News

Recent news, business resources and press releases.
2018 Affiliate Directory Now Available

2018 Affiliate Directory Now Available

Flip through the directory to see all of FAAR’s affiliate members organized A to Z by company and also by service in the annual directory.

Not only will this guide you to some of the best companies in the local area, but the directory also contains committee contacts, member benefits, upcoming event calendar, multilingual REALTORS® and more!

Download your copy here or pick up a print copy of the directory at FAAR today!

Looking for all FAAR members? Use the member search function at faarmembers.com/member-search to sort by member type, languages spoken, and more

See anything missing or incorrect? Let FAAR know via email at lzuza@faarmembers.com

FAAR Releases 2019 Legislative Package

Each year, the FAAR Public Policy Committee considers issues for inclusion in the Association’s annual Legislative Package.  These issues are then sent to the Virginia Realtors for potential inclusion in the statewide legislative agenda for the following year’s General Assembly session.  Here are FAAR’s 2019 positions:

  1. Professionalism Issues:  FAAR aims to raise the level of professionalism for licensees throughout the Commonwealth by increasing education and broker supervision.
  2. Housing Discrimination:  FAAR recommends adding sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in Virginia.
  3. Transportation Infrastructure Funding:  FAAR advocates reforming the SmartScale funding process, extending the HOT lanes to Massaponax, continuing investments in mass transit, and allowing all jurisdictions, regardless of size, the right to establish a regional transportation authority.
  4. Proffer Reform:  FAAR advocates for easing the communications restrictions on elected officials and staff with builders and developers when negotiating proffers.
  5. Virginia Real Estate Board Responsiveness:  FAAR encourages VREB to add additional staff to process the expanding pool of licensees and expedite agent transfers.

NAR Issues Call for Action on Flood Insurance

Did you know that the National Flood Insurance Program expires on July 31?  If the U.S. Congress lets the program lapse, up to 44, 000 homes sales could be impacted each day.

Let your Members of Congress know that extending the program until a long-term reauthorization can be worked out is vitally important to the real estate industry and to our local market.  Take action today!

FAAR paints a house!

On Wednesday, June 13, FAAR painted a house in the Mayfield neighborhood that was prepped by volunteers on FAAR’s May 19 Community Service Day.  FAAR partnered with the 516 Project and Rebuilding Together to complete this project and had five FAAR volunteers on the project.  Professional painter, Kevin Holley, of Colonial Painting provided the expert guidance and supervision!  Thanks to Sue Pash, Joan and Thomas Diaz-Mendez, and Kim Richards for their hard work and good humor on this sunny, beautiful day!

May Sees Impact from Inventory Shortage

Fredericksburg, VA (June 14, 2018) The following analysis of the Fredericksburg, Virginia area housing market has been prepared by the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® based on analysis of brightMLS multiple listing data.

The inventory shortage that the Fredericksburg region is experiencing had an impact on the real estate market in the month of May.  Total sold volume remained static, posting a meager .78% increase from May of 2017.  May of 2018 saw a total sold dollar volume of $195.2 million while May of 2017 was less $2 million shy of that at $193.6.  Median price saw a 6% year-over-year increase going from $282,000 in May of 2017 to $299,450 in May of 2018.  A higher median price didn’t translate into a higher sold volume due to the nearly 3.5% drop in units sold.  In May of 2017, 630 properties sold in the market compared to just 608 in May of 2018.

Days on market, the time it takes from when a listing enters the market until it receives a ratified contract, fell significantly, going from 55 days in May of 2017 to just 40 for this May.  That represents a more than 27% decrease and demonstrates how quickly well-priced homes are moving off the market.  “The market is still seeing a real lack of inventory and the inventory that is available often has been on the market for a while,” stated 2018 FAAR President Kevin McGrath.

Inventory numbers continued to increase in May, consistent with seasonal trends.  Active listings posted a nearly 3% increase with 1,658 properties on the market in May of 2018 compared to 1,611 in May of 2017.  There was also a sizable increase in new listings with 1,128 new homes coming on the market in May compared to 977 in May of last year, representing a nearly 15.5% increase.  “If you are a seller with a home that will show well, it’s a great time to list as buyers are struggling to find homes that meet their needs,” continues McGrath.

