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Virginia REALTORS® Announces 2020 Good Neighbor Award Recipients

Virginia REALTORS® Announces 2020 Good Neighbor Award Recipients

RICHMOND, Va. (October 1, 2020) – Virginia REALTORS® celebrates its 2020 awardees. The association conducted its annual awards ceremony through its first-ever virtual awards show on September 30, 2020. The ceremony recognized excellence in various areas of real estate, along with notable community contributions. These awardees were selected by a committee of peers as standouts among an association of 35,000 members.


The Virginia REALTORS® Good Neighbor Award recognizes REALTOR® members who make a positive impact on their community and gifts the organization through which they volunteer time and talents. This annual award seeks to highlight, inspire, and perpetuate the individual contributions within the real estate industry toward improving the lives of citizens in Virginia.


Each winner will receive a $500 award, which will go to the to the 501(c)(3) non-profit/charity with which the Virginia REALTOR® Good Neighbor is involved.


The Virginia REALTORS® 2020 Good Neighbor Awardees are:


  • Sarah Moorman of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®, volunteering on behalf of Generosity Feeds
  • Jim Napier of the Richmond Association of REALTORS®, volunteering on behalf of the Massey Cancer Center at Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Chip Taylor of the Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS®, volunteering on behalf of Fredericksburg Virginia Main Street
  • Patricia “Trish” Snyder of the Massanutten Association of REALTORS®, volunteering on behalf of the Virginia Cooperative Extension, and
  • Linda Wolf of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®, volunteering on behalf of Mission M-4, in partnership with the Walter Reed Society.


To see the entire list of this year’s winners, click here.

For headshots of award winners, please contact Robin Spensieri at

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About Virginia REALTORS®

Virginia REALTORS® (previously known as the Virginia Association of REALTORS®) is one of the largest professional trade associations in Virginia, representing 35,000 REALTORS® engaged in the residential and commercial real estate business. Virginia REALTORS® serves as an advocate for homeownership and homeowners and represents the interests of property owners in the Commonwealth of Virginia. For more information, visit or follow Virginia REALTORS® on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Virginia REALTORS® is celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2020.

NOTE: The term REALTOR® is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the National Association of REALTORS® and subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics. Top of Form

Contact: Robin Spensieri, Vice President of Communications & Media Relations
Telephone: 404.433.6015


Topside Federal Credit Union supports community in the fight against fraud

Topside Federal Credit Union supports community in the fight against fraud

Local Credit Union hosts 4th Annual Shred Event

DAHLGREN, VA (September 28, 2020) – Topside Federal Credit Union, the area’s largest locally-owned credit union, is committed to helping the community properly dispose of sensitive data. Topside FCU’s latest free Shred Day Event was held on September 26 at their Massaponax branch in Fredericksburg VA. The event resulted in a total of over 16,000 pounds of paper collected and shredded, and almost $2,000 raised for Germanna Community College’s Gladys P. Todd Academy.

“Topside is happy to provide this valuable service to the communities we serve,” said Bruce Six, Topside FCU’s CEO. “We encourage everyone to take advantage of these free events to help protect their privacy and security. We are dedicated to helping our members and the community stay safe by providing these free opportunities to dispose of personal documents securely.”

Topside Federal Credit Union began hosting its free Shred Day Events in 2017 in response to their members’ needs for secure and safe document disposal. The events have grown in popularity and demand over the years and the Credit Union plans to continue shredding sensitive information for their community members for years to come and collecting donations for various area non-profits in the process.


As a member-owned financial cooperative originally founded in 1961 by the employees of the Naval Weapons Laboratory in Dahlgren VA,  Topside has more than $425 million in total member assets serving 40,000 members.  Visit, or call 540-663-2181 for more information.

Upcoming Safety Webinars

Upcoming Safety Webinars


From Bright MLS

Bright Subscribers! Join us, Friday, September 18, for a free Safety from the Start Webinar with REALTOR® and safety advocate Carl Carter, Jr. of the Beverly Carter Foundation. Carl will share his story and important tips on how to have tough conversations with potential clients from that first phone call or lead.

