Business Resources

Resources for your real estate business.

2018 Local Housing Market Posts Modest Gains

The 2018 real estate market posted gains in total sold dollar volume and median price, but saw a slight reduction in units sold.  The year closed out with a total sold dollar volume of $1.925 billion which represents a 3.7% increase over the year-end totals for 2017.  The market saw a 4.3% year-over-year increase in median price, going from $287,556 in 2017 to $299,990 in 2018.  Units sold remained nearly static from 2017, finishing out the year at 5,997 compared to 6,036 units sold in 2017.  The year-over-year decline was less than 1% and could be driven in part by inventory constraints. 

2019 FAAR President Drew Fristoe states, “2018 had its usual ups and downs, but overall it was a great year.  Inventory levels in the $200,000 to $300,000 price range are still on the low side and very competitive.  There is still a lack of affordable entry-level housing in the Fredericksburg area.”

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract and is removed from active status on the multiple listing service, fell over 12% with houses averaging 72 days on the market in 2018 compared to 82 days in 2017.  The vast majority of sales were of 3 or more-bedroom single family homes, with that segment making up over 93% of the total units sold. 

December, a traditionally slow month in real estate, ended the year with significant declines in units sold and total sold dollar volume compared to December of 2017.  The month saw just over $99 million in total sold dollar volume, down nearly 17% from December of 2017.  This is the first month that the region has fallen below $100 million in sales since February of 2017.  Median price posted the only notable year-over-year increase in the market, settling at $307,500 in December, representing a more than 10% increase.   Units sold were down over 23% from December of 2017, with 403 properties selling last year compared to just 309 in December of 2018.  The decrease in units sold impacted both attached and detached homes.  Attached homes sold decreased by over 36% while detached homes sold decreased over 21%. 

Days on market remained nearly static with houses spending an average of 87 days on the market in December of 2018 compared to 86 days last December.  Active listings were up 2.5% with buyers having 1,338 listings to choose from.  New listings coming onto the market were down nearly 6% with 398 sellers putting their homes on the market in December of 2018 compared to 423 in 2017. 

Several factors in 2019 could impact the performance of the local real estate market.  “Trying to predict what will happen with the market in 2019 is a hard one,” says Fristoe.  “The partial government shut down and the uncertainty with how long it will last, the volatility in the stock market, and raising interest rates are all going to be factors in the 2019 market. Buyers and sellers are keeping an eye on all of these factors.”

*brightMLS has changed the calculation for days on market leading to a higher overall number compared to past reports.  The new calculation accumulates days when a listing is “active under contract” where the old system paused accumulation of days on market when a listing was in any contingent status.”

Bright Launches LIVE YouTube Hands-on Clinics

Bright Launches LIVE YouTube Hands-on Clinics

Virtual Clinics

Bright is launching interactive Training Clinics on YouTube! Join Bright as they host these virtual “hands-on” clinics that will cover time-saving tips and tricks, answers to top support center questions, and a live Q&A from bright instructors. 

  • Monday, January 7th, 14th, 21st, and 28th at 10:00 a.m.
  • Wednesday, January 9th, 16th, 23rd, and 30th at 2:30 p.m.
  • Friday, January 11th, 18th, and 25th at 12:30 p.m.

 

Have a question you’d like to submit for future LIVE coverage? Submit it here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/2MQ5RFS


Registration is not required for these events.
To participate , visit: https://www.youtube.com/BrightMLS/live. To watch previously recorded clinics visit the Bright youtube page.

 

How you can ensure you’re ready:

  • Create your own YouTube Channel. Please Note: This is not required to attend the LIVE event. Create your channel by visiting youtube.com/create_channel. Need instructions? You can find them by searching for “Create a New Channel” in YouTube Help or by clicking here 
  • Subscribe to Bright’s YouTube Channel. Get notified any time we go LIVE or new videos are posted. Turn on notifications by clicking the bell icon next to the Subscribed button. Subscribe on Bright’s YouTube Channel at youtube.com/brightmls or subscribe here.

