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Did you know that you may be eligible for state assistance with paying your rent or mortgage? If you have lost your job or income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Housing and Community Development has programs for low-income renters and homeowners that will help you with past due rent or mortgage payments, as well as future housing costs. 

Visit  to get connected with regional agencies that can help you apply for funds and stay in your home.
Summary of the Eviction Diversion Initiative:
The Eviction and Diversion Initiative (EDI) is designed keep people safely housed during the pandemic as we approach the end of the Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium. EDI contains $171 million in resources that include a $100 million commitment for RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition), with an increased benefit cap of $10,000, and $13 million for legal assistance for low-income tenants and owners as they navigate the eviction process. The initiative also includes a commitment to streamline the RAFT application process, provide additional support for the regional housing administering agencies, and allow small owners to apply directly for RAFT benefits.  
Eviction Diversion Information
On Saturday October 17, 2020, the Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium which has been in place since April will officially expire.  GBREB has been working tirelessly on this issue talking with Legislators, the Governor, the Courts and Housing Providers. A press release was issued by the Governor establishing a SafetyNet called the Eviction Diversion Initiative as the Moratorium expires.    

What this means for members:

Residential Evictions may proceed subject to the requirements of the Federal Moratorium
Commercial real estate evictions will no longer be affected by State or Federal CDC Moratorium law and may proceed through the legal process. 

Some of the key components include:

• $100 million in emergency rental assistance through the RAFT program and an increase in available grant amounts from $4,000 to $10,000 per household, in-line with our recommendation since this summer’s Week of Advocacy. The benefits of this program will be available to property owners with up to 20 rental units and upon application by the property owner, with resident consent. Both of these elements are in-line with our advocacy to increase protections for property owners with more than four-units and to empower property owner to apply for aid (currently RAFT only accepts applications from residents). Acceptance of RAFT assistance requires the preservation of tenancies for 6-months or, for households with school-age children, the longer of: 6-months or until June 2021.
• Up to $12.3 million to provide both property owners and residents with access to legal representation and related services during the eviction process. 
• Nearly $50 million for post-eviction rapid re-housing.
• Expansion of Housing Consumer Education Centers and pre-court community mediation. Keep an eye out for more information on how MAR will be playing an active role in providing mediation assistance statewide.

Summary of the Eviction Diversion Initiative

The Eviction and Diversion Initiative (EDI) is designed keep people safely housed during the pandemic as we approach the end of the Massachusetts Eviction Moratorium. 
EDI contains $171 million in resources that include a $100 million commitment for RAFT (Residential Assistance for Families in Transition), with an increased benefit cap of $10,000, and $13 million for legal assistance for low-income tenants and owners as they navigate the eviction process. The initiative also includes a commitment to streamline the RAFT application process, provide additional support for the regional housing administering agencies, and allow small owners to apply directly for RAFT benefits.  This should help tremendously with some tenants who have had difficulty in the application process.  The Administration is also kicking off a public communication campaign to help ensure residents know about these available resources. There will be more to come in the days to follow as the plan unfolds, and GBREB will keep you updated on the latest developments.  

Read the Administration's Overview & Press Release

MA Eviction Moratorium Set to Expire
Article Courtesy of: Inman News
By: Clarence Webb

In our current market, listing agents are finding their clients being met with multiple offers on their home. To ensure both sides leave the transaction happy, here are a few tips for effectively handling multiple-buyer situations

Bidding wars are a listing agent’s dream and a buyer agent’s nightmare. In our market’s current state of low inventory, sellers are finding that their homes are receiving multiple offers from prospective buyers.

In Northwest Indiana, it’s unlike any time I can remember. Along with traditional movement, we’re seeing an exodus of Chicago residents looking to escape the busy and populated city life to settle down in more rural areas. The result? Less sellers and more buyers.

Our recent focus has been to guide and counsel our agents on how to properly and effectively handle multiple-buyer situations, where both the seller and buyer leave the transaction happy. Here are a few tips and tricks for listing agents to look out for when their clients are met with multiple offers on their home.

1. Keep your sellers informed and prepared

We always remind our agents that their sellers will likely go through a challenging, emotional journey when they list their home. Their house is filled with countless memories and milestones — and letting go isn’t always an easy process. We have to make sure they’re ready by preparing them with the right information and guidance they need.

