planning Checklist
4. Year-End Financial Planning 
5. 2016 Year-End Tax Planning Guide
6. 10 Year-End Tax Tips for 2016

5. Time Change: Safety Reminders
With Daylight Savings Time ending (at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6) and darkness falling earlier, it’s a good idea to review commonsense safety measures for REALTORS®. The online home of NAR’s REALTOR® Safety program is a perfect place to start, featuring a range of resources on this vital topic. Although it’s several years old, the article “56 Safety Tips for REALTORS®covers the gamut of scenarios that any of us might face.

6. Free RETI Webinar: Our Virtual Future
Amy Smythe-Harris, known in our industry as a creative and progressive REALTOR®will share some ofher best practices for promoting listings in a FREE webinar from the Real Estate Technology Institute (RETI), a TAR partner, at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT Wed., Nov. 2: “Creative Ways to Market Your Listings Online”. Register HERE.

7. A Worthy Goal for 2017
While the New Year is still two months away, it’s not too early to begin setting professional-development goals for 2017. One of those might be to begin or continue your path toward a certification or designation. NAR offers 15 designations and eight certifications, and you’ll find plentiful learning opportunities at the local, state and national levels to work toward them. See more details and the full list HERE.

Legal & Ethics Hot Line

Source: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Counsel

“Coming Soon” Advertising Guidance
There’s nothing inherently illegal or unethical about “Coming Soon” signs, but they must be dealt with carefully. REALTORS® should check with the local MLS to determine whether it has rules concerning “Coming Soon” listings and/or signs. Next, consider the best interests of the seller. State law and the Code of Ethics both require that you work in the best interests of your client. It is almost always logical to make a property as visible as possible. Occasionally, sellers do not want their properties advertised. A savvy REALTOR® will always emphasize the importance of allowing a property to be marketed and explain the risks of not doing so. Below are some other considerations for marketing a property as “Coming Soon.”

8. Listing Agreement Required?

QUESTION: Can I put a “Coming Soon” sign out before we have a listing agreement signed, or do we have to have a listing agreement with a later listing date already signed? I know we must have in writing something saying we can put a sign in the yard and advertise the home.

ANSWER: A listing agreement is not required for a “Coming Soon” sign. It only requires written permission of the seller. A licensee may obtain written permission and place the sign in the yard before a listing agreement is executed.

9. How Long to Place a Sign?

QUESTION: Is there a written guideline, law, or rule that outlines how long a “Coming Soon” sign can be placed in a seller’s yard? 
ANSWER: There is no hard and fast rule as to how long is too long. However, the sign should not be on the property for an extended period of time. This would be both misleading and ineffective for the seller. Just use common sense. Mostly, a licensee should strive to avoid being misleading, which would be a violation of the TREC Advertising Rule.


10. Posts on Social Media?
QUESTION: Is it permissible to advertise “Coming Soon” properties on social media?
ANSWER: Yes, it is permissible to advertise properties as “Coming Soon” on social media. A licensee doing so should keep a few things in mind:
1) Since “Coming Soon” advertising does not require a listing agreement, a licensee will need to get the permission of the seller in writing before doing any such advertising.

2) Do not keep a “Coming Soon” ad up too long, as this could be construed as misleading or deceptive advertising.

3) Follow all TREC rules on advertising, as the Commission has stated that all forms of advertising, including social media, shall adhere to these rules.

To check your CE hoursverify.tn.gov/default.aspx
For CE and other courses around TN: tarnet.com/education/
For online CE coursestarnet.com/education/?target=online-CE-courses/
To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line questiontarnet.com/technology-support/legal-ethics-hotline/
TREC: tn.gov/commerce/section/real-estate-commission
TAR website: tarnet.com
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