May 2019

Great Smoky Mountains Association of REALTORS® 

May 2019 Newsletter #5

The weather is warmer, flowers are abundant and the year is already in the fifth month. Time flies when you are busy with so much activity. Like busy bees we have a lot going on this month. 

The Seniors will be graduating and we want to send prayers and blessings to them all for whatever they are moving forward in.

Memorial Day is Monday the 27th and the GSMAR office will be closed to honor all the fallen heroes, loved ones and family. They may be gone from our sight but they will live forever in our hearts. 

Mother’s Day was Sunday the 12th and we’d like to give some love to all the Mothers out there. Whether they are single Moms, married, young, old, departed or any combination, as long as they have a child that they would sacrifice their all for: Mom we love you.

Lastly, for all those headed on summer vacations, be safe, be blessed and have lots of fun.

Lisa Kelly

We’d like to congratulate Lisa Kelly for winning the April Affiliate of the Month.

Lisa tirelessly works for our members whether it’s from sponsoring events here at GSMAR or helping you out at IMG with that all important mortgage, she is always there for us. Thanks Lisa for all you do!

Awards Committee

Ever wonder who decides the benefactor of an award?  The Awards Committee reviews each applicant or nomination to determine the winner of each award.  The Awards Committee consists of Deanna Dellinger, Chairman; Brandi Proffitt, Neva Waite, Bryan Kendrick, Lisa Kelly, and Scott Cline.

Bi-monthly we have the Golden Spotlight award which is from nominations received from the Brokers at the Brokers’ Breakfast.  Our annual awards are Maud Gregory, REALTOR of the Year, and Rookie of the Year. The nomination or application for the annual awards are on Paragon.

Our schedule for the later part of May and the early part of June is looking pretty busy.

               On Tuesday May 14th we have the TREC Core Course taught by Jim Oakley. This is a required course by TREC to have for your license renewal. If your license is coming up for renewal between now and November and you don’t have this class yet, sign up here. In October Jim will return again for those that need it toward the end of this year and the first part of next year.

               New Member Orientation is coming again for all of our new agents out there. The Orientation days are May 29th and 30th. If you are a new Primary/ Secondary member of GSMAR then the orientation will be both days from 8:30 in the morning to 4:45 in the afternoon each day. Lunches will be provided for you.  If you are a new MLS participant only, then you only have to attend the MLS portion which is on the 30th from 12:30 to 4:45. 

87 out of an estimated 433 primary members have taken the Ethics course so far this year. The associations goal is to have everyone take Ethics before the end of the year. Why you ask? So, next year we will be Ethics free. No emails, no reminders, no last minute hurry up I forgot to take it. The NAR Ethics cycle runs this year and next year before resetting in 2021 and wouldn’t it be awesome if we could get all of our members done and certified a whole year in advance. So, the Ethics portion of Orientation will be on the 29th in the morning. Look for the email for exact time.  If you are one of the 87 that has already taken Ethics, congratulations! You will not be receiving any more emails concerning Ethics till January of 2021 when the cycle starts over. 

In June we have the SRS class on Monday and Tuesday the 3rd & 4th from 8:30-5 each day. Check out the NAR Website on the SRS designation for more info on this one.

Lastly, If your keeping up with our GRI designation class, June 11th is the GRI 404 class. 

We hope everyone gets the classes needed to make them a more informed and better REALTOR!!!

I am pleased to be asked to introduce myself to all of the members. I was honored to be nominated and elected to the position of Treasurer of your Association as I feel that this position is very important to the proper functioning of the GSMAR. We have been blessed with a succession of extremely competent and professional treasurers since our financial issues of the past and I will give my utmost effort in continuing that tradition. For a number of years, I have believed that the financial condition of this Association should be an open book for all the members. One of the first motions the Board approved was to report a true financial condition to all the members at the bimonthly Membership Breakfast Meeting. The Finance Committee also receives a full accounting profile at all our regular meetings. All of our financial reports are also available to all our members at the Association Office. We have also continued to prepay our mortgage at a higher rate than previously recommended so that we may be long term debt free even quicker. The board has also agreed to pursue the goal of investigating the change of our Association’s status to Not-For-Profit status. This change of status would allow us to retain and utilize more of our members’ and affiliates’ dues and fees for their benefits. With the assistance of the Association Staff, the Board of the GSMAR and the Finance Committee, I believe that we will leave the financial condition of your Association in a better condition than when you trusted and accepted me as you Treasurer.

--Tom Fay

To Bind or Not to Bind 

(An article on the importance of appropriately binding a Purchase & Sale Agreement) 

By: Christopher Wood, esq.

