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Ten Ways to Unfreeze the Housing Market and Create Inventory in 2024

Tuesday, January 23, 2024

2023 had the fewest number of existing home sales in the last thirty years. Mortgage interest rates remain stubbornly high, which cascades into a market “lock in effect” that sharply reduces housing inventory. To fulfill demand, new construction is increasing in many states. However, due to zoning restrictions and a lack of land, only limited new construction will occur in eastern Massachusetts. The lack of inventory and limited number of new housing permits have conspired to cause a housing crisis in MA. Any and all ideas to create inventory should be considered. Here [...] read more

Canner Law & Associates, P.C. named a top real estate law office in the Boston area for 2024

Tuesday, January 9, 2024

Canner Law & Associates, P. C. was recently named a top real estate law office in the Boston area for 2024 by Expertese. com. The criteria for selection included: professionalism, responsiveness, friendliness, helpfulness and detail. We are honored to be recognized. Thank you to our entire team, our terrific vendors, title insurance partners, and of course, the talented and dedicated realtors and mortgage originators we work with who helped Canner Law make the list of top real estate law firms in Boston! Please click this below link: [...] read more

Are Assumable Mortgages the Way Out Of The Housing Mess?

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Are assumable loans an effective tool to combat the "lock in" effect that has throttled the housing market in the current high interest rate environment? As background, an assumable mortgage in theory can create inventory because it can allow a Seller to transfer a lower interest rate loan to a Buyer when a home is sold. In addition to adding value to an existing home, more assumable mortgages would create much needed inventory to jumpstart the housing market. While most commercial mortgages are assumable, only a sliver of residential mortgages can be transferred. Those eligible [...] read more

We are a member of the ARAG and MetLife Legal Plans

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Several large employers in Massachusetts make available legal benefits programs that provide a broad range of services including real estate closings. We are a network attorney for two of the larger legal plans – ARAG and MetLife. These two providers cover all or a portion of our legal fees, which makes for a nice benefit during the home buying or selling process! Here are a few of our ARAG reviews that clients have posted: 10 / 10 –Reviewed by Sylvia O. , April 21, 2021 Very responsive and easy to talk with. [...] read more

Chat GPT Uses In Residential Real Estate

Friday, January 27, 2023

Since launching last November, the artificial intelligence bot “Chat GPT” has many industries just beginning to gauge the scope of its use. Chat GPT is a language model that can generate realistic, human-like text. It also can generate text responses on any subject when prompted, making it useful as a chatbot for customer service. Rather than research how Chat GPT is used in real estate, I went right to the source (as it is intended). I ran the following query and received an extremely detailed, well-crafted response: "How is chat gpt used in residential real [...] read more

MA AG Sues “Predatory” Florida Realty Company Engaged in "Deceptive" Trade Practices

Thursday, December 15, 2022

Boston25 News recently aired an investigative piece which brought to light a Florida real estate agency's use of predatory tactics to target low-income and elderly homeowners in Massachusetts and around the country. The agency, MV Realty, deceived hundreds of homeowners in Massachusetts to unwittingly sign over mortgage liens that could cost these homeowners several thousand dollars. Marc was interviewed for the on air story. The media exposure has led to the Massachusetts Attorney General filing a lawsuit against MV Realty for “unconscionable” business dealings and “deceptive acts and trade practices. ” Hopefully, the lawsuit will lead [...] read more

Rental Property LLC FAQs

Thursday, July 28, 2022

FAQ: Can My Rental Property Be Held In A Limited Liability Company (“LLC”)? A single entity LLC provides numerous advantages for rental property owners, including reducing personal liability and allowing more costs to be tax deductible. Many rental property books and podcasts recommend that Buyers take advantage by purchasing their rental property in an LLC. Can Rental property Buyers purchase in an LLC? If paying cash for the property, then the answer is a clear “yes. ” If financing the transaction, then Buyers need the lender’s authorization. Most residential lenders do not [...] read more

