On Thursday, October 12th, 200+ BOMA Members and Friends gathered at Hatch Fenway, Boston for our Annual Fallfest. Thank you all for joining us! Thank you sponsors for your support, and Samuels & Associates for hosting! 

To view photos from the evening, please click here.
BOMA Fallfest
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Did you miss our October 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

October E-News
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Did you miss our September 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

September E-News
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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

August E-News
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The following article was written by GBAR member and Past President of MAR, Peter Casey.

Why is protecting your real estate interests so important to home buyers and sellers?  For many folks, their home is their single largest asset and entrusting its purchase or sale to a real estate agent is a serious decision worthy of careful thought. As REALTORS® we are on the front line of homeownership. Choosing the right “agent” for your particular circumstances, and ensuring that agent understands his or her responsibilities, may prove critical to a satisfactory outcome.

 “Agent” or “Agency” is an ancient legal concept bringing with it specific duties and responsibilities attributable to both the Agent and a Principal.  Fully understanding these duties and responsibilities, and properly applying them in the everyday conduct our business, is a legal requirement. Failing to do so could result in the loss of our license to practice, or worse!    

Let’s begin with the definition of “Agency”. “Agency is defined as a fiduciary relationship between two parties in which one (the 'agent') is under the control of (is obligated to) the other (the 'principal'). The agent is authorized by the principal to perform certain acts, for and on behalf of the principal. The principal is bound by the acts of the agent, performed in carrying out entrusted duties and within the scope of agent's authority. An agency can be created by (1) express agreement, whether oral or written, (2) implication, based on the custom or practice of the trade, or (3) conduct of the principal. Under the legal doctrine of estoppel, the principal is prohibited from denying the existence of a properly constituted agency.”  (Read more at: http://www.businessdictionary.com/definition/agency.html)  

Twelve years ago, the Massachusetts Legislature and the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons modified the standards of practice for real estate professionals to require that they disclose the types of “agency relationships” available to consumers seeking to buy or sell a home (“Mandatory Licensee Consumer Relationship Disclosure”) and by expanding the possibilities for brokerage companies to represent both buyers and sellers. Fully informing our clients in advance about the relationships available to them will clarify expectations and help insure a successful transaction.  

All residential real estate transactions in Massachusetts must begin, at the first in-person meeting with a consumer to discuss a real estate transaction, with a full discussion of the types of agency relationships available to consumers as described in the “Mandatory Licensee Consumer Relationship Disclosure” form. This is not a contract; it is a formal disclosure which you will ask consumers to sign, acknowledging that you have made the disclosure. They may refuse to do sign, without consequence to them, but you should note their refusal if they do not sign.   

You and your client will choose, from among the several Licensee/Consumer relationships available, the one suitable to the transaction contemplated.  The simplest of these is defined either as Seller Agency, a relationship between a homeowner (principal) and a broker/agent hired to sell his or her home, or as Buyer Agency, the relationship between a buyer and the broker/agent hired to represent him or her to accomplish that task. In either case, you owe your clients the duties of a fiduciary, that is: honesty, accountability, undivided loyalty, obedience and reasonable care and diligence to the principal. (More on the meaning of these duties in another article.) In other words, you must always act in your clients’ best interest.  Easy to say, but not always easy to do in practice.   

 But there is more and it gets more complicated!  Massachusetts and other states have defined other relationships which you or your broker might choose to employ. You know, I am sure, that the agency relationship you and your client choose is with your broker in charge (“designated broker”), not with you, personally.  Clients pay the broker, not the agent; agents cannot accept direct compensation. The broker with whom you are affiliated shares the compensation paid to him or her with you according to your company’s policies. Some of you may be licensed brokers, as opposed to licensed salespersons, and choose to be affiliated with a designated or managing broker for convenience. Even if you are a licensed broker, so long as you affiliate with a managing or designated broker, you may not receive compensation directly, it must come through your designated broker.  

