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2022 FAAR Board of Directors announced
Electronic balloting began August 17, ended September 15 at noon
Results were announced at a general membership meeting after the virtual education originally scheduled for the FAAR trade show.
President Deb Ellis, Coldwell Banker Elite
President-Elect Carol Sondrini, Coldwell Banker Elite
Vice President Randy Walther, Nest Realty
Secretary Dawn Josemans, Coldwell Banker Elite
Treasurer Lauren Tate, Century 21 Redwood
Immediate Past President Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land
Abby Fitzsimmons, Coldwell Banker Elite
Gary Gardiner, Jr., Coldwell Banker Elite
Matthew Rathbun, Coldwell Banker Elite
(Continuing from the 2021 Board- Clay Murray, Pathway Realty, Pia Contreas Sanchez, Prime Realty, Kardin Lillis, Weichert, REALTORS®)
Michele Freemyers, Ekko Title
MBH CEO, Fred Westerlund receives national recognition with the October Search’s 2021 Leadership Award
On Wednesday, September 1, Fred Westerlund, CEO, MBH Settlement Group, was awarded the October Research 2021 Leadership Award at the National Settlement Services Summit (NS3).
Established in 2012, the October Research awards program honors men and women in the title, underwriting, lending and settlement services industries for exemplary accomplishment in the areas of Leadership, Innovation and Philanthropy.
Presented by Erica Meyer, CEO and Publisher of October Research, on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.
Fred is honored to be placed in such distinguished ranks of past honorees, and the tremendous leaders in our industry. Evident in Fred’s management style and his remarks are his dedication to the industry and the individuals with whom he works.
“At MBH, we focus on the 3 C’s: our Clients, our Colleagues, and our Communities. We believe that everything else will follow. A leadership award is really a team award, so, I would like to thank the incredible team we’ve assembled at MBH. They are amazing and they inspire me every day.”
With a wealth of experience in operations, business development, and risk management, Fred Westerlund provides leadership and vision to MBH Settlement Group.
He has been involved in real estate services in the D.C., Maryland, and Virginia markets for 16 years, and brings 29 years of leadership in sales, marketing, and operational roles across multiple service industries.
Prior to Fred’s career in business, he served as an officer in the U.S. Army. He’s earned a Masters of Business Administration from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and holds an undergraduate degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point.
Fred is active in the industry serving as Chairman of the Real Estate Finance and Settlements Forum for the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS.
He’s also active in the community, serving on the board of his Homeowners Association and supporting a number of different charitable organizations.
About MBH Settlement Group
Established in 1994, MBH Settlement Group is proud to be a settlement industry leader in the D.C. Metro area. MBH is committed to its partners and clients, serving our communities for more than 25 years in our 20 offices across Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.
The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® endorses Phil Scott for the Virginia House of Delegates 88th district. The seat is being vacated by the retiring Mark Cole and features a three-way race. Phil Scott met with members of FAAR’s Public Policy Committee on August 3 and the group was very impressed with his willingness to learn about the issues facing his constituents and his understanding of the importance of real estate to the regional economy.
FAAR looks forward to working with Phil on issues of importance to the industry when he gets to the General Assembly .
While it’s not a buyer’s market yet, the Fredericksburg-area housing market continues to show indications of normalizing. August still posted very robust market numbers, but that is tempered by rising supply and slight reductions in future demand. Sold dollar volume was still up nearly 29%, coming in at approximately $362 million in August of 2021 compared to $281.3 million last year. The increase was fueled by a nearly 16% jump in units sold, with 755 homes changing hands in August of 2020 compared to 876 this August. Median price held steady from July at $390,000, representing a more than 11% year-over-year price increase from August 2020’s level of $350,000.
Many market indicators are not captured in the transaction details of a home sale. It was common during the most intense months of buyer demand to see waiving of home inspections and agreements to bring cash when appraisals came in low. Those practices seem to be ebbing with the slowing market. “While the market continues to be positive for sellers, I’m seeing more homes staying on the market longer and appraisals falling short,” states FAAR Board of Director Donna Schmidt. “I am noticing sellers offering concessions and home warranties, which is a plus. August is showing a little lull due to families focusing on school, but all in all it, has been a good month.”
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 48% with houses averaging just 12 days on the market in August 2021 compared to 23 days in August 2020.
There is good news on supply to report with active listings up nearly 40% from the scant offerings to be found last August. New listings coming on to the market yet again beat the five-year average and saw nearly 9% more listings than last August. Homebuyers had 910 homes to choose from at the end of this August compared to just 651 homes available last August. New pending contracts, which indicates the pace of transactions, were down nearly 4% indicating that demand might finally have cooled slightly, enabling active listings to recover in a small way. During the late summer of 2016, the market had a nearly 4-month supply of homes. The current market has consistently been running at about a 2-week supply of homes, meaning that the current demand would exhaust the available properties in just 14 days. We are now up to about a 5-week supply of homes, more than double the lowest point. The market is making progress, but it is still a strong seller’s market.
