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FAAR presents 2021 Awards

FAAR presents 2021 Awards

The Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS® (FAAR) recognized 2021 award winners who have set themselves apart in the industry through their commitment to professionalism, education, and customer service. The event took place at the “Breaking Barriers” REALTOR Awards Brunch on April 20th, 2022 at the Riverside Center for Performing Arts. Approximately 110 members were in attendance for the festivities, which included an awards ceremony and featured speakers.

Featured speakers included Mayor Lawrence Davies and Cleo K. Coleman who shared anecdotes and inspirations from the many challenges they have faced throughout a long history in the Fredericksburg area. Listeners were encouraged to continue strengthening our communities by fighting for inclusion and staying engaged in local organizations.

Attendees also heard from REALTOR® Huda Maltbie, Century 21 New Millennium as she shared her family’s journey and struggles as immigrants from India and the transition to becoming U.S. citizens in the face of discrimination.

Presented Honors included Professional Honor Role, Educator of the Year, the Melanie Thompson award, Rookie Salesperson of the Year, REALTORS® Choice, Manager of the Year, and the Faces of FAAR Diversity Scholarship. In addition, 12 members were recognized for achieving the Professional Honor Role for 2021. 

The Professional Honor Roll spotlights members who have made contributions to the real estate industry, the Association, and the community.

 

Award Recipients

2021 Professional Honor Roll Achievers

Valerie Dellandre, Century 21 New Millennium

Linda Dort, Century 21 New Millennium

Drew Fristoe, Coldwell Banker Elite

Allison Graves, Coldwell Banker Elite

DeAnna Hamn, 1st Choice Better Homes and Land

Janet Holt, Holt for Homes

Lynn Lenahan, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Latana Locke, Coldwell Banker Elite

Sharon Shade, RE/MAX Allegiance

Lauren Tate, Century 21 Redwood Realty

Penny Traber, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

Sha Williams- Hinnant, 1st Choice Better Homes & Land

 

Abby Fitzsimmons of Coldwell Banker Elite Stafford, 2021 Melanie Thompson Award

Matthew Rathbun of Coldwell Banker Elite, 2021 Educator of the Year

Mary Lou Blue of RE/MAX Allegiance, 2021 REALTORS® Choice

Anna Torres of Long and Foster, 2021 Rookie of the Year

Robin Marine of Coldwell Banker Elite Downtown Fredericksburg, 2021 Manager of the Year

Chasity Richardson of C21 Redwood, Faces of FAAR Diversity Scholarship

ICYMI: VA’s Rent Relief Program Ending in May

From the Virginia Realtors®…

Virginia REALTORS® has received communication from the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), informing us that the Virginia Rent Relief program (RRP) will close to all new applications at 11:59 p.m. on May 15, 2022. This decision is based on a review of the number of outstanding applications, total amount requested from current applications, and current funds left in the program. Effective immediately, any application submitted will be prioritized based on the following criteria and then processed on a first-come, first-served basis: (1) households with income less than 50% of AMI; or (2) households with one or more individuals that have not been employed for the 90-day period preceding the date of application.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOU?

Current law states that landlords must provide the tenant with a 14-day notice explaining the RRP and notifying the tenant that the landlord will apply on their behalf within 14 days. While this notice provision is in effect until June 30, 2022, the law goes on to state that if the RRP runs out of money, a landlord may proceed with eviction. Effective May 16, 2022, landlords will no longer need to apply to the RRP on behalf of tenants who have not paid their rent. However, please remember the notice provision is still effective until June 30, 2022.

Virginia REALTORS® has updated template notices for non-payment of rent (These can be used as of May 16, 2022.): 

If you have questions about the Rent Relief Program’s conclusion and what it means for your business, please contact the Virginia REALTORS® Legal Hotline.

Apply for the 2023 FAAR Board of Directors

Apply for the 2023 FAAR Board of Directors

FAAR is looking for leaders to join our Board! Over the last year we have made great strides in welcoming new leaders in our membership and committees, and now it’s time to continue that trend for the Board of Directors!

 

Are you interested in serving?

The Nominating Committee is accepting nominations until June 3.

 

What is the Board anyway, and what does it do?