How to Protect a Buyer When the Mortgage Contingency and Inspection Contingency Clauses are Waived

Tuesday, March 8, 2022

by Laura Cross Low inventory, multiples bids, waived contingencies, properties going for well over ask. This seems to be the new normal in our current market. A Buyer is naturally thrilled when a Seller accepts their offer in this competitive marketplace. Once the initial rush starts to subside, a Buyer can become nervous that they have waived their protections and assume the risk of losing their deposit if they back out of the transaction. Here are some strategies to protect a Buyer when they have waived contingencies. Offer Stage: [...] read more

Mortgage Contingency FAQs

Thursday, January 27, 2022

When financing a purchase transaction, the mortgage contingency date is the single most important pre-closing event after the Purchase and Sale Agreement (P&S) is signed. The mortgage contingency date typically occurrs three to four weeks afer the P&S execution. The lender needs to issue a "clean" mortgage commitment letter on or before the mortgage contingency date, or the buyer's attorney likely will seek an extension. What Is The Purpose Of A Mortgage Commitment? When financing a loan, a lender undertakes a lengthy review of the borrower and subject property prior to approving financing. [...] read more

Will Condominium Lending Be Upended in 2022?

Tuesday, January 11, 2022

On January 1st, 2022, Fannie Mae rolled out a new Condominium Questionnaire (“CQ”) Addendum. This added layer that applies to condominium buildings with five or more Units requires in certain instances more detailed answers to CQs about deferred maintenance, the building’s structural soundness, and special assessments. This change has the potential to upend condominium lending. Many industry insiders believe the update is a result of the condominium collapse in Florida last year. Fannie Mae is now requiring in some circumstances broad certifications about the Association’s financial, legal and property status, including the scope of work [...] read more

A Guide To Navigating A New Construction Purchase

Monday, August 23, 2021

Buying a new home or condominium Unit can be a challenging process. Buying a new home or condominium Unit that is not yet built and only exists on paper is even more daunting. Below are some helpful tips to navigate a new construction purchase. Research the Builder To a certain degree, a Buyer is going into business with the builder. The Builder will determine the design and workmanship of the new property. The Builder also controls the timeline of the process. The Buyer will want to check the Builder’s reputation, reviews [...] read more

The Difference Between Recorded and Registered Land

Friday, May 29, 2020

Many times, we are often asked to explain the difference between Recorded and Registered Land, the two types of Real Property recordings in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Recorded Land makes up approximately 80% of real property recordings in the Commonwealth. It is based on a “buyer beware” concept and the registry accepts documents based on whether the document meets minimum recording requirements and not based on it relating to a certain property (i. e. this means it does not guarantee that the property in question is free from all liens, encumbrances, etc. when a document, [...] read more

COVID-19 Closings

Thursday, May 21, 2020

We are continuing to deliver closing services during the current market conditions. Please be aware that we are very mindful of Covid-19 social distancing requirements and related issues. To best work within these requirements and allow for your health and safety when signing the lending documents, we have developed “curbside” closing. For closings conducted at our Needham office location, the building management has designated an area of our underground parking garage to use for “curbside” closings. When arriving at our 200 Highland Ave. office please take a right (if travelling from Route 128) into [...] read more

Response to Market Conditions

Friday, March 13, 2020

In response to the current market challenges facing the real estate industry due to the Coronavirus, please note our response: Many Registry of Deeds are now open for recording only. We have electronic recording capabilities through Simplifile to electronically record in Massachusetts. Some county Land Courts do not accept electronic recordings. We will work to record those files via a courier. We have “gap” coverage for our title insurance which will insure during any period between the closing and the recording of a deed and mortgage. Our entire team is equipped with the ability [...] read more

Registry Recording Fees to Increase at End of 2019

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Here is the link to the recording fee schedule increase: Registry of Deeds Recording Fees Effective December 31, 2019, the revised recording fees will be as follows: Mortgages will cost $205 to record. Deeds will cost $155 to record. Releases and discharges will cost $105 per instrument to record. Tax Certificates will cost $80 to record. [...] read more

