GSMAR Newsletter

July 2020 #19

With the fourth of July behind us and an uncertain school year looming in our future we are firmly placed in the heat of Summer. Bar-B-Ques, swimmin’ holes and beach vacations are in full swing as the temps soar. We are all trying to get back to our version of normal while we are watching the Covid numbers rise and fall. All of us can do our part in curbing those numbers by following the government's guidelines whether we agree with them or not. We hope the rest of your Summer is fun, safe and lasts as long as it can for you. Be mindful of others and be kind always.

The Association is working to reopen the office for visitors and for classes. Procedures and rules are being discussed and set for your safety during this Covid pandemic. We have gotten feedback from some of you stating you are ready for in person classes and miss the gatherings we have had. We miss all of you as well and want to get back to seeing each and everyone of you. As soon as we have those procedures and rules, we will be in touch with you via email.

Zoom classes: We are offering classes that have CE via Zoom. Susan Barnette has had three Negotiation classes so far and we are working to schedule more classes.

CE credited Zoom classes have strict rules from TREC in order for you to get credit. So, please if you sign up for a class, read all the rules and make sure you can follow them all before signing up. We also understand that a REALTOR’s life is chaotic at best and things pop up that conflict with those classes. If you are signed up for a class and cannot make it, please let us know so we can open that spot up for someone else that may want it.

Each Zoom class is limited to a certain number of participants for monitoring purposes. There is no sharing of the link or passwords for the classes please. There is no sharing of the same laptop or computer.

We are hoping this is just a temporary solution until we can get back to the classes here at GSMAR. We thank you all for your participation in these Zoom classes and for your patience in these interesting times.

Our events are ever changing here at the association as we try to set up Zoom classes and reschedule physical classes for a later date. We encourage you to check our calendar frequently and monitor your emails as we add more classes.

Currently we are offering the ABR designation class. This is a two day 8 hour each day course. The dates are September 8th and 15th both from 8:30am-5pm with a 30 minute lunch break. Other breaks will be set by the instructor.

Check out all the info on ABR here to see if you want to participate.

To sign up click for day one and here for day two. Remember you need both days.


On Wednesday, July 15, NBC’s Dateline covered the Beverly Carter Story. As some of you may remember, her son Carl Carter, Jr., was at one of our membership meetings a couple of years ago and spoke about his mother’s abduction and death while showing a home. It was one of the most talked about meetings we have ever had. It is due to Carl Jr. that today you are offered Forewarn FREE as a member benefit. GSMAR is the only association in the state to offer this program to its members at no cost.

Recently Carl Jr. did a safety webinar for the National Association of REALTORS®.

Also, if you would like to view the Dateline story

Please remember mask safety,

wash hands, sanitizer

and social distancing.


In light of the Sevier County mask mandate, which went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 10,

we encourage all members to take this mandate seriously and adhere to it accordingly,

both at your offices and in the community when showing property and

conducting other real estate activities. Also, we encourage you to recommend

your clients and customers do the same.

Locally throughout the pandemic, REALTORS® and our affiliated businesses

have been deemed essential, which comes with both great responsibilities and

opportunities. It means our industry plays a critical role in the community by

ensuring the continuity of functions critical to public health and safety,

as well as economic security.

While private residences are exempt from the mask mandate,

Great Smoky Mountains Association of REALTORS® interprets this exception to mean your

personal residence, NOT other persons’ residences to which you have access throughout your real estate activities.

In addition to the mask mandate, Great Smoky Mountains Association of REALTORS®

continues to encourage our members to adhere to all CDC guidelines throughout your business to

protect your clients, customers, the owners whose properties you’re showing, and yourself.

The public IS watching whether that be in-person, on social media, or via technology

(e.g., security cameras). By being deemed essential, you should seize this opportunity to

demonstrate our industry’s social responsibility to show leadership by following the

mandate, taking safety and health precautions, and following property owners’ related

requests throughout the entire real estate transaction.

Be well, and stay safe!

