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FAAR Holds Annual Awards and Fundraising Event

FAAR Holds Annual Awards and Fundraising Event

Fredericksburg, VA—(April 25, 2018) The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) held its annual Awards Gala on April 18, 2018 at Stevenson Ridge. Approximately 150 members were in attendance for the festivities, which included an awards ceremony and fundraiser.

Proceeds from the fundraiser benefitted the Fredericksburg REALTORS® Foundation, whose efforts go to support local non-profit organizations that help individuals and families secure and retain shelter. Thanks to donations from FAAR’s REALTOR® and affiliate members, the Foundation was able to raise over $800.

In addition to the Foundation fundraiser, awards were handed out for Rookie Salesperson of the Year, Manager of the Year, REALTORS® Choice, REALTOR® of the Year, Educator of the Year, and Melanie Thompson Award. In addition, 28 members were recognized for achieving the Professional Honor Role for 2017. The Honor “Role” award spotlights members who have made contributions to the real estate industry, the Association, and the community.


The following individuals received awards for 2017:

REALTOR® of the Year
Linda Fosdick, Dockside Realty

Rookie Sales Person of the Year
Ruth Campbell, 1st Choice Better Homes and Land

Manager of the Year
Kevin McGrath, Long & Foster

Clay Murray, Coldwell Banker Elite

Educator of the Year
Michele Freemyers, Ekko Title

Melanie Thompson Award
Clay Murray, Coldwell Banker Elite

2017 Professional Honor “Role”

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

Milton Branch, GRI
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Suzanne Brady, ABR, SRS
Century 21 Redwood

Jennifer Caison
Coldwell Banker Elite- Massaponax

Jennifer Church, ABR, SRS
Holt for Homes

Carrie Danko
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Valerie Dellandre, SRS
Virginia C.U. Realty

Linda Fosdick, CRS, GRI, ABR, SRS
Dockside Realty

Drew Fristoe, ABR
Coldwell Banker Elite- Massaponax

Janet Holt
Holt for Homes

Natalie Holt
Century 21 New Millennium- Fredericksburg

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

Cindy LeBrun, ABR, CRS, SRS, SRES
Exit Realty Expertise

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

Erin Lewis
Nest Realty Group

Andrea Maitland, CRB, CRS, GRI
Century 21 Redwood- Spotsylvania

Brooke Miller, GRI, CRS
Long & Foster- Fredericksburg

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

Bonnie Ramey, GRI
Nest Realty Group

Mary Beth Rich, ABR
Century 21 New Millennium- Fredericksburg

Anthony “Tony” Shade, ABR
RE/MAX Allegiance

Sharon Shade, ABR, ABRM
RE/MAX Allegiance

Christine Singhass
United Real Estate Premier

Sarah Stelmok, GRI
Nest Realty Group

Chip Taylor
Long & Foster- Fredericksburg

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

Ginny Vickers, ABR, SRS
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

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

Biennial Ethics Training – Two Year Cycles


REALTORS® are required to complete ethics training of not less than 2 hours, 30 minutes of instructional time within two-year cycles.

Check your ethics date by logging in to your account at and looking in the blue box for “Your Last COE Date.”

If your ethics date falls before 1/1/2017, you will need to take an NAR approved ethics class by the end of 2018 to stay compliant with the two-year ethics cycle. Take ethics online or in the classroom—after your class, forward your completed class certificate to Membership Services Director, Lori at Ethics in the classroom will be held

June 12, 8-11 AM
August 7, 8-11 AM
October 9, 8-11 AM
November 2, 9AM- 12PM
December 4 8-11 AM
December 12, 1-4PM

Register at

Mandatory ethics training requirements for new and continuing REALTOR® members was established by the National Association’s Board of Directors at the 1999 Annual Convention with the following goals:

  • to heighten member awareness of the key tenets of the Code of Ethics;
  • to create an awareness of and appreciation for the role the Code can and should play in their professional lives;
  • to enhance professionalism and competency; and
  • to encourage REALTORS® to view their Code of Ethics as a living, viable guide in their daily dealings with clients, customers, and the public.

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics promises exemplary conduct. Are you living up to the promise?

There is an ongoing discussion about what is professionalism.

For those in business, it refers to common courtesies extended to one another. Most commonly known as the Golden Rule. Business courtesies also apply to REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) specifically outlines those courtesies in Pathways to Professionalism.

REALTORS® are expected to reach even higher in their real estate transactional business. That higher reach is the Code of Ethics. NAR spells out those expectations in the 17 Articles of the Code of Ethics and provides the practical meaning of each Article in the accompanying Standards of Practice.

