News

Recent news, business resources and press releases.
Tutorials on 20% Deduction and other Tax Law Changes

Tutorials on 20% Deduction and other Tax Law Changes

Changes to the U.S. Tax Code that potentially can save you thousands of dollars were enacted last year as part of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act. The changes include a new deduction available to you as an independent contractor or sole proprietor for reducing your tax liability by 20 percent. How to take this deduction and apply other changes in the law are discussed in a series of video tutorials released by NAR last month.

The tutorials are timely now that the year is winding down and final 2018 tax filings need to be submitted to the IRS.

The tutorials are organized into a dozen topics that affect your taxes, both as a real estate professional and as a homeowner or renter. I encourage you to familiarize yourself with the changes and to pass along this email to your colleagues.

John Smaby
NAR President

November Real Estate Market Sees Typical Seasonal Slowdown

The November real estate market experienced a typical seasonal slowdown with decreases in total sold dollar volume and units sold and an increase in median sales price.  Total sold dollar volume came in at $120.3 million, representing a nearly 3.8% year-over-year decrease from the November 2017 number of $125 million.  Units sold decreased from 401 properties sold in November of 2017 to 382 properties sold in 2018.  Median price increased 5.2% going from $285,000 last November to $300,000 this November.

“In November, the real estate market experienced a typical seasonal slowdown as we approached Thanksgiving,” commented FAAR Board of Director Arlene Mason.  “Showing activity slowed early in the month and buyers seemed to be more discriminating and selective.  The market transitioned from the seller’s market that we saw during the summer months to a more balanced and normal 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, increased over 5% from November of last year.  Homes spent an average of 83 days on the market in November of 2017 compared to 87 days on the market in November of this year.

Inventory increased 3.6% in November of this year, with 1,532 active listings on the market compared to 1.478 listings on the market in November of 2017.  While active listings were up, every other measure of transactions decreased, indicating that the market is slowing heading into the holiday season.  Total pending contracts at the end of November were down 15.5% from last year.

*brightMLS has changed the calculation for days on market leading to a higher overall number compared to past reports.  The new calculation accumulates days when a listing is “active under contract” where the old system paused accumulation of days on market when a listing was in any contingent status.”

FAAR thanks Sonia Kuppert for her service

FAAR would like to thank Sonia Kuppert for her service as a committee chair, instructor, and long-time Affiliate Marketing Partner member during her tenure at STA Title & Escrow.  The company received the FAAR Affiliate of the Year Award under Sonia’s leadership.  Sonia recently announced her retirement from the company and will be focusing on her role as President of the Virginia Land Title Association.

Penelope Wesely, who has been acting General Manager of STA Title for the last several months, has assumed full operation control of STA and its sister company, American Insurances.

2018 Fall Award Winners

2018 Fall Award Winners

Icon Award

Frances Brintley
Retired
Fredericksburg Realty

Bev Mabbitt
Retired
Century 21 Redwood

Betty Jasmund
Retired
Coldwell Banker Elite

Priscilla Sheeley
Retired
Long & Foster, Inc.

Dottie McGinnis
Retired
Long & Foster, Inc.

Jo Knight
Aquia Realty

Melanie Thompson
Century 21 Redwood

Ann Black
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Gail Penman
Retired
Century 21 Team

Kevin Breen
Coldwell Banker Elite

 

Raising of the Bar

Alicia Angstadt
Angstadt Real Estate Group

 

The Spirit Award

Judith Laxague
Exit Realty Expertise

 

Affiliate of the Year

John & Tammy Reid
Embrace Mortgage

 

Good Neighbor Award

Ann Black
1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Sarah Hurst
Coldwell Banker Elite

Ginger Walker
Coldwell Banker Elite

Tiffany Prine
Century 21 Redwood

 

Silver Circle Award

Tricia Barnes, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Gary Butler, Exit Realty Expertise

John Lafley, Green Tree Realty

Sherwood Moore, Exit Mid-Rivers

Shawn Palivoda, Century 21 Battlefield

Carl Wiberg, Coldwell Banker Elite

 

REALTOR® Emeritus

Alex Long, Weichert REALTORS®

Kevin Breen, Coldwell Banker Elite

Phyllis Clark, Century 21 Redwood

Harrison Simpson, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select— Simpson & Associates

 

2019 Board of Directors

President Drew Fristoe, Coldwell Banker Elite, Massaponax
President-Elect Arlene Mason, Coldwell Banker Elite, Fredericksburg
Vice President Mark Geslock, Century 21 Redwood
Secretary Pam Kuper, Century 21 New Millennium
Treasurer Carrie Danko, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land
Immediate Past President Kevin McGrath- Long & Foster, Inc.