Designated brokers typically represent both buyers and sellers through their agents and, as a result, could theoretically have conflicts when, for example, a buyer client wishes to purchase a home offered for sale by that same broker. It is impossible for any broker to fully discharge his or her fiduciary duties while representing both sides of the transaction! In fairness, it is important to note that some brokers choose to represent only buyers (buyer’s brokers) or only sellers (listing brokers).  Those firms who choose to represent both buyers and sellers likely adopt a business model called “designated agency”. Here the broker “designates” one agent to represent the buyer and another to represent the seller thus allowing each agent the ability to provide the full fiduciary duties required.  An invisible barrier must exist between the agents to protect the confidentiality of both buyers and sellers. Brokers choose to operate with different business models and with different business practices; be sure you understand exactly how your company has chosen to operate.  

Ok, but what happens if you are working with a buyer and a seller interested in the same property? Well, the Massachusetts solution is a relationship called “dual agency”. This allows you to represent both parties to the transaction.  To do so you must obtain the informed written consent of both parties after providing notice to both that the situation exists. The law says: “The dual agent shall be neutral with regard to any conflicting interest of the seller and buyer.  Consequently, a dual agent cannot satisfy fully the duties of loyalty, full disclosure, obedience to lawful instructions, which is required of a seller or buyer agent. A dual agent does, however, still owe a duty of confidentially of material information and accounting for funds.”   

That’s the law but, in my personal experience, this relationship can be difficult and confusing to both agents and consumers. I prefer to avoid this relationship but recognize that others may be very comfortable as dual agents.  In fact, some companies use a business model that purports to be dual agency only.  In the final analysis, even if you and your company choose to practice dual agency, the choice is always up to the consumer!  

Finally, Massachusetts allows for “Non-Agent Facilitators”.  This relationship requires that the “non-agent facilitator” assist a seller and/or buyer in reaching an agreement but does not represent either the buyer or the seller in the transaction.  The facilitator, and the broker with whom the facilitator is affiliated, both owe the buyer and seller a duty to present all real property honestly and accurately by disclosing known defects and owes a duty to account for funds.  Unless otherwise agreed, the facilitator has no duty to keep information received from a seller or buyer confidential.”    

At some point in a facilitator transaction, a consumer may wish to have an agency relationship with you.  You may accommodate that consumer, however, before becoming his or her agent, I strongly advise full disclosure of the circumstances to the other party to the transaction and a full explanation of how the change will affect your duties and responsibilities to each party. Keep in mind that the party you do not represent may then choose another form of representation, maybe a dual agency relationship, or they may seek to work with another agent.  Our actions have consequences.  

It is important to note that brokerages may choose from many different business models and/or office practices.  All must comply with the law regardless of which model or business practices they use.  Knowing exactly how your company operates will help you avoid conflicts with your designated broker.  One more thing to consider, the Massachusetts Statute of Frauds requires that all real estate transactions must be in writing to be enforceable. Although much work has been done either by the Commonwealth or by various Realtor® associations to provided generally accepted forms to accomplish this, it is always advisable for consumers to hire an attorney, familiar with real estate law and experienced with transactions, to represent their interests. In my twenty-five plus years in the business, 

I have never seen a standard form agreement that was not modified by attorneys to protect a client’s specific interests. Attorneys hired by a mortgage provider represent the mortgage company, not the consumer.  Remember, if you are not a licensed attorney, do not attempt to give legal advice or modify contract language!  Instead, advise your client to hire a competent attorney.   
Agency Relationships- An Agent’s Perspective
GBAR
On Wednesday, October 5th, the Boston City Council voted 10-3 to support “just cause” eviction.  The three lawmakers who voted in opposition to the measure were Bill Linehan (District-2), Sal LaMattina (District-1) and Tim McCarthy (District-5).  The bill, which is opposed by the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB), will be sent as a Home Rule Petition to the State House for further consideration.  Chyna Tyler (D-Boston) has indicated she will sponsor the bill.   

For several years Boston City Council has discussed “just cause” eviction. Proponents of “just cause” have not only advocated for limiting evictions but limiting rents as well.  In 2017 The “Jim Brooks Stabilization Act” bill was introduced.  In March, the bill was heard by the Committee on Government Operations. During a subsequent working session, the Committee discussed narrowing the bill to focus on three goals, first educating tenants on their rights, second asking the landlord to notify the City regarding evictions and third improving data collection on evictions in the City. The Committee also discussed dividing the original “Jim Brooks” bill into two bills-an Ordinance and a Home Rule petition.  On Monday, October 2nd, the Committee issued its recommendations by splitting the Jim Brooks Act into two bills.  The Home Rule petition was approved by the Council on Wednesday and the Ordinance is still pending before the Council. 

