Realtor LogoREALTOR® is a federally-registered trademark reserved exclusively for members of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and its affiliated state and local chapters.  Members abide by a Code of Ethics that holds them to standards of practice that exceed state licensing law, differentiating them from non-member agents.  To find a local REALTOR® or to obtain the most accurate data on homes listed for sale or sold in your area visit REALTOR.com.

News

View All
First, let’s review terminology here so that everyone is on the “same page”.  In Massachusetts, there are three primary statuses of real estate licensees (suspended and revoked licenses are not considered in this discussion):  Active; Inactive and Expired.

1.  “Active” status indicates that the licensee is in good standing with the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, has completed the required number of continuing education credits during the prior renewal period and has paid the licensing fee for the current two-year period ending on his/her birthday.  Individuals with active real estate licenses may lawfully engage in the business of real estate with members of the public and derive commission-based income or a salary from their employer from their efforts.

2. “Inactive” status indicates that the licensee is in good standing with the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, has not completed the required number of continuing education credits during the prior renewal period, but has paid the licensing fee for the current two-year period ending on his/her birthday.  Individuals who hold inactive real estate licenses may not engage in the business of real estate with members of the public, but may receive referral fees, except as described below.  

3. “Expired” status indicates that the licensee is no longer in good standing with the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons, has not completed the required number of continuing education credits during the prior renewal period(s) and has not paid the licensing fee for the current (or past) two-year periods ending on his/her birthday.  Individuals who hold expired real estate licenses may not engage in the business of real estate with members of the public and may not receive compensation for their services or receive referral fees.

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 112, Section 87XX ½ created an “inactive” license status for those licensees who have not completed the required continuing education credits.  As inactive licensees are prohibited from affiliating with a broker, a referral fee may be paid to them directly. This is the only instance where a salesperson can receive a referral fee directly. Massachusetts General Law Chapter 112, Section 87RR requires that an active salesperson’s referral fee must be paid to the broker in which they are affiliated.

Most questions to the Broker Legal Hotline deal with salespersons who have left the business and are still in their two-year renewal cycle and are considered “active”, but are no longer actively selling real estate (i.e. they retired or permanently left the business).  As stated above, the only way for a salesperson with an “active” license to be compensated is to be affiliated with a broker.  Certain “referral only” brokerages have been established where “active but not practicing” licensees may hang their licenses solely to earn referral income.  However, because of Mass General Law Chapter 112, Section 87XX ½, once a salesperson’s license becomes inactive, the individual is no longer allowed to hang their license with the referral only brokerage company.  Therefore, many salespersons make the personal decision to keep their license "active"; a solid reason being that the referral only brokerage is responsible for collecting the fee from the referring brokerage, thus decreasing the amount of personal follow up necessary when trying to collect the referral fee from a brokerage who has been less than forthcoming with their obligations.  On the downside, there typically are costs associated with belonging to a referral only brokerage.

It is important to note that a licensee with an “active” license cannot elect to become “inactive.”  The change of status only becomes effective upon the next renewal period when the licensee pays a licensing fee and certifies that they have not obtained the required number of continuing education credits for the prior two-year period. 
Can a Broker Pay a Referral Fee to Someone With an Inactive License?
Earlier this month, the Massachusetts House of Representatives and Senate passed legislation to tax and regulate short term rentals. The House bill would create a tiered tax system, include a variety of specific regulatory requirements, and provide cities and towns the discretion to limit the duration of rentals. The Senate version of the bill would create a uniform tax on all rentals and would allow cities and towns to decide how to regulate short-term rentals.  

Since these bills have major differences, a conference committee consisting of three members from each chamber will need to be appointed to reconcile the differences and agree on a final bill to send to Governor Baker. Both chambers have included language that would require any platform or entity (including brokers and salespersons) to be responsible for collecting and remitting taxes if they are also collecting the rent for the owner.

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) along with the Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) have raised concerns in both chambers on the issues of private property rights and broker's obligations to collect and remit taxes, and will continue to monitor these bills. For more information, please read this article from the Commonwealth Magazine. 
Mass. House, Senate Pass Short-Term Rental Bills
A phishing email, purportedly from the “REALTOR® Party via DocuSign,” has been sent to some National Association of REALTOR® (NAR) members. NAR says the email, which contains an attachment, is a phishing attempt, and recipients should delete it. If you’ve opened the email and entered your DocuSign credentials, you should log into DocuSign and change your password immediately. Remember never to act on or click on any links in emails that appear suspicious or for which you cannot verify the sender via a telephone call. It’s a good idea to provide this advice to clients, too.

Spam emails can't be prevented entirely, but REALTORS® can reduce the amount of unwanted email that comes into their in-boxes. And on the flip side of the coin, REALTORS® who use email to find and work with clients can take steps to ensure that their own electronic communications aren't seen as spam.

For more information on cyberscams and cybersecurity best practices, visit NAR’s webpage.
 
New Email Scam Targeting REALTORS®
On April 30, GBAR is sponsoring an event entitled “Blockchain: Digitally Rebuilding the Real Estate Industry”, hosted by CoreTrendz, which focuses on blockchain technology, the world's leading software platform for digital assets.

Blockchain technology is a transformational force of significance to all real estate industry stakeholders and professionals. The first property transactions have already been recorded on blockchain, and the technology promises to revolutionize the industry by streamlining the purchase and sale of land, preventing data loss, bringing greater efficiency to pricing, and dramatically optimizing the mortgage and escrow processes.

