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GBREB Foundation raises record amount for student scholarships in 2017

On June 2, 2017, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board Foundation held its annual scholarship breakfast where almost 50 college scholarships were awarded to students from the Greater Boston area.  The scholarships are “Last Dollar In,” scholarships designed to complement and provide additional resources to a student without affecting the financial aid they receive from their school. 

Ron Druker was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his passionate commitment to education, the arts and improving the quality of life for people in the Greater Boston area.  John Barros, the Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston was honored as a “First One,” which an award is recognizing that he was the first person in his family to attend college.  In addition, 15 students received summer internships in the real estate field at a host of commercial and residential real estate companies in Boston.   

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board Scholarship Fund was established in 2012 with the goal of helping economically disadvantaged young people attend and graduate from college by providing them with scholarship assistance and financial aid counseling. In order to accomplish their mission, GBREB partnered with uAspire, a Boston-based organization that has been helping students from low-income families find an affordable path to a postsecondary education since 1985.

Now in its fifth year, the GBREB Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in 'last dollar' scholarships that are granted for the purpose of filling the gap between students' financial aid and the costs of college beyond tuition – such as room and board, computers, books and supplies to graduating seniors in the Greater Boston area. Scholarships of $1,000-$5,000 are awarded to students each spring based on financial need, academic achievement, leadership, extra-curricular involvement, and short written essays, and are guaranteed for two years. These scholarships can sometimes be the determining factor as to whether or not a low-income student will attend college.

The GBREB Foundation Scholarship Fund Leadership Breakfast, first held in 2015, was envisioned as a way to honor the students receiving the GBREB Foundation scholarship awards as well as the donors who contributed to the fund. Now held annually, the breakfast simultaneously recognizes Massachusetts business, government, education, nonprofit and community leaders with the uAspire First One Award, given to those individuals who were the first in their families to graduate from college and make noteworthy contributions to their field and society at large.

GBREB Foundation


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At GBAR, we want to make sure you have the information and services you need, when you need them. That's why we are conducting a member needs assessment this year to get insight from our members on how we can better serve you. Feedback from this survey will be used as part of our strategic planning and budget processes for 2018 and beyond.

When you complete this survey, your name will automatically be entered into a drawing to win one of two (2) Free Annual local REALTOR® dues for 2018 (a value of $206 for agents and $380 value for broker-owners) or one of four (4) VISA® gift cards valued at $50 each.

Your input matters! To have your feedback counted, and to enter into the drawing, please complete the survey prior to the deadline of Tuesday, September 26th, at midnight.

Complete GBAR Member Needs Survey for Chance to Win Free 2018 Dues

Save the Date: 2017 BOMA Boston TOBY & Industry Awards

Thursday, November 16, 2017
Boston Marriott Copley Place | 110 Huntington Ave., Boston
5:30 - 9:00 p.m.

Save the date for our Annual Local TOBY & Industry Awards show on November 16th! Join us for a fun night of networking with over 550 commercial real estate professionals and to 
celebrate industry excellence and achievements!

Featuring Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, John "Jack" Spurr, President, A.W. Perry, Inc.

Thank you Platinum Sponsor

More information coming soon.

TOBY & Industry Awards - Just Under 2 Months Away!

Did you miss our August Newsletter? Find out what BOMA Boston is offering for upcoming events and education this Fall! Read more about the 2017 TOBY & Industry Awards and current information from BOMA International.

Download this month's ENews

BOMA Boston August ENews
In support of REALTORS® and property owners impacted by the  hurricanes and wildfires occurring throughout the US late this summer, the GBAR Board of Directors has approved a $10,000 contribution to the REALTOR® Relief Foundation. The Foundation will funnel funds through state and local associations in the affected areas to provide mortgage assistance, temporary housing, as well as property clean up and renovation services. Funds from the GBAR donation will be made through the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) Foundation, utilizing dollars voluntarily contributed by GBAR members during the membership renewal process.