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About the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS®
Founded in 1957, the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® is the trade association for more than 1,600 Realtor® and affiliate members serving the areas noted above. Members also work in the surrounding counties of Westmoreland, Louisa, Orange and Prince William and in Northern Virginia. FAAR strongly supports the availability of affordable housing for all market segments and supports government policies designed to enhance homeownership opportunities.  For more information about FAAR, visit www.faarmembers.com or contact Kim McClellan, Public Policy Director at kmcclellan@faarmembers.com or 540-373-7711.

Creating an Online Presence: A Guide for New REALTORS®

Creating an Online Presence: A Guide for New REALTORS®

Build your digital presence fast and cost effectively

WEBSITE

Set up your domain for your website at www.get.realtor with a free for one year yourname.realtor domain (after first year $40/year). Package includes branded “vanity” email (yourname.realtor) & forwards to existing email

Claim your free Placester website (free version includes 4 pages on site and no blog, upgrade for $99/month for additional functionality) or start a blog-optimized business site with WordPress for just $25 per month billed annually

Pay MRIS / Bright MLS for your data feed “idx” ($10/month or if multiple sites, $12.50/month). Embed feed in website.

EMAIL MARKETING

Capture emails of potential clients with Mailchimp, a free (up to so many contacts) mass email service that manages collecting emails, allowing you to build and send emails and email templates, and aiding in keeping your emails CAN-SPAM compliant. Emails to over 500 recipients must contain your business address, an unsubscribe link, and you must honor a contact’s unsubscribe within 10 days. Mailchimp will generate the email capture tool you can embed in your website, the best location to drive your contacts and collect leads.

BUSINESS FACEBOOK PAGE

  1. Log in to your personal Facebook account
  2. Go to “Create a Page.”
  3. Select your business category (local business)
  4. Upload your profile picture
  5. Fill in your company information (link to your website and other social sites here)
  6. Add in a cover photo (link to your website and other sites in the description here too)
  7. Start sharing engaging updates that drive your audience to your email capture and idx feed

OTHER ONLINE PROFILES

Customers are spending more time on REALTOR.com per session than any other sites excluding amazon, youtube, facebook. They search for realtors by zip code, then highest recommendation or highest rating (so start getting those recommendations and ratings!)

Establish a presence on Zillow and Trulia so you know what consumers are seeing on these sites

Establish a presence on Instagram, Linkedin, Twitter, Google+ or wherever your target audience is present (Manage up to 3 accounts with a tool like Hootsuite.com or set up the tool “If This Then That (ifttt)” to autopublish from one channel to another)

EXPENSE AND MILEAGE TRACKING

Track your mileage and/or expenses easily with apps like Expensify, MileIQ, Everlance, Hurdlr (premium versions cost $60 annually)

REALTOR® EXCLUSIVE TOOLS

Need to run Comps? REALTORS Property Resource (RPR) and RPR mobile are two exclusive REALTOR® tools offered by NAR.

The Virginia REALTORS® Tech Helpline offers support for hardware, software, networking and digital devices. Members can contact friendly and knowledgeable analysts via phone at 1-800-276-4216, e-mail, or online chat for help with any device. The Tech Hotline will troubleshoot problems and offer solutions, often by ‘remoting in’ to your computer while you relax. The customer care team can advise you on hardware and software purchasing, and most importantly, they are especially attuned to your needs as a REALTOR®.

The Virginia REALTORS® Legal Hotline is a member benefit and the fastest way to get vital answers on questions about Virginia real estate law as well as timely information on legal and regulatory issues concerning the real estate industry.

The FAAR Technology Committee facilitates a Tech Time workshop every 2nd Tuesday of the month from 10 am-noon. Bring your projects, tech issues, or plan to shoot a video in the Studio—-We’re here to help!

