5 Questions With Carl Carter, Jr.

September 14, 2020

- By Carl Carter, Jr.

Carl Carter, Jr., is a REALTOR® and the Founder of the Beverly Carter Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dedicated to improving agent safety. His mom, REALTOR® Beverly Carter, lost her life at the hands of a couple posing as clients in 2014. Since his mother’s passing, Carl has dedicated as much time as possible to spread the message of safety. He was recently appointed as a Delegate to the National Safety Council, where he advocates for the safety of lone workers. He has a Master and Bachelor of Business Administration degrees from the University of AR in Little Rock, AR, and an Executive Masters in Public Service from the Clinton School of Public Service. Q. You founded the Beverly Carter Foundation back in 2017. Can you talk a bit about why you chose to start the Foundation and share more about…

Read More

Let’s Close at the Registry of Deeds – Wait What?

September 9, 2020

- By Michael Krone, Esq.

Much in the world has changed in 2020 and closing a real estate transaction in Massachusetts is no exception. Gone are the closings where buyers, sellers, their attorneys, the closing attorney, and the brokers all convened at the Registry of Deeds to sign the papers that would transfer ownership of the home to the excited buyers. Since early March the Registries have been largely closed to the public. We had already begun to see fewer sellers at the closings, with their attorneys coming in their stead or simply mailing the signed documents to the closing attorney. Brokers would often show up with the paperwork and leave with the checks. Today transactions are being closed in yards, on picnic tables, and in large conference rooms with each of us at opposite ends of a table and everyone with masks. We…

Read More

September is REALTOR® SAFETY Month!

- By Diane M. Sterrett

After the spring and summer we’ve been through, when you hear the word “safety” the first things that probably jump to mind are COVID-19 safety procedures such as wearing face masks when meeting clients and in the office, not shaking hands with clients anymore, and holding virtual open houses. All those things are still really important, but as the virus spread fluctuates, so do the rules. The best advice we can give you is to keep listening to the governor’s guidance, follow all CDC-recommended health protocols, and take care of yourself. Now that we have the compulsory COVID-19 talk out of the way, what other kinds of safety are we concerned about as REALTORS®? Personal safety, brokerage safety, and cybersecurity. Let’s take a brief look at all three. Personal Safety When asked if their brokerage had standard procedures for…

Read More

How to Spot a Scam

- By Sabrina Lapointe

There is no doubt that this year we have all experienced many firsts. With everything going on since the rise and continuation of the Covid-19 pandemic, there’s a lot to be aware of. One thing that may not necessarily be top of mind is looking out for scams. Many of you have probably had certain scams on your radar for some time now as a REALTOR®. These scams might include things such as wire fraud, email hacking, general cyber scams, impersonation scams, open house scams, among many other things. So, how can we avoid being victims of these scams? Pay close attention to details and know what suspicious behaviors to look for. For example, to avoid wire fraud via email hack, be sure to check the email address very closely. With email phishing, the email itself will typically look…

Read More

Keeping Yourself And Your Business Safe

- By Paul Yorkis

It is important to look at REALTOR® safety from many perspectives. Unfortunately, we know that REALTORS® have been harmed or even murdered while showing a property or doing an open house so your physical safety should always be paramount. There are other aspects of personal and business safety that also should be considered. Errors and Omission Insurance: If you are associated with a firm, check with the principal to make sure you understand the coverage that is provided. If you own your own firm check with your insurance provider to make sure your policy is providing the coverage you need for yourself and the agents associated with your firm. Consider asking your insurance agent to attend an office meeting to explain the coverage. Do your errors and omissions policy provide adequate coverage for Fair Housing and cyber liability? Does…

Read More

Staying Safe From Liability During the Pandemic

- By Stephen M. Perry

Real estate brokers have always known that the services they provide are “essential,” but it was gratifying that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts agreed with this assessment when most other businesses were shuttered due to the coronavirus pandemic. A frequent question among businesses that are now reopening, as well as those that have been open all along, is whether there are significant liability risks associated with operating during the pandemic. Will a business be liable if an employee becomes sick? What about a customer who blames the business for contracting the virus? Should companies require that employees, contractors, or customers sign waiver forms to ward off liability? In looking at these issues, it is helpful to understand what possible liability claims a business might theoretically face in connection with COVID-19. Under the common law of negligence, every individual and every business…

Read More

Message from the CEO – September/October

- By Theresa Hatton

Safety First! This issue of Bay State REALTOR® is focused on the safety of our members. At first thought, you might think of safety in terms of a physical attack. Real estate is in this very active real estate market, being safe is especially important due to Covid-19. With such a low level of inventory in Massachusetts, homes are being sold at a rapid pace. This environment requires our members and their customers to make quick decisions and uncomplicated offers. The stress and pressure on all parties is real. Keeping yourself safe includes your physical and mental well-being. In these pressured times, be sure to schedule some time to yourself, away from screens and meetings, and allow yourself some time to recharge. If members do not take time away to rest, the heightened stress can make the body more…

Read More

President’s Message: Safety First

- By Kurt Thompson

This edition of the magazine gives us the opportunity to focus on an issue in our industry that doesn’t get nearly enough attention – safety. When thinking about what safety looks like in the real estate industry, there is a lot to consider. There is our physical safety, digital safety, financial safety, and now with COVID-19, we must also take into consideration the safety of our health. Since this is the September/October issue and September is REALTOR® Safety Month, we thought it would be a good idea to share some safety tips and precautions. However, it’s important to note, these safety precautions are something we should be engaging in ALL year-round. Taking the proper safety measures daily is key in ensuring a safe day-to-day life for our REALTOR® community. As the state begins to open back up, and we…

Read More

Real Social – How to Stay Safe Online

- By Teah Hopper

Everyone should take online safety seriously, but REALTORS® must be especially cautious on the Internet. The nature of the real estate industry means that your location is often public, and you likely have a wider audience than many of your friends and followers. Social media is an incredible tool for REALTORS®, and when you use it safely it becomes even better. So, let’s talk about how to stay safe online. Know your accounts. Do you have a Facebook Business Page for your real estate posts? If not, you should make one. Facebook Business Pages are known for their marketing capabilities, but they also allow you to keep your personal and professional posts separate. This means that you can choose to keep private information, like details on family vacations, exclusively on your personal page, where you have more control over…

Read More

Stigmatized Properties – Disclosure of Certain Stigmas

- By The MAR Legal Team

REALTORS® are required by Massachusetts law (Chapter 93A) to disclose known physical defects to prospective buyers. This obligation clearly applies to defects such as a leaky roof or a faulty foundation. Often, there are questions about whether REALTORS® need to also disclose things that may have a psychological impact on the property: murders, suicides, paranormal phenomenon, and other psychological stigmas. In 1998, Massachusetts enacted the Stigmatized Property Law (Chapter 93, Section 114). This statute specifically states that brokers do not have a duty to investigate or affirmatively disclose murders, suicides, allegations of ghosts, or other possible stigmas. As with other inquiries from prospective buyers, a REALTOR® must answer the question relating to the stigma honestly and to the best of their knowledge. REALTORS® do not have a duty to investigate stigmas, even if specifically asked about them by prospective…

Read More