News

Recent news, business resources and press releases.

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Danielle Kitzmiller

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.

Name
Danielle Kitzmiller

Hometown
Swindon, United Kingdom

Current Location
Stafford

Title
REALTOR® with Holt for Homes

Number of Years in the Industry
3

Why do you love working in real estate?
This industry really ticks all the boxes for me. I am a bubbly easy going people person, who loves to share in the excitement of finding new homes for my clients. I realized a long time ago I was not cut out for the monotony of a 9-5 office job and so this career field works perfect. My husband and I often used to tour open houses for fun, so how great that now I get to do it as a job!

Favorite Work Story 
last year I was videoing a home for an out of state client, when stepped out the back door outside and very nearly stood on a snake, the choice words that came out of my mouth as I was trying to avoid swearing in my english accent were interesting. I decided to go ahead send the video to my client (since I had no intention of going back to redo!) of which they found extremely amusing. It worked out well though, as they posted all over social media how totally committed their realtor was, which was very appreciated! They didn’t buy that house though!!

What are you most proud of in your career?
I’m am most proud of being able to successfully balance being a full time REALTOR® with also running a mobile dog grooming business as well as being a mother to two young boys. It can mean very long hours at times, but I love it

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time?
I am all about the military clients. I am a spouse of a retired air force member as well as being an air force brat, so I know all too well the stresses that go along with pcs’ing. I offer a rebate program to my military clients (as well as others) as a thank you for your service and for choosing me!

Fun Fact
Currently in the process of interviewing to be an agent on House Hunters!

January Posts Big Gains in Local Real Estate Market

January kicked 2020 off to a swift start in the local real estate market echoing sentiments heard from Realtors® across the region that the spring market is starting earlier and earlier in recent years.  Sold dollar volume was up 38% year-over-year, going from approximately $89 million in January of 2019 to over $122.7 million in January of 2020.  The increase was fueled by a nearly 31% jump in units sold with 385 properties changing hands this January compared to 295 last year.  Median sold price saw modest appreciation with a 5% year-over-year increase, going from $289,990 last year to $305,000 this January. 

“Over the past few years, our spring market has started earlier and earlier,” states FAAR Board Member Clay Murray.  “This year is no different with our sellers lining up listing appointments around the holidays and our buyers ready to explore listings starting on New Year’s Day.  We’re confident more homes will be coming to market as we experience this trend of an earlier spring 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, fell 14% with houses averaging 56 days on the market in January 2019 compared to just 48 days in January of 2020. 

The available supply of homes was a big story in January, falling to a historic low of just 1.96 months of supply, with 1,149 active listings.  Months of supply calculates how long it would take for all the current homes on the market to sell, given the pace of sales in the market.  A balanced market will usually see a 4 to 6-month supply of homes, under 2 shows a very competitive market and a potential lack of options for buyers.  Ten years ago, the available supply of homes exceeded 5 months.  To take a trip even farther back down memory lane, in January of 2000, there were 200 homes sold with a median sales price of $141,939 and average days on market exceeding 70 days. 

Caroline, Spotsylvania, and Stafford saw significant jumps in real estate activity.  Caroline County led the pack with a more than 115% increase in volume of sales fueled by a 72% increase in homes sold.  Spotsylvania County saw a nearly 50% increase in both volume of sales and units sold.  Stafford Count rounded out the top three in the region with a nearly 30% increase in volume sold and a 23% increase in units sold. 

Continues Murray, “I’m not sure if we can pinpoint the cause of the earlier buyer activity to a new year, new home mentality or changes in the local school calendars, or simply less inclement weather, but it’s a definite trend we’re seeing and guiding clients through accordingly.” 

Unwanted wheelchair ramps? We need ’em!

Are you selling a home that has a wheelchair ramp that the next owners don’t need or don’t want?  Then the 516 Project wants to hear from you!  They are accepting donations of metal or aluminum ramps and lifts in good condition to use on their service projects.  Please note that they cannot accept wooden, permanent structures nor can they accept interior wheelchair lifts used for staircases.  If you are interested in learning more, please email info@516project.org.  

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® AJ Lall

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.

Name
AJ Lall

Hometown
Queens, NY

Current Location
Woodbridge, VA

Title
Associate Broker, Give Back Team of Coldwell Banker Elite

Number of Years in the Industry
5

Why do you love working in realestate?
Real Estate has been more than a profession, it’s my passion and purpose. I am grateful for the opportunity to guide someone through the largest investment they will make in a lifetime.

What are you most proud of in your career?
I am grateful not only for the fact that I am able to help someone through the largest investment of their lifetime but after each closing I am also able to give back to my to my community in which I live, work, play in, to include numerous charities.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time?
You will find me volunteering in the Community with Fundraising Events along with giving resources and even making contributions to local charities. Give Back Team and I will donate back to the charity of our clients’ choice after closings.

Fun Fact
I am huge car fanatic and prior to Real Estate I hosted car shows to raise money for members within the community and many local and national charities.

Managing Brokers Network: More than a Meeting

Managing Brokers Network: More than a Meeting

by Matthew Rathbun, 2020 Managing Brokers Network Chair

For over 100 years, the real estate industry has been a collection of individuals who have been at times collaborators and at times adversaries. The forward motion of the industry has been perpetuated by those who show up to be collaborators. It is when industry leaders meet together to discuss the problems at hand and to try and find a resolution to those problems in a unified manner. The FAAR Managing Broker Network is designed to allow leaders from each brokerage to meet together just a few times a year, so that we may learn together and share ways in with the Association, the MLS, and other entities can improve.