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics | Article 3 Cooperation and Compensation

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics | Article 3 Cooperation and Compensation

by Sarah Stelmok

Article 3 is a multifaceted Code

First, this Code states that we will cooperate with other REALTORS® and REALTOR® firms, but cooperation doesn’t guarantee compensation. In essence, it places the responsibility to seek out cooperation terms on the customer’s representative, traditionally, a buyer’s agent. This must be done BEFORE a REALTOR® starts the cooperation process. So, BEFORE we show a home, agents need to verify that cooperation and compensation applies. It also states that cooperation will only be extended as long as it is in the client’s best interest. This allows clients to exclude specific customers, real estate agents, appraisers, home inspector’s, etc from being allowed into their home; or, allowed to submit an offer. Exclusions should be put in writing and attached to the Listing Agreement.

For the most part, cooperation and compensation are offered through MLS systems. However, if your Broker is not a member of the MLS service where the offer of cooperation is made, then compensation is not guaranteed. Compensation agreements need to be established, in writing, prior to showing properties, if you are not a member of the listing’s MLS.  Changes of compensation can occur, as long as both the listing brokerage and buying brokerage agree to the change. This agreement should be put in writing and signed by the agents involved in the transaction. If there is a change in compensation before an offer is submitted, the listing agent has a duty to report the change prior to an agent submitting an offer. If a listing agent has accepted a variable rate commission structure, they must disclose this to other agents prior to offer submission. Listing agents are also required to disclose existence of offers, including those with unresolved contingencies, to any REALTOR® seeking cooperation. However, you can not lie about the existence of offers in hopes of driving up the price.

Showing properties is one of the main components of cooperation. When agents are seeking access to a property, they are required to disclose if they are looking for themselves or for a client or customer. Most agents forget that they must disclose their representational status. If there is no Buyer’s Agency Agreement signed, then that buyer may only be a customer, not a client. Different levels of representation require different fiduciary duties. Cooperation and compensation may be dependent on client level representation. Listing agents can not misrepresent the availability of a property, this includes access for inspections and appraisals. REALTORS® also agree to not access properties except in ways approved by the seller and listing brokerage. Failure to abide by showing instructions can result in suspension of lockbox access.

As with almost of the Articles in the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, honesty is a key element. The right to know all pertinent facts regarding cooperation, representation, commission, and access remain a top priority in achieving the ultimate goal of promoting the best interests of those who use our services. As in sports, there are rules and standards in place to allow for a more even playing field. Failure to abide by these rules and regulations leads to unfair advantage, discrimination, and harm to the very people we are changed with protecting.

See below for the full Article 3 of the REALTOR Code of Ethics

Article 3 (Case Interpretations for Article 3)

REALTORS® shall cooperate with other brokers except when cooperation is not in the client’s best interest. The obligation to cooperate does not include the obligation to share commissions, fees, or to otherwise compensate another broker. (Amended 1/95) [listen]

  • Standard of Practice 3-1

REALTORS®, acting as exclusive agents or brokers of sellers/ landlords, establish the terms and conditions of offers to cooperate. Unless expressly indicated in offers to cooperate, cooperating brokers may not assume that the offer of cooperation includes an offer of compensation. Terms of compensation, if any, shall be ascertained by cooperating brokers before beginning efforts to accept the offer of cooperation. (Amended 1/99)

  • Standard of Practice 3-2

Any change in compensation offered for cooperative services must be communicated to the other REALTOR® prior to the time that REALTOR®
submits an offer to purchase/lease the property. After a REALTOR® has submitted an offer to purchase or lease property, the listing broker may
not attempt to unilaterally modify the offered compensation with respect to that cooperative transaction. (Amended 1/14)

  • Standard of Practice 3-3

 Standard of Practice 3-2 does not preclude the listing broker and cooperating broker from entering into an agreement to change cooperative compensation. (Adopted 1/94)

  • Standard of Practice 3-4

REALTORS®, acting as listing brokers, have an affirmative obligation to disclose the existence of dual or variable rate commission arrangements (i.e., listings where one amount of commission is payable if the listing broker’s firm is the procuring cause of sale/lease and a different amount of commission is payable if the sale/lease results through the efforts of the seller/ landlord or a cooperating broker). The listing broker shall, as soon as practical, disclose the existence of such arrangements to potential cooperating brokers and shall, in response to inquiries from cooperating brokers, disclose the differential that would result in a cooperative transaction or in a sale/lease that results through the efforts of the seller/landlord. If the cooperating broker is a buyer/tenant representative, the buyer/tenant representative must disclose such information to their client before the client makes an offer to purchase or lease. (Amended 1/02)