The Board is made up of 13 members (12 REALTORS® and 1 Affiliate) who set policy for the entire association. The group meets monthly to ponder issues, solve problems, and keep the association financially solvent by carefully managing funds and investments.

 

How many members are nominated and elected?

The Nominating Committee shall select one but not more than three nominees for each Director position to be filled.  The candidate getting the highest number of votes from the general membership receives the position.

 

How long are the terms?

Director positions are for one, two, or three years. Officer positions are for one year, except Treasurer, which is for two years. The Affiliate Director position is for one year.

 

How do I express interest?

  • The Candidate Profile Form to be reviewed by the Nominating Committee is here.

  • The Board Code of Conduct Form is here.
  • Board Job Descriptions are here.

 

Return the completed Profile Form and Code of Conduct form to:

Page Browning, CEO of FAAR

pbrowning@faarmembers.com

 

What’s next after I apply?

Eligible applicants will be notified of an interview time to occur in person at the FAAR office on either June 8 or June 9.

 

Questions?

Please contact Page at pbrowning@faarmembers.com or reach out to any of our current leadership team at www.faarmembers.com/leadership.

Regional Home Prices Continue their Meteoric Rise

Despite rising interest rates and continued stiff competition, March proved another very strong month in the local real estate market.  The month closed out with a nearly 13% increase in total sold dollar volume, going from approximately $256.6 million in March of 2021, t0 more than $289.1 million in March of 2022.  Median sold price was up more than 11% year-over-year, clocking in at $406,500 in March of 2022 compared to $364,950 in 2021.  That’s a nearly $100,000 increase since March of 2020 when median price stood at $316,000.  Demand for homes is not falling off, but it’s not increasing either with sales this March nearly identical to last year.  Units sold settled at 652 in March of 2022, compared to 650 in March of 2021, a less than 1% increase.  With demand already red hot across all local markets, monthly sales still well-outpaced the 5-year average of 575 units sold in a typical March.

Rising prices are also not just centered on Stafford County or the City of Fredericksburg.  Caroline County, long a bastion of affordability in this region, reached a median price of $350,000 in March.  It was $228,000 just two years ago.  King George County reached a median price of $408,000 in March.  Just two years ago, that median price was $280,000.  Spotsylvania County reached $400,000 median price for the first time ever in March.  In 2020, the median price was $307,000.  And finally, Colonial Beach saw a median price of $315,000 this past month, while it was just $200,000 two years ago. 

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 by 20%, but still remains a very short 18 days.  In March of 2021, it was just 15-days so there is a slightly longer sit time for some homes on the market. 

Inventory still remains below historical averages but has seen a noticeable uptick.  There were nearly 50% more homes on the market this March compared to last year.  At the end of March of 2021, there were just 383 homes for sale, which translates to buyer demand stripping through the available supply in just two weeks.  At the close of this March, there were 562 homes on the market, a big improvement, but that number is still way off the 5-year average of 982 homes for sale in a typical March.  New listings were flat compared to last year with 948 new homes coming onto the market in March with most of those cycling off before the close of the month.  There were 944 new listings last March so the market saw a less than 1% increase.  New pendings were down nearly 10%, with 795 ratified contracts this March compared to 883 last March. 

FAAR Board Member Carrie Danko sees the impact this market is having on buyers regularly in her real estate practice.  “The good news in the market is that there seems to be more homes for my buyers to see. The bad news is there continues to be a large pool of buyers competing over the same listings. Great buyers with exceptional credit and money saved to achieve their dream of homeownership are competing with 10, 20, and even 30 offers! That, coupled with the rising interest rates, is certainly creating discouragement.  Setting expectations for prospective buyers and a little bit of patience are key in this competitive market.”

Hey, brokers! How does LESS liability sound???

Included in this year’s General Assembly session was SB 533 sponsored by Senator Lynwood Lewis from the Eastern Shore of Virginia.  The bill unanimously passed both the House of Delegates and the State Senate and has been sent to the Governor for his consideration.

The bill reduces broker liability by clarifying that a broker cannot be held responsible for escrow violations when a third party is delivering and/or hold escrow monies.  The current process leaves brokers vulnerable to DPOR sanctions when there are escrow violations, even if the broker is not actually holding those escrow monies.  The bill is expected to be signed by the Governor and would go into effect on July 1, 2022.

