7-25-16 — Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 27 • Randy Durham, 2016 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor

✔ TODAY (7/25) is last chance for early-bird Convention rate
✔ Home sales and median prices keep rising; inventory remains tight
✔ Pick up quick tips for taking your emails to the next level
✔ How to nail your new-construction deals

In the News
1.*Early-Bird Deadline TODAY*
2. Home Sales, Prices Up; Inventory Down
3. U.S. Home Buyers Still Bullish
4. Sharpen Your Emails
Member Services
5. Get Your Member Valued Perks
6. Free RETI Webinar: Sweet Tweets

Professional Development

7. Five Habits for Real Estate Success
Legal & Ethics Hot Line
8. New-Construction Disclosure Forms?
9. Punch List or Repair / Replacement?
10. Buyer’s Acceptance?
Key Links & Resources
**Register for Fall Convention!**


1. *Early-Bird Deadline TODAY*
Early-bird pricing for TAR’s 2016 Fall Convention: The Great Blue, ends AT 11:59 PM TODAY, Monday, July 25. Register HERE and secure your travel arrangements; hotels and flights are filling up. The Convention—Sept. 14, 15 and 16 at the Charleston (S.C.) Marriott—will feature inspiring speakers, engaging CE sessions, awards, new-officer installations, social/networking fun, and more. Sign up now!

2. TN Home Sales, Prices Up; Inventory Down
For the second quarter of 2016, Tennessee home sales rose 7.4 percent (to 21,687) and the median price also rose 7.4 percent (to $194,900) over the second quarter of 2015, according to statistics compiled by TAR. For June 2016, Tennessee single-family home sales rose 2.3 percent over the previous June (to 7,650), while the median price rose 6.6 percent (to $201,500), and inventory fell 27.9 percent (to 24,391). “Tennessee’s ever-increasing appeal as a great place to live and work continues to stretch the availability of homes and push prices upward, yet we have still seen a steady rise in overall home sales and a great deal of vibrancy in our housing market,” said 2016 TAR President Randy Durham. “As REALTORS®, it is encouraging to be part of such a healthy, growing economy that provides plentiful opportunities to help buyers and sellers navigate the challenges of a fast-moving real estate environment.”
3. U.S. Home Buyers Still Bullish
In a related story, three-fourths of Americans polled in the second quarter believe now is a good time to buy a home (74 percent), while 26 percent believe now is not a good time to purchase, according to the latest Home Survey: Housing Market Opportunities and Market Experience, released this month by NAR’s Research Department. For more insights from the survey, go HERE.

4. Sharpen Your Emails
Despite the growth of other options, email remains the go-to communication tool for just about everyone. Still, it’s easy to “make basic mistakes” that let “messages get lost or crucial actions fall by the wayside,” writes Rob Reinalda in this Ragan.com blog, which outlines several basic yet insightful reminders for avoiding the traps. They include:

  • Start with the right salutation.
  • Choose one topic for your email and stick to it.
  • If you want/need someone to do something, say so (specifically).
  • Make your Subject sing like a great newspaper headline.
  • Do reply, even if you’re busy. (“Got it, thanks. Swamped. More later.”)
  • Proof your emails…twice.
  • Know when (and when not) to Reply All.

View the whole story HERE.

5. Get Your Member Valued Perks
If it has been a while since you checked out the perks available to TAR members, visit THIS LINK for a list of benefits and descriptions for ERMA, healthPERX, TaxBot, Life Line Screening, Office Depot, OnGuardHelp, Pearl Insurance, RPR (REALTORS® Property Resource), and REALTORS® Federal Credit Union.

6. Free RETI Webinar: Sweet Tweets
The Real Estate Technology Institute (RETI), a TAR partner, offers a FREE webinar at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT this Wednesday, July 27. “Tweet Your Way to More Real Estate Clients,” led by Twitter expert Juanita McDowell, will show you how to listen to your community and prospect for customers on one of the world’s top social-media platforms. Register HERE.

7. Five Habits for Real Estate Success
The current edition of REALTOR® magazine is loaded with practical tips and ideas, including a list of five habits to foster success. “To be consistently successful,” the author asserts, “takes a strong set of positive habits. Whatever your business model or niche, these practices can help you be a top performer year after year.” Cheat sheet:

  • Make business planning a daily activity.
  • Stay organized at work and at home.
  • Communicate effectively.
  • Take care of your body.
  • Always ask…

Read all of the details and examples at THIS LINK.

Legal & Ethics Hot Line Source: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Counsel

How to Build a New-Construction Transaction
In today’s market, new construction is popping up everywhere. TAR has a special library of forms available to members when transacting new construction properties—including RF403, New Construction Purchase and Sale Agreement. The questions below address issues that may arise when conducting these transactions, and which forms to use to be successful.

8. New-Construction Disclosure Forms?

QUESTION: Which property-disclosure form do I use for new construction?