  • Standard of Practice 3-5

 It is the obligation of subagents to promptly disclose all pertinent facts to the principal’s agent prior to as well as after a purchase or lease agreement is executed. (Amended 1/93)

  • Standard of Practice 3-6

REALTORS® shall disclose the existence of accepted offers, including offers with unresolved contingencies, to any broker seeking cooperation. (Adopted 5/86, Amended 1/04)

  • Standard of Practice 3-7

When seeking information from another REALTOR® concerning property under a management or listing agreement, REALTORS® shall disclose their REALTOR® status and whether their interest is personal or on behalf of a client and, if on behalf of a client, their relationship with the client. (Amended 1/11)

  • Standard of Practice 3-8

REALTORS® shall not misrepresent the availability of access to show or inspect a listed property. (Amended 11/87)

  • Standard of Practice 3-9

REALTORS® shall not provide access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker. (Adopted 1/10)

  • Standard of Practice 3-10

The duty to cooperate established in Article 3 relates to the obligation to share information on listed property, and to make property available to other brokers for showing to prospective purchasers/tenants when it is in the best interests of sellers/landlords. (Adopted 1/11)

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics | Article Two in My Words

The REALTOR® Code of Ethics | Article Two in My Words

by Linda Dort

When it comes to providing information about a property or transaction, Realtors should stay away from exaggeration, giving false facts, or covering up or avoiding facts.  Don’t use Photoshop if the grass is brown, or there is a power line in the backyard.

Realtors are only obligated to disclose adverse factors that are reasonably apparent to someone with expertise in the area of real estate you practice.  We aren’t obligated to make discoveries about existing issues in a property, or to give advice on anything outside our area of real estate or give up a confidentiality no matter if it is in an agency or non-agency relationship.

Real estate transactions are unilateral agreements –  another word both parties are giving something of value to the other.   As REALTORS we cannot be involved in the appearance of short changing the other party to the transaction.

Read all of Article 2 from the REALTOR® Code of Ethics below

Article 2 (Case Interpretations for Article 2)

REALTORS® shall avoid exaggeration, misrepresentation, or concealment of pertinent facts relating to the property or the transaction. REALTORS® shall not, however, be obligated to discover latent defects in the property, to advise on matters outside the scope of their real estate license, or to disclose facts which are confidential under the scope of agency or non-agency relationships as defined by state law. (Amended 1/00) [listen]

  • Standard of Practice 2-1

REALTORS® shall only be obligated to discover and disclose adverse factors reasonably apparent to someone with expertise in those areas required by their real estate licensing authority. Article 2 does not impose upon the REALTOR® the obligation of expertise in other professional or technical disciplines. (Amended 1/96)

  • Standard of Practice 2-2

(Renumbered as Standard of Practice 1-12 1/98)

  • Standard of Practice 2-3

(Renumbered as Standard of Practice 1-13 1/98)

  • Standard of Practice 2-4

REALTORS® shall not be parties to the naming of a false consideration in any document, unless it be the naming of an obviously nominal consideration.

  • Standard of Practice 2-5

Factors defined as “non-material” by law or regulation or which are expressly referenced in law or regulation as not being subject to disclosure are considered not “pertinent” for purposes of Article 2. (Adopted 1/93)

Getting the most out of REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR) and zipForm Webinars

Streamline Your Business

RPR and zipForm have come together to help you get the most of out of these two powerful REALTOR business tools. RPR is NAR’s wholly owned subsidiary and is a national property database, offering a large range of data, tools and reports to better serve your clients and customers. zipForm® is the Exclusive and Official forms software of the National Association of REALTORS®.

We’ll show you how to seamlessly move between RPR and zipForm to improve your business efficiencies.

