The TAR Digest: The Membership Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of Realtors
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The 10-14-14 Newsletter of the Tennessee Association of REALTORS
Editor: Pug Scoville

1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS
2. Realtor Party Success in Knoxville!
3. $200,000 Fine Is No Laughing Matter
4. Just in Time for Halloween…
5. FREE Marketing Webinar — October 14!
6. HOT LINE: Seller Wants to Work the Back-Up?
7. HOT LINE: Tennessee Listing, Kentucky Forms?
8. HOT LINE: Owner Has Alzheimer’s?
9. Check Your Own CE Hours, Etc.

“Incredible change happens in your life when you decide to take control of what you do have power over instead of craving control over what you don’t.” — Steve Maraboli

NOTE: If you’re reading this on a mobile device (iPhone, etc.), GO HERE for a mobile-friendly DIGEST.

1. Upcoming COURSES & EVENTS

Oct. 15: GRI 404, Working More Effectively With Sellers (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville, TN. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Oct. 16: GRI 405, Mastering Forms & Contracts (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville, TN. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Oct. 17: GRI 406, Tips, Tools, & Technologies For Your Business (6 hrs. CE) – GNAR Office, Nashville, TN. For more information or to register, go HERE.

Oct. 15-17: SAVE $55! If you use our GRI EXPRESS option to enroll in all three of the GRI courses above at the same time, you can save $55! To do so, go HERE.

These are the last three GRI offerings of 2014! Don’t miss out!

Why Should YOU Earn Your GRI? 10 Reasons!

To see upcoming offerings of TREC CORE COURSES, ABR COURSES, etc., – at locations around the state – go to the TAR Calendar at:

2. Realtor Party Success in Knoxville!

The 3,400-member Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS (KAAR) decided it needed some help when the city began revising its local sign ordinance. The proposal wasn’t looking pretty for the real estate community so they turned to NAR’s Land Use Initiative for valuable legal review and analysis. In the end, they had a reasoned conversation with city policymakers and got a fair and reasonable sign ordinance that reflects industry standards. Plus, the process helped KAAR build a stronger relationship with their local government.

To download a complete (PDF) account of what happened AND some more success stories, go HERE.

3. $200,000 Fine Is No Laughing Matter

On Sept. 30, 2014, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) ordered Lighthouse Title, a Michigan title insurance agency, to pay $200,000 for illegal referrals under the guise of marketing agreements under the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). Similarly and on the same day, HUD’s Office of Inspector General targeted Cornerstone Home Lending for similar issues. The cases follow on the heels of enforcement actions targeting disclosures and practices under the anti-kickback provisions of RESPA.

Tying the value of marketing arrangements to the amount of referrals is a clear problem under RESPA. Likewise, requiring arrangements to be exclusive also raises red flags with regulators. Finally, arrangements where marketing is not commensurate with the amount of compensation will raise further concerns. NAR is continuing to work to educate members about their obligations under RESPA and is also working with the CFPB to ensure appropriate compliance guidance is issued.

To read or download the Consent Order from CFPB (it’s a PDF), go HERE.

4. Just in Time for Halloween…

The Halloween season is the perfect time for a new article that showed up recently on AOL Real Estate: “Do Home Sellers Need To Disclose Paranormal Activity?” Good question.

Haunted houses may draw screams of delight during the Halloween season, but many home buyers would not to want to live in a real home where the unthinkable has occurred. Residential properties where someone has been murdered or committed suicide, or where paranormal activity has been reported, are considered “stigmatized.” While they are physically sound, psychological or emotional factors may affect their perceived value. Real estate brokers and home sellers in most states — and this IS the case in Tennessee — are not obliged to disclose what they believe to be the presence of a ghost.

Nonetheless, doing so may be a smart move. Many buyers would want to know such information before committing to a purchase, and they could find a reason to pull out of a deal if they discover a property’s grisly past on their own — either by searching the address on Google or (as is often the case) simply by talking to the neighbors.

To read more, go HERE.

5. FREE Marketing Webinar — October 14!

Realtor Bobbi Howe just posted an article at NAR’s YPN Lounge about an upcoming webinar that TAR members should attend!

The webinar — “How to Make a Fantastic Flyer in 15 Minutes” — features marketing guru Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick. As we mentioned, it’s FREEand the opportunity to listen to Guy Kawasaki is a treat!

Even if you have a conflict, the webinar will be available for download and playback shortly after the event, so REGISTER.

To learn more, go to Bobbi Howe’s article HERE.

6. HOT LINE: Seller Wants to Work the Back-Up?

QUESTION: An agent represents a seller. There is a binding contract on the property. The buyer did the home inspection and sent a repair request. The seller does not want to do any of the repairs. Can the seller go ahead and begin negotiations on the back-up contract, or do they have to wait on a response from the buyer?

ANSWER: Please note that the TAR Legal Hotline cannot provide an interpretation to any executed contract. If the seller has questions concerning his legal rights and obligations, he should speak to his own attorney.

However, we can give you the Forms Committee’s intent as to a blank contract. A seller is not obligated to agree to any repairs. NEVERTHELESS, the seller IS obligated to negotiate in good faith with the buyer. This means that he must respond to the buyer, but he does not have to agree to any repairs. If the buyer waives repairs, then it is likely that the seller will have to go through with the first contract.

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

7. HOT LINE: Tennessee Listing, Kentucky Forms?

QUESTION: I am working with an agent who has a listing in Tennessee, but is using Kentucky forms, specifically the property condition disclosure. Is this legal?

ANSWER: We do NOT recommend that agents use contracts intended for one state in another. This is because the state laws can vary widely with regard to what is required within a real estate transaction. Please note that we are not licensed to practice law in the state of Kentucky, nor do we know the requirements for selling a home in Kentucky. Therefore, we would recommend that you respond with a copy of the required Tennessee forms and request that these (including Tennessee’s property condition disclosure form) be submitted instead.

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

8. HOT LINE: Owner Has Alzheimer’s?

QUESTION: I have an owner that has Alzheimer’s. The owner’s niece has Power of Attorney. The niece has never lived in the home. Which box do I check on the property disclosure exemption form?

ANSWER: Unfortunately, this situation does not appear to fit into the exemptions contained in Tenn. Code Ann. 66-5-209.

Unless the niece with Power of Attorney has a guardianship or conservatorship, exemptions specified in law would probably not fit. Therefore, the niece would have to complete either the disclosure form (F16) or the Disclaimer form (F43). In all likelihood, the niece does not have the knowledge to complete F16. Therefore, discuss the possibility of having her complete the F43. The only problem is that the buyer must agree to accept this pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. 66-5-202.

Seek permission of the niece with Power of Attorney to disclose that the seller is not in a position to be able to supply the information required for the Disclosure. Be sure to get specific instructions regarding how much you are permitted to disclose about the seller’s situation. If the buyer refuses, then the disclosure form must be used. However, most of the responses will likely be “Unknown”.

[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:

To go to the TAR website:

To access current and past TAR DIGESTS:

Follow TAR on Twitter at:

TAR’s LinkedIn page:

TAR’s page on Facebook:

To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question:

For CE classroom courses around the state, go to:

For online CE courses, go to:

Tennessee Real Estate Commission:


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