Coming Soon: Residential Settlement Changes

Before you know it, the way a home sale begins—and ends at closing, will be different. By August 1, virtually everyone involved in the purchase of a home will have to comply with the new RESPA/TILA Integrated Disclosure Ruleset by the consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

This will be a learning experience for lenders, borrowers (buyers), sellers, and REALTORS®. Right now VAR is working with other professional organizations, including the Virginia Mortgage Lenders Association (VMLA) to provide you with the essential information you’ll need to be your clients’ advocate and be able to answer their questions.

Recently the VMLA held a compliance conference for all professional stakeholders who will need to know the requirements for settlement. VAR is already working on this issue and we will make sure you’ll be ready before August 1.


RPAC Expands Its Reach through specialized training


VAR Policy and Advocacy team members are crisscrossing the state hosting training sessions for local leaders and AE’s.  Martin Johnson, VAR Chief of Policy and Advocacy hosted training sessions in Danville, Lynchburg and Hampton Roads this past week.  VAR FBI members Mary Dykstra, Suzy Stone, Ann Palmateer and John Wolford joined them. 


With new RPAC talking points and a renewed and energized fundraising strategy, RPAC is poised to expand its reach within our 30,000 members.  Over 10 of these training sessions are scheduled.  Contact Kathy Felton, for more information.



Google launches program to help small businesses become more visible

Do your company’s website, hours and address show up right away when people Google you…or at all? If not, you’re missing out on big business and Google wants to help you fix the problem.

The tech giant today announced a major new small business initiative called Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map. The aim is to help every business in every city in America get discovered across its services.

To this ambitious end, Google has created a custom website for “virtually every town and city in the U.S.,” 30,000 in all. The sites provide small business owners with step-by-step directions on how to create a Google My Business listing, as well as how to improve the information that shows up about their companies on Google search, Google maps and Google+.

“We wanted to make the process of getting online easier for small businesses, and help them find their customers in those moments that matter,” Soo Young Kim, head of marketing for Google’s Get Your Business Online Program told Entrepreneur.

Google says its localized Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map websites also give small business owners access to a new diagnostic tool that shows them how their companies appear on Google Search and Google Maps. The sites also enable them to have their companies verified for Google searches, add photos, location and hours of operation to their business listing and, if needed, secure a website and domain name from Google partner StartLogic that will be free for a year.

Visitors to Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map sites will also be directed to local in-person training workshops hosted by Google in partnership with small business growth-focused local organizations, like Chambers of Commerce, Small Business Development Centers and SCORE chapters.

To find your local Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map website, go to and enter your ZIP Code.


CFPB: No concrete plans to extend TRID

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will not extend the Aug. 1 deadline for the new TILA/RESPA Integrated Disclosure rule.

Industry talk quickly spread after a speech from Steven Antonakes, deputy director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, on Wednesday to the Consumer Bankers Association, suggesting that the CFPB could delay the Integrated Disclosure deadline.

“We have no plans to delay the deadline on the new mortgage disclosure forms. The industry should be prepared to begin using the new forms for loans with an initial application submitted on or after Aug. 1,” said Sam Gilford, spokesperson for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Instead, “The deputy director was pointing out that the Bureau is open to considering new information from stakeholders, not to delaying the deadline,” continued Gilford.

TRID is 1,888 pages in length and affects every business functioning in the single-family mortgage market,” said Jeffrey Schummer, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s vice president of education development.

The CFPB issued the rule and combined the mortgage disclosure regimes established by the Truth In Lending Act and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act into one single rule. Source: Brena Swanson, HousingWire 

NAR continues its decades long work to educate members about their obligations under RESPA.  Visit or click here to  see the February 19 Webinar Registration Link to learn more about what one can and cannot do under RESPA.



Chip Dicks brings you up-to-date on the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act


Chip Dicks, Esq. President of FutureLaw, L.L.C.

Fulfill your continuing education or post license requirements while reducing risk in your property management business. Your instructor will be Chip Dicks, Esq. President of FutureLaw, L.L.C. Pending REB Approval for 3 Hours Legal Update and 3 Hours Real Estate Related CE. Pending REB Approval for 2 Hours of Current Industry Issues/Trends.

Offered at four locations, get up to speed on the recent changes to the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act. Designed for both real estate brokers and sales persons.

 Click here to register and for additional details.


Broker Day proudly presents Rich Casto


Keynote speaker: Rich Casto, Founder of Rich Casto & Company

Broker Day is May 6. Mark your calendar and plan to attend a program that is aimed at ways managing brokers can achieve even greater success. This year we are pleased to have Rich Casto, a REALTOR®—and former broker, as our featured speaker. Rich is nationally known for his ability to help REALTORS® accomplish their business goals.

