CFPB Director Cordray addresses REALTORS® during NAR conference

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The Aug. 1, 2015 implementation date for the Truth in Lending Act and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act Integrated Disclosure Rule still stands, according to a speech from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau at a National Association of Realtors conference in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.

Since the TRID was finalized in November 2013, rumors spread across the industry about a possible delay, but the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau always shot down the talk.

Back in March, talk quickly spread back after a speech from Steven Antonakes, deputy director of the CFPB, to the Consumer Bankers Association, suggesting that the CFPB could delay the Integrated Disclosure deadline.

The CFPB extinguished the talk shortly thereafter saying, “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. The deputy director was pointing out that the Bureau is open to considering new information from stakeholders, not to delaying the deadline.”

In Cordray’s speech on Tuesday he once again addressed the topic and said:

This rule, though dictated by Congress, represents a major undertaking for the industry, requiring close coordination among lenders, settlement agents, vendors, and real estate professionals like you who work every day with homebuyers. We faced the same issues with our first set of mortgage rules, where the law limited us to a 12-month implementation period, yet industry worked hard to make a successful transition on time. 

We learned from that experience, and so from the time this rule was finalized in November 2013, we have focused on supporting industry implementation so the market will be ready when the rule takes effect in August. We also heard extensive input from all parties and opted to provide a 21-month implementation period. All of our hard work with industry is reflected in what we are now hearing, which is that most market players have put themselves in position to be ready by August, and others are getting ready as well. Yet we continue to receive a great deal of input on this issue, and as always we are listening closely in order to consider and assess that input.

But looking at recent survey conducted by Capsilon Corp., 41% of mortgage lenders report that they are not prepared to meet the August 2015 deadline to comply with TRID. Click here to read the complete story.


Also, check out the following NAR resources on this topic:

Webinar: TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosures, Part 5: Implementation Challenges and Questions – Tuesday, May 26, 2015 | 2:00 PM Eastern Time

RESPA FAQ: NAR has compiled a list of questions that we commonly receive about the Real Estate Settlement Act, or “RESPA”, for both real estate professionals and REALTOR® associations

Video: Understand the Changes Coming to the Settlement Process

Article: New Disclosure Forms Alter Transactions


Last week’s Broker Day declared a huge success!

Last week brokers came from across the Commonwealth for VAR’s Broker Day which was held at the Boar’s Head Inn on May 6th. Christine A. Singhass the Workgroup Chair acted as the mistress of ceremony for the event.

Rich Casto, a REALTOR® and former broker led a morning session on his Seven Steps of Accountability system. In the afternoon, Rich provided insight on how brokers can motivate and increase their agents’ productivity.

Additionally, the Virginia Department of Professional & Occupational Regulation (DPOR) shared how the DPOR investigation process works. Also, VAR’s deputy counsel, Blake Hegeman presented the Legal Hotline most frequently asked questions.

Please save the date for the next Broker Day scheduled for December 18th at the Wyndham Virginia Crossings in Glen Allen, VA.



2015 broker day kathy with member


Follow Drew Fristoe on NAR’s Legislative Live

Drew Fristoe, ABR®, e-PRO®, SFR Coldwell Banker Elite Fredericksburg, VA was selected for NAR’s Legislative Live 2015 as a featured attendee. A Featured Attendee is an active NAR member or real estate industry expert who will provide their unique viewpoint on the 2015 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 11-16 in Washington, DC. Featured. Look for Featured Attendees to contribute content such as photos, video footage, blog submissions – whatever format they are most comfortable using.


Virginia Leadership Academy announces class project to support veterans

The 2015 members of the Virginia Leadership Academy have chosen as a class project to support the organization Homes for Our Troops in providing homes for disabled Virginia veterans. Homes for Our Troops is a national non-profit organization that builds mortgage-free, specially adapted homes for severely injured post-9/11 veterans. Undertaking this project is a collective commitment of the VLA class – in addition to supporting ongoing builds in Virginia through volunteer work, the class will raise money to support the Virginia Association of REALTORS® partnership with Homes for Our Troops, ensuring that more Virginia veterans have the opportunity for comfortable and secure housing. The goal of the 2015 VLA class is to raise $50,000 towards this year’s partnership, and to create a legacy of giving to support homes for Virginia heroes.

Every Virginia REALTOR® is invited to participate in this effort. You may contribute by visiting the special fundraising site here or by sharing your willingness to volunteer.

The VLA class was selected through a competitive process based on diverse criteria prioritizing community engagement and REALTOR® achievement; classmates are Miguel Avila, Karen Hall, Navona Hart, Cindy Hawks, Rhonda Howlett, Philip Innes, Ernie Lightfoot, Theo Lodge, Lisa Lowery, Marina Marchesani, Sherry Maser, Anthony McGhee, James Nolan, Steven Overgard, Fatima Pereira-Shepherd, Sarah Santa Ana, Rebecca Straley, Chip Taylor, and William Wiard. VAR proudly supports the dedication of these members to demonstrating Virginia REALTOR® impact.

