4-3-17   •   Vol. 2017 Issue 12    •   Brian Copeland, 2017 President   •  Phil Newman, Editor

TAKEAWAYS:
✔  New website — tnrealtors.com — is up and running
✔  Get Nissan / Infiniti deals anywhere in Tennessee
✔  Does an inspector have to be a licensee?

✔  Sign up early for our 2017 Convention (Sept. 13-16, Memphis)

New Website Launches Today
As part of our recent renaming and rebranding, today Tennessee REALTORS® is launching a new website at a new URL: www.tnrealtors.com 

The same member services, features and resources you’ve always enjoyed will remain available through this new site.

If you have feedback to share after exploring the site, please click “Contact Us” on the bottom of any page. Thank you. 

WCAR Welcomes Rob Wigton as Executive VP
Tennessee’s 21 local REALTOR® associations are led by its officers, board of volunteer directors, and a staff headed by the Association Executive (AE), or Executive Vice President. The newest such staff leader is Rob Wigton, who was announced last week as Executive VP for the Williamson County Association of REALTORS® (WCAR). Rob’s official start date is May 1. Please join us welcoming him to the great state of Tennessee. Read WCAR’s full news release HERE.

Get Invoice Pricing via New Nissan / Infiniti Partnership
Tennessee REALTORS® has entered an agreement with Nissan Corp. to provide invoice or even below-invoice pricing on most new Nissan and Infiniti vehicles for members throughout Tennessee. To qualify, simply:

1. Visit www.InsideNissan.com (or your local Nissan dealer or Infiniti retailer*).
2. Click the “Business Associates” tile.
3. Enter your name and then VPP022208 in the VPP company code box.
4. Follow the instructions to get your claim certificate and savings on qualifying new vehicles.
*You must bring your active Tennessee Dept. of Commerce & Insurance license card.

When and What to Outsource: Webinar 4/5
Some tasks are time-consuming or just hard to do on your own. For help knowing when outsourcing could solve your problems and boost your business, join Juanita McDowell of the Real Estate Technology Institute (RETI), a Tennessee REALTORS® partner, for a FREE webinar 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT this Wed., April 5: “Work Smarter: Outsourcing Options for Real Estate Agents”. Register HERE.

Earn SRES to Better Serve the 50+ Real Estate Market
Sign up for the game-changing SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist) designation course coming up April 12-13 at Del Webb with instructor Monica Neubauer. The SRES course seeks to instill knowledge and understanding of, and empathy for, 50+ real estate clients and customers. You’ll develop business-building skills and resources needed for specialization in the 50+ market while earning continuing education credit. Register HERE. (Login required)

Plan Now for TransactionDesk Classes: May 10
Tennessee REALTORS® will host TransactionDesk courses May 10 led by Brent Maybank, 3 hours of CE per course. Click the titles below to register (login required).

Wed., May 10 — TransactionDesk BASIC, 9 a.m.- Noon
With TransactionDesk ‘in the cloud’ you can access and manage all your real estate forms, contracts, documents and contracts from any computer with internet access—and always have your “virtual” real estate office with you. Bring your laptop and/or smart device!

Wed., May 10 — TransactionDesk ADVANCED, 1-4 p.m.
You’ve worked with TransactionDesk…now it’s time to take it to a higher level and learn about the integrated cloud service (DocBox), E-signatures (AuthentiSign), and E-faxing (InstaFax). Combine these features with filling out forms and transactions, and you’ve got a complete transaction-management solution. Designed for moderate to advanced users. Bring your laptop and/or tablet!

For more upcoming classes, log in to the portal HERE and look around.

How Would the Gas-Tax Proposal Impact YOU?
One of the current General Assembly’s most controversial pieces of legislation is Gov. Bill Haslam’s IMPROVE Act centering on a seven-cent increase in the tax on gas to pay for infrastructure improvements. Here’s an update:

WHAT IS IT?The bill as it stands would raise about $250 million to tackle an estimated $10.5 billion backlog of 962 Tennessee interstate, highway and bridge projects. Cities and counties would, respectively, see $35 million and $70 million.

