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GBREB Foundation raises record amount for student scholarships in 2017

On June 2, 2017, the Greater Boston Real Estate Board Foundation held its annual scholarship breakfast where almost 50 college scholarships were awarded to students from the Greater Boston area. The scholarships are "Last Dollar In,” scholarships designed to complement and provide additional resources to a student without affecting the financial aid they receive from their school.

Ron Druker was awarded the Humanitarian of the Year Award for his passionate commitment to education, the arts and improving the quality of life for people in the Greater Boston area. John Barros, the Chief of Economic Development for the City of Boston was honored as a "First One,” which an award is recognizing that he was the first person in his family to attend college. In addition, 15 students received summer internships in the real estate field at a host of commercial and residential real estate companies in Boston.&

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board Scholarship Fund was established in 2012 with the goal of helping economically disadvantaged young people attend and graduate from college by providing them with scholarship assistance and financial aid counseling. In order to accomplish their mission, GBREB partnered with uAspire, a Boston-based organization that has been helping students from low-income families find an affordable path to a postsecondary education since 1985.

Now in its fifth year, the GBREB Foundation has awarded over $500,000 in 'last dollar' scholarships that are granted for the purpose of filling the gap between students' financial aid and the costs of college beyond tuition – such as room and board, computers, books and supplies to graduating seniors in the Greater Boston area.

Scholarships of $1,000-$5,000 are awarded to students each spring based on financial need, academic achievement, leadership, extra-curricular involvement, and short written essays, and are guaranteed for two years. These scholarships can sometimes be the determining factor as to whether or not a low-income student will attend college.

The GBREB Foundation Scholarship Fund Leadership Breakfast, first held in 2015, was envisioned as a way to honor the students receiving the GBREB Foundation scholarship awards as well as the donors who contributed to the fund. Now held annually, the breakfast simultaneously recognizes Massachusetts business, government, education, nonprofit and community leaders with the uAspire First One Award, given to those individuals who were the first in their families to graduate from college and make noteworthy contributions to their field and society at large.

GBREB Foundation


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Did you miss our January Newsletter? Find out what BOMA Boston is offering for 2018 events and educational opportunities! Read more about 2018 BOMA President Amy Bush, Brookfield Property Partners, and current information from BOMA International.

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January E-News

The BOMA Benefit is back! Join us on Saturday, March 10th for a fun night of casino gaming, heavy hors d'oeuvres and charitable giving benefiting Bridge Over Troubled Waters. The event will take place at the Marriott Long Wharf from 7:00pm to 11:00pm. The theme is Great Gatsby/ Roaring 20's and theme attire is encouraged. For more information, please click here.

Sponsorships are now available, please contact Heather Dupont via email or (617) 399-7863 to register.  

BOMA Benefit is Back!

2017 was a great year and we owe it all to you - our members! As the year ends, it's time to renew your BOMA dues and to sign up for committees. To renew, simply click here.

Please email Heather Dupont with any questions or if you are looking to become involved in committees. We look forward to working with you again in 2018!

Renew Your Dues Today!

For questions or to register, please contact Jackie DiPersio at 
2018 GBREB Installation of Officers
As you may know, last month President Trump signed the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act”, which makes changes to the tax code and will affect the real estate industry and individual taxpayers. Despite this act being signed in to law, the REALTOR® association, through participation of members nationwide, made great strides to get several items and provisions removed from the bill as we fought to protect the rights for homeowners. Many of the changes reflected in the final bill were the result of the engagement of NAR and its members. The final bill includes some big successes as NAR’s efforts helped save the exclusion for capital gains on the sale of a home and preserved the like-kind exchange for real property. Many agents and brokers who earn income as independent contractors or from pass-through businesses will see a significant deduction on that business income as well. Additionally, through the efforts of REALTORS®, the mortgage interest deduction (MID) was preserved at $750,000 for new mortgages originated after December 15, 2017, instead of the proposed $500,000 MID in the House bill, and remains available for second homes despite earlier attempts to limit it ti primary residences.

NAR has issued a news brief about the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which, among other information, highlights major provisions of the act that affect current and prospective homeowners, commercial real estate and real estate professionals. They also released this video, featuring Evan Liddiard of NAR Government Affairs and Peter Baker, a CPA with Business Planning Group, who walk through the provisions in the tax bill passed by Congress that affect you as a real estate practitioner.

For more information about this topic, be sure to visit NAR’s Tax Reform homepage.
How Tax Cuts and Jobs Act Affects Real Estate Professionals
After your buyer’s offer was verbally “accepted,” what the listing agent is telling you is that the seller currently intends on signing he Offer but until the seller signs it, it is not binding. 

