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The 4-15-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. Heartbleed Bug Forces Password Changes!
3. New Mortgage Lending at 14-Year Low
4. “Don’t Judge My Gen Y”
5. Freddie Mac Sees Sunnier Days Ahead!
6. HOT LINE: How Many Bedrooms?
7. HOT LINE: Looking for a Co-Listing Agreement?
8. HOT LINE: Preventing Collusion Between Buyers?
9. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” — Thomas Jefferson


1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

April 16: TransactionDesk Basic (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. We have TWO offerings of this course, so pick whichever one best fits your schedule:
9:00AM-Noon – Go to: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=dbdqj
1:00PM-4:00PM – Go to: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=dbdqr

April 23: TransactionDesk Advanced (3 hrs. CE) – TAR Office, Nashville. For more info or to register, go to: https://www.123signup.com/event?id=dpbyg

May 7-9: Register for our three-course GRI package (GRI 404, 405, and 406) in Memphis through our GRI EXPRESS option and save $55! For more info or to register, go HERE.

May 7: GRI 404, Working More Effectively With Sellers (6 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. To register for this course only, go HERE.

May 8: GRI 405, Mastering Forms and Contracts (6 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. To register for this course only, go HERE.

May 9: GRI 406, Tips, Tools & Technologies For Your Business (6 hrs. CE) – MAAR Office, Memphis. To register for this course only, go HERE.

Why Should YOU Earn Your GRI? 10 Reasons!

To see our 2014 GRI Schedule, go to: http://www.tarnet.com/education/gri/

To see upcoming offerings of TREC CORE COURSES, ABR COURSES, etc., – at locations around the state – go to the TAR Calendar at: http://www.tarnet.com/meetings-and-events/calendar-of-events/

During the month of April you can STILL get a 15% discount on any of our CE Shop courses and online packages! Enroll today: http://tarnet.theceshop.com/ …and enter “spring15” at checkout to receive your discount!


2. Heartbleed Bug Forces Password Changes!

In recent days, you may have received notices from more than one Internet site or service that your password needs to be changed because of the “Heartbleed” bug …a flaw in security software that MANY Internet sites and services have used for years to protect sensitive data such as credit card numbers and users’ passwords.

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
A massive security flaw exposed on websites could put at risk your private information, such as credit card numbers and other data. The bug is known as Heartbleed, and security experts are warning Internet users to change their passwords on sites they use — and then be prepared to change them again soon.

Researchers uncovered the vulnerability in a Web security measure known as OpenSSL. Websites that have a lock next to the URL typically indicate that the site is encrypted and that third parties will not be able to read or receive the information you send. But the Heartbleed bug potentially could break the encryption and expose users’ personal information.

Researchers believe that up to two-thirds of websites could be affected. Google, Facebook, and Yahoo! recently confirmed that they had been affected and said they were applying fixes to their systems, The New York Times reports.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.

This is a good time to change all of your passwords as a safety measure, but you should ESPECIALLY change those on sites affected by the Heartbleed bug. The main sites are listed HERE.


3. New Mortgage Lending at 14-Year Low

Black Knight Financial Services earlier this week reported that mortgage originations in February fell to their lowest level in at least 14 years. And on Wednesday, the Mortgage Bankers Association said the share of mortgage applications for refinances hit their lowest level since July 2009 last week. The drop in refinances could pose a major threat for lenders. At 4.6 percent, mortgage rates remain at historically low levels, but refinancing activity could fall much further if rates climb back above 5 percent. Some analysts predict that a rebound in home purchase lending will help.

Most experts attribute the current drop in mortgage loan lending to the fact that all-cash purchases, especially by investors, have become more common in the recent growth of the residential market.

To read more, go HERE.


4. “Don’t Judge My Gen Y”

A provocative article by Brooke Wolford (“Don’t Judge My Gen Y”) showed up a few days ago in the YPN Lounge, a weblog hosted by the National Association of Realtors. Brooke, a Gen Y member herself, takes issue with some of the generalizations (about various age groups) that have become so popular:

*** BEGIN QUOTE ***
Over the last several years, real estate educators have really pushed that we, as an industry, need to do something special to deal with my generation. Most of these speakers are not part of Gen Y themselves, but they seem to think they know everything about us. And despite these teachings, I have rarely met someone who fits the stereotypical Millennial profile that they are describing.
*** END QUOTE ***

To read more, go HERE.


