Subject: Realtor® Update - April 2015


REALTOR Association of Pioneer Valley



April 2015  


Just living is not enough, one must have sunshine, freedom, and flowers.

- Hans Christian Andersen

  • President's Report
  • 22nd Annual Education Fair & Expo
  • Claim your .REALTOR domain
  • March single family sales report
  • MAR Legal Hotline
  • April is Fair Housing month
  • Hearing Panel Case Interpretations related to Fair Housing
  • RAPV celebrating 100 Years
  • Free CE Class - "Your Closings...Will They Happen?" Changes to the Closing Process
  • Vital Signs
  • New eCoupons at Lowes
  • Gas companies impose hookup moratorium
  • Social Media Insanity - How to Keep Sane
  • Condolences
  • Membership Notices
  • Events and Education


by Dawn Henry

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Placemaking-Micro Grants benefit communities 

Last year, RAPV received a $2,100 NAR Placemaking-Micro Grant to help make Agawam a better place to live and work by transforming an unused public space into a vibrant community destination - a new dog park.  The NAR funds will help support the $260,000 venture which is set to open later this year.  We also received a $1,500 grant to help create a senior hiking trail in Monson.

Earlier this month I attended the groundbreaking ceremony in Agawam.  I was accompanied by Lou Mayo, President-Elect and Sue Drumm, an RAPV Director.

So what is the concept of a Placemaking grant and how is it used?  Placemaking is identified as where citizens gather. These grants can help foster healthier, more social and economically viable communities.  It creates places where people feel a strong stake in their neighborhoods and are committed to making things better.

REALTORS® live, work and volunteer in their communities and take immense pride in working to improve them.  Through these grants we have the opportunity to make a positive and long lasting impact in communities across the Pioneer Valley.

Placemaking grants are awarded to REALTOR® associations to help them initiate placemaking projects in the community, like turning a parking lot into a farmer’s market or a vacant lot into a playground.   

We need your involvement.  Ask around in your community.  Identify a need and apply.  RAPV staff will help you through the process.  Sue Drumm headed the RAPV involvement in Agawam and Karen King did the same in Monson.

To find out more about the grants visit, NAR Placemaking Micro-Grants.

Below: The April 14 groundbreaking ceremony for the Agawam Dog Park with Lou Mayo, Dawn Henry, Sue Drumm, city and park officials.  

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22nd Annual Education Fair & Expo
Over 300 attend 

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During the Education Fair RAPV leadership was featured on Channel 22's Mass Appeal program which aired live from the Sheraton Springfield.  From left: President Dawn Henry, MAR President Corinne Fitzgerald, and Ashley Kohl, host of Mass Appeal.  Others featured were Ray Hoess-Brooks, Jack Lapomardo, Lou Mayo, Brian Risler, and Ben Scranton.  The homebuying and selling process, licensing, advocacy and the benefits of using a REALTOR® were among the topics discussed. View the program here.



Claim your .REALTOR® domain

As the Internet continues to evolve, you can be at the forefront of change. Create a .REALTOR® web address and instantly tell the world you are a REALTOR®

Anyone can create a .com web address, but only REALTORS® can have a .REALTOR web address, differentiating REALTORS® from other real estate professionals. 

Learn all you need to know to set up your personal .REALTOR web address.

The domain is free for one year to the first 500,000 REALTORS® who register.  VIew a short video.

Click here to claim your .REALTOR® domain.


March Single Family Sales Report


Sales up 14.2%

Median price down 2.8%

County reports vary.

Read the full report.

MAR Legal Hotline - Advertising on Social Media
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Q: My company wants to start advertising our listings on social media.  How can I be sure that I am making the proper disclosures?

Q: I am a buyer's agent and want to showcase some other brokerages' listings on my social media page to attract buyer-clients.  Is this acceptable?

Q: Can I post information on other broker's listings from the MLS on my social media page? 

Read the full article.



April is Fair Housing Month

Know the law.

 What Everyone Should Know About Equal Opportunity in Housing   A broad overview of fair housing as it relates to REALTORS® and their clients.

 NAR’s Field Guide to Fair Housing


Code of Ethics Case Interpretations: Hearing Panel Findings
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Interpretations of the Code of Ethics has been developed to help REALTORS® understand the ethical obligations created by the Code of Ethics.

These case interpretations present specific situations involving charges of alleged unethical conduct by REALTORS® which are reviewed by a peer panel of Board Members and in which decisions as to ethical conduct are reached. Each case provides the Hearing Panel’s decision based on the facts and the rationale for the decision.

