News

Recent news, business resources and press releases.

New Real Estate Podcasts

Listen to hot topics in real estate whether you’re on the go or lounging at home!

Clients having trouble getting taxes paid out of escrow?

FAAR has received reports from agents that some property tax payments are seeing delays in being paid by third parties working with mortgage servicers.  This can lead to sellers or buyers having to pay the local property taxes for a second time and then receiving a refund or returned check to address the duplicate payment.

While no one is paying double the tax, it does cause stress and confusion for buyers and sellers who think that payment has already been made.  If anyone has clients who have experienced this delay, you may want to consider reporting it to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) which might have an interest in investigating the delays from these third-party vendors.  Use the button below to file a complaint with the CFPB.

Local home prices continue to accelerate amid supply shortfall

The Fredericksburg-area housing market continued to march on with the conditions that have been persistent for a long time now:  constrained supply, rising prices, and no end in sight.  Median price soared to its highest point ever reaching $474,000 this May compared to $454,950 last year, representing a 4% year-over-year increase.  Leading the pack in May on price was Stafford County, coming in at a record-breaking $551,000, the highest price point ever seen in the County. Units sold trended down again this month with 577 sales compared to 606 in May of 2023.  High prices fueled a slight increase in total sold dollar volume, coming in at approximately $292.4 million compared to $287.6 last May.

“The residential real estate market in May 2024 continues to experience moderate price growth, although at a slower pace compared to the rapid increases seen during the pandemic years,” comments FAAR President-Elect Lauren Tate.  “This can be attributed to higher mortgage rates, which have tempered buyer demand. Despite this, inventory remains tight in many areas, leading to competitive offer bidding.”

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 11% going from 19 days last May to 21 this year.

Inventory was up a scant 3% from last May with 814 homes for sale at the end of the month compared to 788 last year.  New listings plunged nearly 12% with 609 homes coming on the market this May compared to 688 last year.  New pendings sales also dipped in May posting an 8% decrease with 614 new ratified contracts on properties versus 668 last year.

06 11 2024 May Market Statistics
Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Supports First Annual Run For RPAC Virtual 5k

Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® Supports First Annual Run For RPAC Virtual 5k

FREDERICKSBURG, VA – June 3, 2024 – The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) is thrilled to announce our enthusiastic support for the Virginia Association of REALTORS®’ first annual Run For RPAC Virtual 5k. This exciting event will take place from June 4th through July 2nd, offering a fantastic opportunity for local REALTORS® to get active, connect with colleagues, and support the REALTORS® Political Action Committee (RPAC).

Why Participate?

By participating in this virtual 5k, FAAR members will receive a race bib and a commemorative medal, symbolizing their commitment to the cause and their achievement. The registration fee for this event is $50, and it directly supports RPAC’s mission to advocate for policies that benefit our industry and community.

We encourage all FAAR members to join this event and promote it within your networks. Share your experience on social media by tagging Virginia REALTORS® and using the hashtag #RunForRPAC. This will help create a lively, supportive online community and provide a chance to be featured on “Medal Monday.”

 

Consider organizing a small group meet-up with fellow REALTORS® to complete the 3.1 miles together, fostering camaraderie and support for RPAC.

Spread the Word

To help you spread the word, we have provided a promotional image of the medal, a banner, and a QR code. You can use these materials to share the event with your clients, colleagues, and friends. The registration link for run participants is https://ai360.aristotle.com/AI360FormBuilder/Form.aspx?dbid=2e166870-894a-423a-a6f7-6560a8904c6c&page_id=12884.

All race bibs and medals will be fulfilled by the Virginia REALTORS®, ensuring participants receive their items within two weeks of registration.

Questions?

Please feel free to reach out to Virginia REALTORS® with any inquiries or for more information about the benefits of RPAC.

We are excited to see our local REALTORS® come together to support RPAC through this fun and meaningful event. Let’s make this inaugural Run For RPAC Virtual 5k a huge success for our community!

IMAGE OF MEDAL PARTICIPANTS RECEIVE

RPAC 5k Medal

QR CODE FOR PROMOTION

2024 RPAC 5k QR
Apply for the 2025 FAAR Board of Directors

Apply for the 2025 FAAR Board of Directors

You can make a difference! This year has been a significant one, marked by challenges to our industry and a new strategic plan for our association. Leaders have brought fresh perspectives and energy to FAAR. As we continue to build on this momentum, we welcome new members to our Board of Directors—individuals who are passionate, driven, and ready to take on meaningful roles. This is your opportunity to leverage your skills and experience in an organization that values growth, innovation, and collaboration. Join us on our mission to make a lasting impact in the real estate sector and help members achieve success in their careers.

