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FAARside Magazine Now Available

FAARside Magazine Now Available

Your copy of the May Newsletter, the FAARside is here! Crack open a copy to learn all about what’s going on in local real estate. But that’s not all! 

It’s like a magazine, but useful! 

This edition includes: 

  • Update on the NAR lawsuit
  • Expo Preview
  • New Night Classes
  • New Summer Lawyer Series
  • Affordable Housing Partnership
  • General Assembly News
  • Standing Position on Broadband
  • Bright Midyear Update
  • and more!

Right click here or the image and click “Save as” to download

April Brings Strong Start to the Spring Selling Season

The lackluster first quarter start to the 2019 real estate market gave way to a stronger April, notes FAAR Board of Director Phillip Blake.  “Lower interest rates have helped push buyers off the fence and into the market, with some consumers choosing to purchase a home rather than rent,” comments Blake.  April of 2019 saw increases in total sold dollar volume, median price, and units sold while posting a decrease in days on market, indicating a strong real estate market as we look ahead to the spring selling season.

Total sold dollar volume increased over 15%, settling at approximately $189.8 million in April of this year, compared to $164.6 million in April of 2018.  Units sold increased nearly 11%, going from 517 last April to 573 units in April of this year.  Median price saw a 7.8% year-over-year increase, going from $295,000 in April of 2018 to $318,000 in April of 2019. 

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, decreased almost 3% with houses averaging 67 days on the market in April of 2019 compared to 69 days in April of 2018. 

Active listings were up for the fourth month in a row, with 1,652 listings on the market representing a more than 7% year-over-year increase.  New listings posted a slightly less 1% increase with 1,132 new homes coming on the market this April compared to 1,122 last year.  Future settlement activity continues to post strong numbers boding well for sales in May with over 44% new properties under contract in April of 2019 compared to April of 2018.  Inventory overall continues to remain low, especially in the lower-priced market segments.  “Some agents have found themselves in multiple offer situations,” states Blake.  “As we have seen in past spring markets, upward pressure on prices combined with comparative sales trailing the market have resulted in some low appraisals.  This is generally short-lived.”  Blake believes that continued low interest rates combined with a healthy local economy will keep buyers hungry and our market on track for a strong 2019.

NEW PRODUCT! Q1 Fred Area Home Sales Report

FAAR is debuting an exciting new product this quarter…our very first Virginia Home Sales report specifically for the Fredericksburg region! 

Compiled by the new Chief Economist at the Virginia Realtors®, Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, this report is packed with information, charts, graphs and trends for our region and for our jurisdictions broken out individually. 

Feel free to use this report in your business to communicate with clients, share with your sphere, and add to listing presentations.  FAAR will be issuing these each quarter and also sharing them with elected and career government officials. 

We hope you love this new product as much as we do!

NAR Seeking REALTORS®  Who Give Back for Good Neighbor Awards

NAR Seeking REALTORS® Who Give Back for Good Neighbor Awards

Five winners will receive $10,000 for their nonprofit

The National Association of REALTORS® seeks nominations for the 20th annual Good Neighbor Awards, which recognizes REALTORS® who’ve made an extraordinary impact on their communities through volunteer work.

Five winners will be announced in the November/December issue of REALTOR® magazine and at the 2019 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco. The winners will receive a $10,000 grant for their community cause, national publicity, and travel expenses to the convention where they will be honored.

“This year, we celebrate the twentieth year of the Good Neighbor Awards,” said NAR President John Smaby, a second-generation REALTOR® from Edina, Minnesota and broker at Edina Realty. “We are incredibly proud of the good work of nearly 200 Good Neighbor Award recipients in the U.S. and across the globe through their dedicated volunteer service since this program launched in 2000.”

The 2018 winners were Omayra Borges, Reality Realty, San Juan, Puerto Rico, cofounder of Fundacion Mochileando 100x35; Chet Choman, Colorado Realty and Land Co., Alamosa, Colorado., cofounder of La Puente Home; Jeremy Lichtenstein, RE/MAX Realty Services, Bethesda, Maryland., founder of Kids In Need Distributors (KIND); Joy Nelson, Haugan Nelson Realty, Watertown, South Dakota, founder of Joy Ranch; and Elias Thomas, III, EXIT Key Real Estate, Shapleigh, Maine, leader of a Rotary International project to build dams in rural India.

