DO I NEED TO START ACCEPTING CRYPTOCURRENCY? p7
TUNED INTO THE TENOR
OF THEIR COMMUNITIES p14THE IMPORTANCE OF GRATITUDE p18 Giving Back to the Community
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From Dennis to Salisbury to Lenox We are the edge for independents.


n y From Dennis to Salisbury to Lenox We are the edge for independents.
For more information about the
benefits of the Realty Guild,
please contact Executive Director
Inez Steele at 978-314-9706 or InezSteele@gmail.com R E A L T Y G U I L D . C O M
BSR_MarchApril18_0220Final.indd 2 2/20/18 4:12 PM

From Dennis to Salisbury to Lenox We are the edge for independents.


March/April 2018 1
Inside this issue of Bay State REALTOR ® More from MAR
Realty Guild.....................................IFCCRS...................................................3VHT....................................................5MassHousing..................................9 United Casualty...............................12PROS.........................................13 SWAT.............................................. .13United Casualty.............................. 19
Fairway Mortgage ...........................19Pearl............................................... 20 Osterman Propane...........................21ASAP Environmental....................... .21RMS ...............................................23PROS.......................................... IBC MLS PIN.......................................... BC ADVERTISER DIRECTORY MAR SPONSORS
CHARITABLE FOUNDATION PARTNERS n y From Dennis to Salisbury to Lenox We are the edge for independents.
For more information about the
benefits of the Realty Guild,
please contact Executive Director
Inez Steele at 978-314-9706 or InezSteele@gmail.com R E A L T Y G U I L D . C O M 2 From the Editor Marathon
REAL ESTATE @ WORK 4 4 On the Hill
The Potential Burdens of Zoning Changes 5
First-Time Home Buyers Able to Gain Some Footing
in Massachusetts in 2017 Leslie Fowle 7 Social Media
Ask a Millennial: Do I Need to Start
Accepting Cryptocurrency? Leslie Fowle 10 Legal Realtor ®
Chapter 93A Procedures and
Risk Reduction – (Part 2 of 2)
Robert S. Kutner, Esq. 12
Notes From the MAR Legal Hotline 14
Tuned into the Tenor of
Their Communities
Bridget McCrea 18
President’s Message
The Importance of Gratitude
Rita Coffey 19 Calendar 20 2018 Realtor ®
Day on Beacon Hill Officially Announced 21
Avoid Risk by Calling the MAR Legal Hotline 22
Tax Reform Impact and Home Price Outlook Nadia Evangelou 24 Insider Once again, Realtors ®
will Make a Difference Gary Rodgers LEGAL NOTES 10 FEATURE 14 MEMBER VOICES 18 »
Exclusive Right to Sell – When is an “exclusive right to sell” not exclusive? Has an owner ever refused to pay your commission when he/she sold the property themselves? As we say goodbye (and happy retirement) to longtime Bay State Realtor ® Magazine
contributor Robert S. Kutner, take a look back at the very first article he wrote for the Bay State Realtor ® Magazine.
» Massachusetts Association of Realtors ® Facebook
» Twitter.com/MARealtors
THE MENACE OF CHAPTER 93A p10
2018 EXECUTIVE TEAM p12
PUTTING YOUR BEST SELF INTO YOUR 2018 BUSINESS PLAN p24 THE 2018 Leadership Team 'Standing United'
THE MENACE OF CHAPTER 93A p10
MRS. COFFEY SPEAKING... p12
PUTTING YOUR BEST SELF INTO YOUR 2018 BUSINESS PLAN p24 THE 2018 Leadership Team 'Standing United'
TUNED INTO THE TENOR OF THEIR COMMUNITIES p14
THE IMPORTANCE OF GRATITUDE p18 INSIDER p24 Giving Back to the Community
BSR_MarchApril18_0220Final.indd 3 2/20/18 4:13 PM