 

Are you interested in serving?

The Nominating Committee is accepting nominations until June 30th.

 

What is the Board anyway, and what does it do?

The Board is made up of 13 members (12 REALTORS® and 1 Affiliate) who set policy for the entire association. The group meets every other month (third Tuesday of even months) to address issues, solve problems, and keep the association financially solvent by carefully managing funds and investments.

 

How many members are nominated and elected?

The Nominating Committee shall select one but not more than three nominees for each Director position to be filled.  Member vote decides who receives the open positions.

 

How long are the terms?

Director positions are for two years. Officer positions are for one year, except Treasurer, which is for two years. The Affiliate Director position is for one year.

 

How do I express interest?

  • The Candidate Profile Form to be reviewed by the Nominating Committee is here.
  • Board Job Descriptions are here.

 

Return the completed Profile Form to:

Page Browning, CEO of FAAR

pbrowning@faarmembers.com

 

What’s next after I apply?

Eligible applicants will be notified of an interview time to occur in person at the FAAR office on Tuesday, July 9.

 

Questions?

Please contact Page at pbrowning@faarmembers.com or reach out to any of our current leadership team at www.faarmembers.com/leadership.

FAAR Sends Letter to Spotsylvania County on changes to subdivision ordinance

FAAR recently sent a letter to the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors expressing concerns about potential changes to the Annual Exempt Subdivision ordinance.  President Randy Walther expressed concerns about reducing the number of allowable lots for annual exempt divisions from five lots to just one, which could seriously infringe upon property owners’ rights to utilize their land as they see fit.  Many people bought land under the current rules with the intention of subdividing in the future to fund retirement, college funds, or medical bills and will now not be able to realize the full value of their asset.  Click the button below to read the letter that FAAR sent. 

This issue is slated to come before the Spotsylvania County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.  FAAR will publish the official notice when it’s available.  

Local Housing Market Posts Large Increases in Units Sold

The spring housing market is off to a swift start with April numbers posting considerable increases in units sold and total sold dollar volume coupled with modest price appreciation compared to April of 2023.  Median home prices were up 3% from last year, settling at $450,000 this April compared to $435,000 last year.  Units sold increased by more than 26%, with 522 units sold this April compared to 414 last year.  This increase is just the second time the market has experienced year-over-year growth since May of 2022 and eclipses the 6% increase posted in January of 2024.  The growth in homes sales fueled a nearly 30% increase in total sales volume with the market boasting over $256.7 million in transactions compared to $197.7 million last April.  The volume increase was seen in every jurisdiction in the FAAR footprint.

“April 2024 proved to be positive for sellers as the increase in sales pricing continues trending upward by percentage,” comments FAAR Director Gary Gardiner.  “Buyers are competing to secure a home in this low inventory market.  As a result, sellers have been able to maximize their equity. Mortgage interest rates remain higher.  Home affordability continues to be a challenge for most buyers who struggle to find a home and the market is highly competitive financially.”

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 3% going from 27 days last April to 26 this year.

Inventory was up by 10% from last April with 791 homes for sale at the end of the month compared to 717 last year.  New listings remained static with just 3 more than last April for a total of 649 new homes coming on the market.  New pendings sales were also steady from last year with a slight 1% dip from 615 to 608.  “Today’s market proves that there remains a very low inventory of homes available for sale,” continues Gardiner.  “Buyers and would-be sellers considering a move are hoping for lower interest rates as we continue through the second and third quarter of the year.”

Virginia General Assembly Wrap-Up

The Virginia REALTORS® Government Relations Team worked hard this year advocating for you, your clients, AND your business. Virginia REALTORS® has created a visual resource summarizing the many efforts this team made on behalf of your business during the Virginia General Assembly Session and details the bills, more about them, and what passed (not to mention one bill that passed with help from YOU).

Download this Advocacy Scorecard so you can get the breakdown on just how Virginia REALTORS® works for you and your clients. This document includes bills that were passed, defeated, and amended, plus details about each bill from the 2024 Legislative Agenda. Virginia REALTORS® fights for REALTORS® during the Virginia General Assembly AND all year long.