The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) announces endorsements for local Board of Supervisors and City Council races on the ballot for the November 2nd general election. The endorsed candidates represent areas throughout FAAR’s service territory including the counties of King George, Orange, Stafford and Spotsylvania, and the City of Fredericksburg.
“As active members of our local communities, REALTORS® have a strong interest in this year’s elections. I am pleased with the impressive slate of candidates that FAAR has endorsed this year. These individuals will contribute much to our local communities by promoting economic development and protecting homeowners’ rights,” stated FAAR’s 2021 Public Policy Committee Chair Brad Johnson. “FAAR strongly supports each of the candidates endorsed for public office and looks forward to working with these individuals at the local level. The real estate industry is an integral part of our local economy and it is vital that REALTORS® help elect candidates who understand those connections and are willing to work with us on issues of importance.”
FAAR has endorsed the following candidates:
City of Fredericksburg
Jon Gerlach (City Council, Ward 2)
Tim Duffy (City Council, Ward 3)
Charlie Frye (City Council, Ward 4)
King George County
Cathy Binder (Board of Supervisors, Shiloh District)
Jim Crozier (Board of Supervisors, District 4)
Baron Braswell (Board of Supervisors, Battlefield District)
Kevin Marshall (Berkeley District)
Paul Milde (Board of Supervisors, Aquia District)
Number of Years in the Industry
Why do you love working in real estate?
Real estate has brought me so much joy in my everyday life! From the relationships I have gained and continue to see grow, to making my own schedule and enjoying time with my family, it has been the best decision I have made career wise!
Favorite Work Story
I have many, but I think one that sticks out would just be the one referral I received from the manager of the title company I used (Heritage Title- Brenda) that has trickled down and turned into so many new relationships, both business and personal! Referrals really do make a difference! I am so thankful- Thank you Brenda!
What are you most proud of in your career?
I have recently opened up my own firm, I am proud of that, but I am even more proud of every deal I close that results in a happy client and a new friendship!
Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time?
My special cause is balancing children and work! It’s not always easy! 🙂
I recently renovated an old vintage camper to use as my office. It’s adorable and I had a blast doing it!
Page Browning has been the Executive Vice President of the Coastal Association of REALTORS® in Berlin, Maryland since 2015. With a total of twenty years of association experience, she is well qualified to take on the responsibilities at FAAR. Page holds the management designations of RCE and CAE and has a BA in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia.
At the Coastal Association, Page oversaw the creation two strategic plans, launched a Technology Fair and served as interim CEO of a neighboring association. She spearheaded the development of an award winning foundation.
Page describes herself as a consensus builder and a collaborator. She pledges to be an inspired service leader with enthusiasm to help members and colleagues reach their potential.
Page served as chair of the Maryland REALTORS® Association Executives Committee and vice-chair of the state’s Issues Mobilization Committee. She also worked for the Home Builders Institute (HBI) in Washington DC.
Her official start is September 1.
Introducing FAAR Louder, your official Association podcast! These bimonthly sessions will feature elected officials, hot topics, and news you can use. We are working to launch the podcast on your favorite apps but in the meantime, take a listen here.
Episode 25: FAAR Louder | Home Inspections with Donofrio & Associates
Welcome to the FAAR louder podcast presented by the Fredericksburg area Association of Realtors. Hi, everyone. Welcome to the FAAR louder podcast. This is Lauren Zuza. I’m the webmaster and communications director at the Fredericksburg area Association of Realtors. And today we have with us our podcast sponsor for the month Donofrio & Associates. Hi, this is PJ Moore. Welcome PJ.
Hi, Lauren. Thank you so much for having me on my like Lauren said, my name is PJ Moore, and I’m the growth and marketing coordinator for Donofrio and Associates Property Inspections. Our company is based in Loudoun County, but we serve as DC, Maryland and Virginia. And we’ve been in business since 2001. The thing that I like to let everyone know is that we are veteran female-owned and family-owned. So our integrity means everything to us. And it’s very important for us to have a good name. So that’s always everybody always asked me how long you’ve been in business. So that’s the first thing I usually tell them right. We are a residential, commercial, structural and environmental inspection company. Like I said, we are servicing DC Maryland and Virginia we have numerous inspectors and we are open seven days a week. We do everything except for except for septic and uh well inspections at this moment. And that and those services are radon, mold, air quality, mold screening, lead-based paint inspections, structural inspections, we do Pool and Spa inspection, stucco and drive it and I think I’m forgetting one I did I say radon. Okay, so we are here and we’re available to answer any questions you may have. And we’re a full-service company. That’s fantastic. How many inspectors do you have on staff? Right now we have 12 we’re in the process of hiring a couple more to service the new area that we’re opening up Richmond in Charlottesville.