Here are Five case interpretations related to fair housing.  See how the hearing panel ruled.

For additional information about the Code of Ethics, click here.



Realtor® Association of Pioneer Valley launches new web site,

Consumer Resources

  • Search for a property
  • Search for a REALTOR®
  • Search for a lender
  • Search for a real estate attorney
  • Glossary of real estate terms
  • Articles: 'How to Find the Best REALTOR® for you" and "What Your REALTOR® Does For You - The Real Estate Transaction in 180 Steps"
  • and more....

Member Resources

  • List of Pioneer Valley Fire Departments/Contacts
  • RPR links
  • News releases
  • Archived newsletters
  • Field Guides
  • House Logic
  • State-by-State License Regulatory divisions
  • Advocacy resources
  • 5 Year History of Pioneer Valley sales reports
  • and more....




RAPV - Celebrating 100 Years

Throughout the year, photos and mementos will be shared which highlight our 100 year history. A gala celebration banquet will be held on November 5 at the Mass Mutual Center in Springfield. Save the date!

From the archives: 1958 billboard in downtown Springfield advertising the MLS.
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Free CE class May 8: "Your Closings...Will They Happen?"  Changes to the closing process
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REALTORS® and other industry professionals should no longer expect to be able to make last minute changes at the closing. Lenders now must adhere to the new forms as administered by The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).  

The changes will transform the settlement process. REALTORS® will need to adapt and pre-plan to avoid a bumpy transition.  

The changes will be covered during a free CE class on May 8th with Attorney Deborah Sonnenschein.  Attorney Sonnenschein wrote the curriculum which the state approved for CE credit.  The class will be from 12 noon to 2 pm at RAPV.  Registration is required.

Vital Signs
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Attendance at RAPV events and education
  • January: 303
  • February: 281
  • March:  404
RAPV membership count:
  • January: 1,462
  • February: 1,564
  • March: 1,623

New eCoupons are available to send to clients throughout the year through the Lowe’s Program for REALTORS®. This unique marketing opportunity allows you to send savings to former and future clients every six months, demonstrating that you are the source that cares about their home and keeping it maintained.

Take advantage
of this unique marketing opportunity from Lowe’s, a REALTOR Benefits® Partner.

Berkshire Gas and Columbia Gas impose hook-up moratorium in area commmunities
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Both Berkshire Gas Company and Columbia Gas Company have imposed a moratorium in several Pioneer Valley communities.  Worried about pipeline capacity, the companies are rejecting any new hookups in Amherst, Deerfield, Easthampton, Greenfield, Hadley, Hatfield, Montague, Northampton, Sunderland and Whately.  Existing customers will continue to receive service but can not expect an upgrade if they were to expand.  The moratoruim was imposed in December 2014.  

If you have questions from clients and customers about existing natural gas service, share this FAQ provided by Berkshire Gas.  Additional information includes a March 20, 2015 article which appeared in The Republican and the letter which Berkshire Gas send to their existing customers in December 2014.

If questions arise, disclose what you know.  Inform them to explore other solutions other than natural gas, propane has been suggested.  Call the MAR legal hotline for guidance or disclosure issues at 800-370-5342, or through email at

Social Media Insanity: How To Keep Sane

Whether you're an agent, office manager in charge of your company's social media account or broker owner, there’s a truth that applies across the board: social media marketing, in all of it’s beautiful, wonderful glory, is a sprawling, hot mess.


We are saddened to report the death of Lucien Pelletier.  Mr. Pelletier, 92, passed away April 18 at his home. He was President of the Greater Springfield Board of REALTORS® in 1973.  His leadership and devotion to the real estate industry is much appreciated. He served his country in WWII and took part in the D-Day invasion.  His commitment to his country, business and family is impressive.  Visitation will be Wednesday, April 22 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at the Beers & Story Palmer Funeral Home, 1475 North Main Street in Palmer.  A Funeral Mass will be Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at St. Elizabeth Parish with burial to follow in St. Anne's Cemetery. His obituary.

This month has been a particularly trying time for the REALTOR® family here in the Pioneer Valley.  Cindy Ayre, Chick Delano and Verna Kaifer, and now Mr. Pelletier, all passed away within days of each other.  We extend our thoughts and prayers to their families, friends and colleagues.