Rich founded Rich Casto & Company more than a decade ago. With a progressive and aggressive approach to the real estate business, he will help you take a closer look at your firm to explore what’s working and what’s not—commission structures, executive and management structure, mortgage company relations, marketing, technology deployment, branch office organization and other critical elements of the business. Rich delivers value-based solutions to brokers on practical experience, benchmark results and transference of skills.

golf_foursome_bright_RutherfordStudios WEBSITE

Boar’s Head Inn

Broker Day
Wednesday, May 6, 2015
8:00 a.m.- 4:00 p.m.
Boar’s Head Inn, Charlottesville

Boar’s Head is a quintessential Virginia resort, offering a warm, intimate ambiance, exceptional service and unparalleled Southern hospitality. Located on a bucolic 573-acre country estate it offers a wide variety of world class recreational activities including a spa and golf. Come early! You may wish to book a round of golf or enjoy the spa in your free time.

Click here to view the complete schedule and to register today!



April Is Fair Housing Month

April 2015 marks the 47th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. Each year REALTORS® recognize the significance of this event and reconfirm our commitment to upholding fair housing law as well as our commitment to offering equal professional service to all in their search for real property. Please post on your website or social media the 2015 NAR Fair Housing poster and FOCUS publication below.

Click here to download: 2015 Fair Housing Poster
Display the 2015 Fair Housing poster in your office to commemorate Fair Housing Month.

Click here to download: 2015 Fair Housing FOCUS
This flyer explains how REALTORS® are working for diverse neighborhoods and leadership.

Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental of housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. Additional resources can be found at



Commercial Day for REALTORS® is a Success

Martin Briley, president of VEDP

Martin Briley, president of VEDP

VAR’s Commercial Day – the first of its kind, drew more than 60 commercial REALTORS®, business leaders and state government officials to the event. VAR member Henry Scholz, with MKB REALTORS in Roanoke, presided as master of ceremonies at the University of Richmond.

Featured speaker Martin Briley, the president and CEO of the Virginia Economic Development Partnership (VEDP) provided a clear picture of the benefits the Commonwealth offers to companies across the country and around the world to set up businesses in Virginia. With low operating costs, a pro-business environment, access to global markets and a skilled and educated workforce, Virginia makes it easy for businesses to say “Yes” to more opportunities, more growth and more success. For commercial REALTORS®, a visit to the website offers the latest news on companies who are coming to Virginia. And, keeping in touch with VEDP to inform the Partnership about properties you are listing is a great way to market yourself and your clients.

Also speaking was Chip Dicks, of FutureLaw, a former member of the Virginia General Assembly, who now represents associations and businesses on administrative, legislative and regulatory matters before state government agencies and the General Assembly. He has been exceedingly effective on behalf of the Virginia Association of REALTORS®

Dicks reviewed new legislation of interest to the audience – about variances, zoning, and property management and explained the details of changes to the laws.

A deal making presentation offered REALTORS® the opportunity to showcase some of their listings. Properties from all over the state were featured.

Commercial Day proved to be informative and a great networking opportunity. Plans for ongoing programs focused on commercial REALTORS® are in the works.

Henry Scholz, REALTOR® with Lyman Brown, Virginia Division of Real Estate



Clarksville gets shot on HGTV

Clarksville is getting ready for a national television appearance as HGTV’s show Lakefront Bargain Hunt was in town for the last few days filming for an upcoming episode. Clarksville Town Manager Jeff Jones said “They said they had found out about Clarksville, Virginia’s only lakeside town liked what they found out. They wanted to know what kind of requirements they had to meet, what kinds of special  permits they had to have to shoot here. The television crews  worked with Clarksville realtor Bill Baker United Country Virginia Realty.”

HGTV Schedule
Sunday, Apr 12, 8:30 pm | 7:30 c
Monday, Apr 13, 3:30 am | 2:30 c
Thursday, Apr 23, 3 pm | 2:00 c

Today, Clarksville is a central gathering and staging point for dozens of fishing tournaments each year – sometimes as many as four simultaneous tournaments in a single day! – as well as a growing center of technology and business. The peaceful, small-town atmosphere combined with close proximity to some major vacation areas (Virginia Beach, the Appalachian Trail and the Great Smoky Mountains are within a 3-hour drive) and to major urban centers such as Richmond Virginia, Washington DC, and the Triangle area of North Carolina (Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill) makes Clarksville an ideal location for a sportsman’s weekend, or getaway vacation.



RPAC Training supports advocacy around the state

Today kicks off the first of several regional trainings on RPAC and the role of the REALTOR® Party in strengthening your business. The New River Valley Association of REALTORS® hosted neighboring associations at a discussion lead by VAR’s Anthony Reedy and Heidi Schlicher Cook. Association executives and fundraising chairs heard the details and best practices of fundraising to support RPAC. The benefits of contributing to RPAC, both for individual members and for the association, are far greater than just donor recognition. Though contributors are recognized and honored at events throughout the year, the real award is in securing a strong voice at the table for Virginia’s REALTORS®. Contributing to RPAC supports the efforts and candidates that protect your business practices, enable consumers to purchase homes, and improve the quality of communities across the state.

Visit Virginia’s REALTOR Party resource for more information.

RPAC Training 1