Oh, wow. Fantastic. We have lots of members who do business a wide range of localities around here. So having that big of a footprint is great.
I know. And it was nice at the event last night at the Fred nets game I met quite a few realtors, one of which from Samson properties that has some clients in Charlottesville. So she I think she said she worked in garrison, not garrisonville was the name of the town. Emporia is that. I’m not sure. I’m a Georgia transplant to the area myself. So having visited only a couple maybe three times now. So yeah, getting there getting there for sure.
That’s great. So when we’re lining up inspections, what are some of the questions realtors should be asking before and during an inspection?
Well, I think one of the bigger questions for most agents is the soundness of the home. So the structure, the roof, drainage away from the home because water is one of the biggest issues for home as far as repairs and maintenance. And it can cause mold and all of that so and and it can cause woodrat. So we want to try to stay away from that. And that’s one of the biggest things that they think about your hv AC system, the plumbing. I would say the roof, that’s a big thing. And then the water heater, those are things that cost the most to fix and repair. And so it’s important to know the life of that and kind of budget for when you need to replace it. A lot of homeowners want to know that.
That brings up a very good point. You know, we’re in a hot market. Sometimes people are waiving the inspection contingency. Um, should they still get an inspection immediately when they close? will this help the Home Warranty be valid?
Absolutely. I think it’s very important and it’s also very important for not only for the home warranty, but it’s also very important. What just lost my thought darnit it’s also very important to know the workings of the home for the homeowner. So you know where your water spigot turnoff is. You know how to light the pilot light on the hot water heater. You know how to change the filters, you know where everything is located. You know what the capacities of everything is, you know, approximately when you may have to replace something thing that’s that’s a big thing for homeowners, especially first time homebuyers, because it’s, it’s one of the biggest purchases you’ll make in your life. And so if you know right away that you’re going to have to budget to spend $5,000 to replace the HV AC system within the next five years, then you can plan for that.
Good point, good point. So that’s fantastic. Tell us how a realtor could get in touch with you if they’re looking for more information. Thank
you very much. So you can reach us via email, by phone. by our website. We also have a URL QR code that we give each individual realtor when they when they schedule with us. So if they ratify a contract late at night, they can go in check the schedule, pick a date and time. And then we will call them the next day to confirm that. So you can reach us seven days a week we are open from 8am to 7pm. And then we also have a backup call center. And I will tell you right now, which is what’s really important is to start your inspection online, you get a $25 discount. And it’s the fastest way It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to schedule an inspection because there’s lots of questions we want to know, you know, the size of the house, the address, you know if it has any outbuildings all of those things and what kind of services you need. And and during the process, agents and clients ask questions. So we’re answering questions as well. We don’t want to rush them off the phone. So it’s best to start it that way. And then we’ve got the basic stuff taken care of. And then all the other stuff can be added. Wow, it doesn’t get any easier. It makes it so easy. Yeah, we try to be a full service company. Like I said, we have three client care coordinators. We’re currently hiring another one. And then we also have the backup call center. So it’s best to leave a message or start your inspection process online. And that’s easy to do on our website, which is www.donofrioinspections.com very easy.
Well, thank you so much for being here today. PJ. That’s the end of our episode. Fantastic. Thank you.
Broadband coverage has become increasingly important for area residents. The FAAR Technology committee has been hard at work interviewing the various jurisdictions on current broadband progress.
There is no simple solution or easy answer to say when areas will have 100% coverage. Maps of coverage areas from broadband companies even when they do exist, cannot be proven to be accurate and 100% broadband coverage is considered almost impossible due to the nature of our terrain in the area. One of our most rural jurisdictions, Orange County, is making tremendous progress towards full county coverage with the Fiberlync partnership for county residents.
Below is the summary of data collected from the jurisdictions.
2022 FAAR Board of Directors announced Election Results 2022 Leadership Electronic balloting began August 17, ended September 15 at noon Results were announced at a general membership meeting after the virtual education originally scheduled for the FAAR trade show. ...
The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® endorses Phil Scott for the Virginia House of Delegates 88th district. The seat is being vacated by the retiring Mark Cole and features a three-way race. Phil Scott met with members of FAAR's Public Policy Committee...
While it’s not a buyer’s market yet, the Fredericksburg-area housing market continues to show indications of normalizing. August still posted very robust market numbers, but that is tempered by rising supply and slight reductions in future demand. Sold dollar volume...
The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) announces endorsements for local Board of Supervisors and City Council races on the ballot for the November 2nd general election. The endorsed candidates represent areas throughout FAAR’s service territory...