We invite individual members who wish to support REALTORS® and property owners impacted by these natural disasters,  to donate directly to the REALTORS® Relief Foundation by clicking here.
GBAR Shows Support for Victims of Natural Disasters
On August 18, 2017, both Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, collectively the Government Sponsored Entities (GSEs), announced they would allow for the use of their proprietary automated valuation tools in lieu of traditional appraisals for some purchase loan transactions.

Freddie Mac will utilize their automated collateral evaluation (ACE) to determine home value by using data from multiple listing services and public records as well as their own data of historical home values to determine collateral risks. Homes must have an 80% or lower loan to value, be a one unit single-family residence, and the borrower’s primary residence. Prior appraisals on the property are not required. Lenders will find out if a property is eligible for ACE by submitting the loan data through Freddie Mac's Loan Product Advisor®. Freddie Mac does not have an estimate for how many loans will be affected. ACE was made available for qualifying home purchase loans on September 1, 2017.

Fannie Mae will allow lenders to receive a Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) on certain one-unit principal residence and second home purchase transactions with loan to value ratios up to 80%. Home value is determined through Fannie Mae's data based valuation methods. Unlike Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae will require that the property in question have a prior appraisal in electronic format that has been analyzed by Fannie Mae's Collateral Underwriter®. Lenders must submit the loan data through Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter®. Fannie Mae anticipates no more than 5% of loans will be affected, but that could change in the future. PIWs for purchase loans are available immediately.
GSEs Appraisal-Free Purchase Mortgages
This year’s GBAR Roadshow Conference and Expo is uniquely focused on guiding our members on the path to success. Whether you are a newer agent, or an industry veteran, our variety of session speakers will introduce fresh ideas and ways to approach the real estate business and will leave you with new strategies you can implement immediately. 

Our first session speaker is Hoss Pratt, a nationally-known authority and speaker who leads discussions on how real estate brokers and agents can supercharge their businesses. At the Roadshow, Hoss will focus on time management skills and how you can better utilize your time and existing skill set to convert prospects into clients and your fence sitters into sellers.

The second session is extremely pertinent in our market as Maura Neill, a REALTOR®, national speaker and instructor, will discuss how to run a real estate business in a low inventory market. From handling multiple offer situations to addressing the psychology of an unrealistic seller, she’ll shed light on how REALTORS® can find the path to success, even when the housing supply is low. 

Lastly, Jimmy Mackin, the co-founder of the Boston-based digital marketing company Curyator will be showcasing how REALTORS® can leverage Facebook to create lead generation and conversion. As today’s digital landscape continues to grow, creating and fostering an online presence is vital and this presentation will show you how you can use targeted ads and content on Facebook to your current, prospective and future clients and how to reap the benefits. Whether you are using Facebook, are new to Facebook or have yet to discover this powerful marketing tool, you’ll leave Jimmy’s presentation with a new understanding of how to leverage this platform to grow your business.

For more details on the GBAR Roadshow and all of our speakers, including Keynote Speaker Jean Chatzky, check out our website and sign up today!
Experts Share How to Build an Online Presence, Succeed in a Low Inventory Market
"Coming Soon” signs and listings have been causing issues in our industry for some time now. We address this issue weekly on the GBAR Brokerage Counseling Hotline.  It is imperative for you to know the differences between legitimate and improper coming soon listings, and best practice tips for how you can use them in your business. Please watch the NAR Window to the Law: "Coming Soon" Listings Best Practices and/or read the below article. 

A “coming soon” listing is a listed or unlisted property that is not available for showing or sale until a later date. “Coming soon” can be a legitimate advertising technique. They allow the owners more time to complete repairs, pack, or otherwise ready the property for showing or sale. A legitimate “coming soon” complies with state law, MLS rules, and NAR’s Code of Ethics.

On the other hand, improper coming soon listings violate state law, MLS rules, and NAR’s Code of Ethics because they are used to circumvent the MLS, to market the property to a select group of people, or to ensure a buyer uses the listing broker for the transaction.

