4-24-17   •   Vol. 2017 Issue 15    •   Brian Copeland, 2017 President   •  Phil Newman, Editor

✔  New state law provides welcome relief for appraisers
✔  Should you disclose if wild animals live near your seller’s property?
✔  Going to D.C.? Sign up for Hill visits with TN’s congressional delegation
✔  Get tips for your vehicle deduction in a free Taxbot webinar, May 2

Good News for Tennessee Appraisers 

A bill introduced by Tennessee REALTORS® creating a statute of limitations for actions against appraisers cleared its final hurdles in the General Assembly last week and was set to become state law with Governor Bill Haslam’s signature. The statute (Senate Bill 279 / House Bill 376) passed out of the House by a vote of 95-0, the Senate Judiciary Committee 9-0, and the full Senate 32-0. The bill “limits any action to recover damages against a real estate appraiser arising out of the appraiser’s real estate appraisal activity to being brought within one year from a person’s discovery of the act or omission giving rise to the action [and] limits any disciplinary action against a real estate appraisal by the Board of Real Estate Appraisers from three years from the date the appraisal was completed.” It amends TCA Title 28 and Title 62, Chapter 39. Tennessee REALTORS® would like to thank Russ Farrar for working closely on this legislation, and our legislators for taking this common-sense step to protect these valued members of Tennessee’s real estate industry. It is telling that “this bill passed every committee and both the House and the Senate without one vote against,” Farrar says. “It will make sure that appraisers are no longer sitting ducks with somebody being able to bring an action against them after 20 or 30 years.”

Sign Up for D.C. Hill Visits

If you are heading to Washington, D.C.,
in mid-May for the NAR’s 2017 

REALTORS® Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo, be sure to sign up for our visits with members of Tennessee’s congressional delegation.

You can choose to meet with your local
U.S. representative, our U.S. senators, or a combination.

Fill out the form HERE to register.

What Do Homebuyers Want?

In a just-released realtor.com® survey, buyers reported what they are looking for most in their ideal home. The upshot: Most respondents are thinking practically. The top desires include “ranch-style homes, big backyards, and updated kitchens.” A few survey highlights:

— Half of home buyers are on the hunt for a three-bedroom home.
— 75% want a two-bathroom home as well. 
— 40% are looking for a townhouse or row home.
— Most-searched attributes at realtor.com®: large backyards, garages, updated kitchens
— Most-desired home style: Ranch
— Favorite room in the home: Kitchens
— Top goal when searching for a home: Privacy 
— What motivates millennial home buyers the most: Family needs

Read a summary article about the survey HERE. Explore the full survey HERE.

New Website — tnrealtors.com; Old Site Will be Retired Soon
As part of our renaming and rebranding, Tennessee REALTORS® has launched a new website at a new URL: www.tnrealtors.com 
The same member services, features and resources you’ve always enjoyed remain available on this new site. If you have feedback to share after exploring the site, please click “Contact Us” on the bottom of any page.

The tarnet.com website is set to be retired in the near future, after which visitors will be redirected to the new site automatically. 

Brilliant Tax Write-offs For Your Business Vehicle
Most self-employed people write off mileage and some vehicle expenses. But most are unaware that they fail to get credit for all the deductions they are entitled to—even when using a fantastic accountant. Learn practical tips for increasing your deductions in a free, one-hour webinar from Taxbot, a Tennessee REALTORS® partner, at 10 a.m. CDT on Tuesday, May 2, “How to Turn Your Vehicle into a Goldmine of Tax Deductions”. Register HERE.

Maximize Facebook Live: Webinar 4/26
Facebook Live continues to grow in popularity, giving savvy business pros a great opportunity for free marketing exposure. Learn to leverage Facebook Live in your business through a free webinar led by Craig Grant and Amy Smythe-Harris of the Real Estate Technology Institute (RETI), a Tennessee REALTORS® partner, at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT this Wed., April 26: “Maximizing Facebook Live for Real Estate”. Register HERE.

Invoice Pricing through 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 NAR NRDS ID card as proof of eligibility. If you need to download and print your card, visit
THIS LINK and follow the prompts.**

Help Clients through Divorce, Elder-Care Issues
Tennessee REALTORS® is hosting the stellar RCS-D designation course (Real Estate Collaboration Specialist–Divorce), Mon., May 15 and Tues., May 16. Making the investment in this 12-hour CE course—taught by Kelly Murray, J.D., a Vanderbilt law professor, REALTOR® and instructor—will equip you to work with divorce and elder-care clients, and their attorneys, throughout the property buying/selling process. It’s a perfect opportunity to help clients navigate these challenging seasons of life. Register HERE. (login required)

Get Schooled on TransactionDesk — Wed., 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.