Directors
Cindy LeBrun, Exit Realty Group
Carol Sondrini, Coldwell Banker Elite, Massaponax
Deb Ellis, Coldwell Banker Elite
Jessica Anthony, Exit Realty Expertise, King George
Ben Keddie, Coldwell Banker Elite Commercial
Clay Murray, Coldwell Banker Elite
Affiliate- Phillip Blake, MBH Settlement Group

 

 

Pictures coming soon!

What happens if I fail to complete my Code of Ethics training on time?

This page sets forth frequently asked questions and answers concerning failure to complete Code of Ethics Training, and is an excerpt of enforcement-related FAQs on the Code of Ethics training requirement.

What are the consequences of membership suspension?

The Code of Ethics and Arbitration Manual as amended by the NAR Board of Directors at the 2004 Midyear meeting, defines “suspension”, in relevant part, as

…suspension of all Board/Association-provided membership rights, privileges and services (including those provided by the State and National Association) not available to nonmembers for a period of not less than thirty (30) days and not longer than one year, on terms and conditions expressly stated for an established period of time, including use of the terms REALTOR® and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® with automatic reinstatement of all withdrawn membership rights, privileges and services at the end of the period of suspension. The thirty (30) day minimum and one year maximum do not apply where suspension is imposed for a remediable violation of a membership duty (e.g. failure to pay dues or failure to complete educational requirements)…

The provisions go on to discuss the fact that membership – including the duties to abide by the Code of Ethics and to pay association dues – continues during the term of suspension.

What this means for a REALTOR® who is suspended for not meeting the REALTORS® Ethics Training Requirement is that all the rights, privileges and services she is entitled to receive because she is a REALTOR® are suspended until she satisfies the training requirement. If she meets the requirement the next day, then her rights, privileges and services are restored the next day. While suspended, though, her obligation to abide by the Code of Ethics continues, as does the obligation to pay dues.

At the May 2005 Midyear Meetings of the National Association of REALTORS®, the NAR Board of Directors amended policy to provide that members suspended for failing to meet the REALTORS® ethics training requirement would subsequently be automatically terminated from membership if they did not complete their training.

What are the consequences of membership suspension on MLS access?

Suspension of REALTOR® membership will, in most instances, have no effect on MLS participatory or user/subscriber privileges. Licensees affiliated with MLS Participants have subscriber/user rights irrespective of whether they hold REALTOR® membership personally—or whether their REALTOR® membership is in good standing or is suspended. The only exception to this general rule is where it is the REALTOR® (principal)/MLS Participant who is suspended for not meeting the ethics training requirement. Under such circumstances, continued MLS access is not available to licensees affiliated with a suspended Participant unless participatory privileges are transferred to another principal in the firm. MLS participatory privileges cannot be suspended for REALTOR® (principals) in states where MLSs are required by law to provide MLS participatory rights to nonmembers or where an association has voluntarily opened its MLS to nonmember participation.

What happens if a REALTOR® doesn’t meet the training requirement on time?

Failure to meet the requirement is a violation of a membership duty and will result in suspension of membership for the first two months (January and February) of the year following the end of any two (2) year cycle or until the requirement is met, whichever occurs sooner. On March 1 of that year, the membership of a member who is still suspended as of that date will be automatically terminated.

What if a REALTOR® who is a sole proprietor, partner in a partnership, or corporate officer is suspended for non-compliance?

The consequences of suspension of a REALTOR® who is a sole proprietor, partner or corporate officer are established in associations’ bylaws (generally in Article VI) and vary from association to association based on what their bylaws provide. As a general rule, suspension for failing to meet the training requirement will be treated the same as suspension for violating any other membership duty. Some associations’ bylaws require that the membership of all other principals, partners and corporate officers suspends if any one of them is suspended – unless the suspended member severs her relationship with the firm. Other associations permit the other principals, partners and corporate officers to avoid suspension if the suspended member removes herself from any form or degree of management control of the firm. These are choices each local association makes in establishing their bylaws.

What if the REALTOR® who is suspended is not a principal, partner or corporate officer?

Suspension of such an individual has no effect on the membership status of other REALTOR® members of the firm.

How long can a member be suspended for not completing their REALTORS® ethics training?