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Mihran Arakelian with Home Pros Real Estate, Inc. in Somers, CT; Lisa Bihler, Rachel Uhlig with Martinelli, Martini & Gallagher in Holyoke; Raymond Crooks, Patti-Ann Dombrowski, Michael Guardione, Kristen Williams (Longmeadow), Bryan Daley, Donald Hayman, Amy Morin (Northampton), Lindsey Emanuel, Samantha Osowski (Feeding Hills) with Keller Williams Realty; Matthew Crowner, Eric Duckett, Micaela Giles, Kristen Styspeck with Jones Group, REALTORS® in Amherst; Melody Glenn with The Murphy's REALTORS® in Northampton; Jordan Healy with RR & Company Realty in Springfield; Daniel LaDuke with Century 21 Hometown Associates in Chicopee; Tracy Mahaffy with Bean Group in Winchester; Jorge Martins with Ideal Real Estate, Inc. in Ludlow; Melissa Phelan with Canon Real Estate, Inc. in Easthampton; Susan Raimer with Landmark REALTORS® in Wilbraham; Kyle Shoemaker with Park Square Realty in Feeding Hills; Mariah Swanson with Delap Real Estate in Northampton; and Ferdinand Williams with Century 21 A-1 Nolan, LLC in West Springfield.

Victoria Bisgrove, Jane Fazio, Terri Hart with RE/MAX Compass in Westfield; Richard Constant, Tamara Moreau with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage in Chicopee; and Kathy Rose with Park Square Realty in Feeding Hills.

Brenda Corbeille, Charlene Prefontaine with Monson Savings Bank in Monson; Katie Daviau, Aaron Tillberry with Bearingstar Insurance Agency in Longmeadow; Mark Liberatore with Caring Transitions in Bernardston; Vanessa Martinez with Egan, Flanagan and Cohen, PC in Springfield; and Patrick McWilliams with Five College Movers, LLC in Amherst.

Attorney Gerald Berg has a new location.  His office is at 1350 Main Street, Suite 1113, Springfield, MA 01103.



register at


April 22
5:30 to 7:30 p.m.
YPN Social Event - All members are invited.
Pasquale's Restaurant in East Longmeadow
No Charge.  You may win an Ipad mini.

April 30
11:45 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Lunch & Learn Tech Session
"Claiming Your On-Line Presence"
with Elias Acuna, Amanda Abramson and Shawn Bowman
Just $10.  Lunch is provided.

May 2
Clean-up day in Springfield
President Dawn Henry is spearheading the REALTOR® effort of Keep Springfield Beautiful.  To volunteer, email Dawn or call her at 221-5168. 

May 6
New member Orientation and Code of Ethics training

May 7
5:00 -7:30 p.m.
Scholarship Pizza Event to benefit the RAPV Scholarship Fund.  Red Rose Pizzeria, Main Street, Springfield.  $25.00 pp

May 8
12 noon - 2:00 p.m.
"Your Closings...Will They Happen?"  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Effect on Real Estate Closings.  
With Attorney Deborah Sonnenschein author of the MA CE class (RE93R15).  This is a free class and awards 2 CE credits.  Registration is required.

May 15
11:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Foreclosure CE webinar with Jody O'Brien.  $15 pp.

May 20
3 CE classes in Hadley with Linda O'Connor.  $30 pp per class pre-registered. 


June 3 - Three continuing education classes at RAPV

June 10, 17 and 24 - New Agent FIRE Training

June 10 - MAR Legislative Day on Beacon Hill, Boston.  No charge.  Register and attend the legislative appointments and you are entered into a drawing to win 2 free Red Sox tickets.

June 11 - Awards Banquet at Log Cabin

September 28 through November 2 - Broker Pre-Licensing Course.  14 evening classes. 

November 5 - RAPV Centennial Gala, Mass Mutual Center.

Register for events and education at

Questions about education contact Laura Herring, 785-1328,

Questions about events contact Gail Lamirande at 785-1328,

Thank you

2015 Annual Sponsors

Monson Savings Bank
Peoples Bank
United Bank

 First Niagara Bank
Easthampton Savings Bank
Freedom Credit Union 
Greenfield Savings Bank
Greenfield Cooperative Bank
Polish National Bank

The annual sponsors make it possible
to keep ticket prices down for RAPV events.  Thank the sponsors when
you see them and take advantage
of the services they offer.

Health Insurance
for NAR Members

The REALTORS® Insurance Marketplace provides multiple health insurance options to NAR members.

Find out about the Marketplace insurance products available to you.
Call 877-267-3752

Member Value Plus (MVP) Program
Every 2 weeks a new MVP offer will be posted on Complete an action, earn a reward.