Ensure you inform them about market conditions and expectations for the upcoming transaction ahead of time. It’s critical that clients are fully aware of what may come, including the flurry of activity that multiple bids can bring.

While it may be exciting, I urge our agents to prepare their sellers for the shock of potentially getting strong offers within hours of the sign first going into the ground. When offers start pouring in (we’re seeing as many as five in just a matter of hours), we don’t want our sellers to feel overwhelmed by all of numbers and figures coming at them at once. 

We also tell our agents to be prepared. If they understand what may come, they can expect it. It’s similar to when we hear athletes say they prepare by imagining what the game and atmosphere will be like. Being prepared supports peak performance — for athletes and agents.

2. Be mindful of the aggressive buyer 

In the current state of the real estate market, we see a large majority of both buyers and sellers making accommodations toward reaching a common goal during the negotiation period. 
However, some buyers will use this period of uncertainty to apply pressure and speed up the process by giving the seller a 12-hour deadline to respond to their offer. 

We encourage our agents to communicate directly with the buyer’s agent to reduce the time-crunch stress. Instant communication is not only a strong negotiation tactic but also helps maintain a good relationship with your agent colleague.

The ultimate goal is to take the fight out of the battle by letting buyers know where you stand on their offer as soon as possible. If a time-sensitive offer is good, there’s nothing wrong with asking for more prep time before moving into the contracting phase. 

3. Look for the net price

The price on the first page of a contract may sound appealing, but what really matters is the net price — the dollar amount the sellers are essentially leaving with. We see this play out as it relates to the wide variety of loan preapprovals out there right now.

For example, if the buyer wants to utilize an FHA loan, the seller may be required to do repairs on the home, which can come out of their pocket. Gathering all of the facts and numbers for the client is extremely important to make sure they receive the best offer that best fits their needs.

4. Time is of the essence 

One of the more interesting things that we see with multiple bids is that agents are not negotiating on price. Instead, they are negotiating on time. 

Agents are doing a great job in setting a solid price that fits with comps and expected appraisals. At the same time, buyer’s agents are doing a great job presenting acceptable offers, usually avoiding “low-ball” offers.

When negotiating the terms of an agreement, the time of possession has become one of the most critical terms. We’ve seen deals fall apart because both sides struggle to agree on timing. Therefore, many of the concessions sellers are making is to ensure they have enough time before leaving for their next home. Those extra days can be even more important than a higher price.

As agents in today’s market where buyers and sellers are up against a clock, we need to focus on preparing and helping navigate buyers and sellers through the transaction, which now includes the uncertainties of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Today’s environment demands preparation, real-time communication and, most importantly, the recognition that taking the time you need through each negotiation can lead to success. 

Clarence Webb is a 14-year real estate industry veteran and responsible broker at Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Connections.
Overwhelmed With Multiple Offers? Here's How to Handle Them Better

Mass. Governor Charlie Baker has rescinded the Emergency Order extending real estate license validity. As a result, any license in good standing as of March 26, 2020 will remain valid until at least October 1, 2020, even if it was previously set to expire at some point between March 26 and October 1. However, as of October 1, licenses with expiration dates between March 26 and October 1 will lapse. License renewal information is available on the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons website.

Read more about the order here



Governor Baker Rescinds License Extension Order
 As more people rely on photos instead of in-person showings when renting apartments during the COVID-19 pandemic, Massachusetts Attorney General (AG) Maura Healey and the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) have partnered to issue an advisory warning the public about an apartment leasing scam and offering guidance on how to avoid falling victim to it.
Both the AG’s Office and GBREB have received complaints from prospective tenants, property management companies, and real estate agents about a scam involving fake apartment listings being posted online. The scammers use photos from real listings of homes for rent or sale, and at times even use the contact information of an actual listing agent or management company, and then post them on Craigslist or other online platforms. Read More.
Additionally, GBAR President-Elect Dino Confalone was featured on NBC10 Boston and in the Boston Globe to discuss leasing scams in and around Boston.
AG Healey, GBREB Warn Prospective Tenants and REALTORS® About Apartment Leasing Scam
 On June 30, Governor Baker announced the creation of a new program to provide direct rent and mortgage assistance. The Emergency Rental and Mortgage Assistance (ERMA) program will distribute $20 million in funds to help households that have experienced financial hardship during the COVID-19 state of emergency, dating back to April 1. 
The program will provide up to $4,000 per households that are within the 50-80% range of Area Median Income with funds accessible through eleven Residential Assistance for Families in Transition (RAFT) administering agencies. Read More 
Governor Announces New Housing Aid Program

September, designated as REALTOR® Safety Month, is a time to recommit to your personal safety and the safety of your colleagues and clients.