This year we are holding one MBN meeting each quarter and are designing those meetings to ensure that they are positive learning opportunities and also a way to provide feedback for our Association leadership on what the organization can do to help us all succeed. These meetings provide a unique opportunity to get to know your fellow brokers. The time invested in these meetings are minimal, but the return on investment large. Knowing your fellow broker before conflicts exist will make it easier to resolve, learning about new regulations and forms will make delivering value to your agents that much easier and providing feedback to the Association may help shape FAAR in the future to provider greater value to your and your agents.

I hope that all of those in leadership will take advantage of these meetings and the closed Facebook group to help all of us find a greater path forward in this industry.

The fruits of your funds…

It’s not everyday that we get to see the tangible outcome that our funds help support so the Fredericksburg Realtors® Foundation is so excited to share this story.  In August of 2019, the Foundation granted $1,500 to SAWs Virginia, a relatively new charity to the Fredericksburg landscape that builds wheelchair ramps for those in need.  Here is the true story of what those raffle funds you all contribute go towards…

Our grant built a wheelchair ramp for a woman who has been disabled for many years with degenerative disk disease and neuropathy.  Her husband is also medically disabled.  They rent a single floor home, but have a set of several steps leading into the house.  She could not exit her home without the assistance of medical transport but this wheelchair ramp changes everything.  Thank you, FAAR members, for your continued support of the Fredericksburg Realtors® Foundation, stories like these are why we do what we do!

Are you a problem solver? FAAR seeks mediators and ombudsmen

Are you a problem solver? FAAR seeks mediators and ombudsmen

By Pat Breme, RCE, CIPS
Chief Executive Officer

If people often comment that you are leveled, have a calm exterior and get particular satisfaction resolving conflicts, then FAAR needs you. So often formal complaints are avoided when a member of the public or even another agent works with a FAAR Ombudsman. Trained in conflict resolution, an Ombudsman steps in and communications the issues to both sides in a conflict. Through back and forth conversations, the Ombudsman often navigates to a resolution. Sometimes a resolution doesn’t happen and a formal complaint is filed but at least the option is available.

Mediation is offered when the Grievance Committee moves a complaint or a request to arbitrate on for a hearing. If the parties agree to sit down together, the mediator creates an environment where the parties can talk, face-to-face, and perhaps find a solution to the issue, avoiding a hearing.

In both cases, the Ombudsman and the mediator must keep a cool head and not take sides. The activity is not for everyone but for those who enjoy the process of conflict resolution and find satisfaction in assisting people work through problems, it is very rewarding.

Virginia REALTORS® is offering a class on March 24 from 1- 5 pm at the headquarters in Richmond. If you fit the description and are willing to serve in either capacity please contact me, pbreme@faarmembers.com, to register for the class or to get more information.

FAAR will cover the cost of the training and mileage to the Virginia REALTORS® headquarters.

February 2020 Newsletter is here!

February 2020 Newsletter is here!

Your one stop shop for FAAR information in one place—Learn what local REALTORS® have accomplished recently, read the update on the General Assembly, and get excited for our free March is for Members activities! But that’s not all!

This edition includes

  • 2019 Year in Review
  • Message from the 2020 FAAR President, Drew Fristoe
  • Thank you to RPAC investors
  • Instructors Wanted
  • C2EX endorsed FAAR members
  • An update on the General Assembly
  • Yearly CE/PL and Designation/Certification Schedule

and more!

Don’t like reading on screens? Visit FAAR to pick up a print copy or request an office visit and we’ll bring them to you!

Thanks for reading!

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

#MemberMonday Meet REALTOR® Terin Merriman

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.

Name
Terin Merriman

Hometown
Alexandria, Virginia

Current Location
Stafford, Virginia

Title
Realtor® at Coldwell Banker Elite

Number of Years in the Industry
3 Years

Why do you love working in real estate?
My passion for real estate is more than a paycheck. It’s the thrill of negotiating a deal and guiding my clients through 1 of the biggest milestones & investments of their life. I love gaining all of the new knowledge and experience that each unique transaction provides. Real estate is ever-changing and never fails to captivate me.

What are you most proud of in your career?
A moment in my career that I am most proud of is surpassing my goal and selling over $1 million dollars worth of real estate in my first year of being licensed.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time? 
I have a huge soft spot for animals. After adopting my own pup, Henry Theodore, from the Stafford Animal Shelter I really seen first hand what tough transitions homeless animals go through. I often donate to my local animal shelters and SPCAs across the U.S. helping not just domesticated animals but wildlife as well.

Fun Fact
Most of the employees at my local Target know me by name.

Press Releases

January Posts Big Gains in Local Real Estate Market

January kicked 2020 off to a swift start in the local real estate market echoing sentiments heard from Realtors® across the region that the spring market is starting earlier and earlier in recent years.  Sold dollar volume was up 38% year-over-year, going from...

Median sales price up, inventory down at end of Q4 2019

The Virginia Realtors® released the 2019 4th quarter homes sales report highlighting a strong economy, robust real estate market, and shrinking inventory.  Access the full report and share it with your sphere!

2019 Was a Great Year for Local Real Estate Market

The 2019 real estate market posted significant gains in total sold dollar volume and units sold, experienced modest price appreciation, and saw seriously increased competition with low inventory and very low days on market.  The year closed out with a total sold...

NAR Real Estate Forecast: Slower Growth, Price Gains to Continue

From the National Association of Realtors Real Estate Forecast Summit on December 11, 2019.... Slower Growth, Price Gains to Continue“Real estate is on firm ground with little chance of price declines,” says NAR’s Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “However, in...

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