5. Freddie Mac Sees Sunny Days Ahead!

In their recent analysis of the residential market, published last week (“After Winter Chill, Time to Spring Forward”), Freddie Mac is optimistic about the housing market this spring, citing three factors that bode well for residential sales:

  • Home sales are up by 13% over their low point in the recession (2009), and Freddie Mac thinks they will rise another 3% in 2014.
  • Housing starts are up a whopping 50% from their low point in the recession, and 20% growth in starts is predicted for 2014.
  • Home prices have appreciated an average of 16% from their low point, and are expected to rise another 5% in 2014 …although they acknowledge that prices in some markets “are still below their peak 2006 levels”.

To read more, go HERE.


6. HOT LINE: How Many Bedrooms?

QUESTION: I have a property to list. The owner is stating it is 3 bedrooms. Two of the bedrooms are in the basement and have no window in the room. The septic permit is for 2 bedrooms, but the appraiser has it as 1 bedroom. How do I handle this situation?

ANSWER: There is no standard answer to determine what constitutes a bedroom. Therefore, you should check with your local Codes department and your local association or MLS to determine whether they have a definition as to what a bedroom is. these will vary from place to place, so if you ever have a question, you should check the Codes definitions for that particular area. In addition, if the home is on septic, you need to determine how many bedrooms the home is permitted to have. The number of bedrooms advertised – in the MLS and elsewhere – should NOT exceed this number.

You also indicated that one of the rooms which is being called a bedroom is located in the basement. A few things to keep in mind with basement rooms – the fact that it is in the basement does not necessarily mean that it cannot be counted as a bedroom. Again, check with Codes and your local association or MLS to see if they have any rules governing this. Another key issue is whether the room is completed and whether it is heated or cooled. If so, then as long as the advertisement makes clear that one of the bedrooms is in the basement, you should be ok with this.

The important thing to ensure is that you are not misrepresenting anything!

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


7. HOT LINE: Looking for a Co-Listing Agreement?

QUESTION: I am looking for a co-listing agreement.

ANSWER: TAR does not have a form in which multiple agents can co-list a piece of property. However, if all agents are in the same firm and that firm practices designated agency, then both agents can be listed as the designated agent.

If the agents are members of different firms, then one listing agreement can be used, but both firms will be on the form and will require the signature of both firms. It is VERY important that the companies negotiate how the commission will be split and that this is contained in the listing agreement as well.

A word of caution on co-listing: Since there is a fiduciary duty involved, the agents must make sure that they are communicating well and that BOTH agents receive copies of everything. If one agent knows something that the other does not, disclosures may not be made. Each agent can be deemed to have knowledge of everything the other one knows!

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


8. HOT LINE: Preventing Collusion Between Buyers?

QUESTION: I have a property listed and have a binding contract for $1,000,000. We also have a backup offer for $1,100,000. Is there anything in the TAR contract that would prohibit the 1st buyer from selling their contract to the 2nd buyer and pocketing the profit?

ANSWER: All TAR purchase and sale agreements are assignable unless special stipulations have been added to state otherwise. However, the 2nd buyer will not know who the 1st buyer is unless the seller advises him of the name of the different parties, or authorizes you to do so. You should NOT advise 2nd buyer of the identity of 1st buyer without the permission of your client. This should prevent any collusion between the two buyers. It would clearly be in the seller’s best interests for this NOT to happen.

In the future, if you want to make it such that the parties cannot assign their interest in the contract, we would recommend putting something in Special Stipulations which says something to the effect that the parties agree that neither party is permitted to assign their interest in the contract to a third party.

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


9. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

To check your CE credits on file with TREC, go to: http://verify.tn.gov

To go to the TAR website: http://www.tarnet.com

To access current and past TAR DIGESTS: http://www.tardigest.com

Follow TAR on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/tnaor

TAR’s LinkedIn page: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=852077&trk=hb_side_g

TAR’s page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question: http://www.tarnet.com/services-support/legal-ethics-hotline/

For CE classroom courses around the state, go to: http://www.tarnet.com/education/realtor-courses/

For online CE courses, go to: http://www.tarnet.com/education/online-courses/

Tennessee Real Estate Commission: http://tn.gov/regboards/trec/


 

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