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It doesn’t matter if you’ve been in the business a while or are just starting out. If you’re hungry for more success, it’s time to raise your real estate career to a higher level by earning the most comprehensive real estate designation: Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI).
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2. Build confidence
Past graduates consistently say they love their GRI because it gave them confidence in their own skills and credibility with clients—essential components for building a successful real estate career.
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Not only do GRIs have a leg up on agents without the designation, the time required to earn your GRI goes a long way towards demonstrating your level of commitment to yourself, your clients, and the industry. It’s a true win-win-win proposition.
How is the GRI different? Unlike most NAR designations, the GRI is managed independently by each state association of REALTORS®, with slightly different course requirements. This provides an optimal blend of state-specific content along with national perspectives. Also, GRI designees do not pay any annual dues to maintain their designation.
Are you ready to become a GRI and elevate your business? Learn more and find courses offered in Virginia at virginiarealtors.org
“In a year of uncertainty, one thing was certain: the housing market was hot,” states 2021 FAAR President Carrie Danko. “In March, as widespread local shutdowns and quarantines were implemented to curb the pandemic, it seemed that the housing industry should prepare for a tough year,” continues Danko. “Instead, we saw buyers and sellers adjusting to COVID precautions and restrictions resulting in one of the best years in real estate in over a decade.” The year closed out with a total sold dollar volume of just over $3 billion which represents a nearly 30% increase over the year-end totals for 2019. The market saw a significant 10% year-over-year increase in median price, going from $310,000 in 2019 to $339,520 in 2020. Units sold increased over 19%, finishing out the year at 8,310 compared to 6,978 units sold in 2019.
“The only downside to the 2020 market was low inventory and buyers felt it. Most sellers experienced multiple offers, likely over list price, after only days on market. Many buyers experienced disappointment after disappointment, especially buyers in the most competitive price ranges. Ultimately, 2020 did end with very happy sellers and buyers as evidenced by the over 8,000 transactions that took place in our market,” says Danko.
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 a whopping 31% with houses averaging 42 days on the market in 2019 compared to just 29 days in 2020. More than half of homes sold in 2020 went under contract in 10 days or less. The vast majority of sales were of 3 or more-bedroom single family homes, with that segment making up over 83% of the total units sold.
December kept with the trend of the year and posted an impressive 56% increase in sold dollar volume and a nearly 44% increase in units sold. The month saw more than $259.8 million in total sold dollar volume, compared to $166.5 million in December of 2019. Median price was up 10%, settling at $347,222 this December compared to $314,388 last December. Units sold increased from 483 last year to 695 this year, with significant increases in both attached multifamily and detached single family.
Inventory has been the main challenge facing the local real estate market for a few years now and the events of 2020 exacerbated an already bad situation. December 2020 closed with the lowest number of homes available on the market in over 10 years with just 511 available properties, which represents a less than one month supply of homes. By comparison, we closed the year 2015 with a 3.8-month supply of inventory and 1,574 homes on the market.
While any predictions about 2021 are incredibly uncertain at this point, Realtors® are anticipating a strong year in the market. “My hope for 2021 is that interest rates remain at historic lows, inventory starts coming on the market at higher levels, strong buyer activity continues, and that 2021 finishes even stronger than 2020,” Danko concludes.
- Flood awareness: Creating a flood risk report, compiled by data already available through the Department of Conservation and Recreation, to provide accurate and easy-to-understand information to potential home buyers and require disclosure when a property is designated as a repetitive loss structure by FEMA.
- Protecting tenants in a foreclosure: Conforming Virginia law to the federal Protecting Tenants at Foreclosure Act (PTFA) of 2018. The PTFA requires that a purchaser at foreclosure allow a tenant to continue to occupy the rental dwelling unit for up to 90 days if the purchaser is buying the house as their home and up to the balance of the term of the existing lease if the purchaser is buying the house for investment.
- Guaranteeing virtual access to POA/COA meetings: Allowing property owner and condo unit owners associations to conduct regular and annual meetings through electronic means. The Attorney General has already opined that these meetings can be held electronically but stakeholders believe it would be prudent to add this to the Virginia Code.
- Providing Affordable Healthcare Insurance: We are considering introducing a narrowly tailored version of last year’s Association Health Plan legislation to allow only real estate licensee members of the Virginia REALTORS® to pool together as a large group in the pursuit of more affordable, quality healthcare coverage. Association Health Plans are already allowed under Virginia law, but because of the self-employed nature of our members, thousands of Virginia REALTORS® are prohibited from accessing affordable coverage through AHPs. Because of this, we estimate that nearly 7,000 Virginia REALTORS® go without health insurance because they are stuck in the gap between qualifying for subsidies and being able to afford the out-of-pocket costs for insurance.