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The next GRI course, Expanding Your Base, will take place at the MAR office in Waltham on May 13 and May 20 from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.  The price is $250.  GRI designees can retake for $125.  

Register via phone at 1-800-725-6272 or online at

Additional courses on May 27-28, June 4 and October 15.

To advertise in the REALTOR® UPDATE, contact Kimberly Harrison at 785-1328 or

NAR members can borrow up to six electronic books, digital audios and/or videos at no cost through the Virtual Library eBooks Collection.

A Treasure Trove of Information
Click here for details.

Search 147 million properties.
Works with web-enabled devices.
Create top-quality client
reports customized with your branding.
Exclusive member benefit available at no charge.

View "What is RPR?" a short video that explains how RPR saves you time and money.  

Create your account today!



REALTORS® Political Action Committee 
Since 1969, the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC) has promoted the election of pro-REALTOR® candidates across the country. The purpose of RPAC is clear: REALTORS® raise and spend money to elect candidates who understand and support REALTOR® interests. The money to accomplish this comes from voluntary contributions made by REALTORS®.  RPAC doesn’t buy votes.  RPAC supports industry-minded candidates.  These candidates support the issues that are important to your profession and livelihood.

Some information below is password protected.  Members will need their NAR login name and password.  


For office and classroom rentals contact Laura Herring at or call 785-1328.  

For sponsorship opportunities contact Kim Harrison at 785-1328 or


United Parcel Service - UPS
Prescription Drug Card
Free Forms
Staples Advantage
Realtor®  Healthcare Program
and more....



Classes held at RAPV
April 22
9:30 -11:30 a.m.
Getting Started: Searching the System
1:00 -3:00 p.m.
Getting Started: Contact Management 

May 7
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Moving Forward: Listing Management
12:30 - 2:30 p.m
CMA & Market Reports

May 20
9:30 - 11:30 a.m.
Getting Started: Searching the System
1:00 - 3:00 p.m.
Getting Started: ContactManagement 
To register, visit
and access Training & Resources or call 800-695-3000, option 1.

REALTORS® Pledge of
Performance and Service

Special Bradley Airport Parking Rates at Executive Valet


$6.95 per day
(up to 24 hrs)

$34.75 per wk
(plus 8% airport access fee, 6.35% tax and fuel surcharge)


Rates, and free day, available when you present the RAPV Special Executive Valet parking card available only at RAPV.
Pick up your card at RAPV, or call 785-1328 to have it mailed to you.

Views and advertising are not necessarily endorsed by RAPV.  The information contained within should not be constituted as a recommendation for any course of action regarding financial, legal, accounting, business practice, or any other matter, by RAPV or its authors.  Links are provided as a convenience. RAPV has not reviewed all the information on other sites and disclaims any responsibility for the content, products or services that may be offered. Inclusion of a link to another site does not indicate any endorsement or approval of the site or its content.

2015 Officers
Dawn M. Henry, President
Lou Mayo, President-Elect
Rick Sawicki, Treasurer
Janise Fitzpatrick, Secretary
Patrick Nolan, Immediate Past-President

2015 Directors
Elias Acuna
Edward Alford
Kelly Bowman
Shawn Bowman
Suzi Buzzee
Sue Drumm
Sue Rheaume
Russell Sabadosa

REALTOR® of the Year
Dawn M. Henry

Affiliate of the Year
Tony Sanches

RAPV representatives on the MAR Board of Directors:

Raymond Authier
Elias Acuna
Kelly Bowman (alternate)
Luci Giguere
Dawn Henry
Lou Mayo
Susan Rheaume (alternate)
Linda Rotti
Susan Renfrew
Rick Sawicki (alternate)
Vincent Walsh (alternate)

An alternate is called to attend a MAR BOD meeting when a Director can't make it.

Additional RAPV representation on MAR BOD: Kevin Sears, and Edmund G. "Gil' Woods, as Past MAR Presidents, Corinne Fitzgerald as MAR President for 2015, and Brian P. Sears as MAR Western Region Vice President. 

Ben Scranton, RCE, ePRO, Chief Executive Officer
Kim Harrison, Community Outreach Coordinator
Laura Herring, Education Coordinator
Gail Lamirande, Membership Coordinator and Professional Standards Administrator
Joanne Leblond, Receptionist
Erin Percoski, Bookkeeper

Copyright 2000-2007 REALTOR Association of Pioneer Valley. All rights reserved.
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