This exclusive event, headlined by Avi Spielman, one of the world’s leading experts on blockchain and real estate, will introduce key topics, including: 

A non-technical introduction of blockchain fundamentals
Blockchain as it relates to current issues and inefficiencies in property titles
Government and legal issues associated with distributed ledger innovation,
The most important real estate blockchain trends and start-ups to be aware of.
 
Click here to register and use the discount code “GBAR2018” at checkout to save when you sign up!
 
GBAR Sponsoring Blockchain Technology Seminar
Last month, members of the GBAR Charitable Grants Task Force met to review grant applications submitted by local housing groups and agencies requesting assistance from the GBREB Foundation. As there are many worthy organizations that need financial assistance, the committee recommended 15 local, non-profit housing and homeless assistance organizations that would most benefit from receiving a grant from GBAR. The GBAR Board of Directors have approved the following organizations to receive a grant of $2,000: A Place to Turn in Natick, Allston Brighton Community Development Corp. in Brighton, Boston Sock Exchange in Wayland, Caritas Community, Inc. in Braintree, Creative Living in Andover, Family Promise Metrowest in Natick, Housing Families in Malden, Mission of Deeds in Reading, Old Colony Habitat for Humanity in Attleboro, Project Just Because in Hopkinton, RESPOND, Inc. in Somerville, and Second Chances, Inc. in Somerville. Additionally, the following organization will receive a $500 grant: Council of Social Concern in Woburn, and Newton at Home in Newton.

All recipient organizations will be recognized and honored at the 2018 GBAR Awards & Networking Breakfast on Friday, June 22.

Please remember, when you pay your REALTOR® dues you have the option to voluntarily donate to the GBREB Foundation. We sincerely appreciate every donation, as it allows us to continue our charitable efforts and give back to the communities we serve.
 
GBAR Awards $25,000 to Local Housing & Homeless Assistance Agencies

On Tuesday April 3rd, Governor Baker announced that he would be filing new legislation to add more requirements to home sales transactions. The bill, H.4371, would require sellers to complete a home energy audit prior to sale. The bill would capture single family homes and homes with up to four units listed for sale. The bill would also direct the state Department of Energy Resources to establish an energy scoring program for the sale of residential property. The Governor’s bill is similar to S.1839 An Act Relative to Home Energy Efficiency sponsored by the late Senator Kenneth Donnelly.

Under current state law home inspectors and associate home inspectors are required to provide a document outlining the procedures and benefits of a home energy audit to all clients purchasing a single-family residential dwelling, a multiple-family residential dwelling with less than five dwelling units, or a condominium unit in structure with less than five dwelling units.  In addition, Massachusetts residential consumers currently pay a surcharge on their energy bills for energy audits they can have performed on their home at no additional cost.   

The Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) and Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) have consistently opposed adding new requirements at the time of property transfer. GBREB and MAR have expressed concern the legislation will unnecessarily complicate and delay the home buying process as well as impact the negotiation of contracts regarding the acceptability of the ratings. In addition, GBREB has raised concerns regarding stigmatizing older homes and adversely impacting home values.  

The legislation has been referred to Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy for a public hearing. 

Gov. Baker Seeks to Require Energy Audits Prior to Home Sale
 

Education & Events

View All
Data pager
Data pager
 Item 1 to 9 of 45
of 5 
show all 45
Event
Data pager
Data pager
 Item 1 to 9 of 45
of 5 
show all 45
Rentals The Right Way!
Apr 24, 2018
Crowne Plaza
1360 Worcester Rd.
Natick, MA
Green Designation
Apr 26, 2018 - Apr 27, 2018
GBAR Member Service & Training Center
68 Main Street
Reading, MA
GBAR New Member Orientation (Dedham, MA)
Apr 28, 2018
Holiday Inn
55 Ariadne Road
Dedham, MA
REALTOUR - Eastern Middlesex Region ( North Reading)
May 03, 2018
Teresa's Hillview Country Club Function Facilities
149 North St
North Reading, MA
REALTOUR - Central Middlesex Region (Bedford, MA)
May 04, 2018
Double Tree
44 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, MA
REALTOUR - Southern Norfolk Region (Randolph, MA)
May 07, 2018
Lantana
43 Scanlon Dr
Randolph, MA
REALTOUR - Metro Boston Region (Waltham, MA)
May 08, 2018
Hilton Garden Inn Boston-Waltham
450 Totten Pond Rd,
Waltham, MA
REALTOUR - Metro West Region (Natick, MA)
May 09, 2018
Crowne Plaza
1360 Worcester St.
Natick, MA
Lunch And Learn -Residential New Construction (RE46R05)
May 10, 2018
GBAR Member Service & Training Center
68 Main Street
Reading, MA
 

Calendar

Data pager
Data pager
 Page 1 of 8, items 1 to 6 of 45.
show all 45
Event
Data pager
Data pager
 Page 1 of 8, items 1 to 6 of 45.
show all 45
Rentals The Right Way!
Crowne Plaza
8:30am
 
Green Designation
GBAR Member Service & Training Center
9:00am
 
GBAR New Member Orientation (Dedham, MA)
Holiday Inn
 
REALTOUR - Eastern Middlesex Region ( North Reading)
Teresa's Hillview Country Club Function Facilities
9:30am
 
REALTOUR - Central Middlesex Region (Bedford, MA)
Double Tree
9:30am
 
REALTOUR - Southern Norfolk Region (Randolph, MA)
Lantana
9:30am