Inside MAR’s Committee Selection Process

It’s that time of year again; requests for placement on the 2018 MAR Committees are now available. Committee service is one of the primary ways our members help shape and guide the association’s agenda. We thought we’d provide a look into how that process works, along with a reminder of how you can volunteer.

MAR’s 2018 committee request form is available on our website, marealtor.com. You’ll need to log in in the upper right-hand corner. Once you’re logged in, click on “Committees” in your menu.

The committees page has descriptions of all the MAR committees that are available for volunteer requests in 2018. Have a look at them, and when you’re ready, you may click on the text at the top to go to the Volunteer Request Form page.

It’s important that you log in to access this page. You’ll notice your current MAR email address in the last field – this is how your responses get populated to your record. If there’s no address in that field, please fill it in. If the address in the field is incorrect, contact your local board to correct it.

In the form, you’ll put rankings next to the committees you would like to volunteer for. Your rankings are based on your priority; the number “1” means that committee is your top priority, “2” is your second-highest priority, and so on. You may volunteer for as many committees as you like.

When you’re satisfied with your choices, click the “submit” button at the bottom of the page.

Once you’ve submitted your choices, they’ll be entered in our system with your name. If you change your mind, you are welcome to resubmit the rankings as many times as you like, but remember that only your most recent submission will be used to assign committees. You should receive a confirmation email within 24 hours of submitting your rankings.

When it’s time for leadership to evaluate volunteers and form 2018 committees, we’ll use your rankings to inform our choices and assign members to the most appropriate committees. Being specific with your rankings and ranking as many committees as you’re interested in will help greatly in assembling committees for 2018. You might not always get your first choice, but MAR will always try to put our volunteers in positions that will both interest and engage them, and benefit the membership as a whole.

10 Ways Realtors® Are Like Life Coaches

You have life goals and you see yourself achieving those goals, but you don’t quite know how to get there. Sometimes all it takes is a gentle push by your real estate life coach (Coach Realtor® to you) to make it happen. The home buying life game starts now!

1. Your four-hour daily commute is soul-sucking

2. You’re running out of room in your current crib

3. The roommates are cramping your style and making you feel like a third wheel

4. You know you need to make a change

5. Coach Realtor® will help you set a goal

6. Stay focused on what’s possible

7. Explain the process so you can understand it

8. Build your confidence

9. Help you take the leap

10. Hand you the keys to a new life

Achieving home buying Zen is possible if you find the right coach. Focus on your breathing and go to www.marealtor.com/findARealtor

New 2017 Mandatory Agency Disclosure Form

All Realtors® should be aware that the Board of Registration for Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons has issued a NEW Mandatory Agency Disclosure Form. The form’s official title is the Massachusetts Mandatory Real Estate Licensee – Consumer Relationship Disclosure. The form is designed to provide the same kinds of disclosures to consumers while clarifying and simplifying some aspects of the old form. We put together a Q&A below to help you understand the changes. You should start using the new form immediately.

Q
: Why did the Board of Registration issue a new agency disclosure form?

A: the Board of Registration wanted to make the form easier to use while still providing the required agency disclosures for the customers and clients that Realtors work with. To do this, the board convened a subcommittee made up of experts including practitioners, attorneys, and real estate instructors to look at the current form and suggest changes.

Q: What is different in the new form?

A: The form accomplishes the same objectives as the old form, but some of the language in the form is new and the layout is different. Similar to the old form, the new form states that it is not a contract, but now that text is bold and underlined.

The form still requires licensees to select either “Seller’s agent,” “Buyer’s agent,” or “Facilitator.” You will notice that the section below this has changed on the new form. Now licensees will need to check a box indicating if their office is working as a designated agency office or a non-designated agency office.  This is intended to alert the consumer (buyer or seller) whether other licensees associated with your office will also be the consumer’s agent.  (Because facilitators are not agents of either the buyer or seller, this second check off does not apply to them.)

Once you have disclosed that you are a seller’s agent or a buyer’s agent, you will then need to check off the box that describes your office policy.

  • If the policy of your office is only to offer “single agency” your relationship between the brokerage firm and the consumer (buyer or seller) will be the same for every agent in your office.
  • If the policy of your office is to appoint individual associates as “designated agents” for the seller and to appoint other individual associates as “designated agents” for the buyer, then you should check the Designated Agency box, disclosing that the agency relationship is limited to the designated individuals.