Spring Newsletter covers Affordable Housing, 2022 Legislative Agenda, Presidential Message and more!

Spring Newsletter covers Affordable Housing, 2022 Legislative Agenda, Presidential Message and more!

The latest FAAR newsletter is live! Pick up a copy or read online for the latest in local real estate news including letters from the President and CEO,  upcoming classes and events, and the 2022 legislative agenda.  But that’s not all!

This edition includes

  • 2021 Year in Review
  • 2021 Fall Award Winners
  • RPAC investor Thank You
  • RPR: Your Open House Secret Weapon
  • What does Affordable Housing Mean to You?

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!

 

February real estate market breaks price record

February 2022 was a record-setting month with the area’s median price eclipsing $400,000 for the first time in history.  The local market continues to be very challenging for buyers and for sellers who don’t have a well-defined next step.  FAAR Board Member Michele Freemyers states, “January and February closings numbers were down due to an overall decrease in the number of units sold. Monthly contracts bear the signs of a very difficult buyer’s market, with waivers of financing contingencies, appraisals, and home inspections.  Waivers of termite, well and septic inspections are even becoming the norm along with a significant number of cash buyers.”

Sold dollar volume was up in February nearly 10%, jumping from approximately $181 million last February to nearly $200 million this year.  The increase in volume was fueled by a more than 17% increase in median sold price, with homes in February of 2022 seeing a median price of $410,000 compared to $349,950 in February of 2021.  That is a doubling in median price from 10 years ago.  In March of 2012, the median sales price was $195,000, and had increased from just $159,900 ten years before that.  The swift pace of price increases is more than many buyers can handle, which led to a year-over-year decrease in units sold this February compared to last year.  In February of 2021, 487 houses were transacted compared to 457 this year, a more than 6% drop. 

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 44% with houses averaging 23 days on the market in February 2022 compared to the incredibly low 16 days in 2021.

Overall active listings continued to show modest improvement with 23% more homes on the market this February compared to last year, but these are still very low numbers.  In February of 2021, there were just 360 homes for buyers to choose from and the market closed this February with 446 homes.  For comparison, there were 1,140 homes for sale in February of 2020 and many agents would have said that was not providing adequate choice for a lot of buyers.

Adding to challenges in the market are many of the negotiable terms that are being agreed upon by buyers and sellers.  “The other concerning trend is many contracts allow far less than the standard thirty days for settlement,” continued Freemyers.  “Often less than twenty-one days are given from ratification to closing, with significant rent back time periods up to sixty days. These shortened timelines put increased stress on the overall transaction, and the participants involved, as many sellers have back-up contracts with higher sales prices, so extensions of settlement dates are unlikely.”  All of these challenges are leading to reduced units sold and longer days on market as buyers are balking at the strenuous nature of transactions in the current climate and the steadily increasing prices. New pending contracts were up in February indicating that demand is still high, but overall pendings were down nearly 9% showing that buyers are feeling frustrated and some are pulling back.

How to Submit your School as an Approved NAR Ethics Provider

NAR has made several changes in the Code of Ethics requirement effective January 1, 2022, please note that currently Moseley and Moseley Flint DO NOT meet these requirements, but NAR does provide a free option.  If your brokerage has a school, and you would like its Ethics class to be considered for approval, please fill out and return the linked application along with a copy of the class slides and materials.

Beginning January 1, 2022 – the start of the 7th cycle:

  1. Courses must include content on professional conduct, courtesies, business etiquette, and real-life scenarios.
  2. Only those courses and equivalencies provided by a local, state, or national REALTOR® association can satisfy the Code of Ethics training requirement. The Commitment to Excellence (C2EX) endorsement satisfies the requirement. Local associations may, however, partner with a third-party training provider to create a course that satisfies the requirement.
  3. Download a comprehensive implementation chart for these changes (PDF 128.79 KB)
  4. Please note that FAAR Academy and CE shop both offer Ethics courses that meet both NAR and DPOR guidelines.

FAAR accepts the following schools for the NAR Code of Ethics requirement:

 

Dahlgren Environmental Cleanup Input

From Naval Support Facility Dahlgren: 

The Navy is gathering information from our community for consideration in preparing a Community Involvement Plan for the ongoing environmental cleanup program at Naval Support Facility Dahlgren. This Environmental Restoration Program involves investigating and, if needed, cleaning up sites where past releases of hazardous substances have occurred.