Boston Globe Spring Real Estate Market Edition

Thursday, April 4, 2019

The Boston Sunday Globe's spring real estate edition hits newsstands, err, mobile apps this Sunday. This article discusses actions a Seller should take in a hot real estate market. The Globe ran several of my quotes in the piece. I noted that a skilled realtor is the key to navigating the transaction.  Globe Spring Real Estate Article [...] read more

2019 Real Estate Market Outlook

Friday, January 11, 2019

Considering the financial markets volatility, the 2019 financial year has started off on an improved note led by the decrease in interest rates and the rebounding stock market. This paints an optimistic picture of what could be in store for the real estate market in 2019. Although pundits are once again talking about a softening of the real estate market, there are noteworthy signs that point to a positive year when it comes to real estate, both with transactions and appreciation. According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate has dipped to 4. 51 percent, [...] read more

Closing the Gap In the Real Estate Closing Process.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Watch the video to understand the Real Estate closing process and the new technologies implemented to create a simplified and smooth closing process for all parties involved! Click here to read the full article! [...] read more

Understanding Permits

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

When purchasing a house or condominium, it is a good idea to check with the municipality to determine if there are any open permits on the property. Most municipalities have an on-line database, which makes the research easier. If a permit is located, then it is reasonable to request that the Seller remedy the issue. Possible outcomes of a request include: -Seller to make any necessary repairs and the municipality signs off and closes out permits prior to closing; -Seller provides a Buyer credit; -Seller does not agree to remedy some of the prior owner permits. [...] read more

Improve Your Outlook

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

EMAIL MANAGEMENT TIPS! Email is both a blessing and a curse. A real estate professional can build a busy practice through the magic of email, but the constant flow of emails can be overwhelming. From realtors and lenders to buyers, sellers and (especially! ) attorneys, emails are constantly flying back and forth, and they are all sent with the expectation of an immediate response. What is the best way to manage emails so that it serves our best interest? Here are few tips to help prevent your emails from becoming [...] read more

How Boston's Canner Law Gained Their Competitive Advantage in the Real Estate Closing Industry

Thursday, August 30, 2018

We are pleased to work with our many vendors to deliver the most cutting edge services to our clients. Our real estate software allows us to deliver numerous enhanced services. Click here to watch our video! [...] read more

What Real Estate Agents Should Expect From a Real Estate Attorney

Thursday, August 9, 2018

All real estate attorneys possess the legal acumen needed to purchase and sell homes safely and efficiently. However, only the best attorneys make the purchase and sale process seamless not just for the homeowner, but also for the real estate agent, the mortgage firm, and everyone else involved in this complex process. Real estate agents can help ensure that they have the best person for them if they know what to expect from the real estate attorney, and what is needed to facilitate a smooth home buying experience for everyone involved. [...] read more

Trying to Buy a Home in Massachusetts? Prepare Yourself

Friday, June 29, 2018

Read Marc's latest piece as featured in Money Inc right here! [...] read more

Bidding War Advice from a Real Estate Attorney

Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Greater Boston real estate market is historically competitive right now, and many properties are selling for well above listing prices. In competitive markets, bidding wars are commonplace. How do you win them and, most importantly, how do you win without taking on an undue level of risk? The points below offer different ways to craft your offer, and what to consider before you commit beyond your means. Find a real estate agent that is communicative, punctual, and level-headed Your real estate agent should continually communicate with the listing agent, [...] read more

Dana was featured in The Metrowest Daily News!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Dana wrote a great primer on what to expect when buying a condo. Read her entire piece HERE [...] read more

Kyle was featured in The Metrowest Daily News!