Celebrating Success: FAAR’s 2024 Awards Dinner and Celebration Shines a Spotlight on Real Estate Excellence

Celebrating Success: FAAR’s 2024 Awards Dinner and Celebration Shines a Spotlight on Real Estate Excellence

(April 25, 2024) The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) hosted its annual Awards event on April 17th, 2024 at the Woolen Mill, bringing together industry leaders to honor the personal and professional achievements of its members. The event highlighted the dedication, hard work, and community impact of FAAR’s real estate professionals over the past year.

The Awards committee sends thanks to everyone who provided a nomination recognizing a deserving FAAR member.

The highlight of the night was the awards presentation, emceed by Immediate Past President Carol Sondrini, where numerous professionals were recognized across various categories. The celebration also included a silent auction benefitting RPAC that concluded just before the awards presentation. The night rounded off with dancing and networking, providing a joyful end to the festivities. 2024 FAAR President Randy Walther, closed the event with a note of thanks, appreciating the generous RPAC contributions and congratulating all the award winners.

FAAR would like to extend a sincere thank you to all sponsors and vendors who contributed to making the event a memorable occasion. Their continued support plays a crucial role in the association’s ongoing success and community involvement.

If you would like to catch a glimpse of the moments from the event, please visit FAAR’s facebook page at facebook.com/faarmembers where pictures will be posted soon.

Honors/Award Recipients

YPN Travel Scholarship
Kristi Murphy
Long and Foster

Faces of FAAR Travel Scholarship
Denise Benedetto
Samson Properties

Icon Award
Don Seay
1st Choice Better Homes and Land

REALTOR® of the YEAR
Dawn Josemans
Coldwell Banker Elite

Hall of Fame Award
Matthew Rathbun
Coldwell Banker Elite

Good Neighbor Award
Beth Pannell
1st Choice Better Homes and Land

Rookie of the Year
Sheronica Thompson
Coldwell Banker Elite

Manager of the Year
David Cropper
Cropper Homes Sales, LLC

Affiliate of the Year
Selina Bryant
Summit Funding, Inc.

Spirit Award
C. Lynn Lenahan
1st Choice Better Homes and Land

REALTORS® Choice Award
Amy Adams
Ink Homes and Lifestyle

Melanie Thompson Award
Nathaniel Ferguson
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Penfed Realty

Silver Circle Award
Christopher Calamos
Coldwell Banker Elite

Bettina Grein
Help U Sell Grein Group

Carol Holley
Lorac Property Management, Inc.

Peggy Lowe
Century 21 Coastal Lifestyles

Geraldine Ludwig
Secured Property Management

Gary Nance
Nance & Associates Realtors

Professional Honor Roll
Jennifer Burton
City Chic Real Estate

Jennifer Caison
Coldwell Banker Elite

Valerie Dellandre
Century 21 New Millennium

Deb Ellis
Coldwell Banker Elite

Abby Fitzsimmons
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

Drew Fristoe
Coldwell Banker Elite

Gary Gardiner, Jr.
Coldwell Banker Elite

Allison Graves
Coldwell Banker Elite

Amal Hall
Samson Companies

DeAnna Hamn
1st Choice Better Homes and Land

Janet Holt
Holt for Homes

Lynn Lenahan
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Robin Marine
Coldwell Banker Elite

Clay Murray
Pathway Realty

Tamar Myers-Moffatt
Samson Companies

Melissa Stewart
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices PenFed Realty

Anna Torres
Long and Foster

Penny Traber
1st Choice Better Homes and Land

Sha Williams- Hinnant
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Understanding and Protecting Against Spoofed Emails

Understanding and Protecting Against Spoofed Emails

In recent times, the frequency of spoofed emails designed to scam recipients has risen sharply. These emails often appear legitimate but are actually from fraudsters aiming to steal personal information. It’s crucial to stay vigilant and recognize these phishing attempts to protect your sensitive data.

Table of Contents:

  1. What is a Spoofed Email?
  2. 4 Ways to Spot a Phishing Attack
  3. Best Practices to Avoid Falling Victim
  4. Resources and Further Reading

What is a Spoofed Email?

