• Notes From the Legal Hotline: December 2023

    December 4, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Q: Who may receive a referral fee? A: Referral fees may only be paid to individuals who hold a real estate license; unlicensed individuals may never be given anything of value in exchange for a referral. Within the broad category of “licensee,” however, there are several nuances that are important to take note of when paying a referral fee. An individual holding an active salesperson’s license may only receive real…
    Read More
  • Forms Updates – November 2023

    November 28, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Below are some important updates to the MassForms™ Library. Be sure to confirm that you are using the latest versions of these forms. You can access these forms here. UPDATED: Listing Agreements (Forms 692, 693, 707, 708, 709, 715, 721) All versions of the Listing Agreement in the Library have been updated to allow for the fee due to the broker to be entered as either a dollar amount or…
    Read More
  • Rent Control Ballot Question Ended, Opposition Continues

    November 13, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Proponents of the 2024 ballot question that proposed to lift the statewide prohibition on rent control and give municipalities control over everything from evictions to real estate broker’s fees to removal of properties from the rental market have suspended their efforts. Supporters fell significantly short of the roughly 75,000 voter signatures required to move the ballot question onto the next step in the approval process. Read more about the process…
    Read More
  • Notes From the Legal Hotline: November 2023

    November 7, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Q: May a buyer’s agent advertise a listed property of another brokerage? A: Permission should always be obtained prior to advertising the listing of another brokerage, even if you are a cooperating buyer’s agent. Advertising a listing that is not yours, regardless of your participation in the transaction, could result in a Code of Ethics, MLS, copyright, and/or licensing complaint being filed against you. Once a transaction closes, however, Article…
    Read More
  • What does the Burnett v. NAR et al. Verdict mean for Massachusetts REALTORS®?

    November 2, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On October 31 the jury in the Burnett v. NAR et al, class action lawsuit reached its verdict, finding that NAR and the co-defendants participated in a conspiracy to enforce the cooperative compensation rule ultimately leading sellers to pay more than they would have otherwise. The jury awarded $1.785 billion in damages to the Plaintiff class, which by law will be automatically trebled to roughly $5.4 billion. NAR President Kasper…
    Read More
  • Notes From the Legal Hotline: October 2023

    October 5, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Q: Must a REALTOR® affirmatively disclose whether a listed property is haunted? A: No, psychological impacts on a property, such as hauntings, are not required to be affirmatively disclosed to a prospective buyer and are, in fact, specifically exempted from affirmative disclosure under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 93, Section 114, commonly referred to as the Stigmatized Property Law. In 1998, the Stigmatized Property Law was enacted, which specifically states that…
    Read More
  • Protecting REALTOR® Liability

    September 25, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On August 16th, the highest court in Massachusetts issued its ruling in Hill-Junious vs. UTP Realty LLC. In the case, a patron was murdered outside of a nightclub shortly after a new owner purchased the property and there had been several incidents at the club under the prior owner. The plaintiff argued that a commercial landlord’s duty to prevent reasonably foreseeable criminal acts encompassed a duty to learn of criminal…
    Read More
  • FY24 Budget Supports Housing

    September 25, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    We’re pleased to share that the Legislature has passed, and the Governor has signed, a budget for fiscal year 2024. Here are some items for which we successfully advocated:  Crumbling concrete foundation prevention – Helping homeowners afflicted with crumbling concrete foundations was one of MAR’s priority issues for last month’s REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill. The budget does that in two ways, by increasing funding for the state’s foundation testing…
    Read More
  • Rent Control and Other Tenant Protections Ballot Question Certified

    September 7, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On August 6th, Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell certified the initiative petition on rent control over MAR’s legal objection. Read more about the petition here.  The Attorney General’s certification will set in motion a path for supporters to follow and a path for MAR and our partners to oppose rent control.   Rent control supporters have from now until November 22nd to collect just under 75,000 certified signatures. This is…
    Read More
  • Notes From the Legal Hotline: September 2023

    September 7, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Q: Is completing an MLS Status Change form sufficient to alter the terms of the Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement? A: No, the Status Change Form is an MLS form and is not a contract. Any changes to the terms of the original listing agreement, such as marketing terms, listing price, or length of the agreement, should be addressed in an addendum to the listing agreement, and signed and…
    Read More