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Kyle's article 'Mastering the Buying/Selling Juggling Act' provides great insights on bridging the gaps between the wants and needs of the buyer and the seller.  Read it HERE [...] read more

Check out our latest article which ran in HousingWire

Monday, April 9, 2018

Today, homebuyers can tour homes, see the neighborhood, and research the history of a property all from the comfort of their couch. Technology has streamlined the front end of the purchase process, but the actual closing remains largely stuck in the past. Click here to read the article [...] read more

Five Items to Include in A Use and Occupancy Agreement

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

As everyone in the real estate field is aware, inventory is tight. As a result of the shortage, Sellers are nervous about listing because they may not be able to find a suitable home in a short period of time. The Use and Occupancy Agreement (U&O) is a great tool to give prospective home buyers comfort that they will have more time to find a new home. Here are the top five items to consider referencing in an Offer when proposing a “lease back” to allow a Seller to stay past the closing date: [...] read more


Monday, March 19, 2018

When considering whether to convert a multi-family property to condominiums, you should weigh the pros and cons. While the cost of a condo conversion is substantial, the potential benefit of owning or selling multiple units on the open market may greatly outweigh that expense. Even if you have been using your property as an income-producing, rental property, you may be surprised at the potential financial advantage to selling two or more distinct condo units, rather than a single multifamily home. When you are converting a property, below is a list of fees which you can expect [...] read more

What Value Does a Real Estate Lawyer Bring to a Transaction?

Thursday, February 22, 2018

A home purchase is the biggest expenditure in a consumer’s life. Peace of mind is on the line in a real estate transaction. A real estate attorney is, of course, another cost to add into the process of buying a home. But this trusted person can advocate for you, advise you, and alleviate your fears. More importantly, the attorney can take away some of your headache to allow you to enjoy the process of purchasing one of the most important investments of your life. But how exactly does one do this? An [...] read more

Leveraging Technology to Ensure a Unified Real Estate Experience

Friday, January 5, 2018

One of our preferred vendors, Nate Baker, recently wrote in a Housing Wire article that closing attorneys “must explore taking the lead on implementing technology that drives the real estate industry forward. ” https://www. housingwire. com/blogs/1-rewired/post/42177-the-year-of-the-title-company At Canner Law, one of our goals has been to implement technology to improve the closing experience by connecting all parties in the transaction with secure document exchange, messaging, information requests, and real-time automated updates on closing milestones. Towards this end, all of our referral partners and their clients can now: Order closings [...] read more

Breaking Down the Tax Plan: 5 Points to Consider

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

With the passage of the tax bill and its immediate implementation, there has been a lot of confusion. To help clear up that haze, below is six quick summaries of points that directly affect housing. While these points are based on the facts of the tax plan itself, the interpretation of how this will help – or hurt – is entirely up to you. Capital gain exclusion is left unchanged. This was one of the larger debates of the tax plan, and many are happy to see it left unchanged. [...] read more

Ordinance of Law Coverage for Master Insurance Policies

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Many lenders are now requiring that in older buildings, Condominium Association’s carry “Ordinance of Law” insurance coverage. Failure to obtain the coverage can delay or imperil a closing. Ordinance or Law coverage is extra coverage that pertains to the added cost of rebuilding, by enforcement of ordinances or laws regulating construction and repair of damaged buildings. Older structures that are damaged may need upgraded electrical, heating ventilating, HVAC and plumbing based on city codes. The lowest limit available is $25,000. There is typically an additional premium to add to the existing coverage. [...] read more

Coordinating "Piggyback" Transactions

Monday, June 19, 2017

June is the peak of the homebuying season. Planning a purchase to coincide with the sale of your home or condominium unit as often occurs this time of year requires coordination and communication. To take some of the stress out of this process, it is helpful to understand the details. A “piggyback transaction” involves selling a property and using the proceeds from the sale to purchase a new property. Piggyback transactions, also known as “back to back” transactions, usually start with the closing for the sale taking place in the morning (typically before 10 AM), [...] read more

New Back Bay Office Opening!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Canner Law & Associates, P. C. is pleased to announce the opening of our new Back Bay office space, located at 359-361 Newbury St. , 5th Floor, Boston, MA. We will better able to service our Boston clientele and provide a convenient closing location. If you are in the area, please stop by for a cup of coffee to check out the space and talk real estate! [...] read more