A spoofed email is a malicious email that mimics the appearance and sender address of a legitimate email to deceive the recipient. FAAR recently highlighted an incident where several individuals received such emails falsely claimed to be sent by FAAR. These emails are crafted by scammers who are becoming increasingly sophisticated, targeting anyone at any time.

4 Ways to Spot a Phishing Attack

1. Strange or Mismatched Sender Address

Always verify the sender’s address. If the email claims to be from a reputable organization but has a suspicious or mismatched email address, it’s likely a phishing attempt.

2. An Unusual URL

Before clicking on any URL in an email, hover over it to see the landing page address. If the URL appears fake or slightly altered from what you would expect, do not click on it.

3. Message Looks Strange or Too Good to Be True

If an email’s content looks unusual or too good to be true, verify its legitimacy by contacting the supposed sender through a different communication method, such as phone or in person.

4. Poor Spelling and Grammar

Emails from professional organizations are usually well-written. Poor spelling and grammar can be an immediate red flag signaling a phishing email.

Best Practices to Avoid Falling Victim

If you receive a suspicious email that seems to be from someone you know, do not reply directly. Instead, contact the sender through another communication method to confirm its authenticity. Additionally, educate your clients or peers about these tactics to prevent them from falling prey to such scams.

Resources and Further Reading

For more detailed information on how to protect yourself from phishing and spoofed emails, consider exploring these resources:

You can also take a phishing quiz provided by Google to test your ability to identify phishing emails. Remember, knowledge is your best defense against these sophisticated attacks.

Conclusion

Staying informed and cautious about the emails you receive is essential in protecting your personal information from scammers. By educating yourself and others, you can help reduce the effectiveness of these fraudulent activities. For additional information and resources, access more spam email educational materials here.

Price Increases Continue to Frustrate Local Buyers

The local housing market showed surprising price growth in March despite persistent year-over-year demand decreases.  Median price was up nearly 8% year-over-year coming in at $449,949 this March compared to $420,000 last year.  Total sold volume remained static from last March coming in at approximately $202.3 million, a scant 1% decrease from 2023 numbers.  Units sold fell by almost 8% year-over-year compared to last March with 417 homes selling last month compared to 452 in 2023. 

The regional price increase was driven by high prices in Spotsylvania and Stafford counties, with the latter setting a price record for March.  Spotsylvania County landed its third-ever highest price at $449,000 with an increase in units sold over last March.  Meanwhile, Stafford County posted a whopping $522,500 median price for March, a 10% increase from last year, but that price point was reflected in a downturn in demand of nearly 30%. 

“We’re seeing a pain crunch for first-time buyers as inventory in their price point has aways been a challenge, and it’s very pronounced right now,” comments mortgage lender and FAAR Board of Director Nick Bohn.  “On the bright side, Virginia Housing programs increased flexibility on income limits has really helped expand those opportunities for first-time buyers.  We’re seeing an increase in inquiries for mortgage loans, and we are anticipating high demand for the limited inventory that’s on the market.”

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 20% going from 37 days last March to 30 this year.

Inventory was again all over the place with a slight increase in active listings with the market seeing 704 active homes for sale compared to 693 at the close of last March, a less than 2% increase.  New listings coming on the market were down by nearly 8% with 602 new homes listed throughout last March compared to 555 listed this March.  New pending contracts were up by over 11% this March with 566 pending transactions compared to 509 last year. 

Press Releases

Local home prices continue to accelerate amid supply shortfall

The Fredericksburg-area housing market continued to march on with the conditions that have been persistent for a long time now:  constrained supply, rising prices, and no end in sight.  Median price soared to its highest point ever reaching $474,000 this May compared...

Local Housing Market Posts Large Increases in Units Sold

The spring housing market is off to a swift start with April numbers posting considerable increases in units sold and total sold dollar volume coupled with modest price appreciation compared to April of 2023.  Median home prices were up 3% from last year, settling at...

Price Increases Continue to Frustrate Local Buyers

The local housing market showed surprising price growth in March despite persistent year-over-year demand decreases.  Median price was up nearly 8% year-over-year coming in at $449,949 this March compared to $420,000 last year.  Total sold volume remained static from...

Local Real Estate Market Continues Strong Showing in February

The February real estate market continued the trend of increasing prices and falling demand, but also showed some promising signs for the those waiting for more inventory with a slight increase in active listings and a large increase in new listings compared to last...

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This