 

For questions, please contact training@brightmls.com.

 

Help Collect Items for Hope House

Help Collect Items for Hope House

Help the Hope House by dropping off these items at FAAR through the month of February


Find these 3 items for less at Aldi
Paper Towels
Bleach
Trash Bags

Find these 2 items for less at Big Lots
Bed in a bag (twin/toddler)
Bed Pillows

Download and share the flyer with your office

How to search for Subsidized or Voucher-eligible Housing in Bright MLS

How to search for Subsidized or Voucher-eligible Housing in Bright MLS

When entering a listing do the following: Under Documents — “Section 8 Approved” is a dropdown that the listing agent can select for rentals that have already been approved as Section 8 rentals.

1. ALL agents who have listings that will accept housing vouchers MUST put that information in the remarks section of their listing. (there is no other way at this time to search for them otherwise). IF THE AGENTS DO NOT PUT THAT INFORMATION UNDER REMARKS, YOU CANNOT DO A SEARCH)

2. If agents are looking for rentals that will accept housing vouchers, you must first go into your SEARCH dropdown and choose RESIDENTIAL LEASE

3. Scroll down below the ORANGE “Clear/Matches/Map/Results” bar to “Additional Fields Add/Remove and click on Add/Remove

4. Under Available Fields, highlight “Remarks (Public and Private)“, choose ADD so it can move to the Selected Fields and then click on the RED “Back” button.

5. Now you are ready to search for your voucher rentals. Put in your desired criteria and scroll all the way to the bottom to Remarks (Public and Private).

6. In that box is where you need to type in ANY OF THE FOLLOWING: “Sec 8“, “Section 8“, “Subsidized Housing” or “Vouchers

7. Then listings should appear. (IF agent searches NOW, nothing is showing up because there are no ways to list them the way they were listed in MRIS)

Tutorials on 20% Deduction and other Tax Law Changes

Tutorials on 20% Deduction and other Tax Law Changes

Changes to the U.S. Tax Code that potentially can save you thousands of dollars were enacted last year as part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. The changes include a new deduction available to you as an independent contractor or sole proprietor for reducing your tax liability by 20 percent. How to take this deduction and apply other changes in the law are discussed in a series of video tutorials released by NAR last month.

The tutorials are timely now that the year is winding down and final 2018 tax filings need to be submitted to the IRS.

The tutorials are organized into a dozen topics that affect your taxes, both as a real estate professional and as a homeowner or renter. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the changes and to pass along this email to your colleagues.

John Smaby
NAR President

What happens if I fail to complete my Code of Ethics training on time?

This page sets forth frequently asked questions and answers concerning failure to complete Code of Ethics Training, and is an excerpt of enforcement-related FAQs on the Code of Ethics training requirement.

What are the consequences of membership suspension?

The Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual as amended by the NAR Board of Directors at the 2004 Midyear meeting, defines “suspension”, in relevant part, as

…suspension of all Board/Association-provided membership rights, privileges and services (including those provided by the State and National Association) not available to nonmembers for a period of not less than thirty (30) days and not longer than one year, on terms and conditions expressly stated for an established period of time, including use of the terms REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® with automatic reinstatement of all withdrawn membership rights, privileges and services at the end of the period of suspension. The thirty (30) day minimum and one year maximum do not apply where suspension is imposed for a remediable violation of a membership duty (e.g. failure to pay dues or failure to complete educational requirements)…

The provisions go on to discuss the fact that membership – including the duties to abide by the Code of Ethics and to pay association dues – continues during the term of suspension.

What this means for a REALTOR® who is suspended for not meeting the REALTORS® Ethics Training Requirement is that all the rights, privileges and services she is entitled to receive because she is a REALTOR® are suspended until she satisfies the training requirement. If she meets the requirement the next day, then her rights, privileges and services are restored the next day. While suspended, though, her obligation to abide by the Code of Ethics continues, as does the obligation to pay dues.