Register at


From the National Association of REALTORS®

REALTORS® face job-related risks every day. Being aware of potential dangers and taking precautions will help you avoid risky situations that can happen to any agent—including you! Tune in for a free safety webinar from NAR & REALTOR Jen Stanbrough on September 23rd at 2pm EST

Register at


No Slow Down in the Fredericksburg-area Real Estate Market

The local real estate market shows no sign of cooling as summer draws to a close.  Total sold dollar volume was up over 30% from last year, coming in at approximately $281.3 million this August compared to $215 million last August.  The region’s median price increased for the 17th straight month, soaring nearly 11% year-over-year going from $315,900 in August of 2019 to $350,000 in August of this year.  Units sold also increased significantly, rising over 17% with 755 homes sold this August compared to 644 last year.

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 over nearly 43% with houses averaging just 23 days on the market in August 2020 compared to 40 days in August 2019. 

The region’s housing engine is being fueled by nearly every jurisdiction within the FAAR footprint.  Caroline County saw a huge increase in total volume sold, exploding by over 37% and posting a $13.3 million month in August, compared to approximately $9.8 million last year.  The City of Fredericksburg saw a nearly 57% increase in units sold and a startling 72% drop in days on market, coming in second in the region for August at a mere 19 days.  King George saw a more than 25% increase in their median sold price, inching ever closer to the $400,000 milestone by settling at $390,000 this August.  Spotsylvania County wasn’t far behind the City in days on market, coming in at just 21 days with a massive 46% increase in total sold dollar volume.  Stafford posted the most impressive numbers in the region, surpassing $400,000 in median price for the first time ever by settling at $403,115, a nearly 12% increase over last year.  The County also led the region in lowest days on market with a 55% decrease and a measly 17 days on market.  Of the 287 sales in the County in August, 193 homes spent zero to 10 days on the market. 

Sellers are in strong command in this market with very low inventory making for challenging times.  Many Realtors® are seeing multiple offers and buyers waiving contingencies like home inspections and appraisals.  “We are also seeing more requests for safety measures to help protect sellers’ homes and their families,” states FAAR Board of Director Deb Ellis.  “It’s not uncommon to see seller stipulations like universal masking for showings, requests to not touch anything in the home, only allowing people into the home who are a party to the contract, and limiting the number of showings per day.  These restrictions are ushering in many sight-unseen contracts as well,” continues Ellis. 

The region’s supply issues continue to frustrate buyers as the market saw another huge drop in active listings compared to last year at the same time.  The region closed out August with just 651 homes on the market, a whopping 63% decrease from last August.  New listings provided a glimmer of hope that sellers are feeling a little more comfortable listing their homes with August seeing the second straight month of only single digit losses in new listings compared to the previous year.  The market had been experiencing double digit decreases in new listings each month since the start of the pandemic.  New pendings were up 30% indicating that this trend of a very active market is set to continue through the end of the summer.

Check out the new flood data on!® launched new flood risk data features available on most for-sale properties on the site.

What are these features?

At an individual property level,® will offer insights into Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)-categorized flood zones and a new Flood Factor™ feature, which is the result of a® data integration with the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research and technology group. The First Street Foundation Flood Model includes data for more than 142 million homes and properties across the U.S.

Flood Factor includes a flood risk score ranging from 1 (minimal risk) to 10 (extreme risk) and an indication of whether that risk is increasing, decreasing, or constant over the next 30 years.

In addition, a graph shows the cumulative risk of flooding for a property over the typical 30-year period of ownership, along with the FEMA-categorized flood zone for the property, and whether flood insurance is required. Flood insurance options, when available, are provided to® users.

Here are some distinguishing features for both:

Flood Factor™

  • Provides accurate, property-level flood risk information
  • Incorporates current and future environmental changes
  • Maps multiple flood zones and risk levels
  • Includes more flood sources such as heavy rainfall
  • Nationwide coverage and updated quarterly
  • Assesses historic flood patterns and projects future risk


  • Provides detailed, community-wide flood risk information
  • Maps the 100-year flood zone and indicates whether a property is “in or out” of this zone
  • Does not provide information specific to individual properties
  • Based on site specific, engineering studies but limited to two risks (riverine and storm surge)
  • Limited geographic coverage and not updated frequently
  • Assesses historic flood patterns
  • Used by community regulators, banks and lenders

Flood Factor™ data augments FEMA’s maps, so real estate professionals can use both tools on® to:

  • Help reduce the number of clients who buy high-risk properties by surprise or list properties before mitigating the risk
  • Help reduce flood-related surprises at the closing table by helping their buyer and seller clients perform due diligence and increase confidence in real estate markets particularly where FEMA does not currently map

Agents and brokers can use the feature to provide additional context, guidance and insights to their buyer and seller clients with regard to flood conditions and potential flood risk for properties and communities across the country.

