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2022 GBREB Foundation Scholarship Event:   June 7, 2022

The Fund was established in 2012 with the goal of assisting economically disadvantaged young people attend and graduate from college by providing them with financial aid counseling and economic assistance.  To achieve this goal the GBREB Foundation has with Bottom Line, a Boston based organization that helps students from low-income families find an affordable path to a postsecondary education, and then through college with mentorship and life skills to prepare them for the workforce.   

The GBREB Foundation has awarded over 400 , two-year scholarships, since its inception which range in amount from $ 1,000 to $5,000, and are designed to supplement and not affect the financial aide package that the student receives from the institution they wish to attend.  These “last dollar in scholarships,” can often be the determining factor in deciding whether or not to attend college.

The GBREB Foundation Event traditionally recognizes leaders in Massachusetts real estate, business, and government for their service to the community, especially those who are particularly philanthropic, or trendsetters and trailblazers in giving back to Greater Boston.  
2022 Scholarship Application:
We encourage eligible students to APPLY HERE by the April 1st deadline.  Questions on how to apply?  Contact Ryan Burton at Bottom Line [email protected]
GBREB Scholarship Event


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Article Courtesy of: Inman News 
By Wendy Forsythe for Fathom Realty

Use these scripts and reports to talk to your clients about navigating the shifting market
About 20 years ago, there was a popular book called, Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson. The book’s premise was a business parable about how the characters dealt with changes they had no control over. Sound familiar? The recent rise in interest rates and other economic factors impacting the housing market may have you wondering who moved your cheese, and questioning how you will navigate these changes successfully in your business.

It’s time to flex your professional development skills and ensure you are prepared to offer your clients the best advice and guidance to navigate today’s market. Preparation is key — the conversations you had six months ago won’t apply to the decisions facing buyers and sellers today. As a trusted advisor, you need to be ready to have the following conversations.

1. Addressing interest rates and affordability

A Cost of Waiting Analysis is a tool lenders use to calculate the amount of equity a buyer would accumulate if they purchased a home now, versus the amount of equity lost by waiting to buy. This can also be summed up with the phrase “marry the house, date the rate,” which has become popular recently. There are several key elements to having a cost of waiting discussion with your clients, and it’s time to make sure you understand each of them.

2. Will housing prices go down?

The best way to address this concern is to look at the data. For example, if a buyer plans on owning a home for seven to 10 years, even a short-term dip in house price appreciation will not impact the equity built over the long term.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is a great resource for data to include in consultation materials you present to buyers and sellers.

3. Is now a good time to list?

Today’s homeowners have benefited tremendously from the housing market over the last decade. As a result, many people have large amounts of equity in their home.

Working through a Move Up Comparison can help your clients determine their options. For example, if a client owns a $750,000 property and owes $450,000, they have $300,000 in equity. They could sell their current home and buy a $900,000 property, with 25% down ($225,000) and still have $75,000 in cash. Now they’re living in a new home that better matches their current needs. This is an appealing option to many, but clients need help working through the math to truly understand the opportunity.

4. Renting versus buying

Renters who are considering a home purchase should look at a Rent Versus Buy Analysis. In 2021, about 28% of the market was attributed to first-time home buyers. Helping these buyers understand the impact of renting versus buying is essential. It’s helpful to have several comparisons of these costs worked out and presented in tables for easy discussion during your consultations with buyers.

5. Price reductions

Real estate agents haven’t had to deal with price reductions much recently. The best strategy is to get the property priced correctly from the get-go — however, some sellers will want to “try” a higher price, which is understandable. We can debate whether you should walk away from an overpriced listing another time. But, for now, you’ve had the property on the market for a while, and it’s not selling. Your seller is getting anxious, and you know it’s time to have the price reduction conversation. How will you approach this often challenging topic?

Are you ready to have these five fierce conversations with your clients? Then check out our download 5 Scripts You Need Right Now, where we elaborate on each conversation, provide details on how to structure the dialogue, and share the resources available to help you advise and guide your clients.

About Wendy Forsythe: Wendy is the Chief Strategy Officer for Fathom Holdings Inc. (Nasdaq: FTHM), a national, technology-driven real estate services platform integrating residential brokerage, mortgage, title, insurance, and SaaS offerings to brokerages and agents by leveraging its proprietary cloud-based software, intelliAgent. Wendy has spent her career helping top brands, brokerages, and agents build their businesses. She has become a branding and growth leader by combining operational excellence with an agent-first philosophy.
5 Conversations You Need to Have With Clients Right Now
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Sotheby's International Realty

Making the perfect listing is no easy feat — especially when incorporating search engine optimization. Here’s how to maximize your next listing with the keywords your clients are looking for

In luxury real estate, prospective clients have always had exacting requests. In recent years, not only have their wish lists become more specific, but the overwhelming majority of property searches begin with online listings long before buyers ever engage with a seller or an agent.

