The 21st Annual REALTOR Day on Beacon Hill is just three weeks away! To help you prepare to attend REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill at the Massachusetts State House on Tuesday, June 21, we continue with Wednesday Word blog posts that discuss the 2015-2016 Legislative Issues.
This is the second post in the series and reviews our positions on the following issues: Mandatory Energy Scoring and Wetland Disclosure:
Oppose Mandatory Energy Scoring
S.1761 An Act relative to home energy efficiency
Status: Referred to the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy including an extension until July 1.
Why MAR Opposes S.1761: This bill seeks to require sellers or their agents to perform a Mass Save energy audit prior to listing a home for sale and disclose to any prospective buyer the information in the energy audit at the time of the listing. Additionally, the bill commissions the design and implementation of an energy scoring and labeling system. Over and above having an enormous impact on an individual’s right to freely transfer land, such requirements would negatively affect the real estate industry in the Commonwealth. Massachusetts is home to some of the oldest housing stocks in the country and mandatory energy scoring of such older homes would significantly stigmatize and potentially devalue an individual’s largest investment.
Oppose Wetland Disclosure Legislation
H.150 An Act relative to to the disclosure of wetlands on property
Status: Reported favorably by Joint Committee on Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure
Why MAR Opposes H.150: If passed, the proposed legislation would require real estate licensees to disclose to prospective buyers that a property to be sold is in its entirety or in part a wetland. Requiring brokers to investigate and report to buyers on the various wetland restrictions overlay maps, and provisions in each community would exceed the practice of brokerage as defined in Chapter 112.
As with any other condition affecting real property for sale, buyers are free to ask questions of the seller about wetlands on the property, create contingencies in purchase agreements that allow for an inspection for wetland areas, and research information through public records. The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS believes that these methods of acquiring relevant information are far superior to legislatively mandating that brokers perform services beyond their areas of expertise and training. For the foregoing reasons, MAR believes H.150 should not advance.
Please be sure to visit the MAR Government Affairs page and Day on the Hill Facebook event for additional information.
2016 MAR President Annie Blatz invites you to REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill, where REALTORS® will have a chance to network and learn about the key legislative issues that will affect the real estate industry and private property in 2016. Attend the REALTOR® Day on the Hill and make an impact on the legislative process.
REALTOR® Day on Beacon Hill is scheduled for:
Tuesday, June 21st, 2016
10:00 to 11:00AM
Massachusetts State House, Great Hall
We look forward to seeing you there!
(Please note: This blog post was prepared by MAR Legal Staff: Michael McDonagh, General Counsel; Ashley Stolba, Associate Counsel; Justin Davidson, Legislative & Regulatory Counsel; and Christine Howe, Public Policy and Finance Coordinator)