At the May 2005 Midyear Meetings of the National Association of REALTORS®, the NAR Board of Directors amended policy to provide that members suspended for failing to meet the REALTORS® ethics training requirement would subsequently be automatically terminated from membership if they did not complete their training.

What are the consequences of membership suspension on MLS access?

Suspension of REALTOR® membership will, in most instances, have no effect on MLS participatory or user/subscriber privileges. Licensees affiliated with MLS Participants have subscriber/user rights irrespective of whether they hold REALTOR® membership personally—or whether their REALTOR® membership is in good standing or is suspended. The only exception to this general rule is where it is the REALTOR® (principal)/MLS Participant who is suspended for not meeting the ethics training requirement. Under such circumstances, continued MLS access is not available to licensees affiliated with a suspended Participant unless participatory privileges are transferred to another principal in the firm. MLS participatory privileges cannot be suspended for REALTOR® (principals) in states where MLSs are required by law to provide MLS participatory rights to nonmembers or where an association has voluntarily opened its MLS to nonmember participation.

What happens if a REALTOR® doesn’t meet the training requirement on time?

Failure to meet the requirement is a violation of a membership duty and will result in suspension of membership for the first two months (January and February) of the year following the end of any two (2) year cycle or until the requirement is met, whichever occurs sooner. On March 1 of that year, the membership of a member who is still suspended as of that date will be automatically terminated.

What if a REALTOR® who is a sole proprietor, partner in a partnership, or corporate officer is suspended for non-compliance?

The consequences of suspension of a REALTOR® who is a sole proprietor, partner or corporate officer are established in associations’ bylaws (generally in Article VI) and vary from association to association based on what their bylaws provide. As a general rule, suspension for failing to meet the training requirement will be treated the same as suspension for violating any other membership duty. Some associations’ bylaws require that the membership of all other principals, partners and corporate officers suspends if any one of them is suspended – unless the suspended member severs her relationship with the firm. Other associations permit the other principals, partners and corporate officers to avoid suspension if the suspended member removes herself from any form or degree of management control of the firm. These are choices each local association makes in establishing their bylaws.

What if the REALTOR® who is suspended is not a principal, partner or corporate officer?

Suspension of such an individual has no effect on the membership status of other REALTOR® members of the firm.

How long can a member be suspended for not completing their REALTORS® ethics training?

Failure to meet the requirement for any two-year cycle will result in suspension of membership for the first two months (January and February) of the year following the end of any two (2) year cycle or until the requirement is met, whichever occurs sooner. On March 1 of that year, the membership of a member who is still suspended as of that date will be automatically terminated.

Learn how to check if your ethics date is in compliance here

3 Tips from the October 2018 FAAR Town Hall

3 Tips from the October 2018 FAAR Town Hall

If you did not attend the October Town Hall meeting, you missed great discussion on topics ranging from the coming soon status, affiliated business disclosures, EMD misconceptions, and closing nightmares. The panel of experienced and newer agents, a lender and a title company representative skillfully handled the scenarios and audience questions rounded off a lively and highly informative discussion. The following are some of the distilled nuggets of information.

EMDs — nothing in the contract requires a broker to provide a copy of an EMD

Affiliated Business Forms — DO NOT SIGN these forms if you are the buyer/seller on the other side of the transaction

Coming Soon — Listing is NOT available to be shown and lockboxes are not permitted during the Coming Soon status

Searching for Rentals that Accept Subsidized Housing or Voucher Programs in Bright MLS

Searching for Rentals that Accept Subsidized Housing or Voucher Programs in Bright MLS

1. ALL agents who have listings that will accept housing vouchers MUST put that information in the remarks section of their listing. (there is no other way at this time to search for them otherwise). IF THE AGENTS DO NOT PUT THAT INFORMATION UNDER REMARKS, YOU CANNOT DO A SEARCH)

2. If agents are looking for rentals that will accept housing vouchers, you must first go into your SEARCH dropdown and choose RESIDENTIAL LEASE

3. Scroll down below the ORANGE “Clear/Matches/Map/Results” bar to “Additional Fields Add/Remove and click on Add/Remove

4. Under Available Fields, highlight “Remarks (Public and Private)“, choose ADD so it can move to the Selected Fields and then click on the RED”Back” button.