Must-read content for more context and information:

So what does it look like?

Click on the link and you’ll see this…

Take a closer look at the Flood Factor data…

#MemberMonday | Meet REALTOR® Jennifer Hennessy

#MemberMonday | Meet REALTOR® Jennifer Hennessy

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.

Jennifer Hennessy 

Pittsburgh, PA 

Current Location 
Stafford, VA 

Principal Broker/REALTOR®, The Bacon Group Inc.

Number of Years in the Industry 

Why do you love working in real estate? 
I love working with people to make their dreams of home ownership come true. My co-workers say that I have never met a stranger! I’m very data driven so I enjoy looking at comps and working with buyers and sellers to see all important factors for such a huge decision. 

Favorite Work Story
I love animals of all species, they just catch my attention and hold on to my heart. Sandy and I were showing a house in NOVA and the owner had 3 dogs, a giant talking bird, and cages with snakes ect. Sandy and the buyers were like “nope” we are out of here. And before I knew it they were all gone and in their cars, I was standing on the front porch with a dog in each arm and one leaning against me and yelling “Oh so none of you want to see the rest of the house? ” That was a big no for them! 

What are you most proud of in your career? 
Any time a buyer or seller walks away very happy, makes me very proud. Also, studying and passing my broker’s exam. 

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time?
Special Education and especially children with Autism. I was an Autism Teacher for 15 years and now to stay involved I volunteer as a parent advocate. I also love helping the animal shelters with donations and cancer organizations. 

Fun Fact 
I have way to many hobbies!!! 


Tina Keene Exit Elite Realty

Do you want to win tickets to A Downtown Affair To Go?

FAAR members, do you want to be a part of this year’s A Downtown Affair To Go? FAAR is giving away 2 sets of tickets complete with 5-course meal, delivery, AND an extra bottle of prosecco!  Enjoy your meal complete with wine, dessert, and flowers from the comfort and safety of your own home.

Take a quick RPAC quiz, invest your $50 in RPAC, and your are entered to win!  Winner announced on September 18.

A Downtown Affair To Go
Sunday, October 11, 2020
Dinner Delivered by 5:00pm

#Member Monday | Meet REALTOR® Monica O’Donnell

#Member Monday | Meet REALTOR® Monica O’Donnell

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.

Monica O’Donnell

Maracaibo, Venezuela

Current Location 
Fredericksburg, VA

REALTOR®,  Long and Foster

Number of Years in the Industry
1st time in 2005. Now Active for 2 months

Why do you love working in real estate? 
I have been an entrepreneur for 18 years and own a local business in the City of Fredericksburg for the last 13 years.
I love to interact with people, and Real Estate allows me to do that.

What are you most proud of in your career? 
Came as immigrant 21 years ago, without speaking word of english, at age 30, and to be able to be financially independent and become an entrepreneur in just 3 years after arriving, I have definitely reached the American Dream.

Do you have a special cause or volunteer your time?
I’m active member of Saint Mary’s Catholic church, I serve as lector jointly with my son who is an Altar Server, and assistant in RICA for adults in spanish, also I’m the president of a nonprofit organization SINOVA, being the main purpose to Network the spanish community in their different needs as legal, education and health.

Fun Fact 
I still have a strong accent when I speak, and I love when some people are not paying attention when I speak and say to me “I don’t speak Spanish” and I replied “I’m speaking English” is funny to see their faces. LOL


Elections are coming, are you ready?

Election Day is Tuesday, November 3rd, how are you going to cast your vote??  Get all the info on 2020 voting options!

This year’s election is no doubt a big one and many people are concerned about how to cast their vote.  Will you vote in-person at your polling place or join the ranks of people expected to vote absentee by mail due to the pandemic?  Check out some options below for voting and choose what is right for you.  The ballot will include President, U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives and Virginia Constitutional Amendments.

Voters are able to request an absentee ballot now.  Absentee Ballots for the November 3, 2020 Election will begin to be mailed out the week of September 16, 2020 and continuously through the application deadline of October 23, 2020. Absentee ballot applications are processed daily.