The information you provide will be used to design a plan to engage, inform, and involve the community throughout this cleanup process. Your input is critical to the development of this plan and the environmental cleanup effort. Any information you provide will be kept strictly confidential. The survey usually takes between 10-15 minutes to complete and will be available through March 20, 2022.

You may provide your input by either: 

  • Completing an online survey at https://tinyurl.com/DahlgrenSurvey
  • Participating in a telephone interview.  Call the NSASP Public Affairs Officer, 540-653-8153, for more info.

Low Inventory Continues to Plague Housing Market

January 2022 continues to see the same issues that have been plaguing the local real estate market for many months, namely low supply.  A lack of choice in the market coupled with steadily rising prices and a brutal blast of winter led to decreased sales in the month and a significant decline in pending sales.  Despite the factors working against the market, total sold volume and prices both climbed handily.  January closed out with a total sold dollar volume of approximately $202.6 million which represents a nearly 10% increase over January of 2021.  The market saw a significant 15% year-over-year increase in median price, going from $345,000 in January of 2021 to just shy of $400,000 at $396,000 this January.  Units sold decreased for only the second time since May of 2020, coming in at 468, a nearly 4% decrease from last January’s total of 486. 

FAAR Board of Director Randy Walther comments, “This winter has seen the market become lean and mean. Homes for sale have fallen to record lows in terms of supply. While some of this is seasonal, a portion is outright fatigue from the stress of the past year or two. It’s difficult for some sellers to motivate themselves to prepare their home for the market when they realize that finding a new place could be a long, drawn-out endeavor. However, if they do move forward, they are more often than not seeing good returns for their effort. Current buyers, on the other hand, seem to be active but not fixated on a quick result. There may be fewer people looking in the winter so it’s not as hectic of a market. Realtors® are doing a good job of helping both sellers and buyers understand the present landscape.”

Most jurisdictions in the FAAR footprint saw a decrease in units sold with the City of Fredericksburg leading the way at a 40% reduction.  January of 2021 saw 43 sales, compared to 26 this year.  Caroline County also saw a steep decline, with over 27% fewer sales than last January.  Stafford County saw a modest increase of 9% but two of our most rural jurisdictions, Orange County and Colonial Beach, saw sizable increases in units sold at 20% more and 38% more respectively, compared to last January.  Orange County saw 63 sales this January compared to 53 last year, while Colonial Beach had 22 this year compared to 16 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, increased 30% up to 26 days.  While it’s still a brief amount of time considering historical real estate trends, it is still double the number of days at the lowest part of the market from July of 2021, which stood at just an average of 1o days on the market. 

Inventory remains low, but was still up 22% from last year’s historic bottom of supply.  There were just 396 homes on the market at the end of January 2021.  That number ticked up to 484 homes at the end of this January, but the good news was tempered by a more than 23% reduction in new listings coming on the market.  In January of 2021, 600 sellers put their homes up for sale.  In January of 2022, just 461 new listings came onto the market. 

Press Releases

February real estate market breaks price record

February 2022 was a record-setting month with the area’s median price eclipsing $400,000 for the first time in history.  The local market continues to be very challenging for buyers and for sellers who don’t have a well-defined next step.  FAAR Board Member Michele...

Low Inventory Continues to Plague Housing Market

January 2022 continues to see the same issues that have been plaguing the local real estate market for many months, namely low supply.  A lack of choice in the market coupled with steadily rising prices and a brutal blast of winter led to decreased sales in the month...

FAAR Releases 2021 4th Quarter Home Sales Report

Fredericksburg Area Association of REALTORS®Market Report Key Takeaways Economic Conditions Economic conditions in Virginia continued to improve in the fourth quarter, with broad-based jobgains and another drop in the unemployment rate. The employment picture also...

High Prices, Continued Low Supply Close Out the 2021 Housing Market

  While many Realtors® have experienced moderating of the real estate market in recent months, 2021 as a whole was a more frenetic market than its record-setting predecessor of 2020.  “2021 saw the trend continue of extremely low inventory coupled with very...

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