REFA ADOPTS DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION POLICY

 

 

REFA Adopts Diversity and Inclusion Policy
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GBREB NEWS

Massachusetts SJC Upholds Independent 3rd Party Appraisals

In September GBREB filed an Amicus Curiam , or “Friends the Court” brief in the case of Buffalo-Water, LLC V. Fidelity Real Estate Company LLC.  

In this case the two parties reached a contractual agreement on the purchase/sale of commercial property, with the price being established by a 3rd party appraiser. In this case, Buffalo Water did not like the number that the appraiser arrived at for the sale price and sought to extricate themselves from the transaction.

Under Massachusetts law, judicial review of an independent third party appraisal in a transaction like this was limited to cases of fraud, corruption, dishonesty or bad faith. This case is an attempt to create additional categories to discredit the third party appraisal and thwart a transaction.

The issue on appeal in this case  is whether we should modify this common-law rule and allow a judge to invalidate an appraisal intended by the parties to provide a final, binding valuation of a property where there is the appearance of bias, not on the part of the individual who conducted the appraisal, but on the part of the entity that employed the individual appraiser.

On November 26th,  the SJC concluded that the common-law rule established in Eliot v. Coulter, 322 Mass. 86, 91 (1947),  properly balances the need for fair valuations with the need for finality in the appraisal process, and that an appearance of bias alone is insufficient to invalidate an appraisal. Because the allegations in the complaint, if proved, do not warrant a finding of any violation of the agreements setting forth the terms of the appraisal, or a finding of fraud, corruption, dishonesty, or bad faith by the individual appraiser, or a finding of breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing by the defendant, the SJC affirmed the Superior Court judge's order allowing the defendant's motion to dismiss.

The Amicus Brief filed on behalf of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board states that the current law should be upheld and that no new categories or exceptions should be created judicially as that is best left to the Massachusetts Legislature.  The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court decision upheld GBREB's position.

 


 

Court Upholds Independent Appraisals
GBREB

Lapatin on the Law is a monthly legal update for RHA Members

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Lapatin on the Law - November 2018
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BOMA UPDATE BANNER

Find out what BOMA Boston is offering for upcoming events and education this Fall! 

Read the November 2018 ENews

November 2018 ENews
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The November 9th Breakfast Buzz & Biz program has been postponed
November Breakfast Buzz & Biz Postponed
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2018 World Series Champions!
Congratulations Boston Red Sox
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Only REFA puts you at the Center of it All. 

To view REFA's 30th Anniversary video, please click here

At The Center of it All
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THANK YOU FOR SUPPORTING THE 30TH ANNUAL REFA GALA!

Thank you to all who joined us and helped to support this year's REFA Gala! It was a wonderful evening honoring both David Manfredi and Elizabeth Lowrey of Elkus Manfredi Architects with the Robert S. Swain Jr. Distinguished Service Award! In honoring David Manfredi and Elizabeth Lowrey, REFA presented its first design firm with the Robert S. Swain Jr. Distinguished Service Award. In addition, REFA formally unveiled its new brand, as well as recognized the past REFA Gala honorees as part of its 30th Anniversary Celebration.

To view photos from the event, please click here

To watch the full 2018 REFA Gala honoree video, please click here.

To visit the REFA Gala website and for more information regarding the Annual REFA Gala, please visit www.annualrefagala.com
Thank You For Supporting the 30th Annual REFA Gala!
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BOMA UPDATE BANNER

Did you miss our October Newsletter? Find out what BOMA Boston is offering for upcoming events and education this Fall! 

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October 2018 ENews
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Lapatin on the Law is a monthly legal update for RHA Members

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Lapatin on the Law - October 2018
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BOMA UPDATE BANNER

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September E-News
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Increases in sales of single-family detached homes and condominiums kept the Greater Boston housing market red hot in July despite appreciating home prices and a short supply of homes for sale according to data released today by the Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® (GBAR).
 
