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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
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
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
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
Dear Greater Boston REALTORS® and Friends,
  
The death of George Floyd and the subsequent acts of violence and civil disobedience that have taken place across our country during these past two weeks are upsetting and difficult to watch. They point to the anger, frustration and pain being felt by so many who have witnessed or been the victim of discrimination and injustice. Unfortunately, these experiences are all too common and have persisted for far too long across our nation.
  
As REALTORS® we pledge ourselves to uphold the fair housing laws and to provide equal treatment to all persons in the housing search and sale processes. And, as an association we are committed to a culture of inclusion and respect, fostering a welcoming environment for all types of business models, and advancing public policies that ensure diverse, cohesive, and safe communities for everyone.
  
It is in this spirit that we support the rights of the courageous protesters speaking out against inequality in our society and the many voices demanding change. No one should ever be made to feel excluded, treated unfairly, or be in fear for their life because of their race, skin color, or any other demographic factor. 
  
However, there also is no justification for those persons who have used recent public demonstrations to destroy public and private property. These actions have been disheartening and they should not be a distraction from the message of the protesters.
  
REALTORS® have long been known for being good neighbors, whether it be through their investment in civic and charitable causes, support of community improvement and revitalization projects, or volunteerism serving in elected and appointed roles in local government. The adversity we’re facing today offers an opportunity for all of us to do our part to change the course of history through positive action and leadership in our communities. 
  
Greater Boston Association of REALTORS® 
 
A Statement on Equality from GBAR
With social distancing, virtual showings, and online meetings and communications the new norm, GBAR is pleased to announce a timely new member benefit with EyeSpy360, a technology firm that creates virtual property tours. Under a new marketing partnership agreement, Greater Boston REALTORS® can obtain unlimited 360° virtual property tours, 3D models, and 2D floor plans with room measurements for a discounted monthly subscription price of under $20 per month. 
  
Significantly, through the use of EyeSpyLive technology agents can host multi-property and multi-person remote viewing sessions on any mobile device or computer. Additionally, you have the ability to personalize tours with your brokerage’s branding and can add-in street maps, customized hotspots within a room to navigate, and info labels that enable you to provide additional information on specific appliances or other notable home features. Further, as a subscriber you own all the data related to each of your property tours, and once produced, you’re able to share your 360° tours instantly to your website, property portals, and social media. 
  
There is no minimum monthly commitment to make to start enjoying the benefits of EyeSpy360. The monthly subscription is just $14.99. A $1.00 processing fee per photo image also applies, with a minimum $10.00 fee per property tour created. This all-inclusive option for virtual tour creation requires that the property tour, along with related floor plans and 3D model, be produced by EyeSpy360.
  
To learn more, check out the video demonstrating the EyeSpy360 tour technology and features and tutorial on how to make use of EyeSpyLive video viewings. To take advantage of this technology and begin utilizing property tours in your business, visit our EyeSpy360 Member Benefits webpage where you can access EyeSpy360’s portal and place your subscription order.



 



New EyeSpy360 Partnership Offers Virtual Showing Platform
 

Education & Events

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CE Webinar: Offers
Jul 13, 2020
Webinar
Green Designation (Live Webinar)
Jul 14, 2020 - Jul 22, 2020
Webinar
GBREB Leadership Conversation With Mayor Walsh
Jul 15, 2020
Free Webinar
GBAR Spirit Award Presentation Webinar
Aug 03, 2020
Live Webinar
GBAR Good Neighbor Award & Housing Grants Presentation
Aug 04, 2020
Live Webinar
GBAR Affiliate Of The Year Award Presentation
Aug 05, 2020
Live Webinar Event
GBAR Andrew F. Hickey DSA & Life Member Awards
Aug 06, 2020
Live Webinar Event
REALTOR® Of The Year Award Presentation
Aug 07, 2020
Live Webinar Event
CE Webinar: Architecture
Aug 10, 2020
Webinar
 

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CE Webinar: Offers
Webinar
9:00am
 
Green Designation (Live Webinar)
Webinar
9:00am
 
GBREB Leadership Conversation With Mayor Walsh
Free Webinar
3:00pm
 

GBAR IN THE NEWS

Thank you to our 2020 Diamond Partner Sponsor!