Changes To The Regulatory Make-Up of the Housing Industry?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Among the many battles raging in Washington, D. C. this spring is a fight shaping up over the future of the housing industry. At the heart of the battle is the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (“CFPB”). http://www. consumerfinance. gov/ Created by the Dodd-Frank Act ( http://www. cftc. gov/LawRegulation/DoddFrankAct/index. htm ), the Bureau has broad authority over the US economy. It has emerged as a lightening [...] read more

New Settlement Agent Software Allows for More Efficient Delivery of Real Estate Services

Friday, September 16, 2016

We recently upgraded our real estate settlement agent software to Qualia. Qualia is a San Francisco based company that features cloud-based, real time collaboration, which reduces data entry and redundancy, as well as improves efficiency. Most important, the Qualia software integrates with our vendors, including title insurance companies, Simplifile, FedEx, and Ellie Mae (http://www. elliemae. com/about/news-reports/press-releases/ellie-mae-announces-integration-with-qualia ). Qualia’s features allow us to improve our delivery capabilities, which is key in a busy real estate market. [...] read more

CFPB Launches New TRID Website Page for Settlement Agents

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just created a new resource TRID webpage for settlement agents. http://www. consumerfinance. gov/policy-compliance/know-you-owe-mortgages/settlement-professionals-guide/ The page is intended to serve as a resource for settlement agents during the closing process. According to the website, Settlement Agents are “i ntegral to real estate transactions. They gather essential data, coordinate transfer of ownership, and orchestrate many of the events leading to the consummation of a loan. ” The new page has two sections. The first is a review of settlement agent [...] read more

Property Tax FAQs

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Here is a summary of property tax FAQ’s: I bought (or sold) the property several months ago, and the taxes are still in the name of the Seller. This is a frequent occurrence. Most municipalities update their tax rolls annually, usually for the first quarter of the following tax year (August 1st ). Thus, the name of the Seller likely will remain on the tax rolls until then. The Seller is not required to make [...] read more

The Closing

Friday, April 1, 2016

You are finally at the finish line and about to close on your new home or condominium unit. Naturally, you wonder "[w]hat are the final amount of funds to bring to closing and is there anything else I need to close? " If you are financing the transaction, the lender is required to provide you with a "Closing Disclosure" ("CD") at least three days prior to closing. The CD will provide the final amount of funds needed to close. If you have a cash purchase , the closing attorney will provide the "Settlement Statement" [...] read more

Electronic Recordings: A Benefit to the Consumer

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Electronic recordings (e-recordings) of deeds, mortgages and other title instruments is fully operational in Massachusetts. E-recording is more cost effective and faster than the traditional method of recording by sending a title examiner to the registry of deeds. It eliminates the need to hold closings at Cambridge, Boston or other traffic-impacted venues. E-recording is legal and binding, and accepted by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and virtually every major lender. It is a major benefit to all parties involved with a real estate closing, and Canner Law is well-versed in [...] read more

Canner Law & Associates, P.C. Has Been Designated A Stewart Trusted Service Provider And A Secure Settlement Registered Agent

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

On October 3, 2015 , the Consumer Finance Protection Board (“CFPB”) required all lenders to replace existing GFE, TILA and REPSA disclosure forms with two new integrated closing disclosures. The new disclosures are a combination of the existing Good Faith Estimate (GFE), Truth-in-Lending (TIL) disclosure and the HUD-1 Settlement Statement. The requirement places detailed compliance requirements on the closing attorney/ Settlement agent. We are proud to note that Canner Law & Associates, P. C. has been designated a “Stewart Trusted Provider ” and a " [...] read more

