10-9-17   •   Vol. 2017 Issue 36    •   Brian Copeland, 2017 President   •  Phil Newman, Editor

✔  Tennessee membership on the rise: 26,000+
✔  Official welcome: Angela Shields, new CEO!
✔  Hotline: Interpreting the Purchase & Sale Agreement
✔  Seats *almost gone* for TransactionDesk classes 10/25
✔  Unfreeze ALL of your social-media questions! ———–>
✔ *CORRECTED 2018 Fall Convention Dates* — Sept. 12-15

Shields Begins Tenure as New CEO
Please join us in extending a warm Tennessee welcome to Angela Shields, CAE, RCE, who officially began in her role as Chief Executive Officer of our state Association last Wednesday, Oct. 4.

We are excited about the leadership that Angela brings to Tennessee REALTORS®!

Read more about her HERE.

Membership: 26,074 — Highest Since mid-2008
As a Tennessee REALTOR®, you are part of a dynamic network of real estate professionals that numbers 26,074 as of the end of September 2017 — an 8% increase over one year ago and highest since before the economic downturn in mid-2008.

The chart at THIS LINK shows our current membership compared with one year earlier (Sept. 30, 2016) for each of our 21 local associations, separated by Grand Division (Western, Middle and Eastern).

While every local association showed membership growth, those with the highest-percentage increases were Sumner (+14%), Clarksville and Upper Cumberland (+11% each), and Northeast Tennessee (+10%).

The state’s largest local associations are Greater Nashville (4,386 members), Knoxville Area (4,092), Memphis Area (3,437), and Williamson County (2,302).

Busting Down-Payment Myths 
Some of the biggest misconceptions about home buying relate to down payments. Based on its August 2017 REALTOR® Confidence Index, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) developed the graphic below to debunk myths surrounding what many consider the greatest barrier to homeownership. Other findings in the index included:

  • Amid sustained job creation and sustained historically low mortgage rates, REALTORS® reported strong home-buying demand. 
  • Properties continued to sell at a brisk pace, and home buyers faced higher prices as supply remained low relative to demand. 
  • Demand from first-time buyers continued to increase at a modest pace. 
  • Amid tight supply, most respondents expect constant or increasing prices in the next 12 months. 
  • REALTORS® reported tight inventory as the key issue affecting sales.

Go HERE for more research results from NAR. 

Social Media Basics for Real Estate — Webinar 10/11
Does social media confuse or frighten you? Do you ever feel like a cave(wo)man trying to figure out how to create and when to use a business page? What is SnapChat and how can you use it in real estate? Get unfrozen with Craig Grant and Alex Cameli in a free social-media webinar from the Real Estate Technology Institute (RETI), a Tennessee REALTORS® partner, 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT this Wed. 10/11. Register HERE.

Mark Your Calendar!
REALTOR® Day on the Hill — Tues., Jan. 30, 2018
The New Year will be here before we know it, and soon after the Tennessee General Assembly will reconvene on the Hill to discuss and debate legislation with huge implications for real estate. Mark your calendar and plan to join us for a power-packed day in Nashville.

At REALTOR® Day on the Hill, we will gather at the State Capitol to meet with Senate and House members, discussing issues vital to property owners and REALTORS® in your local community.

Stay tuned for more details on this important opportunity to make your voice heard in the halls of leadership. Visit our website HERE for Vote. Act. Invest. information. 

*Sign Up!* BROKER Session + Lunch 10/23 = 2 hrs. CE
If you’re a broker, join us at Tennessee REALTORS® or live online for a 2-hour CE** Broker Involvement Meeting Monday, Oct. 23, 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. (lunch to follow). The meeting will focus on involvement with the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC), keys to increasing participation among agents, and a special law/rules update from the Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC). There is NO charge but seats are limited; go HERE for more details and to register. Lunch is generously sponsored by the Bradley law firm. **To earn 2 hours of CE, you must attend at our office OR watch online at a participating Local Association office.