5. Now you are ready to search for your voucher rentals. Put in your desired criteria and scroll all the way to the bottom to Remarks (Public and Private).

6. In that box is where you need to type in ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:  “Sec 8“, “Section 8“, “Subsidized Housing” or “Vouchers

7. Then listings should appear.  (IF agent searches NOW, nothing is showing up because there are no ways to list them the way they were listed in MRIS)

 

Experiencing other issues? Submit your issues to Bright MLS at support@brightmls.com. The Bright MLS support team is prioritizing fixes based on the number of times issues are mentioned.  The FAAR technology committee is also gathering issues to prioritize and elevate to the Board of Directors at the December meeting. Submit your issues using the form at faarmembers.com/mris.

Represent FAAR as delegate to Virginia REALTORS®

Represent FAAR as delegate to Virginia REALTORS®

Want to serve as a FAAR delegate to VR? Apply today!

Members,

You are invited to apply to be FAAR’s 2019 At- Large Delegate to the Virginia REALTORS®. If selected, the Delegate must attend the two VR meetings, the Economic & Advocacy Summit, February 5-6 in Richmond and the annual convention, We’re going back!, September 17-19 in Williamsburg. FAAR covers expenses including mileage, hotel room, per diem and the convention registration. The Delegate is expected to keep abreast of the state issues he or she will be asked to vote on. Deadline for application is December 3. The application requirements are a brief resume and stating why the applicant wishes to serve. The FAAR Board selects the Delegate from the applications. The At-Large Delegate joins FAAR’s two other Delegates, the 2019 president and the president-elect, Drew Fristoe and Arlene Mason. Send the applications requirements to me, Pat Breme, at pbreme@faarmembers.com.

 

Deadline for Application: December 3rd

#MemberMonday | Meet REALTOR® Carol Sondrini

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Member Spotlight feature allows members of the community to get to know each other before working with each other in a transaction. Each member answers a series of questions to reveal more about themselves as people.  It is FAAR’s hope that learning about an individual may spark connections that blossom via email, phone conversations or in-person meetings at events and classes.

Name
Carol Sondrini

Hometown
Kohler, Wisconsin

Current Location
King George, VA

Title
REALTOR® at Coldwell Banker Elite , Mom, and Noni ;0)

Number of Years in the Industry
3+

Why do you love working in real estate?
I love helping people, I love that each day brings something different and I work with so many awesome people.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I am most proud to be a Governor on the Realtors Foundation and being able to help so many in such a tangible way in our community.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
Besides the Foundation, I am also the Kitchen Coordinator for Love Thy Neighbor in King George. We are a soup kitchen and food pantry and I am in charge of providing a delicious meal at our event once a month.

Fun Fact
I have lived in 22 places, but none nearly as long as King George! My favorites, other than Virginia, are Wisconsin, Fort Lauderdale, Upstate New York and Guam!

Press Releases

2018 Local Housing Market Posts Modest Gains

The 2018 real estate market posted gains in total sold dollar volume and median price, but saw a slight reduction in units sold.  The year closed out with a total sold dollar volume of $1.925 billion which represents a 3.7% increase over the year-end...

November Real Estate Market Sees Typical Seasonal Slowdown

The November real estate market experienced a typical seasonal slowdown with decreases in total sold dollar volume and units sold and an increase in median sales price.  Total sold dollar volume came in at $120.3 million, representing a nearly 3.8%...

Local Real Estate Market Rebounds Slightly in October

The October real estate market posted increases in total sold dollar volume and median price, while units sold came in at the same amount as 2017. Total sold dollar volume increased from $128.8 million in October of 2017 to $138 million in October of 2018,...

FAAR Adds Orange County to its Jurisdiction

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) added Orange County to its jurisdiction. The County was previously assigned to Greater Piedmont REALTORS® (GPR). A majority of agents who live and/or work in Orange County are already members of FAAR...

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