The Professional Standards and Grievance Committees who implement FAAR processes for professional behavior and a group of brokers met to discuss declining professionalism. Everyone agreed that there is an alarming trend of ignoring the Code of Ethics, as well as, the courtesies listed in Pathways to Professionalism. While no one believes that many FAAR members are intentionally ignoring the rule, everyone agreed that many agents are just not aware of crossing the line to unprofessional behavior.

Virginia licensing regulations include best business practices. Licensing renewal classes provide updates every two years. NAR requires training on the Code of Ethics very two years.

Despite the mandatory updates, why is professionalism declining? The group agreed that haste and ignorance were the top two reasons. Who is to blame? Is it brokers who provides little supervision of their agents? Is it demanding clients, misinformed customers? Is it the agent population looking to cut corners? The answer is yes, yes and yes. All contribute to the downturn in professionalism.

The leadership of FAAR believes the association can play a part in improving professionalism by creating awareness to the Code of Ethics and Pathways to Professionalism.

In an effort to raise the awareness of both, FAAR is launching a year-long campaign to educate the members on what they may have forgotten, never knew or just are not connecting the rules to everyday situations.

The campaign includes a review of each Article along with its Standard(s) of Practice. Those well versed on the Code, will pen articles providing the meaning of each and the potential violation.

The main aggregator of information for the campaign is but information will also be pushed out in emails, social media posts, the FAARSide newsletter and several videos. Brokers will receive the information to use in sales meetings. Open discussion classes will play out unprofessional scenarios.

The campaign is called-

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics promises exemplary conduct. Are you living the promise?

Let’s get started. The first article is about the annual professional standards services provided by FAAR. Links will take you to specific documents. The second article is by Professional Standards Committee Vice Chair, Lynn Lenahan who will comment on the level of service REALTORS® should provide to each other as outlined in the usefulness of Pathways to Professionalism.

What’s coming up next? – The introduction to the Code of Ethics, why it is call the Gift of Vision, the message in the Preamble and a discussion on Article 1 and the related Standards of Practice.

For 25 weeks a new topic will be introduced. Here is the tentative schedule

Schedule-  April through November

1           Introductory article with overview on campaign and video by Lynn Lenahan & Alicia Angstadt

2          “Fee to File an ethics complaint? No!” by Pat Breme

3          Pathways to Professionalism article by Lynn Lenahan and introduce NAR Video Series

4          Video Series continues- “Respect for the Public” & “Respect for Property”

5          “Respect for Peers” & “Conclusion”

6          Code of Ethics: A Gift of Vision, Preamble & a Quiz on the Code

7          Code by Article/Standard of Practice/a Case interpretation by contributing author starting with Article 1

8                      Article 2

9                      Article 3

10                    Article 4,5

11                     Articles 6, 7

12                    Articles 8, 9

13                    Article 10

14                    Article 11

15                    Article 12

16                    Articles 13, 14

17                    Article 15

18                    Article 16

19                    Article 17

20        “What happens in an ethics hearing?” by Lynn Lenahan

21        “Why Mediate” by Alex Long

22        “Why is an Ombudsman program helpful diffusing disagreements in a transaction?” – by Elsa Rake

23        Citation program and link to FAAR brochure

24        Forms for Filing and link to

25        NAR’s new Code of Excellence program- when it launches


Distribution Channels

FAARside articles
Email Updates
Social media posts
Videos #1 Introduce campaign-
Classes (2)- Topic TBD
Signage at FAAR and offices- logo/slogan

Resource pages:

Pathways to Professionalism-
2018 Code of Ethics-
Case interpretations-
Citation program-
Ombudsman program-
Arbitration Guidelines-
VR Legal Hotline-

Fee to file an Ethics Complaint? No!

Fee to file an Ethics Complaint? No!

by Pat Breme, RCE, CIPS
Chief Executive Officer

Let me start off by dispelling a misconception regarding filing an ethics complaint with FAAR. THERE IS NO FEE, however, members must complete a form, attach a narrative detailing the situation and file within 180 days of the occurrence or knowledge of the occurrence. Additionally, there is no fee if the complaint is processed through the Citation System. The mediation process has no fee.