Previous Good Neighbor Award winners say their charity benefits from the grant money and the increased public exposure. “The Good Neighbor Award legitimized Heart 2 Home and put a national focus on what we were doing locally,” said 2009 Good Neighbor Award winner Greg Adamson. “Having Good Neighbor behind us made everything easier from fundraising to media relations. It’s amazing how the exposure of the Good Neighbor Award has opened doors for us that never would have been opened otherwise!”

2018 Good Neighbor Award winner Joy Nelson says that her charity continues to benefit from the media exposure that resulted from winning the Good Neighbor Award. “The incredible exposure the Joy Ranch received through the Good Neighbor Awards Program has brought people all over the nation to inquire more about the ranch,” says Nelson. “People now understand all the quality of life issues that we address and it motivates me to work harder to help even more.”

The Good Neighbor Awards are generously supported by primary sponsor realtor.com and Wells Fargo Home Lending.

Good Neighbor Award entries must be received by May 10, 2019. For more details and an entry form, go to nar.realtor/gna or call 800-874-6500.

Recognize a REALTOR®

Click here for the entry form and more details

March Sees Increasing Sales, Decreasing Prices

The start of spring usually ushers in the high season for the local real estate market.  March numbers did not disappoint, providing a strong foundation for the market that will hopefully continue into April and beyond.  “The spring market is in full swing,” states FAAR 2019 President Drew Fristoe.  “Sellers are starting to get their homes on the market,” continues Fristoe.  “Lower interest rates are giving some buyers the push to start looking.”

Total sold dollar volume increased 5.6%, settling at approximately $157.3 million in March of this year, compared to $149 million in March of 2018.  Unit sold increased over 5%, going from 474 last March to just shy of 500 units in March of this year.  Median price saw a 3% year-over-year decrease, declining from $299,500 in March of 2018 to $290,000 in March of 2019. 

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, increased 3% with houses averaging 86 days on the market in March of 2019 compared to 83 days in March of 2018. 

Increasing inventory continues to be a trend in the local market.  Active listings were up nearly 12% from last year, going from 1,310 available properties in March of 2018 to 1,464 in March of this year.  In addition, there were 40% more homes under contract at the close of the month than compared to last year.  In March of 2018, there were 357 pending contracts throughout the Fredericksburg market.  In March of 2019, that number increased to 500 pending contracts.  Those transactions that reach a successful settlement will likely close in April and May, providing a continued foundation for a strong spring real estate market.

How Do You Recognize Housing Discrimination?

Under the Fair Housing Act, It is Against the Law to:

  • Refuse to rent to you or sell you housing
  • Tell you housing is unavailable when in fact it is available
  • Show you apartments or homes only in certain neighborhoods
  • Set different terms, conditions, or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Advertise housing to preferred groups of people only
  • Refuse to provide you with information regarding mortgage loans, deny you a mortgage loan, or impose different terms or conditions on a mortgage loan
  • Deny you property insurance
  • Conduct property appraisals in a discriminatory manner
  • Refuse to make reasonable accommodations for persons with a disability if the accommodation may be necessary to afford such person a reasonable and equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling
  • Fail to design and construct housing in an accessible manner
  • Harass, coerce, intimidate, or interfere with anyone exercising or assisting someone else with his/her fair housing rights

If You Believe Your Rights Have Been Violated. . .

Call the State of Virginia Council on Human rights at  804.225.2292

Join the ranks of FAAR Professional Honor “Role” Achievers

Join the ranks of FAAR Professional Honor “Role” Achievers

PHR and what it means

You could be eligible for Professional Honor Role and not even know it! Professional Honor Role was presented for the first time in 2008 to recognize the achievements of Realtor® recipients. The Honor “Role” award spotlights members who have made contributions to the real estate industry, FAAR, and the community. Points are assigned to 6 categories – Association Activities, Networking Events, Educational Activities, VAR & NAR Designations and Councils, Service/Civic Activity and real estate Production. Applications are due annually in February.

What are you waiting for? Get started today at faarmembers.com/awards

Benefits of FAAR Professional Honor Role

All recipients are featured in The FREE Lance Star ad and in the Real Estate Showcase.
All recipients receive a certificate or a trophy ($25 fee)—Recipient’s choice.
The names of all the recipients will be added to a plaque displayed in the FAAR office.
The names of all the recipients are listed at the faarmember.com website.
All recipients receive an electronic logo of the Professional Honor Role to use in marketing.

