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Newton Centre Realty, Inc v David Jaffe

Newton Center Realty, Inc. V David Jaffe
Massachusetts Appeals Court
No. 19-P-1082
Argued 3/3/20-Decided 6/23/20

On June 23, 2020 the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided a case of first impression in the Commonwealth regarding brokerage fees.  The question addressed was does the death of a seller terminate a real estate brokerage agreement between the seller and a broker.

Facts: 
In 2017 a seller entered into three exclusive brokerage agreement to sell two residential properties in Brookline and one in Newton.  The agreements were on standard GBREB forms.  Under each agreement the broker was entitled to a four percent commission.  The seller died and the seller’s son sold the properties independent of the broker, but within the exclusivity period of the agreements that had been properly executed.  The broker sued the Sellers estate and was unsuccessful at trial.  The case was brought up on appeal. This issue had not been decided under Massachusetts law.  

Decision: 
The agreements here created a principal-agent relationship that entitled the broker to a commission if Shirley’s (the Seller) properties were sold within the exclusivity period.  They did not confer an interest in the property.  Accordingly, Shirley’s death terminated the agency relationship, and the broker was not entitled to recover contract damages from Shirley’s estate.  The Superior Court judge properly dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. 
The Appeals Court upheld the lower court ruling that the death of the seller terminated the agency relationship, and the broker was not entitled to a commission.
 



Broker Fee Appeals Court Decision
GBREB
 

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REFA Members,

2020 has been an unexpected year, and REFA thanks you for your continued support of our organization. 
Click on the photo below to view a special video message from the 2020 REFA Board.
REFA Board Video
GBREB

Did you miss our July Newsletter? Read about upcoming BOMA Boston events, news, and educational opportunities!

Read the July BOMA Enews.

July 2020 E-News
GBREB

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Check out the July edition of the MAA Insider- featuring highlights from past events, information on upcoming events plus local and national multifamily news.

Read the July MAA Insider.
MAA Insider - July 2020
MAA

BOMA Boston is proud of our members by giving back to the community, always, but especially in these times. See below for some good stories during these troubling times.
If your company or a peer is doing something great to give back, feel free to email Courtney McHugh, cmchugh@gbreb.com to be featured on this page.


BOMA is proud of our Benefit Sponsors who generously donated their sponsorship dollars and dozens of members who purchased raffle tickets online for a combined total of $45,000 that we were able to donate to our charitable partner, Bridge Over Troubled Waters! Every year, Bridge Over Troubled Waters serves over 2,000 homeless, runaway and at-risk youth. Right now, with schools closed, many hourly jobs shut down, and some unsafe home environments, Bridge provides crucial shelter, food, resources and social services for the youth of Boston. Click here to view their website and donate!

Rockhill Management's highly anticipated Food Hall, High Street Place, was set to open in March between Federal Street and High Street in Boston.  Although the doors have not yet opened, several of the restaurant partner's are still there cooking meals for front-line workers during the COVID-19 crisis in hospitals in the Greater Boston area. Click here for the full story. 

In March 2020, Siena Construction completed a fast-track laboratory conversion project for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, providing an important addition to the scientific research challenges posed by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Click here to view the full story.

BOMA Members from Progroup Contracting are raising funds to purchase Ipads for local hospitals with COVID-19 patients to ensure that they are able to connect with their loved ones. Click here to donate.

By purchasing meals through Feed the Frontlines Boston, you will help fuel the extraordinary efforts of our city's healthcare workers while also supporting our local restaurants and employees. With your support Viga Italian Eatery and Shed's BBQ can delivery healthy, fresh and free meals to Boston's amazing doctors, nurses and medical staff. Click here to take action!




BOMA Gives Back!
GBREB
Article Courtesy of: Banker & Tradesman

The Federal Housing Administration and the Federal Housing Finance Agency have extended their COVID-19 foreclosure and eviction moratoriums for the second time, this time for two months.

The FHA’s measures will expire Aug. 31. A first extension issued mid-May would have expired June 30. The measures cover homeowners with FHA-insured Title II single family mortgages and including reverse mortgages.

In its announcement, the FHA encouraged mortgage servicers to: halt all new foreclosure actions and suspend all foreclosure actions currently in process, excluding legally vacant or abandoned properties, and cease all evictions from FHA-insured single family properties, excluding actions to evict occupants of legally vacant or abandoned properties.

“While the economic recovery is already underway, many American families still need more time and assistance to regain their financial footing,” HUD Secretary Ben Carson said in a statement. “Our foreclosure and eviction extension means that these families will not have to worry about losing their home as they work to recover from the financial impacts of COVID-19.”

Homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages should continue to make their mortgage payments during the foreclosure and eviction moratorium if they are able to do so, HUD said, or seek mortgage payment forbearance from their mortgage servicer under the terms of the CARES Act , if needed.

Under that legislation, mortgage servicers are required to:
Offer borrowers with FHA-insured mortgages up to a year of delayed mortgage payment forbearance when the borrower requests it. FHA does not require a lump sum payment at the end of the forbearance period.
Assess borrowers who receive COVID-19 forbearance for its special COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim before the end of the forbearance period. The COVID-19 National Emergency Standalone Partial Claim puts all deferred mortgage payment amounts owed into a junior lien which is only repaid when the borrower sells the home, refinances the mortgage, or the mortgage is otherwise extinguished.

The FHFA also extended its single-family moratorium on foreclosures and evictions until at least Aug. 31. The foreclosure moratorium applies only to single-family mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The current moratorium was set to expire on June 30.

“To protect borrowers and renters during the pandemic we are extending the Enterprises’ foreclosure and eviction moratorium,” FHFA Director Mark Calabria said in a statement. “During this national health emergency no one should worry about losing their home.”
FHA and FHFA Extend Foreclosure and Eviction Moratorium
GBAR
REALTOR® DAY ON THE HILL GOES VIRTUAL! 

If you have never attended REALTOR® Day on the Hill then here’s your chance to participate in the comfort of your own home without going into Boston. REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill is YOUR chance to let legislators know your opinions and concerns facing the real estate industry. Learn about the key legislative issues in 2020 that will affect the real estate industry and private property rights. Attend REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill to get up close and personal with legislators and make an impact on the legislative process! 

2020 Legislative Priorities Talking Points

 
We encourage you to register and attend one or more of our upcoming meetings with state legislators from GBAR’s local regions:
All virtual events begin at 10:00 a.m.
 
 DATE             REGION
Wed., July 8    Metro Boston  
Mon., July 13    Central Middlesex
Thurs. July 16   Eastern Middlesex
Mon., July 20    Metro West
Mon., July 27  Southern Norfolk  
Find your region by town via the map below!

GBAR Regional Map

Click here to register!


Questions? Contact Jeff Pappas at 617-224-9303 or jpappas@gbreb.com
REALTOR® Day on the Hill Goes Virtual
GBAR
GBREB NEWS

Newton Centre Realty, Inc v David Jaffe

Newton Center Realty, Inc. V David Jaffe
Massachusetts Appeals Court
No. 19-P-1082
Argued 3/3/20-Decided 6/23/20

On June 23, 2020 the Massachusetts Appeals Court decided a case of first impression in the Commonwealth regarding brokerage fees.  The question addressed was does the death of a seller terminate a real estate brokerage agreement between the seller and a broker.

Facts: 
In 2017 a seller entered into three exclusive brokerage agreement to sell two residential properties in Brookline and one in Newton.  The agreements were on standard GBREB forms.  Under each agreement the broker was entitled to a four percent commission.  The seller died and the seller’s son sold the properties independent of the broker, but within the exclusivity period of the agreements that had been properly executed.  The broker sued the Sellers estate and was unsuccessful at trial.  The case was brought up on appeal. This issue had not been decided under Massachusetts law.  

Decision: 
The agreements here created a principal-agent relationship that entitled the broker to a commission if Shirley’s (the Seller) properties were sold within the exclusivity period.  They did not confer an interest in the property.  Accordingly, Shirley’s death terminated the agency relationship, and the broker was not entitled to recover contract damages from Shirley’s estate.  The Superior Court judge properly dismissed the complaint for failure to state a claim. 
The Appeals Court upheld the lower court ruling that the death of the seller terminated the agency relationship, and the broker was not entitled to a commission.
 



Broker Fee Appeals Court Decision
GBREB
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Jay Thompson

Now is the time to give your web presence a second look. Follow these steps to create a profile potential buyers will gravitate toward

Your real estate agent profiles — those pages scattered about the internet that invariably include your photo, an “about me” section, and maybe areas to display your listings and past sales — are often the first places potential buyers or sellers will find you as they begin the process of deciding which agent to hire.

Given that reality, real estate agent profiles should be crafted with care and consideration. After all, you’re marketing yourself, so you want to put your best foot forward anywhere you have the opportunity to connect with a potential client.
Yet the web is filled with — let’s be honest — some pretty bad profile pages. You know the type: fuzzy images, outdated copy, sales speak. The list of grievances is almost endless.

Why are some profiles disasters while others are marketing masterpieces?