How can you capture their attention at this early stage so your listing stands out? Make sure to mention the qualities that matter most to this affluent audience.

This doesn’t have to be a rigorous or technical process. “Most of my data is from in-person networking, talking to agents, or talking to buyers,” says Susan Schall, Real Estate Associate at Venture Sotheby’s International Realty.

Samuel Wilson, Real Estate Professional with Sotheby’s International Realty – Cape Cod Brokerage, agrees. “I collect most of my keyword insights via conversations with other agents and prospective buyers,” he says.

Through these relationships and exchanges of information with colleagues and clients, Schall and Wilson have seen patterns emerge — patterns that they can savvily incorporate, if relevant, when listing new properties.

5 terms that homebuyers frequently search

1. Name the specific neighborhood: Though smaller than a town or a village, many residential areas are known by distinct monikers or epithets. In Wilson’s Cape Cod market, which is steeped in history, these have existed for generations and garner great interest. “For example, buyers want to know if a property is within the Hyannis Port Civic Association, which brings additional amenities in the form of beaches and yacht clubs,” says Wilson.

2. Emphasize the property’s privacy: Now more than ever before, buyers want peace and space. “Privacy is the biggest request I get when buyers are searching homes in luxury communities,” says Schall.

3. Note the home’s swimming pool: Another trend seeing increased traction is the swimming pool, — though in some markets, such as Schall’s, this isn’t new. “In the luxury category, a pool is almost a requirement — or at least a lot that can accommodate one,” she says. “This has been consistent throughout my 16 years in Pleasanton, California.”

4. Mention parking or garage space: Newer than the need for a pool is the ability of a property to accommodate car collections. “I’m getting more requests for homes with large garage spaces in the luxury category,” says Schall.

5. Be clear about the school district: “I think it’s important to note which school district the house is assigned to,” she adds. “In our area, the internet is often wrong and some prospects will skip over a home because they believe, incorrectly, that the house goes to the neighboring city’s schools. I often note, ‘award-winning Pleasanton Schools.’”

4 additional factors agents should consider

 1. Separate dwellings: The guest cottage appears to be gaining popularity, as many buyers may have family or domestic help moving onto their property in the short- or long-term — but bear in mind that buyers might use different terms when scanning for it.

2. Rental opportunities: “We are getting more questions about summer rentals and Airbnb, especially with the ever-changing ‘sandbars’ of local regulations and taxes,” notes Wilson. “Therefore, we are very careful to properly present rental opportunities for prospective buyers.”

3. Gated communities: For a range of reasons, public safety is top-of-mind for many, and the concept of a gated neighborhood holds appeal. Schall sees this conspicuously among out-of-town buyers, with many former residents of Silicon Valley relocating to Pleasanton.

4. Recreation access: Buyers want readily available activities close by, either for them or for their children. Schall started noticing this trend when more people in her area began searching for golf access.

3 ways that agents should exercise caution

Along with capitalizing on the terms that will pique a prospect’s curiosity, here are a few other pieces of advice that Wilson and Schall share with their fellow agents:

“With many homes being over a hundred years old, we’re careful to present older, less-updated homes as opportunities for buyers to make their own history at the property,” says Wilson. “We avoid terms such as ‘investor’, ‘fixer-upper’, or ‘handyman special’.”

Choose descriptors that are on-brand for the high-end real estate market — for example, exceptional rather than great. “Read luxury listings from other upscale areas, and model text after some of those listings,” suggests Schall.

While sometimes agents tap into a particular zeitgeist — for instance, buyers in some markets may be looking for homes that are “modern” — Wilson discourages chasing fad words. “Luxury buyers are smarter than that,” he says. “Be truthful but optimistic about the property.”

And remember that keywords are just one piece of the puzzle. “Luxury is a small category and inventory is low, so searches tend to be in price ranges rather than specific features,” explains Schall. But by being specific around the features clients favor, agents can help to expedite their search and find their dream home faster and easier.