Sales of single-family detached homes increased from 1,560 homes sold in July 2017 to 1,651 homes sold last month. This is a 5.8 percent increase in sales volume and ranks fifth best all-time for homes sold for the month of July in Greater Boston. The condo market also experienced a sales increase last month, rising to 1,250 units sold from the 1,168 units sold in July 2017. This 7.0 percent increase makes for the fifth most-active month of July for the condo market in Greater Boston. Additionally, this is the first time since April that both markets had a year-over-year increase in closed sales. 

“The market remains red hot and two of the key factors driving sales are the strong local economy and favorable demographics, including large numbers of millennials looking to entry the housing market for the first time after years of renting or living in the home they grew up in,” said GBAR President Marie Presti, broker/owner of The Presti Group in Newton and Stoneham. “Prices continue to meet new heights month after month, but that hasn’t slowed down buyers as many are eager to purchase a home while mortgage rates remain low.  We simply don’t have the inventory needed to satisfy demand, so it remains a great time to list your home for sale here in Greater Boston,” she added.  

In fact, median prices in Greater Boston reached record-high monthly figures in both markets. The single-family home median sales price rose 7.7 percent from $601,500 in July 2017 to a new record price for July of $647,680 this year. Likewise, the condo market saw a 13.2 percent increase to $600,000 last month, up from $530,000 in July 2017. 

“The Greater Boston housing market is among the most desirable in the country right now for buyers as well as investors, and that’s evident in the strong appreciation in home prices over the past year, and the fact that many are willing to pay top dollar to purchase a home here,” observed Presti. 

The inventory shortage has continued into July as active listings of single family homes fell 8.0 percent from 3,011 in July 2017 to 2,770 last month. Additionally, inventory of condos fell 1,723 units last month from 1,923 in July 2017, which is a 10.4 percent drop.  

For additional information regarding July 2018 Greater Boston Housing statistics, including our new interactive housing market data dashboard, visit the Monthly Housing Market Reports page.
Strong Demand Fuels Steady Gains in Boston Area Home Sales, Prices in July
GBAR
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced new products for homebuyers on a budget. For just a 3 percent down payment, certain consumers can now get a loan from both government-sponsored lenders for a home purchase or refinance transaction, which means the agency will finance up to 97 percent loan-to-value. 

Freddie Mac's Home Possible mortgages are also available for as little as 3 percent to 5 percent down, targeting homebuyers in high-cost and undeserved communities. These new products are designed to compete with the low-down-payment options offered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which offers loans for as little as 3.5 percent down for those with a credit score of at least 580. 

Housing prices are on the rise across the country, which has put a strain on first-time buyers. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and Freddie Mac estimate that median price growth will accelerate by 3.5% in 2018, and in some cases will continue to rise faster than income gains over the coming years.

Additionally, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac announced they are ending their single-family rental pilot program, a victory for NAR who had urged the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) to stop the program. Earlier this week, the FHFA ended the program which had provided liquidity to institutional investors to purchase single-family homes for rental housing. The action is consistent with NAR’s long-term position that the companies should maintain their focus on ensuring liquidity for home sales. 

"With inventory shortages facing housing markets across the country, the National Association of REALTORS® has long advocated for the Federal Housing Finance Agency to end its expansion into the single-family rental market and return its focus to promoting a liquid and efficient housing market, as Congress intended. By financing the purchase of thousands of single-family homes for institutional investors to use as rentals, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac compounded on inventory shortages and affordability concerns, which are holding back prospective homebuyers across the country. NAR applauds today’s FHFA decision, and we look forward to continue working with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to help more Americans achieve homeownership going forward," said NAR President Elizabeth Mendenhall.
Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Lower Down Payments, End Rental Pilot Program
GBAR
Earlier this month, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) announced its leadership team for 2019, which features two GBAR members who will service in committee leadership roles at the national level; Andrew Sarno of Medford and Craig Foley of Melrose.

Our 2015 President Andrew Sarno of Medford, was appointed as Vice Chair of NAR’s Membership Policy and Board Jurisdiction Committee. Andrew has served as a member of this committee since 2015 and has been a member of the NAR Board of Directors since 2016. Additionally, he serves as a member of NAR’s Professional Standard Committee and previously sat on the Advocacy Resources/Territorial Jurisdiction Work Group.