Permits: A Little Due Diligence Goes a Long Way

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

When buying a house or condominium in Massachusetts, a home inspector typically does not check the permits on a property. For a more thorough review, it is important for a buyer to verify with the city or town that there are no open permits. City or town halls will allow the buyer (or buyer’s agent) to review all permits on file. An examination of the property’s “jacket” will contain the record of all permits and detail work performed. Typical items that are contained in the building’s jacket [...] read more

A Lead Paint Primer for Realtors: FAQs

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Under Massachusetts and federal law, real estate agents must tell prospective purchasers that a new owner of a home built before 1978 in which a child under six will live must have it either deleaded or brought under interim control within 90 days of taking title. It is important that realtors and sellers tell the prospective purchaser any information they know about lead in the home as the penalties for non-compliance are stiff. Sellers and real estate agents that do not meet the requirements can face a civil penalty of up [...] read more

Legal Services For Selling Your Home

Monday, March 24, 2014

Thinking of selling your home? We offer a full complement of legal and closing services for sellers in real estate transactions. We will first assist you in the early stages of the Offer to Purchase and Purchase and Sale Agreement. We will work to resolve and clear problems that may be found in the title examination, and prepare the deed from you to your buyer. As the closing approaches, we will work hand in hand with you to coordinate and represent you during the closing, and we will be there with you to answer questions [...] read more

The Bare-Bones of Cash Purchases

Friday, October 18, 2013

All-cash purchases of real estate have been on the rise across the country over the last decade and accounted for 33% of home sales in just the last year. A cash buyer is one who plans to buy a property without obtaining a mortgage. Cash transactions typically follow the same trajectory as financed deals, including seeking the help of a realtor and using a closing attorney. The time frame does tend to be shorter. What else is different? In purchases involving mortgages, usually the lender selects a closing attorney. [...] read more

Using a Closing Attorney in Massachusetts

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

When it comes to the purchase or sale of residential real estate, title problems, disputes about condition of the property and potential litigation are always a disconcerting possibility. Engaging a real estate closing attorney is not only essential to minimizing risk of future litigation for residential transactions, but is also required in Massachusetts! So, you might wonder, what does a closing attorney do? The Brass Tacks: The real estate closing attorney compiles the necessary documents so that the property can legally be transferred to a new owner free and clear. [...] read more

How the HUD Settlement Statement Works at Closing

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

This video goes through the actual closing process, including how to make sure your loan closely matches what you encounter at the settlement table. [...] read more

The Trilogy: Explaining the Deed, Promissory Note and Mortgage at a Massachusetts Closing

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Prospective real estate buyers tend to think of the “mortgage” as the contract they are signing with the bank. This is misleading. The promissory note is the actual contract to loan and borrow money between lender and borrower. The mortgage is the lender’s instrument, or more accurately, its security interest, to enforce that loan contract. This is an important distinction because, if for example, a couple purchases property or refinances, and the loan is taken out solely in the wife’s name, then lining up the correct parties on the signing documents becomes important. But [...] read more

2012 Massachusetts Real Estate Market Survey

Sunday, July 3, 2011

January in the real estate industry is typically the time for the new year market outlook. For this coming year many of us have seen the template on the macro-economic data which most impacts the real estate industry: 8. 5% unemployment in the latest report, 30 year mortgage rates at record lows at or below 4. 0%, and 15 year mortgage rates at or below 3. 25%. Rather than run a standard metrics-based market forecast this year, I decided to survey a cross-section of Massachusetts real estate realtors and mortgage professionals to hear from them on the [...] read more


Condominium Conversions- Streamlining the Process by Deregistering from Land Court

Monday, September 2, 2019

We recently handled a “condominium conversion,” converting a client’s two-family home in Jamaica Plain into a two-unit condominium. When the client first contacted us, we checked the Registry website and discovered that the title was in the Land Court. The Land Court has many benefits, but for a condominium conversion, the review and approval process can drag on for months. For a Buyer obtaining financing and/or a Seller who is reliant on the proceeds of the sale to fund another transaction, the unwieldy length of the process can be daunting. Moreover, in an industry that [...] read more