2 Bay State REALTOR ® {from the editor} Marathon BY ERIC BERMAN
My neighborhood is right off of the Boston Marathon route, and every Patriots' Day, the majority of my neighbors make their way to the bottom of our road to watch the race. It is our official end of “hibernation season.” It is a time when the community comes together and reconnects after a long winter.
THE OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE MASSACHUSETTS ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS ® MARCH/APRIL 2018 VOL. 95, NO.2 PRESIDENT
Rita Coffey, CRB, LMC PRESIDENT-ELECT
Anne Meczywor, ASR, CBR, CRS, AHWD TREASURER
Kurt Thompson, CRS, CBR, LMC
IMMEDIATE PAST PRESIDENT
Paul Yorkis, CBR, LMC, SRES EVP AND CEO
Robert Authier, CAE, e-PRO ® , RCE
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR/ EDITOR IN CHIEF Eric Berman, RCE ART DIRECTOR Sharon Womble PRODUCTION MANAGER Eric MacDougall ADVERTISING SALES
Julie Lewis (508) 612-4841
(Publication No. 703-610) ISSN: 0891-5539 Published by the Massachusetts Association of Realtors ® ,
Mailing Address: 333 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451-1139(781) 890-3700The Bay State REALTOR ® magazine is
published bi-monthly (Jan./Feb., March/April, May/June, July/August, Sept./Oct., Nov./Dec.), as a member service. Subscriptions are $2.50 per year for members and are paid out of member dues. Non-member subscription rate is $40 per year. The comments and opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, views, or policies of the Massachusetts Association of Realtors ® .
Copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Periodical postage paid at Boston, MA.
POSTMASTER: Send address changes to:Massachusetts Association of Realtors ®
333 Wyman Street, Waltham, MA 02451-1139
Where our road meets the route, is the mile 11 water stop, which means we’re early enough on the course that there are distinctive waves of racers who stream by. The first group is the mobility-impaired racers. These are the wheelchairs, hand bikes, and those racers who require guides or push partners. The next groups to come by are the elite women and then the elite men. The pace at which these athletes run is just amazing. The next wave consists of the age-group qualifiers. This means they had to run a marathon in a qualifying time just for the opportunity to race the Boston Marathon.
The final and largest group, (at least to us watching the race year-
after-year) are the charity runners. These are the folks that have made the commitment to raise money for a charitable organization in exchange for a race number. It is debatable what is more difficult. Putting your body through the weeks and months of training and then finally the race? Or the commitment of raising several thousands of dollars? My guess is it’s harder to ask for the money.
Like the charity runners, many Realtors ®
donate their time and money to
causes that are important to them and to their communities. They tend to do it with little fanfare and often duck opportunities to be recognized for their good work. In this issue, writer Bridget McCrae highlights some of the contributions Realtors ®
are making to their communities in “Tuned into the Tenor of Their
Communities,” on page 14. The article also features ways you can start to get involved. I was inspired after reading it and think you will be too. Gratitude:
In her President’s column, 2018 MAR President Rita Coffey, writes about
gratitude. It’s a theme she feels is very important for the Association and her business. It is also a theme that she shares with 2018 National Association of Realtors ®
President Elizabeth Mendenhall.
Finally, I wanted to express our gratitude and appreciation to Bob Kutner,
MAR’s long-time outside legal counsel. A partner at Casner & Edwards, Bob has represented the Association and Realtors ®
for over 40 years and has been
contributing to BSR for nearly that long. This issue not only features his final contribution of his distinguished career, "Chapter 93A Procedures and Risk Reduction" on page 10, but we were also able to provide you with the very first article that he wrote with his byline in 1978 as an online exclusive. We hope you enjoy it!
A COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP IS SIMPLY THE BEST WAY TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Darlene Sodano,CRS
Richard Coughlin, CRS
Sheryle Degirolamo, CRS Lisa Parenteau, CRS Sarah Walker State President Finance Leader Education Leader Membership Leader Administrator
Darlene@SodanoRealEstate.com
Rick@CoughlinHomes.com Sheryle@Sheryle.com
LisaParenteau@LeadingEdgeAgents.com Sarah@MARealtor.com Contact Us
The New England Region is an active Council now made up of Connecticut, Maine,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont CRS designees and
members who are working on their designation. We always have room for volunteers
so if you are interested in becoming a more active CRS, let us know. Get Involved
Get best-in-class training with your choice of classroom courses, e-learning, webinars and events. CRS Designees
also get exclusive listing in the CRS Referral Network, including our “Find A CRS” online directory and the new
Qualified Consumer Leads program. Not to mention, complimentary subscriptions to Inman Select (a $199 value) and our award winning magazine,
The Residential Specialist.
Like us on Facebook – Search “ New England RRC”
New England Region RRC website
crs.com//local-rrc/newengland-region
BSR_MarchApril18_0220Final.indd 4 2/20/18 4:14 PM

A COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP IS SIMPLY THE BEST WAY TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Contact Us “



A COUNCIL MEMBERSHIP IS SIMPLY THE BEST WAY TO BUILD YOUR BUSINESS Darlene Sodano,CRS
Richard Coughlin, CRS
Sheryle Degirolamo, CRS Lisa Parenteau, CRS Sarah Walker State President Finance Leader Education Leader Membership Leader Administrator
Darlene@SodanoRealEstate.com
Rick@CoughlinHomes.com Sheryle@Sheryle.com
LisaParenteau@LeadingEdgeAgents.com Sarah@MARealtor.com Contact Us
The New England Region is an active Council now made up of Connecticut, Maine,
Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont CRS designees and
members who are working on their designation. We always have room for volunteers
so if you are interested in becoming a more active CRS, let us know. Get Involved
Get best-in-class training with your choice of classroom courses, e-learning, webinars and events. CRS Designees
also get exclusive listing in the CRS Referral Network, including our “Find A CRS” online directory and the new
Qualified Consumer Leads program. Not to mention, complimentary subscriptions to Inman Select (a $199 value) and our award winning magazine,
The Residential Specialist.
Like us on Facebook – Search “ New England RRC”
New England Region RRC website
crs.com//local-rrc/newengland-region
BSR_MarchApril18_0220Final.indd 5 2/20/18 4:15 PM