ANSWER: There is not a property disclosure for new construction, as it is exempt from the Residential Property Disclosure Act, Tenn. Code Ann. § 66-5-209. The 12 exemptions include: (9) Transfers involving the first sale of a dwelling provided that the builder offers a written warranty;. If you have an unusual situation in which the exemption does not apply, then you would use the regular disclosure form, RF201.

9. Punch List or Repair / Replacement?

QUESTION: Which form do I use to request repairs on a new construction?
ANSWER: When working with new construction properties, use RF662, New Construction Walk Through / Punch List, to work out repairs to be made. This form becomes an amendment to RF403, New Construction Purchase and Sale Agreement.

10. Buyer’s Acceptance?

QUESTION: Is there a form that states the buyer is accepting items such as HOA rules and watersource?
ANSWER: There is not a specific form wherein the buyer can note that they are accepting the HOA rules, water source, etc. However, it is recommended that you use RF 656, Notification, for this purpose and list that the buyer approves these items in paragraph 21, Other.

To check your CE hours:verify.tn.gov/default.aspx
For CE and other courses around TN: tarnet.com/education/
For online CE courses:tarnet.com/education/?target=online-CE-courses/
To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line question:tarnet.com/technology-support/legal-ethics-hotline/
TAR websitetarnet.com
TAR on Twitter:twitter.com/tnaor
TAR on LinkedIn:linkedin.com/groups?gid=852077&trk=hb_side_g
TAR on Facebook:facebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689

2016 TAR Fall Convention 
Sept. 14, 15 and 16


Early-bird pricing ends 7/25!


Follow TAR on Twitter or Like our page on Facebook.



1-9-17 Vol.: 2017 Iss.: 1 • Brian Copeland, 2017 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor

  Register now for Spring Conference! (March 27 & 28)
  *A summary of changes to our 2017 Forms*
  Meet Jennifer Farrar, our new Political Affairs Coordinator
✔  Get practical insights on Closing Disclosures
In the News
1. Register for Spring Conference!
2. Jennifer Farrar Joins Our Staff Team
3. Get Organized with These Great Apps
Member Services
4. **Forms Updates for 2017**
5. Learn the NEW TransactionDesk
6. RETI Webinar: Maximize LinkedIn
Professional Development
7. Meet Beth Z, ‘Your Nerdy Best Friend’
Legal & Ethics Hot Line
Closing Disclosures
8. Agent Purchase Title Ins. for Client?
9. Earnest $ Not on Closing Statement?
10. Get a Copy of Closing Statement?

1. Register for Spring Conference!
Registration is open for our 2017 Spring Conference, March 27 & 28 at Franklin Marriott Cool Springs. Visit HERE to register and to book your hotel room. This year’s event will feature 21 CE sessions in three concurrent tracks taught by nationally renowned speakers. The theme is “Press Play,” and the conference will feature the introduction of our new Tennessee REALTORS® name and brand. Save your spot today!

2. Jennifer Farrar Joins Our Staff Team
We are excited to welcome Jennifer Farrar (her last name sounds like “Fairer”) in the role of Political Affairs Coordinator. In this key position, Jennifer will help to advance our strategic priorities in governmental affairs, legislative advocacy, and member engagement in the important work of protecting the rights of property owners throughout Tennessee. Read more about Jennifer HERE

3. Get Organized
This blog from ‘Your Nerdy Best Friend’, Beth Z., spotlights 10 apps for organizing your life. Topics include Passwords, Contacts, Email, Photos, Medical, Travel, Family Schedules, and Finances. See our profile of Beth in item 7 below.

4. **Forms Updates for 2017**
All of our 2017 forms are available to members online. There are a number of updates to this year’s forms. To get up to speed, WATCH THIS VIDEO featuring Bobbie Noreen, Chair of our Residential Forms Committee, and download THIS PDF summary of the updates to accompany the video. The video also includes a timeline reference for you to skip ahead or back to certain forms (look under the video). In addition, the comprehensive changes file for ALL forms is available and listed on our “Forms on the Fly” page.

5. Learn the NEW TransactionDesk
Phase 2 in this critical transition is under way:

Now through MON., FEB. 27: Phase 2 — Users see a splash screen with information on the new system, links to webinars, etc. Users are automatically logged into the new system but can switch back to the old. **Use this time to learn the NEW TransactionDesk.**

 TUES., FEB. 28: Phase 3 — Only the new system will be available; the old system will be turned off!
NOTE: All data has been replicated in the new system, so there are no lost data, documents or forms. You don’t have to do anything—except start using the new system!

6. RETI Webinar: Maximize LinkedIn
LinkedIn can help to advance your business success. The Real Estate TechnologyInstitute (RETI), a TAR partner, will offer this FREE webinar at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT Wed., Jan. 11: “LinkedIn: 7 Power Tips for Business”, led by Juanita McDowell. Register HERE.

7. Meet Beth Z., ‘Your Nerdy Best Friend’

This week we begin spotlighting speakers for our Spring Conference, March 27 & 28. First up: Beth Z, ‘Your Nerdy Best Friend’.