Congress just approved a large stimulus package to provide relief from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Check out the laundry list of items included in the bill. Update is provided by NAR. Some notable inclusions: eviction moratorium extended through January 31, 2021 and rental assistance for states to dole out.
Like what you see? Then check out the full report! FAAR has a great new monthly report provided by the Virginia Realtors® that gives you tons of details to use with clients. Click the link below to get access to the full report and start using this great resource in your business.
Potential buyers in the Fredericksburg-area housing market are asking themselves, how high can it go? The market posted another sizzling month with dramatic increases in total sold dollar volume and units sold coupled with plummeting days on market. Sold dollar volume was up 68% year-over-year, increasing from approximately $149 million in November of 2019 to nearly $250 million in November of this year. The increase was fueled by a nearly 50% uptick in units sold with 664 transactions this November compared to 450 last year. Median price was up over 9% settling at $340,000, up from $311,700 last November.
Is it possible for houses to spend zero days on market? In this market, it is becoming more and more prevalent. In the month of November, 24 homes spent zero days in active status on the market. A whooping 435 of the 664 homes sold in November spent between 1 and 10 days on the market. Average 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 nearly 64% with houses averaging just 16 days on the market in November 2020 compared to 44 days in November 2019.
Supply is the major issue in the market and has been for the entire year. November closed out the month with just 572 homes on the market, compared to 1,435 in November of last year. With 664 homes sold in the month, that demonstrates the quick churn through existing inventory. New pendings were up again in November, with 28% more homes under contract in November of 2020 versus last year.
“The November market was much the same as the rest of the year. Multiple offers on homes are still happening a lot of the time,” states 2020 FAAR President Drew Fristoe. “I have buyers who are still searching for the right home and the home where our offer will be picked. On the listing side, my sellers are waiting until the New Year so that they can get through the holidays.”
The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) installed its 2021 Leadership Team in a virtual ceremony on Thursday, December 10, 2020. Despite the year’s many challenges, the Association under 2020 President Drew Fristoe remained committed to serving the more than 1,700 Realtors® working throughout the region with top-notch educational offerings, wide ranging real estate services, and strong advocacy to protect the real estate industry.
Looking ahead to 2021, incoming President Carrie Danko of 1st Choice Better Homes and Land is focused on keeping those values strong and is committed to “rethink, reenergize, and rebound” together.
Incoming President Carrie Danko and her leadership team were installed by Ann Black, broker and owner of 1st Choice Better Homes and Land.
Several awards were also given out, including:
Recognizing members who have attained 40 years of continuous membership in FAAR.
Exit Elite Realty
Rappahannock Properties, Inc.
Silver Circle Awards
Recognizing members who have attained 25 years of continuous membership in FAAR.
BHHS Select Realty
United Real Estate Premier
A Home 4 U
| Richard Snow
Exit Realty Expertise
| Faith Strong
Valere Real Estate
Help U Sell Grein Group
Century 21 Redwood
Affiliate of the Year
Recognizing the FAAR affiliate member that provides exceptional service to FAAR, its members, and the general public.
Good Neighbor Award
Recognizing members who give back to the community.
Long and Foster
Century 21 Redwood
| Deb Ellis
Coldwell Banker Elite
Recognizing the participation of a member who supports FAAR behind the scenes.
Raising the Bar Award
Recognizes the member who has gone above and beyond to improve their knowledge of the business and professional standards.
Coldwell Banker Elite
Recognizing members who have made a significant mark on the real estate profession.
| Alex Long
| Janel O’Malley
Coldwell Banker Elite
The 2021 FAAR Leadership team is:
President Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes and Land, LC
President-Elect Deb Ellis, Coldwell Banker Elite
Vice President Carol Sondrini, Coldwell Banker Elite
Secretary Randy Walther, Nest Realty
Treasurer Clay Murray, Pathway Realty
Directors Lynn Lenahan, 1st Choice Better Homes and Land, LC
Sandy Pearce, Pathway Realty
Dawn Josemans, Coldwell Banker Elite Property Management
Lauren Tate, Century 21 Redwood
Kardin Lillis, Weichert, Realtors®
Pia Contreras-Sanchez, Prime Realty
Donna Schmidt, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
Immediate Past President, Drew Fristoe, Coldwell Banker Elite, will join the 2021 Leadership Team on the Board of Directors.