WHAT’S THE LATEST? Last week, the House Local Government Committee passed the bill out on a voice vote. The bill adopted is similar to the version adopted by the Senate Committee.

WHAT’S NEXT? The bill will be considered by the Senate Finance Committee April 4 and the House Finance Subcommittee April 5.

WHAT WOULD IT MEAN LOCALLY?The Governor’s bill authorizes a local government to levy a surcharge on local option sales and use tax, business tax, motor vehicle tax, local rental car tax, tourist accommodation tax, local tourism development zone business tax, property tax, and a residential development tax if such tax is being collected at the time a transit-improvement program is adopted. The authority to add a surcharge to a residential development tax ONLY applies to residential development taxes pursuant to the County Powers Relief Act. Under that act, only municipalities or counties that had executed a private act prior to June 20, 2006, granting authority to collect development taxes or impact fees, can impose a development tax. Very few counties and municipalities have such taxing power. 

HOW WOULD IT IMPACT REALTORS® AND REAL ESTATE? Given the limited number of local governments with such taxing authority, we do not feel this provision should cause great concern for the real estate industry. Further, a surcharge could not be implemented without a referendum, and any increase is anticipated to be small. Given the other options available, it is doubtful a local government would choose to impose a surcharge on a development tax when so few utilize such a tax.

WHAT’S THE BOTTOM LINE? It does not appear that this provision, which is very limited in scope, will outweigh the benefits of good infrastructure the IMPROVE Act will bring to the housing market and development in Tennessee.

Our Governmental Affairs department will continue to monitor this and other legislation in the General Assembly. Stay tuned for more updates.

Source: Tennessee REALTORS® Legal & Ethics Hotline Counsel

INSPECTION CLARIFICATION
This week we bring you a previously published Q&A with a clarification prompted by a question submitted to the hotline:

QUESTION: Does the person conducting an inspection of leased premises have to be a licensed real estate agent? 
 
ANSWER: A person only conducting inspections does not have to have a license. However, anyone who is advertising properties for rent, negotiating the leases, collecting rents, etc., does need to have a real estate broker’s license and conduct these activities through a real estate firm.

CLARIFICATION: Keep in mind that there are exceptions in the statute for people who are not required to have a broker’s license in order to engage in activities listed in the Broker’s Act, including property management activities such as advertising the property for rent, negotiating leases, collecting rents, etc.

These exceptions are listed in Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-104(a):
 
(a) The provisions of this chapter do not apply to: (1) An owner of real estate with respect to property owned or leased by such person; (2) An attorney-in-fact under a duly executed and recorded power of attorney from the owner or lessor; (3) The services rendered by an attorney at law in the performance of duties as such attorney at law; (4) A person acting as receiver, trustee in bankruptcy, administrator, executor or guardian, trustee acting under a trust agreement, deed of trust or will, or while acting under a court order or instrument; (5) A resident manager for a broker or an owner, or employee of a broker, who manages an apartment building, duplex or residential complex where such person’s duties are limited to supervision, exhibition of residential units, leasing and/or collection of security deposits and rentals from such property. The resident manager or employee shall not negotiate the amounts of security deposits or rentals and shall not negotiate any leases on behalf of the broker; or (6) A corporation, foreign or domestic, acting through an officer duly authorized to engage in such real estate transaction, where the transaction occurs as an incident to the management, lease, sale or other disposition of real estate owned by the corporation; however, this exemption does not apply to a person who performs an act described in § 62-13-102(4)(A) either as a vocation or for compensation, if the amount of the compensation is dependent upon, or directly related to, the value of the real estate with respect to which the act is performed.

LINKS:

Check your CE hours
Find CE and other courses in TN
Find online CE courses
Contact our Legal and Ethics Hotline
Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC)
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