2018 Professional Honor Role Recipients 

to be announced at 4/10 Awards Lunch (registration closes 4/5)

 

2017 Professional Honor Role Recipients

Tricia Barnes, ABR, GRI, CRB
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Lisa Berry, ABR
Nest Realty Group

Suzanne Brady, ABR, CRB
Century 21 Redwood Realty

Jennifer Caison, ABR                     
Coldwell Banker Elite- Massaponax

Jennifer Church, ABR, SRS
Holt for Homes

Valerie Dellandre, ABR
Long & Foster, Inc. – Fredericksburg

Linda Dort, ABR, GREEN, SRES                                                          
Century 21 New Millennium- Fredericksburg

Drew Fristoe, ABR, e-PRO
Coldwell Banker Elite- Massaponax

Linda Fosdick, CRS, GRI, ABR
Dockside Realty

Janet Holt
Holt for Homes

Natalie Holt
Century 21 New Millennium- Fredericksburg

Debbie Klingensmith
Century 21 New Millennium- Fredericksburg

Linda Laub-Canty, ABR, GRI, CRS
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Cindy LeBrun, ABR, CRS
Coldwell Banker Elite- Massaponax

Lynn Lenahan, ABR, GRI
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Erin Lewis
Nest Realty Group

Andrea Maitland, CRB, CRS
Century 21 Redwood- Spotsylvania

Brooke Miller, GRI
Long & Foster, Inc.- Fred.

Sandy Pearce, ABR, SRES, PMN
Coldwell Banker Elite- Spots.

Mary Beth Rich, ABR
Century 21 New Millennium- Fredericksburg

Melissa Rose
Nest Realty Group

Anthony “Tony” Shade, ABR
RE/MAX Allegiance

Sharon Shade, ABR, ABRM
RE/MAX Allegiance

Christine Singhass, ABR
Caroline’s Realty

Sarah Stelmok, ABR, GRI, e-PRO
Nest Realty Group

Chip Taylor
Century 21 Battlefield

Penny Traber, ABR, GRI, CRS
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Ed Tennstedt
Long & Foster, Inc.- Fredericksburg

Ginny Vickers, ABR
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Barbara Waite, GRI, SRES
Nest Realty Group

Kristie M Walker, ABR
Nest Realty Group

Sha Williams- Hinnant, ABR, CRS, GRI
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Commitment to Excellence:  Testing Your Knowledge

Commitment to Excellence: Testing Your Knowledge

by Pat Breme, RCE, CIPS
CEO

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) created a program, the Commitment to Excellence, to raise the bar of professionalism in order for REALTORS® to serve clients better.

The end game is equipping members with tools to enrich their knowledge base, therefore holding themselves to a higher degree of accountability.

The initial activity is a series of quizzes to assess your knowledge on 10 topics. I decided to take the assessment and thought it would be fairly easy since I have spent over 25 years in the REALTOR® association world. Yes, I have working knowledge of the Code. Yes, I contribute to RPAC and understand what it does. Yes, I am not a licensee but I have working knowledge of the business of real estate. How did I do?

I finished Learning Topics, Code of Ethics, and Advocacy and fared pretty well. I am just getting into Areas of Practice which will be harder for me.

C2EX tests knowledge in 10 Areas

  • Advocacy
  • Areas of Practice
  • Client Service
  • Professional Reputation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Code of Ethic.
  • Article 10
  • Trust & Integrity
  • Technology
  • Safeguard Privacy

Miss a question, no problem

If you miss a question there is a follow-up Learning Plan that provides the correct information so the process is customized to your needs. The questions are not difficult but because they are multiple choice, there is always the possibility (fear) of a trick answer. You can stop and come back and the program tells you where you left off.

The process is not drudgery!

It is fun and the information is presented in a concise way. Completing all the Learning Topics and the Tasks will take some time but it is so well organized, stopping and resuming is not difficult. It is user friendly, the attitude is supportive. It is not a drudgery! It is a challenge but I found that I was motivated to see how much I knew.

NAR has been working on the Commitment to Excellence program since 2014 and I can see why. The integration is quite impressive! Companion to the Learning Topics are the Tasks which is a long list of activities that put knowledge into actions. Some of the Tasks are required to gain the endorsement, for example, responding to a call to action is required. Attending a fair housing conference is recommended but not required. The other major category is Surveys. To determine performance levels, you can provide client names, email addresses and send a selected a survey type, for example, a post-open house or post-closing survey. Under Engagements there are other activities and resources.

Attain the bragging rights, get the badge!

AT LEAST, take the assessment in each Learning Topic. You will be surprised at how much you know and at the same time, surprised at the items you misunderstand!  FAAR plans to peak interest by periodically posting various questions/answers in social media posts and in weekly Updates.