There are, however, fees for the following-

  1. A $250 Processing Fee is imposed on a member who is found in violation of an Article of the Code.
  2. A Broker who requests an arbitration and the responding broker are levied a $350 Filing Fee. The party who prevails is refunded the Filing Fee.
  3. Appealing an Ethics Hearing Decision- $250
  4. Requesting a Procedural Review- $250
  5. Dispute Resolution Fee- $250 from the primary parties

The fees are not a revenue source to FAAR, but covers staff time involved in the administration of each service- scheduling and attendance at meetings, paperwork, research/procedure compliance, communications, etc.


What happened to the golden rule?


Pathways to Professionalism- Do unto others…


Created by the National Association of REALTORS®, Pathways to Professionalism, is a useful, common sense guide to simple courtesy. For example,

– Never allow buyers to enter listed property unaccompanied.
– Respond to other agents’ calls, faxes, and e-mails promptly and courteously.


The Law of the REALTOR® world… The Code of Ethics

The Code of Ethics is a REALTOR’S® compass for professional behavior. It is composed of 17 Articles covering duties to clients and customers, the public and to REALTORS®. The Code goes beyond common sense niceties to what REALTORS® pledge to abide by in their business activities. For REALTORS® it is the law!

The short sale/foreclosure market has spawned many transaction difficulties, odd scenarios, and stress. The Code has been twisted, misinterpreted and in some cases, ignored altogether.


Observing unprofessional behavior…


Filing an ethics complaint- Is it really snitching?

Some describe filing an ethics complaint as ratting out, snitching, and view the whole process as unsavory. For the Complainant, time is spent on writing a narrative, citing Articles and gathering information. From the Respondent’s point of view, time is spent on gathering documents to defend his or her motives and actions.

When a complaint is sent to FAAR, a Grievance Committee meeting is convened to examine the complaint to see if it has been properly filed. They do not review the information from the Respondent. The Grievance Working Group bases its decision on the facts of the complaint and the final question they ask themselves is, “If the facts alleged in the complaint were taken as true on their face, is it possible that a violation of the Code of Ethics occurred?”

In most cases the complaint is moved on to a hearing because the answer is usually, yes. Why doesn’t the Grievance Working Group look at the Respondent’s view of the situation? When a group has both sides presented it is too easy to draw conclusions and determine outcomes. That is not the role of the Grievance Working Group. It acts like a Grand Jury and only looks at the complaint’s viability. It can also dismiss a complaint.

The Citation System

With the adoption of the Citation System, the Grievance Committee may decide a complaint fits the criteria and ask the Respondent whether he or she wants the issue to proceed to a hearing or, without admitting guilt, pay a fine and/or attend mandatory education for the alleged violation. The program only covers certain Articles of the Code- 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 9, 12, 14, 16. The fines range from $150 to $950.

Complaints coming from other participating Associations- PWAR, DAAR, NVAR, BRAR and GPAAR, will be treated in the same way as outlined. Is it like getting a traffic ticket? Yes. The Respondent accepting the fine avoids an uncomfortable and often times a consuming hearing process. The Complainant still believes justice has been served by drawing attention to unprofessional behavior.

The Ombudsman Program

The Ombudsman Program in its simplest definition is informal telephone mediation.  In some cases it can address and solve minor complaints from the public. The ombudsman can also solve inter-REALTOR® conflicts before they become serious problems. Some complaints do not allege specific articles of the NAR Code of Ethics and many times they are transactional, technical and procedural questions that can be addressed by communication. Like a mediator, an ombudsman helps parties find solutions that everyone can be happy with.


Where’s my commission?

Another service the REALTOR® Association offers is arbitration of contractual disputes. Most often disputes are over commissions- who was the procuring cause of the sale? This is a broker-to-broker issue but the agents who are party to the transaction are involved and usually present at the hearing. There are no cookie cutter answers to an arbitration involving procuring cause. The answer to “who did the work” question is colored by many things, such as, client behavior, lapses in service, lack of communication between all parties, etc.  Some disagreements can be resolved and the formal process averted if brokers are willing to agree to a resolution.

Mediation, a reasonable compromise

FAAR offers mediation to the parties after the Grievance Working Group has determined an issue is an arbitral matter or has determined that an ethics complaint needs to advance to a hearing. Both parties must agree to come to the table to try to resolve the matter. If mediation fails or one party declines the offer to mediate, the case moves on to the hearing process.

The hearing

Due process is the goal of the hearing because both sides have an opportunity to present their case, call their witnesses, and cross-examine. Only after both the Complainant and Respondent have their say does a panel of peers decide whether a violation has occurred.  It is a fair process and much is disclosed during the process. The truth usually rises to the surface. If an agent is found in violation the panel serves a disciplinary action ranges from taking a class on a particular subject to expulsion from the Association.