UPDATE as of January 2021: Due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, Stafford County is deferring action on downzoning until the public can safely engage at County Board of Supervisors meetings. The issue is still on the table, but we expect consideration to be mid-February or later. FAAR continues to monitor this situation and provide input to the Board. It is important that our members do the same! Consider using the sample letter linked below to send an email to the Stafford County Board of Supervisors.
UPDATE as December 2020: Stafford County has posted the agenda for the 12/15 Board Meeting. The agenda has been posted here for anyone who wants to check it out. The Board has added an exemption for Family Subdivision.
Stafford County continues to pursue efforts to downzone property in the A-1 agricultural zoning district. This effort will now require more acreage to create a buildable lot, changing the minimum lot size from 1 house per 3 acres to 1 house per 10 acres. This action will reduce land values in the rural areas, decimate decades of wealth creation for Stafford County families, and will rob landowners of the right to do with their land as they see fit.
SAY NO TO STAFFORD COUNTY DOWNZONING!
The County’s own Commissioner of the Revenue estimates that a 10-acre downzoning could reduce rural land values between 50% and 60%. (Check out his video explaining how that will happen here.) Those that would be most impacted are smaller landowners who typically use their acreage to subdivide for family or to sell off a lot or two to fund college or retirement. In fact, the County is only off 94 homes from their Comprehensive Plan target for rural housing development. The vast majority of development in the County happens in suburban areas so any reduction in rural housing growth will be negligible.
The Stafford Board of Supervisors will consider downzoning again on Tuesday, December 15 at 3:00pm. This meeting is being held in the Board of Supervisors Chambers located at 1300 Courthouse Road, Stafford, VA. The opportunity to speak on this important topic is at the very beginning of the meeting during the open Public Comment period. Sample talking points are provided below. If you are unable to attend the meeting but wish to have your comments heard, please use the email addresses below to contact the Stafford County Board of Supervisors. A sample letter is also provided.
Supervisor Meg Bohmke: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Tom Coen: email@example.com
Supervisor Cindy Shelton: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Tinesha Allen: email@example.com
Supervisor Gary Snellings: firstname.lastname@example.org
Supervisor Crystal Vanuch: email@example.com
Supervisor Mark Dudenhefer: firstname.lastname@example.org
The local real estate market shows no signs of slowing down despite the ongoing pandemic, fears of another wave of the virus, continued economic contraction, and cooler weather approaching. Total sold dollar volume was up a whopping 63% from last year, coming in at approximately $291.1 million this October compared to $178.1 million last October. The region’s median price increased for the 19th straight month, soaring more than 13% year-over-year going from $310,000 in October of 2019 to $352,000 in October of this year. Units sold increased a record breaking 42% with 760 homes sold this October compared to 535 last year.
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 50% with houses averaging a mere 20 days on the market in October 2020 compared to 40 days in October 2019.
“With the listing inventory still at an all-time low, the October market resulted in higher sales volume and increased sale prices,” comments FAAR Board of Director and affiliate member Donna Schmidt. “Escalation clauses were insane, with buyers foregoing home inspections and all other contingencies taking us back to the 2004-05 market. However, appraisers and Realtors® have tried to keep things in check and are doing an amazing job keeping up with the times.”
The region’s supply issues continue to frustrate buyers as the market saw another huge drop in active listings compared to last year at the same time. The region closed out October with just 653 homes on the market, a 59% decrease from last year. Realtors® would have said a year ago that supply was the biggest issue facing the market and that was when active listings were over 1,600. New listings provided a glimmer of hope again this month with a more than 13% increase in homes coming on the market over the same time last year. New listings are quickly being absorbed into current demand leading to higher units sold the next month. New pending transactions were strong again this month with a 44% increase, indicating that things are not slowing down.
“In a year of uncertainty, one thing was certain: the housing market was hot,” states 2021 FAAR President Carrie Danko. “In March, as widespread local shutdowns and quarantines were implemented to curb the pandemic, it seemed that the housing industry should prepare...
Potential buyers in the Fredericksburg-area housing market are asking themselves, how high can it go? The market posted another sizzling month with dramatic increases in total sold dollar volume and units sold coupled with plummeting days on market. Sold dollar...
The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) installed its 2021 Leadership Team in a virtual ceremony on Thursday, December 10, 2020. Despite the year’s many challenges, the Association under 2020 President Drew Fristoe remained committed to serving the...
FAAR has a new monthly report provided through the Virginia Realtors® that is chock full of detailed information about the local market. Use this data for your listing presentations, communication with your sphere and for your social media posts.