 In order to address the necessity of why a real estate Purchase and Sale Agreement should be bound and who is the proper party to do the binding, it’s important to quickly review the basic elements of contract formation. The three most basic components in creating a legally binding contract are, Offer, Acceptance, and Consideration (i.e. what is required in exchange). There are numerous other conditions that might need to be met, such as the requisite age to enter into a contract, or the multiple methods of acceptance, or the Statute of Frauds requiring certain contracts to be written, but for the purposes of this article we will focus on the foundational three. It is also important to understand the basic positions and titles of the two most prominent parties - the Offeror is the one making an offer, and the Offeree is the one responding to an offer made. These titles could flip or change during a transaction dependent on new conditions offered and which party is offering. For example, with an offer to purchase real estate, the Buyer is the offeror making the initial purchase offer and the Seller is the offeree responding to Buyer’s offer. However should the Seller counter the Buyer’s offer, the Seller now becomes the offeror because he has extended a new offer. The controlling identifier as to which hat each party is wearing can be answered from the question, ‘who made the last offer?’ The “new” offer in the initial purchase and sale could be for something as minor as a demand for a different closing date, or the inclusion of the name of Seller’s title company - ‘who made the last offer?’ Understanding the most basic of the elements and the players in the process, we can now look at why binding the original contract is so vitally important and who carries the burden of ensuring that the document is properly bound. The leading treatise on contract law, the Restatement of the Law Second, Contracts published by the American Law Institute, holds that “the offeror is the master of his offer…” (Restatement §29) thereby controlling the method(s) of acceptance and the conditions which must be met in order for a binding contract to be created. Keep in mind that the original offer and acceptance process which creates the binding sale arrangement starts with the Purchase and Sale Agreement and all of the associated Counters, hopefully culminating with final acceptance by all parties. Once a satisfactory offer is made, the responding party must make his acceptance of the offer known to the offeror. If the negotiation is a face-to-face agreement then there is generally no question as to whether the offeree has accepted, however with the current state of electronic signings and “long distance” transactions, the need for clarity of acceptance becomes even more vital. “In the usual commercial bargain the offeror expects and receives prompt notification of acceptance, and such notification is ordinarily essential to an acceptance by promise.” (Restatement, Rationale §54). Acceptance turns on what each party knew or had reason to know. The Restatement goes on to provide in Section 68 that “a written revocation, rejection, or acceptance is received when the writing comes into the possession of the [offeror]...” The amount of time given to accept and the method of acknowledging the acceptance is guided by the terms of the maker of the offer. (Restatement §42). Realtors using the Tennessee Association of Realtors Purchase and Sale Agreement (RF401) and Counter Offer (RF651) will find that both forms provide an Acknowledgement of Receipt condition following the signature lines of the parties. This ‘Acknowledgement’ complies with the contractual requirements as addressed in the Restatement, and since included in the documents’ format, make the Acknowledgement a requisite element. The signature by the Offeror reflects that proper notification has been received - in turn the contract becomes bound, the binding date is established, and the Agreement is fully enforceable. Please note, though verbiage in the TAR forms changed in 2019 removing the defining language of ‘the last offeror’ and ‘offeree,’ the form also changed the binding provision title from ‘Binding Agreement Date’ to ‘Acknowledgment of Receipt’ - in this writer’s opinion, even further exemplifying the need to comport with the Necessity of Notification. Though there may be other methods of saving a Purchase and Sale contract when it is not properly bound, the best and easiest practice is to follow the most basic of contract principles, complying with the conditions set by the offeror(s), consider timing constraints and ensure that everyone is notified. [About the Author: Chris managed an active trial practice with licensure in North Carolina and Tennessee since 1994; He served as adjunct and resident professor at two Universities in North Carolina; Though he maintains his law license, Chris spends much of his time as an Associate Broker with Century 21 MVP in Sevierville, Tn]

When I became your Association Executive in August of 2017, I had two major goals:  (1) leave the Association in a better place than when I began and (2) make GSMAR “the Best Little Association in Tennessee” – a slightly altered phrase from Dolly.  The goals have multiplied over time, but there is one I would like to share with you: in today’s world of social media, it is easy to be taken in by negativity, especially when you don’t hear the entire story.  If you heard Rich Levenson speak at the MI Event on May 10, you know how very special GSMAR is. The staff and I know this because we hear positive comments every day from those of you who stop by the office. It buffers us and keeps us going when a little of that negativity creeps in.  I would, therefore, challenge you to PROSPER WITH POSITIVITY as we continue into 2019 and beyond!! Let’s be different. Let’s let the positivity of GSMAR overwhelmingly be heard!

“Great minds discuss ideas. Average minds discuss events. Small minds discuss people.”-- Henry Thomas Buckle