BE A WINNING AGENT: DAY AND NIGHT



N E W S, T R E N D S, & T O O L S F O R R E A LT O R S ® real estate@work
The Potential Burdens of Zoning Changes
BY THE MAR LEGAL DEPARTMENT
In the last issue, we provided you with a briefing on Governor Baker’s Housing Choice Initiative, which includes a bill to change a key zoning law in Massachusetts. The goal of the change is to help make it easier for cities and towns to build more housing. {on the hill}
There are other proposals before
the legislature to change zoning laws that would make it much more difficult and expensive to build housing. Senate 81 and House 2420 have both been nicknamed zoning reform bills this session and, unfortunately, not all attempts at reform are positive. While filled with small technical changes that would be bad for housing production, the bills both contain policy proposals that would inhibit growth and make any housing actually produced more expensive. The following are some of the major policy concerns contained in the legislation that Realtors® oppose. Inclusionary Zoning:
By expressly authorizing
municipalities to impose mandatory inclusionary requirements, H.2420 would unfairly burden developers with the substantial costs of fulfilling society’s obligation to ensure the availability of affordable housing. It would significantly impact
the cost of development in
these municipalities. It would
necessarily increase the cost of market rate
housing to the detriment of first-time homebuyers
and others looking to move into or remain in the community, who do not qualify for subsidized housing. The burden to provide affordable housing options should either be shared more broadly, or provided on a voluntary basis in response to meaningful incentives consistent with a plan for the creation of such housing. Development under G.L. c. 40B is a market-based approach that spreads the burden across all municipalities in the Commonwealth and has been successful in providing affordable housing. Impact Fees:
Development impact fees involve
complex legal, planning, and economic principles that are not adequately addressed by Section 9E. It is generally recognized that development impact fees increase the cost of new development, especially for residential projects, which may reduce the number of projects that are economically feasible. To the extent that the increased development costs are passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices, impact fees also make housing less affordable. In states that have authorized impact fees by statute, impact fees are the exclusive means for local governments to address capital
facilities and services needs to serve growth in communities. By contrast, the proposed Section 9E would not prevent a municipality from imposing both development impact fees and other burdensome and costly mitigation requirements as a condition of development approval.
Removal of Approval Not Required (ANR):
This opt-in approach would
result in a patchwork of subdivision controls across the Commonwealth in which some communities have an ANR process and others have a minor subdivision process. Eliminating the use of ANRs would be significant from the perspective of Greater Boston Real Estate Board (GBREB) and MAR to the extent that land divisions that formerly would have qualified for ANR endorsement, would now be subject to review in a minor subdivision process, or full subdivision review if it involves the creation of more than six residential lots. This type of review will likely involve additional time, less certainty, and more burdensome conditions than the current ANR process.
Any change to Massachusetts
zoning laws must NOT make housing more expensive and more difficult to build. 4 Bay State REALTOR ®
©2017 VHT Studios, Inc. All rights reserved. (800) 790-TOUR BE A WINNING AGENT: DAY AND NIGHT
Learn more at VHT.com/Virtual-Staging
Photography • Video • Virtual Tours
Virtual Staging • 3D Home Tours
Drone • Floor Plans • Media Delivery Introducing VIRTUAL TWILIGHT
BSR_MarchApril18_0220Final.indd 6 2/20/18 4:18 PM

BE A WINNING AGENT: DAY AND NIGHT



©2017 VHT Studios, Inc. All rights reserved. (800) 790-TOUR BE A WINNING AGENT: DAY AND NIGHT
Learn more at VHT.com/Virtual-Staging
Photography • Video • Virtual Tours
Virtual Staging • 3D Home Tours
Drone • Floor Plans • Media Delivery Introducing VIRTUAL TWILIGHT
BSR_MarchApril18_0220Final.indd 7 2/20/18 4:18 PM

First-Time Home Buyers Able to Gain Some Footing in Massachusetts in 2017 Working with a Real Estate Professional: Buyer/Seller Demographics:


6 Bay State REALTOR ®
First-Time Home Buyers Able to Gain Some Footing
in Massachusetts in 2017
BY LESLIE FOWLE First-time homebuyers made gains in Massachusetts last year despite record high home prices and dwindling inventory, according to the 2017 Massachusetts Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. The study found that the share of first-time homebuyers rose to 42 percent, which is up from a record low of 35 percent in 2016. First-time buyers made up 34 percent of all home buyers nationally, setting Massachusetts above the national level despite ongoing market conditions in the state that usually make the home buying process difficult for this population.
Working with a Real Estate Professional:
Ninety-two percent of Bay State residents consulted a real estate broker when buying a home in 2017. Nationally, the number of buyers who have worked with a real estate professional was 86 percent. This is a slight decrease from the high in 2011-2012, when 89 percent of buyers used an agent. As the complexity of the home purchase process has increased, so has the use of buyer agents, which has grown from 69 percent in 2001. The percentage of buyers using an agent has been above the 80 percent mark since 2010 as the number of buyers purchasing directly from a previous owner or through a builder falls. When it comes to selling a home, sellers in Massachusetts worked with a real estate agent 92 percent of the time. Nationally, the rate was 89 percent for sellers. The survey also found that 16 percent of sellers in the Bay State had to delay the sale of their home because the value of their home was worth less than their mortgage. The national number was nine percent. The number of Massachusetts sellers who chose to sell their home without an agent or “For-Sale-By-Owner” (FSBO) was three percent (down from 10 percent) and eight percent nationally. Of these, 41 percent of FSBO sellers nationally knew the buyer prior to the sale.
Buyer/Seller Demographics:
The median household income of buyers was up to $101,700 compared to $88,800 national median income. Fifty-four percent of homebuyers were married couples, 17 percent single females, eight percent single males, and 18 percent unmarried couples. Nationally, 73 percent of buyers were married, 11 percent were single females, 10 percent were single males, and six percent were unmarried couples.
The median age of the first-time homebuyer in Massachusetts was 41, compared to 45 nationally. Fifty-nine percent of first- time homebuyers in the state were between 25 and 34 years old, while 22 percent were 35-44 years and one percent were 18-24 year years. First-time homebuyers in Massachusetts had a median income of $86,300 compared to $75,000 among first-time homebuyers nationally. The median age of the home seller was 50 years and they had a median income of $120,000 (the US median was $103,300). The typical seller owned their home for 10 years. Twenty-six percent of home sellers reported the main reason for deciding to sell was the home was too small. Another 17 percent cited a change in the family situation, while 13 percent reported that their home was too large. Three percent reported selling their house because they could not afford the mortgage and other expenses of owning a home.
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Ask a Millennial: Do I Need to Start Accepting Cryptocurrency?