(Our heartfelt thanks to Carol Seal and the Greater Chattanooga Association of REALTORS®

for sharing this and generously allowing us to personalize and use for our members

and to Katie Johnson, NAR General Counsel/Senior Vice President of Member Experience)

Committee Updates

Awards –

Our C2EX contest is still under way. Congratulations to the following who have already completed C2EX for 2020:

Claudia Dybas Vickie Stanton Kim Goode April Flasher Kim Shinlever Patricia Shepherd Tony Thomas David Owenby Diane Farr Kathy Leedy Joshua James John Houston

If you have completed C2EX in 2020 and do not see your name here, please let the staff know.

Community Involvement –

GSMAR received a $2,000 grant from TN REALTORS® Issues Mobilization money and elected to give the items purchased with the money to Smoky Mountains Area Rescue Ministries (SMARM). GSMAR Board Member Craig Stephenson worked with SMARM to purchase the much-needed items for COVID-19 assistance.

Fundraising –

This committee has a really fun event planned! Stay tuned for details!

Nominating -

applications for officers/directors can be found on Paragon or by calling the Association office (865-453-1248). They are due by September 22. Contact Kathryn Lovell at with questions.


Unfortunately, we have had to postpone our live event at the Titanic until next year. RPAC-A-THON is currently scheduled for September 2.

Thank you to the following who have become Major Investors this year:

Craig Stephenson Kim Shinlever Chris Gonzalez Jerry Sandifer Steve Lane Penny Cowell Vickie Stanton

Scholarship –

Kindergarten grant applications have been moved to November 2 with winners announced December 1. Contact Scott Cline with questions –

Are you as busy as you want to be?

Are you struggling to stay afloat?

The general consensus of the authors of real estate information across the country seem to share similar thinking:

1. Communication. An old-fashioned phone call is a great way to let people know you are a resource that cares.

2. Education. Now is a great time to earn a new designation and/or certification, or master a new skill.

3. Embrace technology. Virtual tours, listing appointments and open houses aren’t going away. While it won’t replace in-person service, having the tools and skills to list and sell homes in any environment will help you lead in your market. Use this time to master technologies like Zoom, GoToMeeting or Facebook Live.

4. Quit Flying Solo. You’re an independent contractor and an entrepreneur. However, connecting with a group of like-minded professionals so that no one has to do all the heavy lifting while navigating these times might be a good idea.

5. Know what’s going on in your area and become a local data expert. Compare local market statistics. Maybe the numbers aren’t that different from last year. It’s not about blurting our information, but helping your prospects make informed decisions.

Thanks to Darryl Davis and Terri Murphy for these suggestions.

There seems to be a misunderstanding about MLS compensation which is not to be confused with MLS cooperation. If you are using RF101 which is the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement (Designated Agency), please refer to lines 82-102 which ask that your seller acknowledge that two different amounts of compensation may be offered: one of those amounts is for a member of the MLS and the other amount is for a non-member.

Also please remember that there are many business plans, and they are not the same. That does not make those plans illegal or unethical. Cooperating Agents may negotiate their share of the commission if they choose to do that.

Follow the directions of your designated broker if you have questions. That person has the ultimate responsibility for their agents and should be consulted to make sure you are in compliance with your company’s business plan.

The following is Section 5 from the GSMAR Rules and Regulations of the Multiple Listing Service. It is a long read but very important.

To be in compliance with the portion of the rules stating “clearly inform the participants as to the compensation…” you may not enter one amount in the compensation field and a different amount in the remarks or addendum areas.


The listing broker shall specify, on each listing filed with the Multiple Listing Service, the compensation offered to other Multiple Listing Service Participants for their services in the sale of such listing. Such offers are unconditional except that entitlement to compensation is determined by the cooperating broker’s performance as the procuring cause of sale (or lease). The listing broker’s obligation to compensate any cooperating broker as the procuring cause of sale (or lease)

may be excused if it is determined through arbitration that, through no fault of the listing broker and in the exercise of good faith and reasonable care, it was impossible or financially unfeasible for the listing broker to collect a commission pursuant to the listing agreement. In such instances, entitlement to cooperative compensation offered through the MLS would be a question to be determined by an arbitration hearing panel based on all relevant facts and circumstances including, but not limited to, why it was impossible or financially unfeasible for the listing broker to collect some or all of the commission established in the listing agreement; at what point in the transaction did the listing broker know (or should have known) that some or all of the commission established in the listing agreement might not be paid; and how promptly had the listing broker communicated to cooperating brokers that the commission established in the listing agreement might not be paid.