I don’t know. Maybe some real estate agents aren’t sure why profiles matter or don’t understand how to make them consumer-friendly. Crafting a good one probably seems overwhelming. Often, people quickly build a profile page and never look at it again.
Whatever the reasons for subpar online profiles, now is the time to give your web presence a second look. Start pulling up your profile pages, and ask yourself a few questions:

Let’s take a closer look at each of these focal points.

Pick the right photo

Have you ever seen marketing material from a real estate agent and said to yourself, “Wow, I wonder how old that picture is?”

You know you have.

Don’t be the person in that photo! You don’t need to update your headshot every six months, but if you’re using an image that looks more like your high school yearbook photo than something taken in the past couple of years, it’s time to make a change. “Glamour Shots” were a thing — 30 years ago. Today, not so much.

Avoid the “headshots” that are simply logos. People want to connect with you, not a logo. Ditto with your dog, your cell phone, a “Just sold!” rider or any other prop. Get a professional headshot, cropped so your smiling face is the focus of the photo. Don’t clutter it up with stuff that doesn’t matter. Just you and your face.

Clarify your education credentials

Think back again to real estate profile pages you’ve seen. Does this look familiar?

Jay Thompson — MBA, ePro, ABR, CRS, CRE, CIPS, GRI, CPM, SRS

Impressive?

Not really. Don’t get me wrong, education is important — crucial, even. But how many consumers — you know, the folks looking at your profile and deciding whether or not to hire you — know what any of those abbreviations after your name mean?

The answer to that rapidly approaches zero.

So, spell it out, but not just by saying, “I am an accredited buyer’s representative!” That still doesn’t mean much. Try something like this:

“I believe in continuing education. It helps me to be a better agent for you. I’ve spent 200 hours in the past two years training, learning and refining my craft — so that I can better serve you.”
If you really want to get into the details of your credentials, consider linking to pages that explain what you learned in those designation classes.

Define your USP

Your USP — unique selling proposition — is what sets you apart in the sea of sameness. Odds are pretty good that there are a lot of real estate agents in your market, all competing for limited buyers and sellers. What makes you different from all of them?

It is not an easy thing to define, but a good USP, if it’s communicated well, will really help a consumer understand what you can do for them. And remember, it’s all about them, not you.

Here is a good article on building a USP. Give it a run-through (be sure to watch the video, too), and get that brain thinking about what makes you stand out from the pack.

Watch the agent-speak

“I closed 43 sides last year — I can sell your home too!”

As real estate sales professionals, we know exactly what that sentence means. But what about that potential homebuyer? The guy who hasn’t bought real estate since he grabbed a cheap condo nine years ago sees “sides” and thinks “baked potato or fries?”

It’s very easy to include words and terms that you see and use every day. Take a step back, and look at your real estate agent profile from the perspective of a consumer. Spell out abbreviations. Define industry-specific terms — or better yet, just avoid them.

Don’t force potential customers to try and translate your agent-speak into terms they understand. The simple fact is they won’t translate; they will move on to the next profile.

Stop the hard sell

Your real estate profile is your biography. It’s a place for someone to learn about you, how you work, and what you can do for them. Although you use it to market yourself, it’s not an overt advertisement. Hard selling on your profile might cast you as “one of those agents” who seems to only care about their next commission check.

I’ll say it again: It’s about them, not you. Your profile is a place for potential clients to get to know you. Real estate is still a very personal, face-to-face business, and your profile may well be your first chance to impress. Don’t make that impression be of a pushy salesperson.

Make it reflect the professional, helpful and caring real estate agent that you are.

Profiles are important. They are often the first thing your potential clients will see, and first impressions count. Many people will use profiles almost exclusively to determine which agent to reach out to. I did, and I am far from alone.

You should have an optimized profile on every available site. Zillow (your Zillow profile is automatically ported to Trulia), realtor.com, your brokerage website, your website, Google My Business. Check your MLS and local association, they might offer profiles pages, especially if they have a public-facing website.

If you’re in Texas, the Houston Association of Realtors provides profile pages for any agent in Texas. See if your chamber of commerce offers a business directory.

Most sites charge nothing to build a profile. Some, like a local chamber, might require you to be a member before you can build a profile. The time you spend building — and updating — profiles is time well-spent, and the return can be significant.

Jay Thompson is a real estate veteran and retiree in Seattle, as well as the one spinning the wheels at Now Pondering. Follow him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. He holds an active Arizona broker’s license with eXp Realty. “Retired but not dead,” Jay speaks around the world on many things real estate.
Your Profiles Matter! Take Time to Perfect Them
GBAR

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MAA Achievement Awards- Call for Entries
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BOMA International - Online Conference
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MAA Webinar: Prep For Summer - Reopening Pools And Gyms
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CE Webinar: Offers
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