The TAR Digest: The Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of Realtors
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The Weekly Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Assn. of REALTORS


CONTENTS
1. Advice To Chew On…
2. HOT LINE Advisory: Domain Names, URLs
3. HOT LINE: Disclosing the Listing Agreement?
4. Tragedy Strikes McKinney Family
5. TAR DIGEST Survey Results Are In
6. Rates Rise Above 6!


1. Advice To Chew On…

One of the more intriguing and provocative speakers at the 2007 NAR Annual Convention in Las Vegas was entrepreneur, author, and marketing guru Seth Godin.

This past week, Seth posted “Advice for real estate agents (quit now!)” on his weblog. It’s definitely worth reading, even if you don’t agree with all of his advice. In terms of positioning yourself and your business for a changing (actually, changed) market, it should be helpful.

Now don’t jump to conclusions from the title, or even from the first few paragraphs. Read on… there’s some good stuff in there!

To access the entry, go to: Seth’s Blog

[SOURCE: Seth Godin's Blog]


2. HOT LINE Advisory: Domain Names, URLs

Which of the following would be an incorrect use of the term “REALTOR” in a Web site domain name?

A. www.RealtorJohnSmith.com
B. www.NorthShoreRealtor.com
C. www.MaryJonesRealtor.com
D. www.BobSmiththeRealtor.com

Correct answer: B
NAR members may use the term REALTOR in their domain name or e-mail address provided that the term appears with the member’s name or the name of the member’s company. So a general descriptive URL that seeks to identify a characteristic of the member, such as where he is located or the type of property she specializes in with the term REALTOR, like www.NorthShoreRealtor.com, would NOT be a correct use of the term REALTOR in a domain name.

Several recent Hot Line questions have asked about proper versus improper use of the word “REALTOR” in such things as domain names.

Remember that, in addition to Tennessee Real Estate Commission prohibitions against misrepresentation and misleading URLs, the term “REALTOR” is trademarked and there are a number of legal restrictions on its use.

To take a 10-question quiz to find out how YOU score in the proper use of your REALTOR trademark, go to:
http://www.realtor.org/rmoquiz2.nsf/trademark?openform

[SOURCE: NAR, REALTOR.ORG]


3. HOT LINE: Disclosing the Listing Agreement?

QUESTION: If another REALTOR calls and asks me if I have a listing on a certain property, for which I do, and they then asks that I send proof of such by forwarding a copy of the listing agreement, under what circumstances, if any, am I obligated to do so?

ANSWER: Unless you have permission from your client to turn over a copy, or disclose the contents, of the listing agreement, you should NOT do so! This is confidential information to which the other agent has no right to have without your client’s permission. There is a duty to disclose certain information upon dealing with an agent, such as adverse material facts about the property, your agency status, etc., but a copy of your listing agreement does not fall in this category!

[SOURCE: TAR's Legal & Ethics Hot Line Attorneys]


4. Tragedy Strikes McKinney Family

As many REALTORS across the state know, our 2007 TAR President Jewell McKinney and her husband Clayton were in an automobile accident this past week, on their way home to Kingsport from a TAR meeting, and Clayton did not survive the accident. His funeral was held this past weekend. Jewell was also injured but will recover. Our thoughts, hearts, and prayers go out to the McKinney family.


5. TAR DIGEST Survey Results Are In

First, to those who took the time to complete our readership survey on the TAR DIGEST, a big THANK YOU!

Over 440 of you completed the survey, and we WILL listen to what you told us! “Your wish is our command.”

* 81.2% of you want the DIGST to continue as a weekly publication.

* Approximately 74% of you prefer the DIGEST to continue in its plain-text format, as opposed to either a HTML version or a much shorter version with links to the web.

* Over 84% of you want the DIGEST to continue being sent at the first of the week (Monday or Tuesday), versus later in the week.

* Over 94% of you read the DIGEST as email, although over 20% of you also PRINT it out to either read or share.

* Close to 80% of you would subscribe on your own, even if it weren’t being sent to you automatically as a member service …Thank you!

* A whopping 88% of you prefer to current mix of articles, with perhaps even more legal or Hot Line articles.

* To access past articles or issues, over 77% of you want an online archive of entire TAR DIGESTS, (probably posted as PDFs), as opposed to individual articles.

Again, thanks for your help!


6. Rates Rise Above 6!

Fueled primarily by inflation concerns, interest on long-term mortgage rates moved higher for the week. Freddie Mac reported a rise to 6.04 percent from 5.72 percent last week on 30-year fixed loans, which broke the 6-percent threshold for the first time in seven weeks. Rates on 15-year loans, which are popular in refinance deals, bumped up to 5.64 percent from 5.25 percent; while five-year adjustable-rate mortgages settled at 5.37 percent, up from 5.19 percent. One-year ARMs, however, resisted the downward trend and slipped to 4.98 percent from 5.03 percent in the week-to-week survey.

Texas Real Estate Center Chief Economist Dr. Mark Dotzour explained, “I think we’re in one of those weird situations where the Federal Reserve is likely to cut the one-day interest rate to banks, which will lower short-term treasuries, but the ten-year treasury, which is what mortgages are priced on, is going to go up because of the continued fear of inflation.”

[SOURCES: Freddie Mac; Information, Inc.; RECON]


TAR’s Home Page for Tennessee REALTORS is at:
http://www.tarnet.com


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