In filing a property with the Multiple Listing Service of an Association of REALTORS, the Participant of the Service is making blanket unilateral offers of compensation of the other MLS Participants, and shall therefore specify on each listing filed with the Service, the compensation being offered to the other MLS Participants. Specifying the compensation on each listing is necessary because the cooperating broker has the right to know what his compensation shall be prior to his endeavor to sell.

The listing broker retains the right to determine the amount of compensation offered to other Participants (acting as sub-agents, buyers’ agents, or in other agency or non-agency capacities defined by law) which may be the same or different.

This shall not preclude the listing broker from offering any MLS participant compensation other than the compensation indicated on any listing published by the MLS, provided the listing broker informs the other broker, in writing, in advance of submitting an offer to purchase, and provided that the modification in the specified compensation is not the result of any agreement among all or any other participants in the service. Any superseding offer of compensation must be expressed as either a percentage of the gross sales price or as a flat dollar amount.

The Association Multiple Listing Service shall not have a rule requiring the listing broker to disclose the amount of total negotiated commission in his listing contract, and shall not publish the total negotiated commission on a listing, which has been submitted, to the MLS by a Participant. The Association Multiple Listing Service shall not disclose in any way the total commission negotiated between the seller and the listing broker.

The listing broker may, from time to time, adjust the compensation offered to other multiple listing service participants for their services with respect to any listing by advance published notice to the service so that all participants will be advised.

The multiple listing service shall make no rule on the division of commissions between participants and nonparticipants.

This should remain solely the responsibility of the listing broker.

Multiple listing services, at their discretion, may adopt rules and procedures enabling listing brokers to communicate to potential cooperating brokers that gross commissions established in listing contracts are subject to court approval, and that compensation payable to cooperating brokers may be reduced if the gross commission established in the listing contract is reduced by a court. In such instances, the fact that the gross commission is subject to court approval and either the potential reduction in compensation payable to cooperating brokers or the method by which the potential reduction in compensation will be calculated must be clearly communicated to potential cooperating brokers prior to the time they submit an offer that ultimately results in a successful transaction.

The compensation specified on listing filed with the Multiple Listing Service shall appear in one of two forms. The essential and appropriate requirement by an Association Multiple Listing Service is that the information to be published shall clearly inform the Participants as to the compensation they will receive in cooperative transactions unless advised otherwise by the listing broker in writing in advance of submitting an offer to purchase. The compensation specified on listings published by the MLS shall be shown in one of the following forms:

1. By showing a percentage of the gross selling price.

2. By showing a definite dollar amount.

The Multiple Listing Service shall not include offers of cooperation that do not include an offer of compensation expressed as a percentage of the gross selling price or as a definite dollar amount nor shall they include general invitations by listing brokers to other Participants to discuss terms and conditions of possible cooperative relationships.

Nothing in these MLS rules precludes a listing participant and a cooperating participant, as a matter of mutual agreement, from modifying the cooperative compensation to be paid in the event of a successful transaction.

Multiple listing services must give participants the ability to disclose to other participants any potential for a short

sale. As used in these rules, short sales are defined as a transaction where title transfers, where the sale price is insufficient to pay the total of all liens and costs of sale, and where the seller does not bring sufficient liquid assets to the closing to cure all deficiencies. Multiple listing services may, as a matter of local discretion, require participants to disclose potential short sales when participants know a transaction is a potential short sale. In any instance where a participant discloses a potential short sale, they may, as a matter of local discretion, also be permitted to communicate to other participants how any reduction in the gross commission established in the listing contract required by the lender as a condition of approving the sale will be apportioned between listing and cooperating participants. All confidential disclosures and confidential information related to short sales, if allowed by local rules, must be communicated through dedicated fields or confidential “remarks” available only to participants and subscribers.