5 Keywords Clients Want to See in Listing Descriptions--And What to Avoid

When cleaning out garages and sheds, understanding the proper methods of disposal for what you may find keeps you, your loved ones, and the environment safe. Many communities host Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) events where residents can bring items such as old gasoline, oil-based paints, stains, thinners, lithium-primary batteries, elemental mercury, and mercury-containing products such as a thermometer, thermostat, or barometer. Towns may have pre-registration requirements and restrictions on volume or specific items, so please call ahead to be sure that your items will be accepted.

If your community does not host a HHW collection event or if the date has passed, New England Disposal Technologies, Inc. (NEDT) accepts household hazardous wastes at their Sutton location. They can be reached at 866-769-1621. Clean Harbors in Braintree also is open to the public and can be reached at 800-424-4424. 

Latex paint is a common item that is typically NOT accepted at HHW events. 

Latex paint cans that are empty or almost empty can be dried out and then disposed of in the trash. Full cans newer than ten years can be donated by reaching out to neighbors, listing on Facebook Marketplace or a local Buy Nothing group or brought to select Habitat for Humanity ReStores. Recycling latex paint is also an option. ReColor Paints has various collection sites and drop off locations across the state and in certain situations, may be able to pick up large quantities. They can be reached at 833-732-6567.
According to the RecycleSmartMA Recyclopedia, empty paint cans and empty spray cans should be discarded as trash. The searchable Recyclopedia has helpful disposal information for many other types of items that you may find in your garage, shed, house, or yard. 

The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) partners with Covanta to keep mercury and other difficult to manage items out of the waste stream. CET is an environmental nonprofit that helps businesses and people save energy and reduce waste. Covanta’s Energy-From-Waste facilities in Rochester and Haverhill generate enough electricity to power over 100,000 homes with clean renewable energy.

Click here to subscribe to the Covanta SEMASS and Haverhill quarterly newsletter.

Please contact Samantha Salvatore at [email protected] with any questions
Properly Dispose Hazardous Waste Products This Summer
MAA Insider: Golf Photos,  Red Sox Summer Outing and WooSox!

Read the August MAA Insider.
MAA Insider - August 2022

BOMA August eNews: Golf Photos, BOMI Courses & TOBY Save the Date!

Read the August eNews.

August 2022 eNews

Article Courtesy of: Banker & Tradesman

With demand from people relocating to more sun-drenched markets thanks to an ability to work remotely already fading, many Sun Belt metros face a growing risk of seeing a downturn in their housing markets, according to a new analysis.    Not so in Greater Boston.

According to a new analysis by economists with listings portal and brokerage Redfin, Boston’s housing market is among the least likely nationwide to head into a downturn.  Despite its high prices – nearly all its peers at the bottom of a list of 98 American metros studied were economically troubled Rust Belt cities like Cleveland, Ohio – Boston has several key advantages: low percentage price growth in 2021 relative to other metros, average loan-to-value rate of only 79 percent, low share of flipped homes and loss of population last year. 

Akron, Ohio has the lowest chance of a housing downturn with an overall risk score of 29.6 followed by Philadelphia, (30.4), Montgomery County, Penn. (31.4), El Paso, Texas (32.2) and Cleveland (32.4). Cincinnati (32.6), Boston (32.6), Buffalo, NY (33.1), Kansas City, Mo. (33.4) and Rochester, NY (34).

Prices rose slower than the national median in nine of the 10 most resilient metros (El Paso is the exception), the report found.  In addition, seven of the 10 markets with low-risk scores had median home prices below $300,000, which Redfin said will help homebuyers stay active even during a recession.
Highly at-risk cities like Las Vegas, Nevada and Cape Coral, Florida saw home prices jump nearly 20 percent or more in 2021 on a year-over-year basis. Many also saw 5 percent or more of their homes flipped last year. And most saw their markets cool substantially in the first half of the year, while Boston’s has only slowed to what some agents describe as “2019 levels,” a year most observers would agree was anything but a soft housing market in Massachusetts.  But why are these factors pushing other areas closer to a potential drop?

“First, what goes up must come down,” Redfin Senior Economist Sheharyar Bokhari said in a statement accompanying the report. “Home prices soared at an unsustainable rate in many pandemic homebuying hotspots, both with second-home buyers and remote workers permanently relocating who were taking advantage of record-low mortgage rates. Demand driven by relocators and second-home seekers pulls back in an economic downturn, a trend that has already begun. Additionally, places where people tend to have high debt compared with their income and home equity are vulnerable because their residents are more likely to foreclose or sell at a loss.”