GBREB opposes the Home Rule Petition as overly broad in scope and for imposing significant penalties for violation.  The bill applies when any form of notice to quit or notice of non-renewal is served on an occupant. This is far beyond the initial scope and purpose of the original legislation which was to address “no-fault” evictions of long-term Boston residents. The current bill would now expand its application to non-payment of rent cases, cause evictions for material lease violations, drug evictions, etc.
Measure to Limit Eviction Passed by Boston City Council
GBAR
In its 2017 Remodeling Impact Report, NAR’s Research Department studied why homeowners complete outdoor projects, as well as the value these projects can bring to a home and the overall increased happiness homeowners feel upon the project’s completion.

The report highlights the impact of curb appeal factors such as lawn type, lawn care, landscaping, patios and decks, and values the return on investments for such projects. Among outdoor projects, new roofing, vinyl windows and a new garage door were ranked in the top three by REALTORS® to add value, while kitchen renovations, upgrades and bathroom renovations were listed as key remodels for home resale.

“REALTORS® understand which remodeling projects and home upgrades will bring the most value to homeowners, whether they are remodeling with the hope of impressing potential buyers, bringing in higher offers or gaining more equity in the home,” said NAR President William E. Brown, in a press release issued by NAR. “REALTORS® also understand that many of these projects are undertaken solely to get more enjoyment from spending time at home. No matter the objectives, REALTORS® have unique and invaluable insights into how renovations and remodeling will bring the most benefit to homeowners.”

NAR also released an infographic about the report.
NAR Report Identifies Interior and Outdoor Renovations That Add The Most Value
GBAR
Last month, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) updated 105 CMR 460.000 Lead Poisoning Prevention and Control. This regulation governs the statewide program for the prevention and control of childhood lead poisoning. The updated regulations are effective December 1 2017.

The new regulations lower the definition of lead poising from a blood test result of 25 ug/dl or greater to 10 ug/dl. They also lower the level considered dangerous to a child’s immediate health from between 15-24 ug/dl to 5-0 ug/dl. In addition changes were made to the lead abatement standards that would make Massachusetts more consistent with federal standards, which included making assessable surfaces intact. According to DPH the proposed changes would reduce costs by approximately one-third as an incentive for preventative deleading.   

The updated regulations were based in part on the recommendations of the Governor’s Advisory Committee for the Childhood Lead Poising Prevention Program which examined the scientific basis for updating the code.  The regulations had not been fully reviewed and updated since 2000.

In Massachusetts when a child is identified as poisoned there is mandatory code enforcement of the law including inspections and deleading, clinical case management services for the child and the property owner is liable for damages if the property in not in compliance.     
 
DPH Memo, September 13, 2017
Preventative Deleading Costs to Decline Under New DPH Regs
GBAR
This year, three GBAR members have achieved life membership status. This achievement is recognized at the local association level and recognizes members for both their longevity in the real estate industry and their many volunteer contributions to the REALTOR® organization.  To attain life membership members must meet three criteria: hold a current broker or salesperson license in Massachusetts; be a member in good standing with GBREB for no less than 10 years and a member of the REATLTOR® organization for a minimum of 30 years and; have served on local association committees and in leadership roles for at least 10 years. The following members have achieved lifetime membership this year:

Russell Arico of American Hallmark REALTORS® in Arlington
Carolyn Chodat of Classic Property REALTORS® in Medway
Robert Mailey of Century 21 North Shore & O’Neil in North Reading

For those interested in applying for life membership, access this GBAR Life Membership Application
Three GBAR Members Achieve Life Member Status
GBAR
A persistent short supply of homes as well as record-high monthly median sale prices contributed to a slight softening of sales of detached single-family homes and condominium sales during the month of August in Greater Boston, according to data released today by the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).