In order for a contract for the sale of land in Massachusetts to be enforceable, it must comply with the statute of frauds (Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L.) Chapter 259 Section 1). The statute of frauds states that no action shall be brought upon a contract for the sale of real property unless it is in writing and signed by the party against whom enforcement is sought.  In other words, a verbally accepted offer is not binding until it is signed by the seller.  Further, the license law also contains a provision requiring all licensees give both the “buyer and seller a copy of the purchase and sale agreement.” (M.G.L. Chapter 112 Section 87AAA). Brokers are encouraged to establish office policies to ensure compliance with these rules and ensure that their client or customer doesn’t lose out on an opportunity to purchase the home of their choice.

REALTORS® also have an ethical duty regarding documentation in real estate transactions.  Article 9 of the Code of Ethics requires that “REALTORS®, for the protection of all parties, shall assure whenever possible that agreements shall be in writing, and shall be in clear and understandable language expressing the specific terms, conditions, obligations and commitments of the parties. A copy of each agreement shall be furnished to each party upon their signing or initialing.”  This article falls under a REALTORS® obligations to clients and customers, however, compliance with the article will help ensure compliance with the law. 

In summary, if the listing agent tells you the offer was “accepted,” the buyer agent must ask if it has been signed by the sellers yet. If the listing agent says "yes", ask for a copy and the offer is enforceable. If they say "not yet" but they are getting it signed, you should not advise your buyer that it has been accepted. Until the buyer agent is informed the offer has been executed by all parties and has a copy of it, the seller may still accept another offer so you as the buyer agent are missleading your buyers by building a false expectation that they have an accepted offer.  

For more information regarding these topics authorized callers should contact the GBAR Brokerage Counseling Hotline at 617-399-7869 or email
Verbal Acceptance of an Offer is as Good as the Paper it is Written On
On December 11th, Governor Baker announced a new initiative to spur housing production and provide municipalities with tools and incentives to create new housing.  The “Housing Choice Initiative” hopes to create 135,000 new housing units by 2025.

The new initiative includes $10 million in incentives, grant money and technical assistance for cities and towns to plan for new housing production. Modeled after the Green Communities program, The Housing Choice Initiative will provide a new set of incentive-based tools for local governments.  Cities and towns that receive the Housing Choice Designation will be eligible for new financial resources, including exclusive access to new Housing Choice Capital Grants, and preferential treatment for many state grant and capital funding programs, including MassWorks, Complete Streets, MassDOT capital projects and PARC and LAND grants.  

The Housing Choice Initiative introduces new and better coordinated technical assistance for municipalities to reach housing production goals and pursue a Housing Choice Program Designation. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will provide communities with a clear, single-entry point for coordinated technical assistance across agencies. In coordination with the Housing Choice Initiative, MassHousing will make $2 million in new technical assistance funding available, to help communities progress toward and achieve housing production goals under the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law.

In addition, Baker has introduced new legislation An Act to Promote Housing Choices.  The proposed legislation would allow cities and towns to adopt certain zoning best practices by a simple majority vote, rather than the current two-thirds supermajority. Massachusetts is currently one of only ten states to require a supermajority to change local zoning; all other northeastern states rezone through simple majority votes.

Zoning changes that promote best practices that would qualify for the simple majority threshold include:
Building mixed-use, multi-family, and starter homes, and adopting 40R “Smart Growth” zoning in town centers and near transit; 
Allowing the development of accessory dwelling units, or “in-law” apartments;
Granting increased density through a special permit process;
Allowing for the transfer of development rights and enacting natural resource protection zoning;
Reducing parking requirements and dimensional requirements, such as minimum lot sizes.
An Act to Promote Housing Choices would not mandate that cities and towns make any of these zoning changes. The legislation allows municipalities that want to rezone for housing growth to do so more easily.
Governor Baker Announces New Housing Production Incentives

Renew for 2018 Today!

Thank you for your continued support and involvement! REFA Dues Renewals for 2018 are now available. Renewal options are as follows:

  • By mail via the invoice that was sent to you
  • Online: if you are renewing an individual REFA membership, you may pay by logging into your member account
  • By email or faxto REFA's secure faxline: 617-588-0286 or to Jackie DiPersio at
  • By phone 617-399-7856

As we enter into 2018, we would like to thank our members for a wonderful past year. REFA will be celebrating its 30th Anniversary next year, and we look forward to doing so with our members!

REFA Membership - Renew Today!


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