Failure to meet the requirement for any two-year cycle will result in suspension of membership for the first two months (January and February) of the year following the end of any two (2) year cycle or until the requirement is met, whichever occurs sooner. On March 1 of that year, the membership of a member who is still suspended as of that date will be automatically terminated.

Learn how to check if your ethics date is in compliance here

3 Tips from the October 2018 FAAR Town Hall

3 Tips from the October 2018 FAAR Town Hall

If you did not attend the October Town Hall meeting, you missed great discussion on topics ranging from the coming soon status, affiliated business disclosures, EMD misconceptions, and closing nightmares. The panel of experienced and newer agents, a lender and a title company representative skillfully handled the scenarios and audience questions rounded off a lively and highly informative discussion. The following are some of the distilled nuggets of information.

EMDs — nothing in the contract requires a broker to provide a copy of an EMD

Affiliated Business Forms — DO NOT SIGN these forms if you are the buyer/seller on the other side of the transaction

Coming Soon — Listing is NOT available to be shown and lockboxes are not permitted during the Coming Soon status

Searching for Rentals that Accept Subsidized Housing or Voucher Programs in Bright MLS

Searching for Rentals that Accept Subsidized Housing or Voucher Programs in Bright MLS

1. ALL agents who have listings that will accept housing vouchers MUST put that information in the remarks section of their listing. (there is no other way at this time to search for them otherwise). IF THE AGENTS DO NOT PUT THAT INFORMATION UNDER REMARKS, YOU CANNOT DO A SEARCH)

2. If agents are looking for rentals that will accept housing vouchers, you must first go into your SEARCH dropdown and choose RESIDENTIAL LEASE

3. Scroll down below the ORANGE “Clear/Matches/Map/Results” bar to “Additional Fields Add/Remove and click on Add/Remove

4. Under Available Fields, highlight “Remarks (Public and Private)“, choose ADD so it can move to the Selected Fields and then click on the RED”Back” button.

5. Now you are ready to search for your voucher rentals. Put in your desired criteria and scroll all the way to the bottom to Remarks (Public and Private).

6. In that box is where you need to type in ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:  “Sec 8“, “Section 8“, “Subsidized Housing” or “Vouchers

7. Then listings should appear.  (IF agent searches NOW, nothing is showing up because there are no ways to list them the way they were listed in MRIS)

 

Experiencing other issues? Submit your issues to Bright MLS at support@brightmls.com. The Bright MLS support team is prioritizing fixes based on the number of times issues are mentioned.  The FAAR technology committee is also gathering issues to prioritize and elevate to the Board of Directors at the December meeting. Submit your issues using the form at faarmembers.com/mris.

The National Flood Insurance Program set to expire on Friday

Information provided from NAR…

Without Congressional action, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will lapse at midnight on Friday, November 30, 2018.  NAR is making every effort to secure a long-term reauthorization before then.  Here are the answers to some frequently asked questions.

What are the prospects for an extension?

All early indications point to an on-time extension of the NFIP. Congressional leaders are engaged. Legislation to extend the program has been introduced, and there are multiple pathways to passage before November 30th. All previous extensions were on time or within a few days of the deadline minimizing the market impacts.

Why is it taking so long?

This is not a simple up-and-down vote on an extension bill by itself. Rather, the extension is expected to be attached to a broader legislative vehicle, possibly the Omnibus bill to fund the government. Because there are multiple moving parts, discussions have been on-going, and no decisions are likely to be made until closer to the deadline.

What is NAR doing?

  • NAR is in regular communication with Congressional leaders.
  • NAR is coordinating with a broad coalition of industry groups. Read our most recent coalition letter.
  • Hundreds of members of Congress have been contacted about the importance of NFIP since August.
  • NAR has raised the profile of the issue with multiple calls for action, talking points, op-eds and paid ads.
    • Click here for the latest example of the heightened coverage the press is giving this issue.
    • Attached is an advanced copy of President Smaby’s Op-Ed soon to be published in The Hill newspaper, which is read by many members of Congress and their staff.

What happens next?
NAR will continue to closely monitor the situation and is prepared to escalate our grassroots efforts if it becomes necessary.  We should know more on Monday, November 26th.

What happens during a lapse?

The NFIP cannot sell or renew flood insurance policies. The NFIP can pay claims as long as funds are available, but may not borrow more from the U.S. Treasury. The federal requirement to purchase flood insurance is also suspended during a lapse, which means it is entirely up to lenders to decide whether to make loans in special flood hazard areas while flood insurance is not available from the NFIP.

What about my client’s flood insurance?