Beth Z will lead three sessions at our conference: “How Do They Do That? Secret Tech Weapons for REALTORS®”, “A Day in the Life of a Nerdy REALTOR®”, and “Stump the Nerd”
.Although the only real trophy she ever won was for making perfect French fries at McDonald’s in high school, Beth Z has been featured on Best Speaker lists by Meetings & Conventions magazine and MeetingsNet. Since her first Commodore 64 computer, Beth has made a verb out of the word nerd. She helps computer users all over the country filter through thousands of apps, gadgets, widgets and doodads to find the perfect free and bargain technology tools for business and personal use through presentations and her books, including the latest, Nerd Know-How: The 27+ Best Apps for Work and How to use ‘Em, available on Amazon.com.”

Legal & Ethics Hot Line
Source: TAR Legal & Ethics Hot Line Counsel

Closing Disclosures
It is vital to remember that any money changing hands related to a real estate transaction must appear on the closing statement. Otherwise, the lender could raise allegations of misrepresentation and/or fraud. This week’s Q&As cover things to keep in mind for items that appear on closing statements and how REALTORS® can obtain a copy of the closing disclosure. 

8. Agent Purchase Title Insurance for Client?

Q: Can an agent purchase a Title Insurance policy for a client? If no, how does that differ from an agent purchasing a Home Warranty for a client?
TREC does not permit agents to pay closing costs. The law states: “A real estate licensee shall not give or pay cash rebates, cash gifts or cash prizes in conjunction with any real estate transaction. As part of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission’s general rulemaking authority the commission may regulate the practices of real estate licensees in regard to gifts, prizes or rebates that are not otherwise prohibited by law.” Tenn. Code Ann. § 62-13-302(b) TREC has interpreted this law as prohibiting agents from paying closing costs for their clients.

So if these items are closing costs that appear on the closing statement, you cannot pay them. Title expenses are considered part of closing costs. (Even if this were permitted, a lender would likely have a problem with a third party paying a portion of the closing costs.)

By contrast, a home warranty is not considered a closing cost. Agents are permitted to purchase a home warranty for a client as a gift, so long as the agent follows the TREC gifts and prizes rule (see 1260-2-.33).

9. Earnest Money Not on Closing Statement?
Q: We are holding earnest money on a transaction, which has now closed. The closing attorney did not include the earnest money on the closing statement and now I need to refund it to the buyer. Do I need an Earnest Money Release signed by the parties?
The disbursement of earnest money should have been reflected on the closing statement to show how the funds were actually allocated and that you have a confirming paper trail. The earnest money disbursement and mutual release of the Purchase and Sale Agreement (PSA) form will not help in this circumstance, as the form alleviates parties from their responsibilities of the contract as well as disbursing earnest money. You would be wise to contact the closing attorney and ask how they wish for you to proceed, and also talk with the lender involved. Lenders take issue if anything is not included on the closing statement, as that could raise questions of misrepresentation and/or fraud.

10. Get a Copy of Closing Statement?

Q: With regard to privacy policies, can a REALTOR® obtain a copy of the closing statement without written consent from the buyer and seller?

A: Yes. Since the TILA RESPA Integrated Disclosure (TRID) took effect in October 2015, lenders have been refusing to share the closing disclosure with real estate professionals, citing potential privacy violations. However, an exception to Regulation P already allows lenders to distribute the disclosure to third parties, including real estate professionals.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently acknowledged that sharing the closing disclosure with real estate professionals is already permitted under the Gramm-Leach-Biley Act. 12 C.F.R. §1016.14(b)(2)(iii) – exceptions to notice and opt out requirements for processing and servicing transactions. Restrictions on non-disclosure by financial institutions does not apply when the information is shared: “To provide a confirmation, statement, or other record of the transaction, or information on the status or value of the financial service or financial product to the consumer or the consumer’s agent or broker.”
According to the CFPB, the Closing Disclosure is a “record of the transaction,” and is informative to both the consumer credit and real estate portions of residential sales transactions. “Based on its understanding of the real estate settlement process, the CFPB understands that it is usual, appropriate, and accepted for creditors and settlement agents to provide the combined or separate closing disclosure as a confirmation, statement, or other record of the transaction, to consumers, sellers, and their agents, or information on the status or value of the financial service or financial product to their customers or their customers’ agents or brokers.” 

To check your CE hoursverify.tn.gov/default.aspx
For CE and other courses around TN: tarnet.com/education/
For online CE coursestarnet.com/education/?target=online-CE-courses/
To ask a TAR Legal and Ethics Hot Line questiontarnet.com/technology-support/legal-ethics-hotline/
TREC: tn.gov/commerce/section/real-estate-commission
TAR website: tarnet.com
TAR on Twittertwitter.com/tnaor
TAR on LinkedInlinkedin.com/groups?gid=852077&trk=hb_side_g
TAR on Facebookfacebook.com/pages/Nashville-TN/Tennessee-Association-of-RealtorsR/15041383689

Follow TAR on Twitter or Like our page on Facebook.