Archive for October, 2009

The latest on the tax credit extension

From NAR:

Although the Senate was not able to reach a procedural agreement to schedule a vote on the Unemployment Insurance extension, the Dodd-Lieberman-Isakson Amendment to extend and expand the Tax Credit is contained in the bill.

The Senate is expected to vote, Monday evening, for a "Motion to Invoke Cloture" if  60 Senators vote yes on the cloture motion, the Senate will then be able to schedule a vote on the bill that contains the Dodd-Lieberman-Isakson Amendment.

Once the Senate acts, the tax credit must still go to the House of Representatives for action.

NAR is asking Realtors to continue pressing their legislators to approve the bill. Right now, a call to Senators Webb (202) 224-4024 and Warner (202) 224-2023 asking them “To vote yes on the motion to invoke cloture on the Unemployment Insurance Extension” will keep the legislative process moving.

Third quarter home sales figures earn press attention

It’s been out for a week, but VAR’s third quarter home sales report is still getting press attention. Here’s a full list of stories we’ve spotted:

You can download the home sales report, listen to a podcast of a conference call held with the media about the report, and view the raw sales data at

Friday head scratcher

I occasionally go through the spam folder — where all the junk comments to this blog go to die. Most are what you expect: ads for this or that, couched as real comments.

Then there’s this. I have no idea what it’s supposed to do — the submitter didn’t even use a valid URL (which is sometimes the entire purpose of a spam comment):

If there were a flier sprog quest of disaster vigilance, Cupertino’s Fairgrove neighborhood would be pictured throughout California.


And with that, happy Friday.

Efforts to extend homebuyer’s tax credit far from over

NAR tells us that the fight to extend the homebuyer’s tax credit still has a long way to go.

Senate leaders of both parties and key Senate Finance Committee members and staff, and tax credit sponsors Dodd-Lieberman-Isakson have agreed on extending and expanding the housing tax credit.

However, there is no agreement on how to attach this tax credit to the pending Unemployment Insurance bill, or whether to offer the tax credit agreement on another bill, or whether to bring the agreement to the Senate floor and vote upon it as a separate, stand alone bill.

And after Senate action, the tax credit must go to the House of Representatives for action.

NAR is urging Realtors to continue contacting their Senators about extending and expanding the tax credit. Click here to contact your Senators today.

This Just In: Senators extend, expand homebuyer’s tax credit

UPDATED: The bill must still be voted upon by the full Senate, be reconciled with the House and be signed by the President. More details here.

NAR’s lobbying efforts succeed yet again. Today US Senators passed a measure extending the first time homebuyer’s tax credit. Additionally, a reduced credit of $6500 is available to move-up buyers who have lived in their current homes for five years or more. The credit applies to those who sign sales agreements by April 30, 2010.

VAR calls for action: Extend the homebuyer tax credit

NAR is expecting a Senate vote this week on extending and expanding the homebuyer tax credit. (The credit is currently set to expire in 35 days). Have you responded yet?

This morning, your VAR Law & Policy team sent a reminder e-mail (“Help Secure the Homebuyer Tax Credit for Your Clients”) to all members who had not yet responded to the NAR call for action. With such an important vote coming up this week that affects both you and your clients, please respond to the CFA today. (You can either click on the personalized link in your e-mail or go to and enter your information).

Thank you for your part in making the Realtor® voice heard on Capitol Hill.

Fall comes, even to Virginia

There are a lot of pine and fir trees around the VAR offices, but there are also plenty of deciduous ones, like this specimen, ready for the cooler weather.

I think that I shall never see / a billboard lovely as a tree. / Indeed unless the billboards fall / I'll never see a tree at all." --Ogden Nash

(Click for larger.)

Third Quarter 2009 Virginia home sales report released today

You can get a summary and the raw numbers at

The press is already out with news stories on our report. We’ll update this post as we find more of them:

Here are some of the report’s highlights:

  • Total existing home sales in Virginia grew to 25,032 units (up 5.3 percent) in 3Q 09 vs. 2Q 09, but were down 2.2 percent vs. 3Q 08. Four of the seven regions reporting showed an increase in sales for 3Q 09 compared to 3Q 08.
  • The statewide median sales price advanced for the third consecutive quarter to $251,324 (up 2.2 percent vs. 2Q 09 and down only .1 percent vs. 3Q 08). The statewide median sales price has increased about $28,000 this year.
  • Comparing 3Q 09 to the same period last year, prices were up in Northern Virginia, South Central, Tidewater, and the upper Shenandoah Valley. Only three of the seven reporting regions showed slight decreases in the median sales price.
  • The number of foreclosures increased across the Commonwealth (up 7.8 percent) to 18,135 for the quarter.

Are you ready?


Just about a year ago VAR’s 2009 President John Powell called and asked if I would chair the Virginia Managers Council.   It was an honor to have been asked and an honor to have served in this position this past year.  Working with other brokers from around the state has been quite a rewarding experience.  I can say that more than a few of the members of this working group have become friends, mentors and professionals I can call on for help, ideas or information.

The VAR staff was very helpful. They returned calls quickly and overall just made the job easier! They helped in so many ways with my questions and showed an enormous amount of patience!  Thank you for all your assistance!

If you have ever wondered why you should volunteer to be on a working group, I can tell you the networking opportunities are invaluable, the insight you gain into this industry is amazing.  And, the added bonus is that these peers will become lifelong friends, mentors and consultants in this ever changing industry.

In closing I cannot let the opportunity pass without thanking John Powell for having allowed me to chair this committee and Cindy Stackhouse for her continued support.  I now step aside and wish our incoming chair much success, I know VMC is in good hands and I know it will continue to grow and develop.