You could win…

Commit to checking out the process. Go to c2ex.realtor. FAAR will do a drawing for a prize of those who achieved the badge in 2019. Brokers, issue a challenge to your agents! The effort is fun and it is an outstanding way to brush up on your knowledge whether you have been in the business one year or 20 years.

Bright MLS April YouTube Training Schedule

Bright MLS April YouTube Training Schedule

Did you know? We have training classes on Bright’s YouTube channel every week. Learn how to perform basic tasks, gain useful tips, and ask questions to a member from our Bright training team. In April, Bright Training Classes will move to Tuesdays and Thursdays. Join us anywhere you have Internet.

Join us for Tech Tip Tuesdays! Every Tuesday in April from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

During this half hour session, we’ll cover the latest system enhancements and top technology tips for Bright subscribers. This session is geared toward agents and can be shared during office meetings.

Thursday Hour-Long Clinics! Every Thursday from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

Thursday, April 4th: New Agent? (Part 2) 
Now that your account is set up, join us as we teach you more about Searching (Map & Results), Auto Email, Contacts, Printing, Public Records and more. If your account is not yet set up, see our first class here: “New Agent? Start Here!

Thursday, April 11th: Working with Buyers
Build a lifelong relationship when you use these tips and tricks for working with buyers. After this class you’ll have the tools for setting up contacts, auto email, estimated buyers closing costs, and collaborating through the portal.

Thursday, April 18th: Managing Your Listings (Part 2)
You’ve entered your first listing, now what? Join us as we explore hit counters, reverse prospecting, adjusting a price, changing a status, understanding DOM, and so much more. Need to add a listing? Head to our first listing class: Adding a Listing with Maximum Exposure.

Thursday, April 25th: Product Spotlight: Showingtime (Part 2)
This session we will show you how to customize feedback, pull reports, and manually enter listing appointments in Bright using ShowingTime. New to ShowingTime? Check out our first look here: ShowingTime Product Spotlight.

How do I join a YouTube training?

Registration is not required. To participate, visit Bright’s YouTube Channel here. If you want to ask the trainer questions during a clinic, you will need to create your own YouTube Channel. Click here to create your own channel. 

Please share your feedback on our YouTube training

How’d we do?  We would like to hear your feedback.  Submit a brief online survey on your experience here.
Have a question you’d like to submit for future YouTube trainings? Submit it here.
 

February Picks Up the Pace in Local Real Estate Market

While February statistics tracked fairly closely to 2018 numbers, pending sales indicate a warming in the local real estate market.  Total sold dollar volume increased 2.4% in February, coming in at $106.4 million compared to nearly $103.9 million in February of 2018.  The number of units sold increased year-over-year almost 2.6%, going from 348 last year to 357 this February.  Median sales price fell by close to 5%, declining from $287,750 in February of 2018 to $274,000 in February of 2019.     

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 8.5% with houses averaging 86 days on the market in February of 2019 compared to 94 days in February of 2018. 

Inventory posted the biggest story in the February real estate numbers.  Active listings were up nearly 19%, going from approximately 1,100 available properties in February of 2018 to nearly 1,400 for this year.  Overall, inventory gains have been so small that most buyers in the market wouldn’t notice, but having 200 more homes to choose from this February compared to last can make a difference.  In addition, February pending home sales portend a solid March with an over 47% year-over-year increase compared to last year.  In February of 2018, the market ended the month with 230 homes under contract compared to the 339 that are currently under contract. 

The commercial real estate market is also an integral part of our local economy.  “The commercial market is moving along nicely,” according to commercial Realtor® and FAAR Board Member Ben Keddie.  Most major commercial statistics show that the region is performing well and has been for a number of years.  Keddie continues, “What we are expecting in 2019 includes some of the marquee projects that have been in discussion for a few years finally making great progress including Liberty Place, the new baseball stadium, and hopefully a local Veterans Administration clinic.” 

Press Releases

April Brings Strong Start to the Spring Selling Season

The lackluster first quarter start to the 2019 real estate market gave way to a stronger April, notes FAAR Board of Director Phillip Blake.  “Lower interest rates have helped push buyers off the fence and into the market, with some consumers choosing to...

March Sees Increasing Sales, Decreasing Prices

The start of spring usually ushers in the high season for the local real estate market.  March numbers did not disappoint, providing a strong foundation for the market that will hopefully continue into April and beyond.  “The spring market is in full...

FAAR Holds Annual Awards Event

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) held its annual Awards Gala on April 10, 2019 at the Fredericksburg Country Club.  Approximately 130 members were in attendance for the festivities, which included an awards ceremony and fundraiser....

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