With 1,597 single-family detached homes sold in August 2017, it was the sixth highest sales total for the month, and was a 7.2 percent decrease in sales volume from the August record-high of 1,721 homes sold in August 2016. This is the fifth consecutive month that the single-family sales total has dropped on a year-to-year basis; however the August sales volume is 3.7 percent higher than those in July (1,540 homes sold). The condo market also experienced a softening in sales as 1,161 condos were sold in August 2017, which is a 4.7 percent drop in volume from the 1,218 units sold in August 2016. This was the tenth most active August on record in Greater Boston and compares favorably to the sales pace of July 2017 when 1,159 units were sold.

“Although sales activity has eased over the past year, there’s been little let up in buyer demand this summer,” said GBAR President Melody Skye Roloff, an agent with EXIT Realty Beatrice Associates in Middleton.  “We’re reaping the benefits of a strong local economy, with steady job gains, population growth, and low mortgage rates, all giving buyers the confidence to enter the market.  As a result we simply don’t have enough homes to sell.” 

The median sales price for single-family homes reached a new record high price for the month of August at $610,000 which is a 6.1 percent increase on the August 2016 median sales price of $575,000. Likewise, the median sales price for condos reached a new high for the month of August at $535,000, up 7.0 percent from the August 2016 median sales price of $500,000.

 “It remains a seller’s market as the depleted inventory continues to put upward pressure on prices and forces buyers to make decisions quickly, often in competitive bidding situations,” observed Roloff.  “While we typically see a decline in buyer traffic in the fall, we don’t anticipate market conditions changing much before next year, so homeowners contemplating listing their home for sale should feel confident in doing so.”    

Indeed, both markets experienced a significant decline in days to off market during August, as single-family homes dropped from 59 days to off market in August 206 to 45 last month, a change of 23.7 percent. The condo market saw a 25 percent drop in its days t off market figure, falling from 48 days in August 2016 to 36 this year.

For additional information regarding August 2017 Greater Boston Housing statistics, including our new interactive housing market data dashboard, visit the Monthly Housing Market Reports on our website. 
 
Greater Boston Home Sales Soften in August as Inventory Lags
GBAR

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!
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Thank You To All Who Helped Support The Gala!

This year, REFA held its 29th Annual Gala on Wednesday, October 4th at the Boston Marriott Copley Place with 500 in attendance. Stephen Karp and Steven Fischman of New England Development were both honored with the Robert S. Swain, Jr. Distinguished Service Award.

For photos from the event, please click here
Thank You For Supporting: 29th Annual REFA Gala
REFA
REFA Membership Discount

Join NOW FOR 2018 & Receive the remainder of 2017 for free! 

REFA is currently in its prorated membership period. Interested in joining? Learn more here!

Prorated Membership Period!
REFA

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
GBAR
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
GBAR
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
GBAR
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
GBAR
"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
GBAR
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
GBAR
In recognition of September as REALTOR® Safety Month, NAR has published its 2017 Member Safety Report as one of the many resources and tools in its REALTOR® safety program to help agents and brokers develop and update their professional safety protocols.

Most notably, the report found that the top three procedures REALTORS® follow to stay safe are:
- Taking a self-defense class (39% of members have participated)
-Taking a REALTOR® safety course (20%)
-Meeting prospective buyers and sellers in a real estate office or neutral location, before first viewing a home (50%)

Overall, the report contains results from a survey of more than 3,200 REALTORS® regarding:
How safe or unsafe they feel;
The root causes of any unsafe feelings;
Steps or procedures they follow to ensure safety and;
What methods of self-defense they use.

Alarmingly, over half of REALTORS® surveyed said their real estate brokerage had no safety protocols or policies, or they were unaware if any existing, while just 44% were aware of their offices safety protocols. Additionally, the report indicates that 38 % of real estate professionals surveyed had experienced a situation that made them fear for their personal safety, or safety of their personal information. The report also shows that among those who participated in a REALTOR® safety course, 71% feel more prepared for unknown situation after taking a course.

For more information, visit the full report or view and as always check the REALTOR® Safety site for more information.
Top Three Procedures REALTORS® Practice to Stay Safe
GBAR

Upcoming Events

Event
CBA November Breakfast: Advanced Industrial RE Brokerage
Atlantic Wharf
8:00am