Greater Boston is still seeing an undeniable cool-off, market-watchers say.  “Even as demand has cooled, there are still more buyers than properties for sale and that is keeping upward pressure on prices,” RE/MAX Destiny Realtor Melvin Vieira Jr. said in a statement accompanying the Greater Boston Association of Realtors’ June sales figures.

Inventory levels remain tight at just a one-to-two month supply of homes and condominiums for sale entering July, said Vieira, the GBAR 2022 president, even as showings and open house foot traffic has slowed.

Specifically, the number of single-family homes for sale within Greater Boston’s urban core, the Route 128 corridor and MetroWest rose 19.5 percent year-over-year in June, to 1,770. New listings were also up 32 percent on a month-to-month basis from 1,340 homes for sale in May and increased another 15 percent during the first two weeks of July. In the more affordable condominium market, GBAR reported listings slipped 7.8 percent from June 2021 down to 2,138 in June 2022, but did improve on a month-to-month basis, climbing 12.2 percent from 1,906 condos on the market in May and rose another 7 percent in the first 15 days of July from June 30.

“It’s a different market than it was just two to three months ago. We’re seeing fewer offers per property, while price adjustments have become more common, and homes are now sitting on the market for weeks instead of days. As a result, price appreciation has become more modest and that should continue as inventory levels climb,” he said
Analysis Says Boston Well-Insulated from Potential Housing Crash

With time running short, legislators met over the weekend to try to resolve key issues before hitting the campaign trail. Under the rules anything complex or controversial requiring a roll call vote must be resolved by July 31st at midnight. Over the weekend lawmakers grappled with several large issues including economic development, cannabis industry reforms, sports betting, mental health access and open space preservation. The scramble to the finish was further complicated by a 1986 voter law known as Chapter 62F, which would trigger $2.5 billion in tax rebates. As the aftermath of the late-night deliberations will become clearer in the coming days, it appears that the real estate industry remained relatively unscathed by several major threats to the industry.  Notably, legislation to create local real estate transfer taxes, mandate tenant's rights of first refusal, and grant the sealing of evictions all failed to advance on Beacon Hill. A summary of those issues and their progress to date highlighted below. 

Real Estate Sales Tax & Right to Purchase 

In recent years housing advocates have developed a strategy to advance issues on a local level where it may be politically easier to adopt and send to the State House as a home rule petition. Two of those issues sought by the proponents would add cost and complexity to real estate transactions including right to purchase and a new sales tax on real estate. As was the case in 2020, both issues were offered as amendments to the economic development bill, but ultimately not included. GBREB also successfully opposed several stand-alone bills including legislation to tax the sale and transfer of controlling interest in the City of Boston. It is anticipated that both issues will return next session

Eviction Record Sealing

GBREB was successful in offering several amendments to an eviction record sealing bill that was attached to the economic development bill including:

• Allowing for the automatic sealing of non-payment or rent cases once the judgement is paid and after demand is sent to the landlord.
• Allow for the sealing of non-fault evictions so long as no objection was filed.
• Modify the sealing of records pursuant to G.L. c.139 §19.
• Eliminate the sealing of records for cases brought for material lease violations
• Modify how a tenant discloses cases on a rental application

The economic development bill was ultimately not taken up before time expired. House & Senate Leadership have expressed an interest still considering the economic development bill during informal session once the tax issues are resolved.
Legislative Session Draws to a Close, Wins for GBREB

Can a buyer switch agents to submit an offer on a home they were shown by another agent? 

Maybe. If the buyer entered into an exclusive representation agreement with the first agent, they are bound by the terms of that contract unless the first broker is willing to release them from that contract. If approached by a prospective buyer client, a REALTOR® has an affirmative obligation to make reasonable efforts to determine whether the prospective client is subject to an exclusive representation agreement with another broker. Failing to ask this question may result in a violation of Article 16 of the Code of Ethics. Further, REALTORS® should not be contacting other brokers to request that they release a buyer from an exclusive representation agreement.

If the buyer is not subject to an exclusive representation agreement, they are free to switch brokers; however, this situation may present a question of procuring cause if the property they purchase was initially introduced to them by the first agent. While the so-called “threshold rule” does not singularly determine procuring cause, the agent who fist introduced the buyer to the property is one of many factors considered. A buyer agent who finds themselves as the second broker working with a buyer in their home search should strongly consider entering into an exclusive representation agreement with that buyer to protect the broker’s interest in being compensated for the work they do on behalf of that buyer. 
Courtesy of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® Legal Team
Can a Buyer Switch Agents?


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