What’s the difference between the Buyer Approval and Property Approval paragraphs?

What’s the difference between the Buyer Approval and Property Approval paragraphs in the Third Party Financing Addendum (TAR 1901)?

If a lender denies the buyer’s loan because of his credit history, income, or assets, this falls under Paragraph B(1), Buyer Approval, and your client must terminate within the time required by the blank in that paragraph. However, if a lender will not finance the loan because of something related to the property itself, such as a low appraisal, insurability, or lender-required repairs, this falls under Paragraph B(2), Property Approval. The time period for terminating under this paragraph is any time
before closing.

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Who can use TREC forms

True or false? You must have a real estate license to use the forms posted on the Texas Real Estate Commission’s website.

False. TREC’s forms are public record, so they are available to anyone. However, the forms are primarily intended for use by real estate license holders, who are generally required to use these forms.

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Your zipForm Plus is changing next week

You’ve been able to try the new version of zipForm Plus for several month. Starting December 13, all users will be moved to the new zipForm Plus platform—you don’t need to do anything.

Want to tour the new user interface and learn about the improvements?

Register for a free webinar scheduled for 11 a.m. CST on Tuesday, December 12.

Need other resources to help with the transition?

Visit the zipForm support pages for more answers to your questions about the new platform.

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5 ways reverse mentoring can benefit your business

Have you ever considered what you could learn from the younger agents and brokers in your office? The December Texas REALTOR® Magazine Minute lays out some of the benefits of upending the typical mentor relationship.

Find more insights and articles in the December issue of Texas REALTOR® magazine.

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Is a listing with surveillance technology breaking the law?

Many homeowners now have technology devices in their house that can hear audio or capture video, such as baby monitors or security cameras. But there’s a problem when those devices are being used to covertly record or monitor a buyer’s showing.

Is your sellers’ surveillance putting them at risk?” in Texas REALTOR® magazine outlines what your clients should know about audio and video recording in their homes.

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Pick up the phone before you click that link

You’ve heard of email phishing, spear-phishing (a message designed to target a specific person), and other cybercrime. But how do you protect your business and personal information from these attacks?

Ask yourself the following questions when reviewing or responding to email.

Is this email really from who I think it is?

Email scams often try to spoof an email or sender name that will be familiar to you. Check the email address for numbers that masquerade as letters (e.g., app1e.com versus apple.com) or sender names that don’t match the email address. If the sender name looks suspicious, independently verify the address of the person who supposedly sent the email and separately message them to check its authenticity.

Does something seem wrong with the message?

Suspicious attachments, links with no context, stilted or confusing sentences, or a suspicious level of urgency could all be signs of an email phishing attack. Phishing is designed to prey on human emotions—politeness, curiosity, wanting to help—requiring extra skepticism to evade. If something seems off, trust your gut.

Would this person really send something like this?

The best defense against falling for an email phishing scheme can often be picking up the phone and calling someone to verify the message.

“Cybercrime and wire fraud are the number-one threat to the real estate industry,” said Ronnie Matthews, chairman and principal of Great American Title Company. “We see threats every day. … We have to learn to use the phone again. If something looks odd, don’t click on it. Call the person.”

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TAR wins case that protects you from frivolous patent claims

A patent owned by Uber Technologies Inc. that had been used to bring patent-infringement lawsuits against Texas real estate firms has been invalidated, thanks to legal efforts by the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board agreed with TAR’s argument in a dismissal motion that the patent in question—a method of displaying points of interest on a digital map, such as homes for sales and restaurants—covered claims that are unpatentable. The board wrote in its decision that the Texas Association of REALTORS® “demonstrated by a preponderance of the evidence that the
claims would have been obvious.”

A previous owner of the patent, POI Search Solutions, had sued two real estate firms in Texas in 2015 for infringement. POI Search Solutions was unsuccessful in getting a monetary settlement from either firm and settled for zero dollars with one firm and withdrew its claim against the other.

“We have seen patent-assertion entities—sometimes called patent trolls—go after REALTORS® with frivolous claims of patent infringement,” said TAR Vice President of Legal Affairs Lori Levy. “TAR has taken an aggressive stance against the patent-troll problem to protect our members, and this was a huge win in that battle.”

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