Our best practice tips will help you avoid improper coming soon listings. But first, let’s talk about what makes them improper. Well, they violate state licensing laws and NAR’s Code of Ethics in a number of ways. For example, state law and the Code both require real estate professionals to act in the best interest of their clients, but improper coming soon listings serve the listing broker’s interest ahead of the client’s interest. State law and the Code also both require truth in advertising, while improper coming soon listings are misleading and inaccurate.

Improper coming soon listings could also violate your MLS’s rules. MLSs facilitate real estate transactions as a consolidated source of accurate property information and as a private offer of cooperation and compensation. They function at their best when information is complete. Improper “coming soon” listings compromise that accuracy and undermine cooperation amongst real estate professionals. That’s why many MLSs have strict rules to ensure proper use of coming soon.

As coming soon listings gain popularity, real estate commissions are taking notice and offering guidance on how to use them without breaking state law. Most recently, the Idaho Real Estate Commission issued Guidance #8. The document recognizes that some coming soon listings are legitimate while others are “nefarious”, and the determination is fact specific. The Idaho Real Estate Commission emphasizes that marketing a property to only a limited pool of potential buyers for the purpose of, for example, pocketing more of the sales commission, violates state law because the professional is not acting in the client’s best interest.

The Nebraska Real Estate Commission’s guidance document No. 40 lists four criteria for permissible “coming soon” advertising based on Nebraska’s advertising law. (1) the advertising broker must have an active listing agreement in place; (2) the advertising must be done in the name in which the broker does business and under the broker’s supervision; (3) the advertising must be done with the property owner’s, or his or her authorized agent’s, knowledge and written consent; and (4) the listing must in fact be “coming soon” and not currently being shown or marketed to a limited group.
So, don’t risk lawsuits by dissatisfied clients or disciplinary action by your real estate commission or MLS due to your use of “coming soon”. Instead, follow these best practice tips to properly and effectively use coming soon listings.

First, always confirm that your advertising is legal under state licensing laws and regulations. Massachusetts Law and Regulations does not specially address coming soon listings but do not appear to be illegal under our laws.  Second, consult your MLS about any rules or requirements for coming soon listings. Third, identify a compelling reason for why a “coming soon” listing is in your client’s best interest, explain the limitations and potential pit falls of coming soon to your clients, and document their consent to use a coming soon listing in writing. Fourth, always have a signed representation agreement with your client. And finally, make sure that the “coming soon” restriction is applied equally to all potential buyers.

These best practices will help protect you, your clients, and your fellow real estate professionals.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact NAR or GBAR Legal Counsel. 
Coming Soon Listing Best Practices
Obtaining a copy of the new “Closing Disclosure” from your client for your files is now allowed by CFPB? 

On July 7, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released the final rule amending the “Know Before You Owe” (KBYO or TRID) mortgage disclosure rule. As advocated for by NAR, the final rule clarifies the ability to share the Closing Disclosure (CD) with third parties - a victory for real estate professionals nationwide.

As outlined in the 2016 proposed rule, the final rule highlights an existing exception within the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA) and implementing Regulation P that allows lenders to share the CD with third parties (sections 502(e)(1) and 509(7)(A)). The CFPB recognizes the CD as a “record of the transaction,” which is “informative to real estate agents and others representing both the consumer credit and real estate portions of residential real estate sales transactions.” The CFPB notes that CD sharing is permissible to the extent it is consistent with GLBA and Regulation P and is not barred by applicable State law.

The final rule was published in the Federal Register on August 11, making it effective on October 10, 2017. Mandatory compliance is required by October 1, 2018.  

Would this be considered personal information that falls under the data security regulations? 

It is likely that the CD would be considered personal information under Massachusetts law and fall under Written Information Security Plan (WISP) regulations (see previous The Informer article regarding data security regulations). This is because the CD asks for the “loan ID number” which falls within the definition of personal information if in fact it is also the loan number for the mortgage. Care should be taken to ensure that all copies of the CD are reasonably secure and protected. 

To find out more about this topic, visit NAR’s CFPB webpage for information and resources. 
Mass. WISP Law Applies to New CD Document


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