Craig Foley, of Melrose, who locally presents the NAR Green Designation courses, was fittingly named Chair of NAR’s Sustainability Advisory Group. Craig previously served as a member of this advisory and served as a member and regional representative for the Land Use Property Rights and Environment Committee. 

Congratulations to Andrew and Craig on these well-deserved assignments! 

Additionally, GBAR will be announcing our committee applications for 2019 in September.
GBAR Members Named as NAR Committee Leaders
GBAR
Lapatin on the Law is a monthly legal update for RHA Members

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Lapatin on the Law - September 2018
GBREB

“Reconsideration of HUD’s Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Disparate Impact Standard.”

Click Here for the Statement of the Rental Housing Association Regarding FR-6111-A-01
Statement Regarding FR-6111-A-01
GBREB
Recent reports to the association offices of prescription drugs being stolen during open houses is just one example of many risky situations that can occur and why it's important to keep safety precautions in mind while you are on the job. An open house can be a great tool to market a property, but it also exposes you to numerous unfamiliar people for the first time. 

Aside from an open house, as a real estate practitioner, you’re faced with potentially risky situations every day. Meeting new clients, showing homes, and even walking to your car at night can be dangerous. It’s essential that you make safe decisions and know how to react when confronted with trouble.  Below are several important yet simple tips to follow for safety while conducting an open house: 

• If possible, always try to have at least one other person working with you at the open house.
• Check your cell phone’s strength and signal prior to the open house. Have emergency numbers programmed on speed dial, and keep your phone with you at all times.
• Upon entering a house for the first time, check all rooms and determine several “escape” routes. Make sure all deadbolt locks are unlocked to facilitate a faster escape.
• Have all open house visitors sign in. Ask for full name, address, phone number and e-mail.
• When showing the house, always walk behind the prospect. Direct them; don’t lead them. Say, for example, “The kitchen is on your left,” and gesture for them to go ahead of you. 
• Communicate frequently with the office, your answering service, a friend or a relative that you will be calling in every hour on the hour. And if you don’t call, they are to call you. Have a code word that you use with your office in case you feel unsafe.                     
• Don’t assume that everyone has left the premises at the end of an open house. Check all of the rooms and the backyard prior to locking the doors. 

There are many other very important safety ideas available from the National Association of REALTORS® Safety Program available free online at www.realtor.org/about_nar/safety. GBAR urges every broker to review this important material and share it with their agents at their next office meeting.
Exercise Caution at Open Houses
GBAR
The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) has announced its newest domain name, .realestate. On September 18, NAR, through its partnership with Second Generation, Ltd., will launch the .realestate domain to individual REALTORS®, firms and boards of NAR and the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) for an exclusive 60-day pre-sale period.

As .realestate is an unrestricted top-level domain, this provides you with the opportunity to get your company or brokerage name before someone else does. Standard .realestate domains will be available for $69/year. A list of premium domains and pricing will be available in late August. Act fast because on November 26, .realestate domains will be internationally available to the general public.

In order to get .realestate domains during the member pre-sale, you must have an active .realtor™ domain. Your .realtor™ domain can be a firm or an individual REALTOR® domain. Agents who are members of NAR currently can acquire a .realtor domain for free for the first year, and $39.95 in subsequent years. Firm domain names should be the full firm name as it appears in your office record. For brokerages, the cost is $79 per year from inception. 
New .realestate Domain Launches Soon
GBAR

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

Click Here for the August Edition of The RHA Insider
The RHA Insider - August
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Click the button below to read the July/August 2018 RHA NextGen Member Newsletter featuring stories on:

  • Multifamily Industry Trends in the Boston Market
  • Member Spotlight of Aaron Cornish, Director of Sales, BG Multifamily
  • 2 Takeaways from APARTMENTALIZE
  • New Community Spotlight: 200 Brookline at The Pierce

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NextGen Member Newsletter July/August
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