Remember, before an agent may be appointed for the opposing party in a Designated Agency scenario, written consent must be obtained from the buyer and seller.  Consent may be obtained, in advance, in either a listing agreement or in a buyer agency agreement, or in a later consent form.  Finally, this consumer relationship disclosure form, by itself, is not a consent to designated agency.

The new form has also corrected a deficiency in the old form regarding situations where a licensee works in a designated agency firm and wants to show his/her listing to a customer. In those instances, there was not a way to disclose this to the customer on the old disclosure form.

Q: I am in the middle of a transaction and have already used the old form. Do I need my client to complete a new form? Also, what happens if someone uses the old form now that the new form is in effect?        

If you have used the old form while it was still in effect, you have met the requirements to disclose your agency relationship with customers and clients and so a new form is not needed.  For any future usage, the new form is currently in effect and should be used with all customers and clients moving forward.  Copies of the form can be downloaded from the Board of Registration’s website and is currently being made available in all MAR electronic forms platforms. MAR has been informed that the Board is not planning to discipline licensees for using the wrong form in the near future. The Board of Registration will hold their next meeting on March 21st and we will share any updates on this information at that time.

Q: Where can I find a copy of the new form?

A: The form is now available on the Board of Registration’s website http://www.mass.gov/ocabr/licensee/dpl-boards/re/ under the section entitled “application and forms.” MAR is currently working to include the new form in all electronic forms platforms as well as paper versions.

Q: When does the form become effective?

A: The form is currently in effect and you should use it when having a personal meeting to discuss a specific property with a client or customer.

Q: How long must my brokerage firm keep a copy of the executed brokerage disclosure form?

A: Three years. This requirement has not changed.

Q: Has anything changed regarding the timing of when I need to use the form?

A: No, this has not changed. Regardless of your relationship with the buyer or seller, all licensed brokers and salespersons must present the brokerage disclosure form at the first personal meeting to discuss a specific property.

Q: What if the consumer refuses to sign the form?

A: The process if a consumer refuses to sign the form remains the same:

  1. Make a notation on the form where indicated;
  2. Provide the consumer a copy of the form; and
  3. Keep the other copy for your file.

Q: Why isn’t there a box to check as a dual agent?

A: Dual agency arises when there is a conflict caused by representing both the buyer and seller.  By itself, disclosure of an agency relationship with either the buyer or seller cannot be a conflict. Before a licensee may act as a “dual agent,” written consent must be signed by both the buyer and seller. Consent may be obtained before it is known for certain that dual representation will actually occur (either in a listing agreement or a buyer agency agreement) or once it becomes known that the licensee represents both the seller and prospective buyer. If consent was obtained before it was known that a dual agency situation has arisen, a notice must be given to the buyer and seller to advise them that dual agency has actually occurred.

 

Ed Levine Receives Massachusetts Realtor® Distinguished Service Award

ed_levineEd Levine of Fine Properties, Inc. in Shrewsbury has been named recipient of the MAR Milton H. Shaw Distinguished Service Award for 2016. The award was presented at MAR’s Professional Awards Reception, which was held in conjunction with the Association’s 2016 Conference and Tradeshow at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut.

First awarded in 1984, the Milton H. Shaw Distinguished Service Award is presented annually to one Realtor® member or staff executive who has demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities and volunteered countless hours of personal time to serve on state association committees and participate in MAR activities.

Jody O’Brien is 2016 Massachusetts Real Estate Educator of the Year

jody-obrien_smallThe Massachusetts Association of Realtors® announced today that Jody O’Brien, state-certified continuing education instructor of the RE/Education Company in Andover, has been named 2016 Massachusetts Real Estate Educator of the Year. The award was presented at MAR’s Professional Awards Reception, which was held in conjunction with the Association’s 2016 Conference and Tradeshow at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut.

This is the second time that O’Brien has been named Massachusetts Real Estate Educator of the Year, having received the inaugural award in 2003.

Kelly Catallo and Lisa Farnworth Win the 2016 Good Neighbor Award

img_1669The Massachusetts Association of Realtors® announced today that Kelly Catallo and Lisa Farnworth were named MAR’s 2016 Good Neighbor Award winners for their work on behalf of Boston Children’s Hospital and the Department of Children and Families, respectively. The Good Neighbor Award recognizes Realtors® for their community activism. The award was presented at MAR’s Professional Awards Reception, which was held in conjunction with the Association’s 2016 Conference and Tradeshow at the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Connecticut.