The Association cannot take a license away, that is the responsibility of the Virginia Real Estate Board, who by the way, has its own complaint process independent of whatever action the Association takes.

Broker to broker problem solving

Often unprofessional activities or commission disputes are resolved if brokers take it upon themselves to communicate with each other. Often problems don’t have to become formal complaints requests for arbitration or worse, not addressed at all, if brokers step in and resolve issues.

Ignoring the problems

Unprofessional behavior ultimately harms everyone in the business. The public, who may be a victim is observing the behavior and forming negative opinions about REALTORS® in general.

If warranted use the professional standards services of the Association but always be mindful of the standards REALTORS® pledge themselves to observe.


Go to, Tools, click on Ethics–

FAAR Announces Endorsements for 2018 City of Fredericksburg Elections

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® announces endorsements Fredericksburg City Council races on the ballot for the May 1st general election.

“Regardless of whether you live or work in the City of Fredericksburg, a vibrant downtown benefits us all throughout the region, serving as a hub of economic, cultural, and academic opportunities,” states FAAR Public Policy Committee Chair Robert Cooper.  “The Committee conducted interviews with all of the endorsed candidates and was impressed by their dedication to the job and depth of knowledge regarding issues of concern to the real estate industry.  In addition, the Committee appreciated their commitment to keep the City growing with a strong focus on economic development, expanded amenities for residents and visitors alike, and increased housing options for prospective buyers in all income brackets.  We look forward to working with the City Council to make Fredericksburg the best place it can be.”

FAAR has endorsed the following candidates running for office in the City of Fredericksburg:

Brad Ellis, Ward 1

Billy Withers, Ward 2

Tim Duffy, Ward 3

Need information on voting?  Click here to visit the City’s Voter Registrar website. 

2018 Community Service Day Waiver

2018 Community Service Day Waiver

2018 Community Service Day Waiver

I understand that this event is being done on a voluntary basis through the Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® (FAAR) and in partnership with the 516 Project, Inc. I hereby acknowledge that working on the 516 Project, Inc. home repair program involves some risk of personal injury and/or death. I hereby acknowledge that FAAR and 516 Project, Inc. has made no representations about the conditions of the premises on which I will be working or the activities in which I choose to engage. I hereby release and hold harmless FAAR and 516 Project, Inc., its officers and directors and others working on this project, including the homeowners where I will volunteer, from any and all liability which might result from my working on this project. I hereby acknowledge that I assume the risk of any injury which might occur as the result of working on this project. This also includes the transportation to and from the assigned work location. I hereby acknowledge that my photo / video may be taken during activities involved with my volunteer work with FAAR and 516 Project, Inc. I understand and allow these images / videos be used by FAAR and/or the 516 Project, Inc. in print and/or digital media at the discretion of both organizations.
  • Do you have any prior building or construction experience?
  • If you answered yes in the previous question, please indicate the types of construction skills you possess.
  • Please indicate your preferred size for the FREE Community Service Day commemorative t-shirt!

March Real Estate Market Brings More Gains

Despite cold weather, ice, and snow, buyers and sellers got together in the month of March to produce year-over-year increases in total sold dollar volume, median sold price, and units sold, further contributing to the decline in days on market.  Total sold dollar volume increased over 7% to nearly $150 million fueled by a median price of $299,500, representing a nearly 7% increase over March of 2017.  Units sold remained fairly static at 474 compared to 466 last March, a 1.72% year-over-year increase.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell nearly 12% with houses averaging 68 days on the market in March of 2018 compared to 77 days in March of 2017.  Days on market varies widely across the Fredericksburg region with a high of 109 days in King George County to a low of 56 in Stafford County for the month of March.

Active listings posted a more than 10% drop from March of 2017, with 1,310 active listings for March 2018 compared to 1,466 last year.  New listings also saw a small year-over-year decrease with 966 new properties coming available in March 2018 compared to 1,007 in 2017, representing a 4% decrease.  The market is currently running at a 2.6-month supply.  Months of supply is the measure of how many months it would take for the current inventory of homes on the market to sell, given the current pace of home sales.  A 5-month supply of homes is considered a healthy market, offering opportunities for a range of prospective buyers.  The market is currently seeing the lowest months of supply levels in over 10 years.  The supply peaked in 2008 with a 12-month supply of homes in June of 2008.

