11-21-16 Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 43 • Brian Copeland, 2017 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor

Happy Thanksgiving! The Digest will be off next week and return Monday, Dec. 5. 
Tennessee’s Stanton, Close excel on the national level
Reserve your hotel room for Spring Conference!
Guidance you can use on finder’s and referral fees
 Do you teach (or want to)? Get in on January workshops
In the News
1.TN Duo Rocks NAR Leadership Acad.
2. Get a Room for Spring Conference!
3. NAR Conference Sessions Online
4. Who Owns Your Property Photos?
Member Services
5. **TransactionDesk Transition**
6. RETI Webinar: Modernized Opens
Professional Development
7. Instructor Courses in January
Legal & Ethics Hot Line
Finder’s Fees / Referral Fees
8. Relevant Law?
9. FSBO Property?
10. Auctioneer?
Key Links & Resources

1. TN Duo Rocks NAR Leadership Academy
Hats off to Cindy Stanton and Travis Close, two of the 18 graduates of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy, Class of 2016. Cindy, a 2017 Tennessee Division 2 Vice President, and Travis, a 2016-17 Tennessee Division 3 Vice President, are key members of our Executive Committee who have represented Tennessee with excellence and professionalism locally, statewide, and on the national level. Way to go!

2. Get a Room for Spring Conference!
Hotel reservations are now available at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs for our 2017 Spring Conference, March 27 and 28. Reserve your room HERE(Conference registration will open within a few weeks; stay tuned for an announcement.)

3. NAR Conference Sessions Online
Whether or not you attended the 2016 REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Orlando, you can benefit from the many sessions recorded there. Go HERE.

4. Who Owns Your Property Photos?
“Improper use of listing photographs can create legal problems for agents, brokerages and MLSs,” notes THIS POST from NAR’s Law, Ethics & Policy group. Copyright infringement is serious, but there are some common-sense ways to reduce your risk. For example: “Review photography agreements to assess what rights were granted or conveyed…Audit your use of listing photographs to ensure compliance with the relevant agreements…Determine how you will use photographs and ensure future agreements permit those uses…and Maintain records of all photography agreements.”

5. **TransactionDesk Transition**
Yes, this is important enough for one more reminder…

If you’re not using the new TransactionDesk yet, now is the time to prepare for the big change at the end of February. Keep these details and dates in mind:
CURRENTLY: Phase 1 — The new TransactionDesk has been available for well over a year now, with the ability to switch between old and new systems. All data, forms and documents are exactly the same (the old and new systems share a common database).

NOV. 23, 2016 – FEB. 27, 2017:  Phase 2 — As of 11/23, users will see a splash screen with information on the new system, links to webinars, etc. Users will be automatically logged into the new system but can still switch back to the old system. **Use these three months to learn the new TransactionDesk. At the end of February 2017, the old system will go away.

FEBRUARY 28, 2017: Phase 3 — Only the new system will be available; the old system will be turned off!
NOTE: All data has been replicated in the new system, so there is no loss of data, documents or forms. There is nothing you need to do—except start using the new system.

6. Free RETI Webinar: Modernized Opens
Get ideas for using technology to optimize your open houses by watching a FREE webinar from the Real Estate Technology Institute (RETI), a TAR partner, at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT Wed., Nov. 30: “Modernizing Open Houses” with Anthony Mann, CEO of AM Open House; along with Alex Camelio and Craig Grant. Register HERE. [Note: There is no webinar 11/23 in light of Thanksgiving.]

7. Instructor Courses in January
Are you a current instructor, or would you like to become one? In either case, the 2-Day Instructor Workshop may be for you. The course will be offered in three locations across the state in January, per below. Note: Beginning in 2017, TREC will require this course for all instructors every three years.

WEST: January 11 & 12 — 2-Day Instructor Workshop at MAAR
Memphis Area Association of REALTORS®
8:30am – 430pm CST

MIDDLE: January 17 & 18 — 2-Day Instructor Workshop at GNAR
Greater Nashville Association of REALTORS
8:30am – 430pm CST

EAST: January 19 & 20 — 2-Day Instructor Workshop in Knoxville
Lighthouse Knoxville
6800 Baum Dr., Knoxville TN 37919
9:00am – 5:00pm EST

Legal & Ethics Hot Line

Source: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Counsel

Finder’s Fees and Referral Fees
This week we address some of the questions received by the hotline concerning who can accept and who can disburse finders’ fees and referral fees.

8. Relevant Law?

QUESTION: What does the law spell out about paying finder’s fees and referral fees?

ANSWER: The law is set forth in Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-302:
(a) It is unlawful for any licensed broker to employ or compensate any person who is not a licensed broker or a licensed affiliate broker for performing any of the acts regulated by this chapter. A licensed broker may pay a commission to a licensed broker or another state if such nonresident broker does not conduct in this state any of the negotiations for which a commission is paid.
You can pay a finder’s fee or referral fee to a licensed real estate agent. You may also pay a finder’s fee to a licensed broker of another state if they did not do anything requiring a real estate license (i.e., they simply sent a client your way).
See also Tenn. Code Ann. §§62-13-601 through 62-13-603 for guidance on when a referral fee is appropriate.

9. FSBO Property?

QUESTION: I received notice of a For Sale By Owner property, and the owner is willing to pay me a finder’s fee if I procure a buyer. Is this legal?
ANSWER: Yes. A broker is defined in Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-102(4)(A) as:
“Any person who for a fee, commission, finders fee or any other valuable consideration, or with the intent or expectation of receiving the same from another, solicits, negotiates or attempts to solicit or negotiate the listing, sale, purchase, exchange, lease or option to buy, sell, rent or exchange for any real estate or of the improvements thereon or any time-share interval as defined in the Tennessee Time-Share Act, complied in title 66, chapter 32, part 1, collects rents or attempts to collect rents, auctions or offers to auction, or who advertises or holds out as engaged in any of the foregoing.”
However, this payment must go through the real estate firm. In addition, it is advisable to get something in writing stating who will pay, what amount, what services will be provided, and when the payment will be made. This will aid you if the person refuses to pay you.

10. Auctioneer?

QUESTION: Can an auctioneer receive a finder’s fee or pay a finder’s fee to an agent?
ANSWER: An auctioneer can receive a finder’s fee from a real estate agent if the auctioneer is also a licensed real estate agent. If this person is not a licensed agent, then you cannot pay him. If he is a licensee in another state, he can only be paid if he did not conduct any of the negotiations in Tennessee. We are not aware of anything that would prohibit an auctioneer from paying a fee to a real estate agent for transactions regarding real property (such as a referral fee, commission, etc.). It is strongly recommend that you disclose any fee—other than that of a referral or commission for real property—if a fee is received for recommending services.

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
TAR on Twittertwitter.com/tnaor
TAR on LinkedInlinkedin.com/groups?gid=852077&trk=hb_side_g
TAR on Facebookfacebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689

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