Does a real estate agent have the authority to bind a client in a real estate transaction via text message or email? Since mid-2016 the matter of St. John’s Holdings, LLC v. Two Electronics, LLC has been working its way through the Massachusetts court system in an attempt to get a clear answer to this very question. Continue reading
The House of Representatives is expected to take up a bill on Thursday (delayed due to the storm Wednesday) that seeks to tax, regulate, and potentially restrict short-term rentals in the Commonwealth. MAR opposes this legislation for two main reasons.
1. The bill would grant cities and towns the explicit authority to restrict a property owner’s right to rent their unit on a short-term basis; and
2. It would require homeowners to comply with onerous business regulations and administrative burdens that were never intended for the average homeowner.
MAR is supporting two amendments to the bill.
Amendment 6: Would strike a provision that would allow cities and towns to restrict short-term rentals by passing by-laws or ordinances that would include a limit on the number of days an owner may rent out a home or requiring that each home is an owner’s primary residence.
By way of example, a city or town would be able to prohibit homeowners from renting out their property for more than 14 days per year, or from renting out a second home on Cape Cod in order to off-set their mortgage and carrying costs, simply because it is not their primary residence.
In addition, by authorizing cities and towns to impose a business licensing requirement on short-term rentals, H.4314 would impair a fundamental attribute of private property ownership—the right to rent—and convert it to an unlawful business use for which the “privilege” of a license is required.
Amendment 14: Would clarify language to ensure that Realtors® who collect rent and taxes from renters would be able to pass those funds on to the owner, without incurring any tax filing obligations.
What We Need You to Do:
Please contact your State Representative and let him or her know that this bill is bad for homeowners and private property rights in Massachusetts and ask that they support these amendments.
Sample Call Script:
Hello, my name is ______________ and I am a Realtor® and constituent from ______(TOWN)_________.
I’m calling today to talk about H.4314 the short-term rental bill that the House will be considering.
I am opposed to this bill because it seeks to allow communities to restrict a property owner’s right to rent their property simply because it is for a short stay.
This is important to me because this bill would impair a fundamental attribute of private property ownership—the right to rent—and convert it to an unlawful business use for which the “privilege” of a license is required.
The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® is supporting two amendments that would improve this bill. Number 6 filed by Rep. Tackey Chan and Number 14 filed by Rep. Daniel Cahill.
Thank you for taking the time to talk to me today.
Read more information on House Bill H4314.
The number of homes and condominiums put under agreement in the month of February increased over last year. Median prices for both single-family homes and condominiums saw a hike year-over-year as well.
Closed sales for single-family homes fell slightly in January, while prices rose more than three percent. Condominium sales saw a drop in sales as well, with prices rising over six percent. Inventory dropped to a record low for the month of January. This is the second month in a row that the number of single-family homes for sale has been below the 10,000 mark. Continue reading
We all make promises to ourselves at the beginning of a new year. Sometimes we break those New Year resolutions rather soon, and before we know it, we are back to our normal, sometimes bad habits.
This year, if your resolution was to save money, I’m here to remind you that this resolution can stick. As a member of MAR, you have access to many benefits that you should take advantage of this year. A variety of services partner with MAR to provide special discounts on products and services not just for the office, but for the home as well.
Here’s a reminder of some top member benefits that can save you time and money in 2018:
1-Comtel Group INC. : Comtel Group is one of the nation’s most experienced telecommunications agencies providing independent, non-fee based consulting and services. Beyond traditional brokerages and consultancies, Comtel Group is your permanent and total communications solutions partner and advocate. Their goal is to optimize your experience and raise the standards of how business telecommunications services are bought, sold and managed. The best part—it’s free to MAR members!
2- Taxbot: Join thousands of happy agents and save thousands on your taxes every year. Taxbot is a mileage and expense tracking app. The one touch system captures your expenses and mileage in real time which are sent to the cloud and stored securely in a dynamic web portal. You can edit records, add new information, and create dynamic budgets with Taxbot.
3-Data Breach & Cyber Liability Insurance: Realtors® are a new target of cyber criminals. Insure your business from the financial harm and expenses that can result from a data breach. MAR members can have cyber and data breach insurance quoted and have coverage in effect in less than five minutes!
Happy New Year, and happy savings! For even more saving opportunities, check out all the MAR member benefits.
Buyers continued to come out and make accepted offers on single-family homes and condominiums in the final month of the year as the number of homes put under agreement and prices increased in December. As a whole, 2017 saw both homes put under agreement and average median prices increase compared to 2016.
December Pending Sales:
|Single-Family||December 2017||December 2016||% Change|
- Pending sales have been up 11 of the last 12 months
|Condominium||December 2017||December 2016||% Change|
- Pending sales have been up 10 of the last 12 months
Year-End Pending Sales:
|Avg. Median Price||$376,292||$353,644||+6.4%|
|Avg. Median Price||$349,163||$331,929||+5.2%|
Read more in the December 2017 Future Indicators Report.