Multiple Webinar times available | More details

The REALTOR Code of Ethics | Article 1

The REALTOR Code of Ethics | Article 1

Article 1 by Alicia Angstadt, Vice Chair Grievance Committee

Simply stated Article 1 says, REALTORS® are to protect and promote their clients’ interests while treating all parties involved honestly.

This is the most frequently cited and violated Article of the Code.

Most often, the parties of the complaint believe they were not treated honestly because there was a lack or poor communication between the parties and the agent.

The other circumstance that the Grievance Committee sees quite often is that clients or customers do not fully understand the REALTOR®’s role in the transaction, even after the paperwork is signed.

Bottom line, this Article would be less violated if there was good and frequent communication and that the agent’s role or responsibilities, were explained clearly and perhaps more than once.

Read all of Article 1 from the REALTOR® Code of Ethics below

Duties to Clients and Customers

Article 1 (Case Interpretations for Article 1)

When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client. This obligation to the client is primary, but it does not relieve REALTORS® of their obligation to treat all parties honestly. When serving a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or other party in a non-agency capacity, REALTORS® remain obligated to treat all parties honestly. (Amended 1/01) [listen]

  • Standard of Practice 1-1

REALTORS®, when acting as principals in a real estate transaction, remain obligated by the duties imposed by the Code of Ethics. (Amended 1/93)

  • Standard of Practice 1-2

The duties imposed by the Code of Ethics encompass all real estate-related activities and transactions whether conducted in person, electronically, or through any other means.

The duties the Code of Ethics imposes are applicable whether REALTORS® are acting as agents or in legally recognized non-agency capacities except that any duty imposed exclusively on agents by law or regulation shall not be imposed by this Code of Ethics on REALTORS® acting in non-agency capacities.

As used in this Code of Ethics, “client” means the person(s) or entity(ies) with whom a REALTOR® or a REALTOR®’s firm has an agency or legally recognized non-agency relationship; “customer” means a party to a real estate transaction who receives information, services, or benefits but has no contractual relationship with the REALTOR® or the REALTOR®’s firm; “prospect” means a purchaser, seller, tenant, or landlord who is not subject to a representation relationship with the REALTOR® or REALTOR®’s firm; “agent” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting in an agency relationship as defined by state law or regulation; and “broker” means a real estate licensee (including brokers and sales associates) acting as an agent or in a legally recognized non-agency capacity. (Adopted 1/95, Amended 1/07)

  • Standard of Practice 1-3

REALTORS®, in attempting to secure a listing, shall not deliberately mislead the owner as to market value.

  • Standard of Practice 1-4

REALTORS®, when seeking to become a buyer/tenant representative, shall not mislead buyers or tenants as to savings or other benefits that might be realized through use of the REALTOR®’s services. (Amended 1/93)

  • Standard of Practice 1-5

REALTORS® may represent the seller/landlord and buyer/tenant in the same transaction only after full disclosure to and with informed consent of both parties. (Adopted 1/93)

  • Standard of Practice 1-6

REALTORS® shall submit offers and counter-offers objectively and as quickly as possible. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/95)

  • Standard of Practice 1-7

When acting as listing brokers, REALTORS® shall continue to submit to the seller/landlord all offers and counter-offers until closing or execution of a lease unless the seller/landlord has waived this obligation in writing. REALTORS® shall not be obligated to continue to market the property after an offer has been accepted by the seller/landlord. REALTORS® shall recommend that sellers/landlords obtain the advice of legal counsel prior to acceptance of a subsequent offer except where the acceptance is contingent on the termination of the pre-existing purchase contract or lease. (Amended 1/93)

  • Standard of Practice 1-8

REALTORS® , acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall submit to buyers/tenants all offers and counter-offers until acceptance but have no obligation to continue to show properties to their clients after an offer has been accepted unless otherwise agreed in writing. REALTORS®, acting as agents or brokers of buyers/tenants, shall recommend that buyers/tenants obtain the advice of legal counsel if there is a question as to whether a pre-existing contract has been terminated. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/99)