Friday, September 18 Early Voting begins

Tuesday, October 13 Last day to register/update registration to vote in the November 3 election

Friday, October 23 at 5:00 p.m. Application deadline to request Vote by Mail ballot be mailed to you

Saturday, October 24 8:30am-4:30pm Early voting in the Registrar’s office

Monday-Saturday, October 26-October 31 8:30-am-4:30pm Early voting in the Registrar’s office

Tuesday, November 3 Election Day Polls will be open from 6:00am-7:00pm

For more information, to check your registration status, or to request an absentee ballot, visit the Virginia Department of Elections.

Sentriconnect or One Day Code – What’s the Difference?

Sentriconnect or One Day Code – What’s the Difference?


  • Allows Listing Agent, Listing Office, or One with Lockbox Owner Privileges to grant access to a lockbox that has been assigned to a property during a specific time frame.
  • This can be used for providing non-SentriLock REALTOR users (i.e. REALTORS who don’t have SentriSmart access through their current MLS) with access to your listings.
  • The time frame is setup by the Listing Agent/Listing Office/Lockbox Owner and can be for as little as 30 minutes or up to several days.
  • Access can also be granted to Non-SentriLock/non-REALTOR users (i.e. Home Inspectors, Cleaning Services, etc…) as approved by the seller.
  • This type of access requires the one granting the access (the Lockbox Owner) to enter the recipient’s email address into the program. This is then recorded and used in access reports.
  • To use the SentriConnect app, the end user must download the app, create an account, and be granted access to the specific property by the Listing Agent or Listing Office.
  • Showing Notifications are generated for SentriConnect access.
  • SentriConnect access can be revoked at any time by the Listing Agent, Listing Office, or Lockbox Owner.


One Day Code

  • Allows the Listing Agent, Listing Office, or One with Lockbox Owner Privileges to grant access to a lockbox that has been assigned to a property on a specific day.
  • No time frame for that day is associated with the One Day Code.
  • One Day Codes can be used to provide non-SentriLock REALTOR users (i.e. REALTORS who don’t have SentriSmart access through their current MLS) with access to your listings.
  • The One Day Code expires 60 minutes after it is used.
  • One Day Codes cannot be revoked.
  • This type of access only requires the one granting the access (the Lockbox Owner) to enterminimal information into the app, which is then recorded and shows in the access reports.
Sentriconnect flyer app info

How-To Use SentriConnect®
1) Launch the App Store
2) Search for SentriConnect®
3) Install the App
4) Launch the SentriConnect® App
5) Tap the “Create Account” Icon
6) Enter the required information and tap “Send Activation” button
7) Make sure to provide your Email & Phone Number to the listing agent so that they may grant you access.
8) After creating an account with the SentriConnect® application, open the Registration link sent to in your inbox.
9) Please check your SMS messages for an activation link to complete your registration and setup.
10) Open and log into the SentriConnect® application
11) Press the ENT button on the lockbox keypad that you want to open.
12) Enter your PIN into the application and tap the Open Lockbox button.
13) The lockbox will open and you will receive a message confirming your access.

How to Use SentriSmart® to Grant SentriConnect® Access
1) Launch SentriSmart®
2) Select the “Lockbox Tools” tab, then choose the lockbox you’d like to access.
3) Select “Grant SentriConnect”
4) Enter SentriConnect® User’s email address and identify the Start and End time.
5) After the information is entered, Select “Grant Access” and enter your PIN
6) You will receive a success message confirming that access was granted.
7) You may go to the “message” tab to review or revoke lockbox accesses

Press Releases

Fredericksburg Area Real Estate Market Continues to Sizzle

The local real estate market continues to sizzle fueled by plummeting inventory and skyrocketing demand as many prospective buyers look for more space, more yard, and more in-home amenities like pools and playscapes.  Total sold dollar volume was up over 30% from last...

Summer Selling Season is in Full Swing

Real estate market continues to power on despite ongoing pandemic The summer selling season is in full swing in the Fredericksburg area with June real estate statistics blowing 2019 out of the water.  Total sold dollar volume increased by 42% fueled by a nearly 8%...

Fredericksburg REALTORS Foundation donates $2,500 to Mary’s Shelter

COVID is keeping us from doing in-person check presentations, but this blast from the past shows that we have a long history of support!The Foundation approved a $2,500 grant for an emergency bathroom renovation at Mary's Shelter.  At any given time, Mary's Shelter...

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