*Clarification!* 2018 Fall Convention Dates — 9/12-15
In a recent save-the-date for next year’s two big events (and on our website), the dates for the 2018 Fall Convention were listed incorrectly. Sorry! If you marked your calendar, please update it to Sept. 12-15. The location remains the Holiday Inn Knoxville Downtown.

Go HERE for more information about our Events, and stay tuned for registration details for the 2018 Spring Conference (March 19 & 20).

Act Quickly for 10/25 TransactionDesk Classes!
At press time, only a few spots remained for Brent Maybank’s added TransactionDesk BASIC and ADVANCED classes Wed., Oct. 25, at Tennessee REALTORS®. To learn more and register for one or both, visit THIS PAGE.

Source: Tennessee REALTORS® Legal & Ethics Hotline Counsel

Interpreting the Purchase and Sale Agreement
Understanding the Tennessee REALTORS® Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) is critical. While it is encouraged that buyers and sellers have own their attorneys review the contract, REALTOR® education is paramount to smooth transactions. This week’s Q&As offer guidance on interpreting specific clauses in the PSA.

Help on the Assignment Clause?

Q: I have a buyer interested in making an offer on a property, and I would like a brief explanation of the assignment clause.

A: All contracts for the sale of real property are assignable in Tennessee unless otherwise agreed to in the contract. The Tennessee REALTORS® contracts are assignable unless something is mentioned in the special stipulations to the contrary. If the assignee does not close, the buyer is still responsible to close.

If your buyer has questions concerning the language in the contract, it is best to direct them to speak with their own attorney. You want to be careful to avoid giving them legal advice.

Is Email Appropriate Notice?

Q:The Purchase and Sale Agreement states “…via the notification form or written equivalent”. Is an email considered a “written equivalent”?

A: Yes, email is an appropriate way to deliver notice under the contract. See this paragraph from the PSA for amplification (emphasis added):

Notices. Except as otherwise provided herein, all notices and demands required or permitted hereunder shall be in writing and delivered either (1) in person; (2) by a prepaid overnight delivery service; (3) by facsimile transmission (FAX); (4) by the United States Postal Service, postage prepaid, registered or certified, return receipt requested; or (5) Email. NOTICE shall be deemed to have been given as of the date and time it is actually received. Receipt of notice by the real estate licensee or their Broker assisting a party as a client or customer shall be deemed to be notice to that party for all purposes under this Agreement as may be amended, unless otherwise provided in writing.

The agreement also states, “It is hereby agreed by both Buyer and Seller that any real estate agent working with or representing either party shall not have the authority to bind the Buyer, Seller or any assignee to any contractual agreement unless specifically authorized in writing within this Agreement.” This is why notification forms are recommended, signed by buyer or seller. You may email these forms, or have something signed by your client in email form. Otherwise, there may be a question of whether the email from the licensee is effective since a licensee may not bind a party.

Send Home-Inspection Report?

Q:The buyer is backing out of the deal due to the home-inspection report. I forwarded the notice terminating the contract along with statements of the problems the buyer had with the property. I also forwarded an earnest money release form. The seller is demanding the full inspection report prior to releasing the earnest money. Am I required by law to send the report to the seller?

A:The Tennessee REALTORS® Residential Forms Committee changed the PSA to no longer state, “Buyer shall furnish inspection report upon Seller’s request.” The agreement now states, “Buyer shall furnish Seller with a list of written specified objections and immediately terminate this Agreement via the Notification form or equivalent written notice. All earnest money/trust money shall be refunded to the Buyer.”

The contract only requires a list of written, specified objections to terminate under this contingency. There are issues with sharing an inspection report. Often, the buyer contracts with the home inspector that the inspector is performing the inspection on behalf of the buyer, and the buyer is not to disseminate that report. Sharing the report could open ownership issues of the report and possible copyright violations. Nothing in the law requires sending a copy of the home-inspection report.


Past issues of The Digest
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)
Our website