“The spring market has started strong,” states FAAR Board Member Drew Fristoe. “Buyers and sellers who have been waiting have decided to start the buying or selling process. The slightly higher interest rates are helping to get buyers to move. This spring looks to be a good one. ”

#MemberMonday | Meet Mark Forror

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.

Mark Forror

Bay Village, OH

Current Location
Fredericksburg, VA

Associate Broker with Exit Elite Realty

Number of Years in the Industry

Why do you love working in real estate?
I like to help people who have not been afforded the opportunity to buy a home to own their own home.

Favorite Work Story 
I once showed a house that, unbeknownst to me, had two killer attack dogs inside. I heard something moving around inside, so I cracked the door about four inches. A Doberman attack dog fit its head through the crack and nearly bit my nose off.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I have been able to prevent several slumlords from operating in Fredericksburg, with the help of Fredericksburg City government. I also stopped a real estate pricing scam in the City of Fredericksburg.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
Fredericksburg Food Bank
Peace Corps of the United States Memorial Project

Fun Fact
I was a screenwriter in Hollywood for nearly a decade.

I once flew an aerobatic routine in a TF-51D Mustang fighter plane—the only time in my life I ever wore a parachute!

Byron Smith, SR. Esq., CCIM, CRB, is back with a class on Commercial Leasing

Byron Smith, SR. Esq., CCIM, CRB, is back with a class on Commercial Leasing

Byron is BACK!  Join us as we welcome Byron Smith, SR. Esq., CCIM, CRB back to the FAAR Academy classroom for the FIRST EVER Commercial Leasing class created specifically with FAAR Member’s needs in mind.  This is a RARE opportunity to spend 8 hours with a seasoned professional covering commercial leasing.

Topics covered include: Requirements of a lease, types of leases, measuring rentable/usable space. Also covered are the differences between gross, modified gross and absolute net leases.  Byron will explain in detail the various lease clauses and how they impact cash flow.  Class exercises will include the 6 factors needed to be examined when analyzing value of leases and subleases.

This is the perfect class to gain the fundamental skills needed when representing both the landlord or the tenant in a commercial transaction!

This unique class will be available around the state later in the year for $199 and up- but FAAR members have the opportunity to attend May 31 for just $149.  Price includes 8 hours of CE- RE Related and lunch. 

Only 50 seats will be available, act quickly!

Reserve your seat here

9 Benefits to being a FAAR Member

9 Benefits to being a FAAR Member

Your membership is what you make of it! Are you taking advantage of these FAAR benefits?

Market Statistics and Trends

Keeping your clients in the know and your business relevant! You’ll find the latest market statistics and Regional Housing Studies at

Discounted Education

As a member, you enjoy discounted classes subsidized by the Affiliate Marketing Program!

Member Lounge & Conference Room

Your office away from the office! Meet clients in the Commitee Meeting room or visit the Member Lounge for coffee or to use a computer. Call ahead 540-373-7711 for room availability!

Networking Opportunities

Activities, events, and programs bring together members connected to the industry.

Affiliate Marketing Program

Our Affiliate Marketing Partners underwrite FAAR events keeping costs to members reasonable and even sometimes free!

The Video Studio

Visit The Video Studio during the Tech Time workshop every 2nd Tuesday of the month to use the space and shoot videos for your business.

Affiliate Access

Over 140 affiliate members are a part of FAAR and 30+ companies participate in the Affiliate Marketing Program

Bright MLS

As a stockholder member of the MLS covering 6 states, your subscription fee was reduced in 2017 and will drop again in the near future.

Advocacy & Action

RPAC fights for real estate interests and the rights of property owners.

Press Releases

FAAR Announces Endorsements for 2018 City of Fredericksburg Elections

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® announces endorsements Fredericksburg City Council races on the ballot for the May 1st general election. “Regardless of whether you live or work in the City of Fredericksburg, a vibrant downtown benefits us...

March Real Estate Market Brings More Gains

Despite cold weather, ice, and snow, buyers and sellers got together in the month of March to produce year-over-year increases in total sold dollar volume, median sold price, and units sold, further contributing to the decline in days on market.  Total...

February Real Estate Market Remains Strong

February continued more of the same for the local real estate market with year-over-year increases in total sold dollar volume, median price, and units sold and a decrease in days on market.  Total sold dollar volume saw a more than 10% increase from February of 2017...

January Real Estate Market Kicks 2018 Off with a Bang

January kicked off a good start to the year in the local real estate market posting significant gains in total sold dollar volume, median sold price, and units sold.  Days on market, which has been continually declining compared to the prior year, decreased...

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