• 2023 MAR REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill Recap

    June 14, 2023

    - By

    Thank you to the hundreds of REALTORS® from across the state who joined us on Monday, June 12th for REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill! A special thank you to Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll and Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities, Ed Augustus, for their remarks and support. Congratulations to Ron Rusin of Fall River for receiving the 2023 Private Property Rights Award. Housing drives community and REALTORS drive housing. Our…
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  • Senate FY24 Budget Update

    June 5, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On May 25th, the Senate passed their budget, on the heels of the House’s work in April. Read our post on the FY24 House budget and our Senate budget comments. Some key housing-related notes from the Senate’s FY24 budget:   Continued investment in housing assistance – following on the steps of the Governor, House, and recent history, the state has continued to backfill funding for key housing assistance programs that proved…
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  • Notes From the Legal Hotline: June 2023

    June 1, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Q: What changes were recently made to the Sanitary Code? A: Following several delays, amendments to the Sanitary Code became effective on May 12, 2023. The tracked changes version of the new Code may be viewed here. While many of these changes are relatively minor in scope, REALTORS® working in the rental sphere will want to take particular note of the following amendments: Landlords will need to provide 48-hours’ notice…
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  • MAR Shares a Vision for Housing in Massachusetts

    May 31, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    On May 30th, Theresa Hatton, CEO of the Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® shared a comprehensive vision for a better state of housing in the Commonwealth. Here is a summary of her remarks: REALTORS® drive housing and communities. The current housing market presents incredible challenges with inventory at all-time lows and prices at all-time highs. Housing production via zoning relief is the key to solving our housing crisis. Without zoning relief,…
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  • Cyber Crimes are a Real (Estate) Problem: Protect your Clients and Escrow Accounts from Fraud

    May 5, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    As a real estate practitioner or brokerage owner, you must know what your weak points are. Business email compromise (BEC) is one of the biggest threats to small businesses and the real estate market offers a flashy target for scammers. The lease and sale of properties come with the transfer of large funds and endless correspondence. Couple that reality with the fact that most real estate firms are small businesses…
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  • House FY24 Budget Update

    May 4, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    Earlier we posted about the Governor’s FY2024 budget proposal. Next up in the budget process is the House, which spent the month of April drafting and refining its proposal, which it passed on April 26th. The House budget (H.3900) totaled $56.2 billion, around $700 million higher than the Governor’s proposal and about 7% higher than the FY2023 budget. Some key housing notes:  Continued investment in housing assistance – As we…
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  • Key Pandemic Homeowner Assistance Program Ending

    May 4, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    The Massachusetts Homeowner Assistance Fund (Mass HAF) will be winding down in coming months. The program was created by a $10 billion allocation to states in the American Rescue Plan Act. It provided Massachusetts with $179 million to help homeowners facing foreclosure due to COVID-19 impacts. The program has been highly successful paying out over $87 million on behalf of homeowners and helping to stop or pause over 171 foreclosure…
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  • Advocacy in Court

    May 4, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    In addition to legislative lobbying, MAR advocates through the judicial process, often through so-called amicus briefs in which we provide the court with industry-specific information. MAR filed amicus briefs in two recent cases:  Protecting buyer agency – In Biping Huang vs. Jin Ma, real estate broker Biping Huang alleged that her former clients breached an oral exclusive buyer’s agency agreement by purchasing a home with another agent. The appeals court…
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  • Developments in Local Advocacy

    May 4, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    MAR frequently partners with local associations on important local and regional issues. Two that have risen to the fore in Q1 are:  Proposed regulatory changes to Title V – The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) proposed new regulations to reduce nitrogen loads in areas of the Cape and South Shore. They create two pathways whereby towns can either make a commitment to addressing this issue at the municipal level…
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  • Training Advocacy Leaders

    May 4, 2023

    - By The MAR Legal Team

    MAR held two important trainings in the first quarter:  REALTOR® Party Training   In January, we invited local leaders to MAR HQ to learn more about REALTOR® Party and its many offerings. Attendees heard from Kristy Hairston, learned more about tenets of REALTOR® Party and its many offerings through interactive activities, and got access to a panel of top housing advocates for an insiders preview of the new legislative session. State…
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