Real estate is a relatively safe profession, says Breanne Gingerich, marketing manager for NAR’s REALTOR® Safety Program, in this week’s “Pivot in Place” video. But there are risks—and having protocols for client meetings, showings, and open houses can mean the difference between life and death. A third of NAR members say they’ve felt unsafe on the job at some point in their careers, according to NAR’s latest Member Safety Report. In two harrowing incidents just this month, an agent confronted an armed man hiding in a vacant home and another averted an attempted abduction. Find out where pros perceive the biggest threats and the actions they’re taking to protect themselves.

Of course, the coronavirus has added a new facet to safety this year. Consult “Coronavirus: A Guide for REALTORS®” to review protocols that can keep you and your clients safe from COVID-19. Bookmark to keep up with how the virus is affecting real estate, including regular updates on what NAR is doing to advocate at the local, state, and national levels to help you continue operations and to protect your interests. While you’re at the website, learn more about NAR’s federal and state advocacy operation, including a major leadership transition announced earlier this month by NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.

Never A Bad Time To Practice Safety Protocols
Last month , NAR President Vince Malta and other NAR leaders met with officials from the White House offices of the Domestic Policy Council and the National Economic Council to discuss the CDC eviction moratorium. President Malta outlined NAR's significant concerns with the order and the burden it places on housing providers. He explained that "kicking the can down the road" and creating mountains of debt for renters would simply lead to a flood of evictions come January. Read More.
Following the meeting, NAR Director of Federal Housing & Policy Megan Booth discussed the eviction moratorium; providing tips for landlords and actions NAR is taking to advocate for small building owners and property managers. View Video.
Additionally, on September 10, GBREB hosted a webinar, "Laws and Regulations around the CDC Eviction Moratorium", which covered the various COVID-19 laws and regulations affecting residential and commercial landlords. Jeffrey C. Turk, Esq. Partner, Turk & Quijano, LLP provided members with an update on state and federal legislation surrounding the September 1 CDC Eviction Moratorium and how it affects an owner’s right to collect rent and enforce a lease. View the webinar here. 
NAR Meets with White House on Eviction Moratorium
Have you heard about the latest GBAR Member Benefit through EyeSpy360 Virtual Tours? The platform now integrates with the GBREB e-forms library through zipLogix and LoneWolf Technologies at a new, lower monthly price of $14.99. You can obtain unlimited 360° virtual property tours, 3D models, 2D floor plans with room measurements, and more! Agents also can host multi-property and multi-person remote viewing sessions on any mobile device or computer
Additionally, EyeSpy360, in association with LoneWolf Technologies, is launching a brand new Webinar Series, exploring the world of Property Technology (PropTech); The Must Haves and the Avoid at all costs. Hear from industry experts about the impact of technology on you and your business over the next 5 years.The webinars will run September 21 - 24 from 5:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. Read More.
Offer Virtual Showings for Your Clients With EyeSpy360

Education & Events

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Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) Designation - WEBINAR
Oct 27, 2020 - Oct 29, 2020
Live Webinar Course
GBAR New Member Orientation- Agency Webinar
Oct 28, 2020
GBAR Webinar
NARPAF Online Auction
Nov 01, 2020 - Nov 07, 2020
Online Auction
GBAR Celebrity Chef Showdown
Nov 05, 2020
Live Webinar Event
CE Webinar: Disclosures..Disclosures..Disclosures
Nov 09, 2020
GBAR New Member Orientation- Agency Webinar
Nov 12, 2020
GBAR Webinar
Economic Expectations Presentation - Webinar
Nov 19, 2020
Live Webinar Course
CE Webinar: Real Estate Professional Ethics
Dec 03, 2020
Live Webinar Course
CE Webinar: Closing & Settlements
Dec 07, 2020


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Seniors Real Estate Specialist (SRES) Designation - WEBINAR
Live Webinar Course
GBAR New Member Orientation- Agency Webinar
GBAR Webinar
NARPAF Online Auction
Online Auction


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