8-1-16 — Vol.: 2016 Iss.: 28 • Randy Durham, 2016 President • Phil Newman, TAR Digest Editor
✔ Are your social-media posts in sync with TREC’s Advertising Rule?
✔ Life Line Screening saved a TAR member’s life—and could save yours
✔ Why Boomers still matter to the future of U.S. housing
✔ What to say—and NOT to say—to your clients

Vote. Act. Invest.
1.Get Out and Vote! (Thursday)
In the News
2. Here Comes the Boom, Baby
3. Second-Home Buying Insights
4. MTSU’s Tennessee Housing Snapshots
Member Services
5. Life Line Screening Saves a TAR Member’s Life (!)
6. Free RETI Webinar: Stop Calling Me!

Professional Development

7. Did I Say That Out Loud?
Legal & Ethics Hot Line
Social Media and the Advertising Rule
8. Facebook Pages?
9. YouTube Videos?
10. Instagram Posts?
Key Links & Resources
**Register for Fall Convention!**


1. Get Out and Vote!
Election Day is Thursday, Aug. 4, so if you didn’t cast a ballot during early voting, be sure to get to your local polling place. Voting is the cornerstone of a democracy but sadly, far too few people do so. As a REALTOR®, you owe it to your industry to take part and elect candidates you believe will make a difference. With a government elected by its citizens—affecting every aspect of society from schools to health care to a community’s quality of life—voting is an important right and responsibility. By voting, you make your voice heard and express your opinion on how you think the government should operate. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and a lot of candidates and community leaders are counting on REALTORS® getting out to vote. Find your polling location HERE. Download the GoVoteTN app to view your ballot.

2. Here Comes the Boom, Baby

With ample attention focused on Millennials as the next wave of homebuyers, it’s easy to overlook the more seasoned Baby Boom generation. Yet a recent Freddie Mac Insight report noted that Americans born between 1946 and 1964 “refuse to grow older, not retiring but launching instead second and third careers, shunning senior-centered communities in favor of aging in place or moving into center cities.” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti observed, “you have to be a lot older these days to be a senior citizen,” adding that ages 55+ make up one-fourth of the population but control two-thirds of single-family home equity. “Today’s 65-year old can expect to live to 84, and in those remaining years some may buy and sell several more homes.” Read the entire blog HERE.
3. Second-Home Buying Insights
In this Wall Street Journal video, New York brokers Tom Postilio and Mickey Conlon offer tips for purchasing a summer or vacation home. While their specific focus is on the Northeast, the principles shared hold universal appeal. Key points include:

— Know what you really want and don’t shop “hungry”— Rent first for a season or two; test out the community
— Look for off-season deals
— Factor in maintenance and other costs
— Consider options just off the beaten path

Watch the brief interview HERE.

4. MTSU’s Tennessee Housing Snapshots
Among the helpful resources available via our friends at the Tennessee Housing Development Agency (THDA)—a state agency focused on fostering “safe, sound, affordable housing opportunities”—is a quarterly report from Middle Tennessee State University’s Business and Economic Research Center. MTSU’s Tennessee Housing Market offers an overview of the state’s economy as it relates to housing, with data on employment, construction, real estate transactions and mortgages, home sales and prices, delinquencies, and foreclosures.

Visit HERE for the menu of MTSU reports and HERE for more about THDA.

5. Life Line Screening Saves a TAR Member’s Life
Last week we received an inspiring letter from a member (who wished to remain anonymous) expressing her gratitude for Life Line Screening, a TAR partner and Member Valued Perk (MVP). “I am deeply grateful to call you all my friends, and I want to credit TAR with saving my life last week,” the letter began. Thanks to the power of prevention, the screeners recognized a serious medical condition that sent her to her doctor and then immediately to the hospital for urgent treatment. Read the entire powerful message HERE. Learn more about Life Line Screening HERE. It might just save your life or the life of a loved one.

6. Free RETI Webinar: Stop Calling Me!
The Real Estate Technology Institute (RETI), a TAR partner, offers a FREE webinar at 3 p.m. EDT/2 p.m. CDT this Wednesday, Aug. 3.

“Stop Calling Me! Generational Marketing for Real Estate,” led by Warren Dow, will show you how to communicate and market differently to a range of ages and generations who don’t speak, listen, learn or respond the same way. Register HERE.

