Friday March 6th 2015

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The Wednesday Word: New Net Neutrality Rules Approved by the FCC

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(Please note: The following blog post was prepared by MAR Legal Staff: Michael McDonagh, General Counsel; Ashley Stolba, Associate Counsel; and Justin Davidson, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel. Edited by Christine Howe, Legal Affairs & Finance Administrative Assistant)

Last Thursday (February 26, 2015) the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved new “net neutrality” rules that will benefit REALTORS®. As the profession moves toward more frequent internet use for online resources, forms, listings and generally working with clients, the changes are welcomed by the National Association of REALTORS®.

“Today’s vote ensures that consumers will have equal, unencumbered access to the Internet and all legal content and applications, that cannot be blocked or throttled by Internet Service Providers,” NAR President Chris Polychron said in a statement released by NAR on Thursday. The new rules give the FCC authority to regulate broadband providers and restrict their ability to control download speeds in addition to prohibiting paid prioritization that tends to benefit large companies that can pay to receive faster internet delivery. This authority truly benefits REALTORS® in addition to small business owners.

While the FCC has approved the new rules, the work is not done yet. NAR stated it also will continue to work with Congress as it considers net neutrality legislation to ensure it is beneficial to REALTORS®.

To read more about net neutrality, visit the NAR Net Neutrality Resources page.

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Don’t miss this week’s Webinar Wednesday

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First impressions are important, but in an age when your first impression is more likely to be based off of Google results, how can you put your best foot forward? Ernie Graham of Realtor.com is here to tell you about a new agent profile that works on any website you control with this week’s Webinar Wednesday.

 

Don’t miss this week’s Webinar Wednesday at 10am.

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What’s being said in the media: January 2015 Closed Sales

Here are the articles and posts that resulted in the release of our January 2015 Closed Sales Report. We’ll continue to update this post as more articles come in.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Battered by winter, Mass. home sales drop in January
Boston Globe

Storms put dent in January home sales
Lowell Sun

Mass. home sales faltered in Jan.
Worcester Business Journal

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Housing market to ramp up during the spring
WWLP

Historic Snow Causing Headaches For Real Estate Industry
WBUR

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The Wednesday Word: MAR Announces 2015-2016 Legislative Priorities

(Please note: The following blog post was prepared by MAR Legal Staff: Michael McDonagh, General Counsel; Ashley Stolba, Associate Counsel; and Justin Davidson, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel. Edited by Christine Howe, Legal Affairs & Finance Administrative Assistant)

On Wednesday January 7th the Massachusetts Legislature convened the 189th General Court for the 2015-2016 session. This session, MAR will be introducing and supporting various pieces of legislation. We will also focus on opposing legislation that would negatively impact REALTORS® and the real estate economy.

REALTORS® Support:

  • Land Use and Zoning Reform
  • Copper Pipe Theft Prevention
  • Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief And Debt Cancellation

REALTORS® Oppose

  • Local Imposition of Room Occupancy Tax
  • Real Estate Transfer Taxes

To get more involved with the issues this year, attend MAR’s Annual REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill, held in the beginning of June. Gather with your fellow REALTORS® to fill the Great Hall of the Statehouse and meet one on one with the members of the Legislature representing you on Beacon Hill. For updates on Day on the Hill and other GA issues, check out MAR Government Affairs.

Click here for the 2015-2016 Legislative Priorities.

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REALTORS®, let Consumer Reports know you stand for professionalism

Happy Young Couple Buying New Home With Real Estate Agent

Dear fellow REALTORS®:

A recent article in Consumer Reports titled, “Real estate agents confess their dirty little secrets”  ranked top bad behaviors real estate agents witnessed occurring in the business.  The article shines poorly on REALTORS® who abide by the Code of Ethics of professionalism.  On behalf of NAR, I would like to request that you send a letter to the editor explaining why the article is a disservice to REALTORS® and the industry.

To assist you in submitting a letter suggested language is below.  You may also refer to NAR talking points on REALTOR® professionalism found at http://bit.ly/1CUgexA. Letters can be submitted at http://web.consumerreports.org/custom…/customer-service.html (under Subject select Letter to the Editor from the dropdown).

I am proud to be a REALTOR® and abide to its strict code as I’m sure you are as well.  Please submit a Letter to the Editor and let Consumer Reports know these comments are not representative of us.

Corinne Fitzgerald
2015 President
Massachusetts Association of REALTORS®

 Suggested language for member letters:

“Anonymous comments from a few agents are not at all reflective of the professionalism of the real estate industry and do a great disservice to America’s hard-working real estate professionals. Research from the National Association of Realtors shows that buyers value the expertise and professionalism of their agent; referrals are the strongest sign of client satisfaction, and more than eight out of 10 buyers and sellers said they would use the same agent again or recommend that agent to others. Also, consumers are sold on the value that agents bring to the transaction. More homebuyers than ever before are working with an agent to help them successfully through the real estate transaction – more than four out of five recent home buyers and sellers used a real estate professional in a transactions because they know real estate agents are the most trusted resource for up-to-date, comprehensive and accurate real estate insights and information. Real estate professionals bring added value to transactions and working with an agent is a smart financial decision.”

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Massachusetts Home Sales Down in January to Start 2015

The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR) reported today that single-family home sales in January could not build on the success of December and closed down 4.9 percent compared to last year. Median prices were up, which has been the trend for over two years. Condominium sales were down while prices remained up.

January 2015 Closed Sales Release

Video Podcast with MAR President Corinne Fitzgerald

Highlights from the release:

  • January single-family home sales down -4.9% over last year. (2,664 sales in 2015 from 2,802 sales in January 2014)
  • January single-family median prices went UP year-over-year (to $330,000 in 2015 from $320,000 in January 2014)
  • January condo sales down -12.2% and median prices UP 3.3% ($310,000)
  • Inventory in January down -18.5% to 14,832 and condominiums available down -24.7% to 3,859
  • SF listings added to the market in January down -5.1% over last year. (3,914 from 4,124 in 2014)
  • Condo listings added to the market down -12.5% over last year. (1,507 from 1,721 in 2014)Jan15SF

Jan15C

 

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