March/April 2018 7 {social media}
Since then, only a handful of home transactions have occurred using cryptocurrency. The first single-family home sale using Bitcoin was announced only in October 2017. Still, the seller in that situation opted to use a service called BitPay to convert the cryptocurrency into U.S. dollars upon transaction. Despite success in other industries, it seems the real estate world has been hesitant to fully embrace the intangible coin. “Today, blockchain and cryptocurrency does not affect the day-to-day business of your average Realtor®,” said David Conroy, R&D Lab Engineer at the Center for Realtor® Technology (CRT) in Chicago. “At NAR and CRT Labs, we feel that over the next three to five years this may change as digital currency and blockchain technology advances.” The hesitancy may be with good reason. The value of cryptocurrency is not backed by any official authority. At best, the value
of any one form of digital money (Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ripple, Ethereum, etc.) can be volatile. At the time of writing, one Bitcoin is equal to $11,272.52. This is almost three times the value this time two years ago. To make matters more confusing, there are no real rules or regulations guiding potential digital home transactions. For now, real estate buyers in the U.S. using cryptocurrency have done so without a mortgage—there is no precedent for how such a large loan would be handled digitally. However, there are several organizations at work to advance these processes, like The International Blockchain Real Estate Association (IBREA). According to their website, the IBREA aims to produce cryptocurrency platforms that are “open source, nonprofit, secure, and scalable” for property and title, as well as for digital deeds. The IBREA hopes to promote and set standards for real estate transactions using cryptocurrency and set up industry best
practices for the escrow process. “Many of those advancements will be made by technology infrastructure improvements that may be apparent to an end user, or in this case, agent and their clients,” said Conroy. “If done correctly, the only things a Realtor® should experience from these advancements are improved property records, faster closing windows, and less risk for fraud. There is potential for it to be used for establishing identity, enforcing contracts, and even remittance.” There may be a long way to go for cryptocurrency and blockchain technology to hit the mainstream and impact your business. In the meantime, the experts recommend just remaining aware of digital currencies and how they may impact the future of real estate moving forward.
Stay up-to-date at the CRT Labs website: Ask a Millennial:
Do I Need to Start Accepting Cryptocurrency?
BY LESLIE FOWLE Cryptocurrency, or encrypted digital currency, has been around for years, but seems to be dominating the national conversation lately. Ever since a homeowner in Long Island listed his home in Bitcoin in 2013—a first for the United States—people have wondered how cryptocurrency would change the real estate industry. The house later sold in regular U.S. dollars, but the homeowner was later quoted in the press as saying his offer may have helped market his home to a younger, crypto-savvy generation.
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