7. Did I Say That Out Loud?
The July/August 2016 issue of REALTOR® magazine includes a section titled “Set Your Career in Motion,” which is crammed with practical tips for succeeding in your business. One eye-catching item, “Say This, Not That,” gives a few street-level examples for handling difficult encounters with clients. Such as: 

To a know-it-all client, say: “I can relate to your frustration regarding the deadlines in the purchase contract, but truly, they are there to protect both parties.” Don’t say: “You don’t know what you are talking about.”
Read the article and many other insights in the magazine HERE.

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

Advertising in the Modern World
Advertising for REALTORS® has taken on a whole new meaning in recent years with the growth of social media. The hotline receives many questions on how to properly advertise on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIN, etc. The most important thing to remember is that Tennessee Real Estate Commission (TREC) rules governing advertising apply fully to social media. The latest iteration of the Advertising Rule, 1260-2-.12, went into effect October 18, and includes [paraphrased, emphasis added]:

— “Advertising” means “sources of communication available to the public such as signs, flyers, letterheads, e-mail signatures, websites, social media communications, and video or audio recordings transmitted through internet or broadcast streaming,” but does not include “promotional materials such as hats, pens, notepads, T-shirts, name tags, business cards, and the sponsorship of charitable and community events.” (1)

— “Firm name” means the entire name as licensed with TREC, or the d/b/a name as licensed with the Cole Commission. (2)

— DON’T “advertise to sell, purchase, exchange, rent, or lease property in a manner indicating that the licensee is not engaged in the real estate business.” (3a)

— DO have all advertising directly supervised by the principle broker. (3b)

— DO include the firm name and telephone number on file with TREC. (3b)

— DO make the firm name the most prominent name in the advertising, and the firm’s phone number the same size or larger than the phone number of any individual licensee or group of licensees. (3c1-2)

— DON’T post any sign advertising property for sale, purchase, exchange, rent or lease, without written authorization from the property owner or the owner’s agent. (3d)

— DON’T advertise property listed by another licensee without written authorization from the property owner, evidenced by a statement on the listing agreement or any other written statement signed by the owner. (3e)

— DON’T advertise in a false, misleading, or deceptive manner. (i.e. listing only franchise name, not firm name; a “team, group, or similar entity within a firm” advertising themselves using terms such as “Real Estate, ” “Real Estate Brokerage,” “Realty,” “Company,” “Corporation,” “LLC,” “Corp.,” “Inc.,” “Associates,” or similar terms; linking from a web page to an unlicensed entity’s website engaged in activities requiring TREC licensure). (3f1-3)

— [Franchise or Cooperative Advertising Groups] DO clearly indicate in the advertisement your name, firm name and firm phone number (as registered with TREC) for specific properties advertised for sale or lease; when advertising other than specific properties for sale or lease, DO state: “Each [Franchise Trade Name or Cooperative Group] Office is Independently Owned and Operated”. If using a franchise trade name on business cards, contracts, or other documents relating to the transaction, DO clearly indicate name and firm phone number and the fact that the office is independently owned and operated. (4a,b,c1-2)

— DO apply this rule to Internet advertising, including social media. List firm name and phone number on each web page; state that some or all listings on a website may not belong to the firm whose website is being visited; keep listing information current and accurate, for “First Generation” content placed by the licensee. (5a-c)

8. Facebook Pages?

QUESTION: When advertising on Facebook, is it sufficient to have the required information only on our Facebook page, or should we also include it in each post?

ANSWER: There is not a statute or rule that addresses Facebook pages specifically. However, you will need to observe all rules and regulations in place by Facebook. You will also need to abide by TREC’s Advertising Rule, which clearly states that at a minimum, all advertising by an agent must contain the firm name and telephone number. The Commission has indicated that ALL advertising must comply with the rule, even on Facebook. Therefore, each post should contain all of the required information.

9. YouTube Videos?

QUESTION: What are the guidelines for having a YouTube channel? Does each video need to list the firm name and phone number?

ANSWER: There are not specific requirements for YouTube channels. However, TREC’s Advertising Rule applies, and it is recommended that each video/posting contain all of the information required by the rule, including the firm name and phone number.

10. Instagram Posts?

Question: Can I advertise listings on Instagram, and what are the requirements?

Answer: Yes. Instagram has more than 400 million users and is a great way to reach potential buyers. Just remember to follow the Advertising Rule. Include the firm name and telephone number on each listing post, with the firm name the most prominent and the firm’s phone number the same size or larger than the licensee’s phone number. Your name must be listed exactly as it is on file with TREC. (Be careful with this on Instagram if using a username.) Make sure to get written authorization from the property owner before posting. And always follow other general rules of advertising, such as doing so under your broker’s supervision and not engaging in false, misleading, or deceptive advertising.

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




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.