1924 - 2024


Arthur G. Taylor
  • The Massachusetts Association of Real Estate Boards was formed in 1924 with the goals of: influencing matters affecting real estate interests; promoting high standards of conduct; and advancing civic development and economic growth in MA.
  • Arthur G. Taylor, Springfield, is named the first President of the Massachusetts Association of Real Estate Boards.
  • MA REALTORS® demanded relief from excessive taxation on real estate.
  • In 1925, the Massachusetts median single-family home price was $6,500.
  • Massachusetts adopts its first law allowing for local zoning. Brockton becomes the first municipality to adopt local zoning.
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court legalizes single-family zoning, paving the way for widespread adoption.


  • National Mortgage Association and Federal Housing Administration was created.
  • FDR signed the National Housing Act of 1934, resulting in mortgage insurance.
  • A license to state affiliates is granted for the use of the term REALTOR®.
  • Massachusetts enacts a zoning law overhaul, adopting the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Standard State Zoning Enabling Act.
  • By 1937, 62 municipalities, mostly in eastern Massachusetts, have adopted local zoning.



  • Fair housing law is expanded to include a prohibition against age discrimination. 
  • In 1957, state license law requires real estate salespeople to be licensed and creates the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons. 
  • April is declared REALTOR® Month.
  • First Multiple Listings Service in Massachusetts is established.


  • The REALTOR® Political Action Committee is established.
  • The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Fair Housing Act are created.
  • Webster’s features the term REALTOR®.
  • Fair housing law is revised to add gender as a protected class 
  • Licensing law is revised to require license suspensions for discrimination violations. 
  • Massachusetts creates a special financing program to provide home ownership opportunities for low-income families with REALTOR® support. The bill is the first of its kind in the United States.
  • In 1968, licensing fees increase from $15 for initial licensing and $10 for renewal to $25 and $20, respectively.
  • In 1969, Massachusetts enacts Chapter 40B, another first-of-its-kind law that provides zoning flexibility to encourage mixed-income development in communities that need affordable housing.  


Joseph B. Doherty Sr., NAR President
  • Joseph B. Doherty Sr. is first MA REALTOR® to serve as NAR President.
  • Name changes to Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® (MAR). 
  • Increased education required for pre-licensing of brokers and agents. 
  • Massachusetts becomes the first state in the country to prohibit discrimination based on source of income.
  • In 1973, punishments for fair housing discrimination were increased from a 30-day to 60-day license suspension in addition to adding fines and possible imprisonment. 
  • Marital status was added as a protected fair housing class.
  • In 1978, licensing law was revised, detailing the exclusive nature of the salesperson-broker relationship, and prohibiting broker affiliation for unlicensed salespersons (Chapter 357 of the Acts of 1978).


Margaret C. Carlson, first female President of MAR
  • Margaret C. Carlson is elected first female President of MAR.
  • First annual REALTOR® Day is held on Beacon Hill, membership grows 45%.
  • Proposition 2½ is passed in Massachusetts. 
  • Licensing law was revised to remove set licensing fees and instead allow the Commissioner of Administration to set amounts.
  • Starting in 1982, rental agents are required to be licensed. 
  • A 1983 amicus brief successfully defended a broker from liability when clients misinterpreted inconclusive test results the broker had provided. 
  • A 1989 amicus brief successfully argued that the Board of Registration could not require a broker to break a contract in order to comply with regulatory requirements that surpassed the board’s authority.
  • Sexual orientation is added as a protected fair housing class. 


  • Edmund G. Woods Jr. is second MA REALTOR® to serve as NAR President.
  • MAR members win significant amendments to state lead paint law. 
  • MAR launches The Legal Hotline.
  • The MAR Charitable Foundation is established to support Massachusetts charitable organizations that address housing, hunger, homelessness, and disaster relief.
  • In 1996, continuing education requirements were first established for real estate licensees
  • In 1998, the Stigmatized Property law clarified that properties considered psychologically impacted do not need to be disclosed to potential buyers.
  • In 1999, real estate licensees were first required to distribute brochures provided by the Office of Consumer Affairs educating consumers on home inspections


  • June becomes National Homeownership Month.
  • NAR secures uniform federal electronic signature law protections.
  • In 2000 the Community Preservation Act is created.
  • Genetic information is added as a protected fair housing class. 
  • MAR participated in a 2002 lawsuit protecting homeowners in a case against the Dept. of Telecommunications and Energy, which was attempting to regulate commercial and residential building owners by requiring landowners to provide access to utility poles, ducts, conduits, and attachments.
  • Military status is added as a protected fair housing class. 
  • In 2004, a new section of smart growth zoning law is created to help increase housing supply at a lower cost.
  • In 2009, Massachusetts REALTOR® David Peretti wins the NAR Distinguished Service Award.
  • In 2009, MAR successfully advocated against a proposal to implement a sales tax on services.


  • In 2012, Massachusetts REALTOR® Paula Savard wins the NAR Distinguished Service Award.
  • MA single-family homes sold in 2015 soared to record highs, rising 9.3% from the previous year.
  • MAR successfully advocates for a bill increasing pre-licensing requirements, from 24 to 40 hours for salespersons, amending experience requirements for brokers, and clarifying commission payments. 
  • Gender identity is added as a protected fair housing class. 
  • An MAR amicus brief successfully protects independent contractor status of real estate licensees
  • MAR successfully advocates for the creation of starter home zoning districts to allow for smaller homes on smaller lots.
  •  MAR’s advocacy exempts real estate licensees from mandatory participation in the new Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) law, which can take up to 1% of wages.
  • In 2019, MAR is instrumental in defeating a local transfer tax proposed for the first time by the City of Boston and a statewide transfer tax proposed by the Governor.
  • A 2010 MAR study finds first-time home buyers rule market at 55%.


Kevin Sears, NAR President
  • Kevin Sears becomes the third MA REALTOR® to serve as NAR President.
  • MAR secures real estate professionals as essential workers during Coronavirus pandemic and facilitates members’ participation in unemployment compensation programs while maintaining independent contractor status.
  • MAR successfully opposes proposals for rent control and transfer taxes.  
  • In 2021, MAR helps create landmark legislation, Housing Choices and MBTA Communities laws. 
  • Natural hair is added as a protected fair housing class.
  • MAR supports the first tax relief law enacted in Massachusetts in the last two decades, including significant tax credits for housing.
  • MAR is instrumental in creating new quarry testing and a licensing law to protect homeowners from crumbling concrete foundations due to pyrrhotite contamination.
  • In 2023, MAR successfully advocates in amicus briefs defending the ability for a buyer agent to receive a commission when their client breaches the contract (Huang v. Ma) and protecting licensees and landlords from expanded liability when buying or selling properties that have been the site of prior illegal activity (Hill-Junious v. UTP Realty, LLC).
  • In 2024, MAR successfully advocates in an amicus brief defending a town’s ability to preserve land for affordable housing purposes and prevent last-minute shifts because of NIMBY abutters (Carroll v. Select Board of Norwell). 
  • The Massachusetts Association of REALTORS® turns 100 in 2024!