  • Standard of Practice 1-9

The obligation of REALTORS® to preserve confidential information (as defined by state law) provided by their clients in the course of any agency relationship or non-agency relationship recognized by law continues after termination of agency relationships or any non-agency relationships recognized by law. REALTORS® shall not knowingly, during or following the termination of professional relationships with their clients:

  1. reveal confidential information of clients; or
  2. use confidential information of clients to the disadvantage of clients; or
  3. use confidential information of clients for the REALTOR®’s advantage or the advantage of third parties unless:
    • a) clients consent after full disclosure; or
    • b) REALTORS® are required by court order; or
    • c) it is the intention of a client to commit a crime and the information is necessary to prevent the crime; or
    • d) it is necessary to defend a REALTOR® or the REALTOR®’s employees or associates against an accusation of wrongful conduct.

Information concerning latent material defects is not considered confidential information under this Code of Ethics. (Adopted 1/93, Amended 1/01)

  • Standard of Practice 1-10

REALTORS® shall, consistent with the terms and conditions of their real estate licensure and their property management agreement, competently manage the property of clients with due regard for the rights, safety and health of tenants and others lawfully on the premises. (Adopted 1/95, Amended 1/00)

  • Standard of Practice 1-11

REALTORS® who are employed to maintain or manage a client’s property shall exercise due diligence and make reasonable efforts to protect it against reasonably foreseeable contingencies and losses. (Adopted 1/95)

  • Standard of Practice 1-12

When entering into listing contracts, REALTORS® must advise sellers/landlords of:

  1. the REALTOR®’s company policies regarding cooperation and the amount(s) of any compensation that will be offered to subagents, buyer/tenant agents, and/or brokers acting in legally recognized non-agency capacities;
  2. the fact that buyer/tenant agents or brokers, even if compensated by listing brokers, or by sellers/landlords may represent the interests of buyers/tenants; and
  3. any potential for listing brokers to act as disclosed dual agents, e.g. buyer/tenant agents. (Adopted 1/93, Renumbered 1/98, Amended 1/03)
  • Standard of Practice 1-13

When entering into buyer/tenant agreements, REALTORS® must advise potential clients of:

  1. the REALTOR®’s company policies regarding cooperation;
  2. the amount of compensation to be paid by the client;
  3. the potential for additional or offsetting compensation from other brokers, from the seller or landlord, or from other parties;
  4. any potential for the buyer/tenant representative to act as a disclosed dual agent, e.g. listing broker, subagent, landlord’s agent, etc., and
  5. the possibility that sellers or sellers’ representatives may not treat the existence, terms, or conditions of offers as confidential unless confidentiality is required by law, regulation, or by any confidentiality agreement between the parties. (Adopted 1/93, Renumbered 1/98, Amended 1/06)
  • Standard of Practice 1-14

Fees for preparing appraisals or other valuations shall not be contingent upon the amount of the appraisal or valuation. (Adopted 1/02)

  • Standard of Practice 1-15

REALTORS®, in response to inquiries from buyers or cooperating brokers shall, with the sellers’ approval, disclose the existence of offers on the property. Where disclosure is authorized, REALTORS® shall also disclose, if asked, whether offers were obtained by the listing licensee, another licensee in the listing firm, or by a cooperating broker. (Adopted 1/03, Amended 1/09)

  • Standard of Practice 1-16

REALTORS® shall not use, or permit or enable others to use, listed or managed property on terms or conditions other than those authorized by the owner or seller. (Adopted 1/12)

Press Releases

May Sees Impact from Inventory Shortage

Fredericksburg, VA – (June 14, 2018) – The following analysis of the Fredericksburg, Virginia area housing market has been prepared by the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® based on analysis of brightMLS multiple listing data. The inventory...

6 projects, 50 volunteers…how FAAR gives back!

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) hosted six community service projects throughout the Fredericksburg area on Saturday, May 19, 2018.  FAAR volunteers prepared a home for exterior painting, painted the entire interior of...

April Posts Gains in Total Volume and Units Sold

April typically signals the start of the spring selling season with increasing sales and this year did not disappoint.  Total sold dollar volume increased over 8%, coming in at $164,683,573.  That increase was fueled by 517 units sold in the month of...

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...

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