  • Existing NFIP policies will remain in effect until their expiration date (which is the renewal date plus a 30-day grace period), and claims will continue to be paid as long as FEMA has the funds on hand.
  • Existing policies may also be “assigned” to/assumed by property buyers during a lapse (see p. 3 here).
  • Renewal policies are generally issued as long as the application is received prior to a lapse and the premium is received within the 30-day grace period. Other renewals must wait for reauthorization.
  • Private flood insurance backed by a source other than NFIP (e.g., Lloyd’s of London) are not affected by a lapse. Click here and here for some options.
  • During a lapse, some lenders may opt to make special-flood-hazard-area loans without NFIP insurance, but they must be willing to bear the full risk of their decision and few do in NAR’s experience.
Represent FAAR as delegate to Virginia REALTORS®

Represent FAAR as delegate to Virginia REALTORS®

Want to serve as a FAAR delegate to VR? Apply today!

Members,

You are invited to apply to be FAAR’s 2019 At- Large Delegate to the Virginia REALTORS®. If selected, the Delegate must attend the two VR meetings, the Economic & Advocacy Summit, February 5-6 in Richmond and the annual convention, We’re going back!, September 17-19 in Williamsburg. FAAR covers expenses including mileage, hotel room, per diem and the convention registration. The Delegate is expected to keep abreast of the state issues he or she will be asked to vote on. Deadline for application is December 3. The application requirements are a brief resume and stating why the applicant wishes to serve. The FAAR Board selects the Delegate from the applications. The At-Large Delegate joins FAAR’s two other Delegates, the 2019 president and the president-elect, Drew Fristoe and Arlene Mason. Send the applications requirements to me, Pat Breme, at pbreme@faarmembers.com.

 

Deadline for Application: December 3rd

2018 Candlelight Tour: Guide a Historic Home Tour in Fredericksburg

2018 Candlelight Tour: Guide a Historic Home Tour in Fredericksburg

Light the way

Meet, greet, and get festive with historic Fredericksburg homes

Make connections this holiday season

Don’t miss this opportunity to be the tour guide for one of Fredericksburg’s finest historic homes on this annual tour presented by the Historic Fredericksburg Foundation Inc. (HFFI). Enjoy meeting new people and showing off a home professionally decorated for the holidays in downtown Fredericksburg.

Preview meeting

Thursday, December 6, 2018, 10 – 11 AM we will have our Preview and Run Down meeting for the house we are presenting. You will also have a chance to get discounted tickets if you have signed up to host for the Candlelight Tour at this time

Tour hours

Saturday and Sunday, December 8th and 9th, from 11 AM to 5 PM and Saturday evening from 6 – 8 PM.

Address

We are hosting the Candlelight Tour at 804 Prince Edward St, Fredericksburg, VA 22401.

Details

House guides receive all of the information available for their hosting scripts. This will include information about the decorations and the house history/ architecture. This information is just as important as the items contained in the home and is necessary to not only meet the expectations of our guests, but also to make sure our decorators get all the credit and attention they deserve. Finding willing decorators can be a challenge some years and we have found that “making it worth it” needs to be done through a variety of methods. Promotion of them through our website and Facebook is one way, but ensuring that visitors hear about aspects of the decor, as well as hear the decorator’s name, is important.

Additional Information

Click the host a tour button above or below to sign up. Look for additional information about the Candlelight Tour at hffi.org/holiday-candlelight-tour/

 

 

Light the way

Meet, greet, and get festive with historic Fredericksburg homes

Press Releases

November Real Estate Market Sees Typical Seasonal Slowdown

The November real estate market experienced a typical seasonal slowdown with decreases in total sold dollar volume and units sold and an increase in median sales price.  Total sold dollar volume came in at $120.3 million, representing a nearly 3.8%...

Local Real Estate Market Rebounds Slightly in October

The October real estate market posted increases in total sold dollar volume and median price, while units sold came in at the same amount as 2017. Total sold dollar volume increased from $128.8 million in October of 2017 to $138 million in October of 2018,...

FAAR Adds Orange County to its Jurisdiction

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) added Orange County to its jurisdiction. The County was previously assigned to Greater Piedmont REALTORS® (GPR). A majority of agents who live and/or work in Orange County are already members of FAAR...

September Posts Disappointing Total Volume Numbers

September posted disappointing year-over-year decreases in total sold dollar volume and units sold while posting a median price increase, indicating that the local real estate market may be slowing down heading into the cooler months.  Total sold dollar...

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