Source: Tennessee REALTORS® Legal & Ethics Hotline Counsel

Showings, Websites & Wild Animals
This issue’s Q&As address whether an agent can demand to be present at his listing’s showings, the advertising implications of a non-real estate website, and what is required to disclose if wild animals live near a property. Read on!

Can Listing Agent Demand to be Present to Show?
Q: Many real estate agents in my town demand they have to be present if another agent shows their listing. When they are not available, the home cannot be shown. It has really
interfered with my being able to show properties to my clients, especially when they are from out of town. Isn’t this a major disservice to the seller?

A: It could be possible the sellers are requesting their agent be present for the showings. If so, then the licensee would be acting in good faith and within the scope of their agency agreement. Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-404 contains the duties owed to a licensee’s client (an agency relationship has been established):

Any licensee who acts as an agent in a transaction regulated by the Tennessee Real Estate Broker License Act of 1973 owes to such licensee’s client in that transaction the following duties, to:

(1) Obey all lawful instructions of the client when such instructions are within the scope of the agency agreement between licensee and licensee’s client; 

Either way, assuming the seller is agreeing to this practice, there is not much recourse available. If the seller is unaware of the agent’s policy, then the seller may wish to file a complaint against the agent or terminate their listing agreement.

Website for Non-Real Estate Purposes?
Q: I am in the process of building a website. It will not be real estate based, nor with it be used to obtain leads for real estate transactions. Do I have to disclose that I am a REALTOR®, and my firm and principal broker’s name?

A: You most likely do not need to disclose this information on your website.
TREC Rule 1260-2-.12 Advertising states:
(1) All advertising, regardless of its nature and the medium in which it appears, which promotes either a licensee or the sale or lease of real property, shall conform to the requirements of this rule. The term “advertising,” for purposes of this rule, in addition to traditional print, radio, and television advertising, also includes, but is not limited to, sources of communication available to the public such as signs, flyers, letterheads, e-mail signatures, websites, social media communications, and video or audio recordings transmitted through internet or broadcast streaming. Advertising does not include promotional materials that advertise a licensee such as hats, pens, notepads, t-shirts, name tags, business cards, and the sponsorship of charitable and community events.
However, if you are not using this website for advertising purposes as defined above, you will not have to adhere to the guidelines contained in the advertising rule. Therefore, no disclosure of your real estate business would be necessary.

Required to Disclose the Lion’s Share?
Q: I just listed a property located near a preserve that houses approximately 300 big cats such as lions, tigers, jaguars, etc. It has been the topic of much discussion in our community. Does my client need to disclose this on the property disclosure?

A: First, please note that the hotline cannot provide legal advice to buyers or sellers. If your sellers have questions regarding their legal obligation to disclose this on the property condition disclosure, they should consult their own attorney.

With that said, pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-403(2), a real estate agent is required to “[d]isclose to each party to the transaction any adverse facts of which the licensee has actual notice or knowledge.” Tennessee law defines an adverse fact as “conditions or occurrences generally recognized by competent licensees that have a negative impact on the value of the real estate, significantly reduce the structural integrity of improvements to real property or present a significant health risk to occupants of the property.” Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-102(2). Therefore, if an agent has actual knowledge of an adverse fact, he must disclose it, particularly if the seller does not. 

If you feel that it is an adverse fact, you are required by law to disclose it and to notify future prospective buyers. If you decide it is adverse, you would be wise to inform your client that you will make the disclosure and have any disclosures made in writing and signed by the potential buyer. If you determine that the information must be disclosed, it is recommended that you notify your clients in writing as to why you are doing so. If the seller refuses, you could release the listing and allow him to list the property with someone else.

Furthermore, you have an obligation pursuant to Article 2 of the Code of Ethics. It states:

Realtors® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. Realtors® shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency of non-agency relationships as defined by state law.

An agent’s obligation to disclose adverse facts is in addition to any obligation of an owner to disclose issues under the property condition disclosure law. The determination of whether this is an adverse fact is at your and your broker’s discretion.


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