For more information about the Virginia Leadership Academy class project or Homes for Our Troops, contact Jenny Wortham, VAR Director of Community Outreach, at (804) 262-3755 or

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3 in 10 Americans Looking to Buy

More potential home buyers are poised to enter the market this year, according a national survey by Chase, “Insights: From the Mind of the Homebuyer.” Three in 10 potential buyers say they plan to purchase a home in the next 18 months, with 32 percent of respondents citing low interest rates and 20 percent attributing rising rental costs as reasons for getting off the sidelines.

The survey also found that 62 percent of interested buyers believe that now is a better time to purchase a home compared to last year. And 20 percent of buyers surveyed say they want to upgrade from their current home.

But the survey did find concerns about affordability and competition. Nearly 70 percent of prospective home buyers say they worry that they missed the chance to buy at the best time because of rising home prices. Fifty-six percent say they are concerned about finding a home that fits within their budget and that’s located in a quality neighborhood. Bidding wars are also a concern, with three out of four buyers worrying they will be outbid by others.

“Buyers are clearly concerned about housing inventory and rising prices, especially during the competitive spring buying season,” says Cecelia Barbieri, senior vice president of marketing for Chase Mortgage Banking.  “But the research shows that interested buyers are optimistic and ready to act on their goals. In fact, 73 percent said they’d give up things like eating out and taking vacations in order to buy their dream home.”

Quick stats from the survey:

  • 43 percent of potential home buyers feel that getting a mortgage will be easier this year.
  • 49 percent of women surveyed say they are more conservative than their partner and don’t want to go beyond their agreed-upon budget, while 39 percent of men say they are less conservative than their partner and are willing to push their budget limit to get the home they want.
  • Only one in four interested buyers correctly answered a series of questions about home buying, including how annual percentage rates work, down payments, and lenders.

Chase mortgage



SWVAR Holds Successful Kentucky Derby Event

The Southwest Virginia Association of REALTORS® held a very successful Kentucky Derby Dinner Party on Saturday, May 2.  The event, which was held to support the REALTOR® Political Action Committee (RPAC), raised over $9,000.  The approximately 50 guests who attended where entertained with music, games, dinner, and of course, the Kentucky Derby.  Guests participated in a best hat contest. By correctly answering RPAC Trivia questions members were also allowed to choose horses prior to the race in an attempt to win a prize if their horse won. RPAC Chairs Marcus Gilbert and Ray Amburn, their committee, and Association Executive Lisia Amburn did a great in holding a unique and fun event!

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SWVAR members and guests enjoy a live band during their recent Kentuck Derby Party.

SWVAR RPAC Chairs and AE

SWVAR Association Executive Lisia Amburn, Bill Cordle and RPAC Chair Ray Amburn pose for a picture during the festivities.




REALTORS® flex political muscle

Yesterday the Washington Post profiled some recent REALTOR® advocacy activity in the 2015 Virginia elections. But this story isn’t new. REALTORS® in Virginia, and across the nation, have been engaged in policy and advocacy campaigns for many years. One of the key pillars of our association’s purpose is to be an advocate for the nearly 30,000 REALTORS® and the millions of current and future property owners in Commonwealth.

Our REALTOR® members are rooted in their communities. They see the needs, challenges and opportunities that families, businesses and civic organizations encounter on a daily basis. This connection with the community gives our REALTOR® members a unique perspective on the outcomes of policy makers’ decisions. When it comes to supporting candidates for political office, our association relies on local members to give us feedback on the effectiveness and policy positions of elected officials and candidates for office.

Taking this information, the local, state and national associations work in coordination to put together a plan of support for our REALTOR® Champions.  We share with the public why we support a particular candidate.  We only showcase the positive attributes of REALTOR® Champions and don’t engage in negative campaigning. We feel this is the best use of our members’ support.

As our members increase their engagement in the policy and advocacy arena, more attention will come our way. We welcome that. It gives us a chance to talk about the efforts our members due to make their communities better places to work and live. If you have questions or want to get involved in our advocacy efforts, please feel free contact us.


Home sale up in first quarter

The Virginia Association of REALTORS® released its 2015 First Quarter Home Sales Report and the numbers are good as the selling season goes into full swing.

  • Virginia experienced a 6.3 percent year-over-year increase in sales in the first quarter of 2015
  • Sales volume is up 8.5 percent as is the median sales price, which rose 4 percent year-over-year.
  • The first quarter is the harbinger for a strong spring selling season and we are seeing this momentum continuing in April.

The data presented is based on specific economic regions comprised of counties and independent cities in Virginia, as detailed in the map below. However, it should be noted that these regions do not necessarily align with the counties and cities that comprise the 27 local REALTOR® associations in Virginia. For example, the economic region defined as Northern Virginia encompasses more counties and cities than those within the bounds of the Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Please take this into consideration when referencing regions.


The number of sales increased year-over-year in every economic region of Virginia except for Northern Virginia, where sales had decreased 0.4 percent. The change in number of sales in Virginia has tracked the trajectory of sales in the United States as whole consistently throughout the year. The largest increase was in Southwest Virginia, with a booming 18.5 percent rise. The Central Virginia region jumped 15.9 percent.


The dollar value of residential real estate sold in the first quarter of 2015, $5.8 billion, and increased 8.5 percent compared $5.4 billion in the first quarter of 2014. Sales volume increased due to both increased sales and increased sale prices. There has been substantial gain in volume over the past few years.

This year’s first quarter sales volume is nearly $1 billion greater than the first quarter of 2012 and half a billion greater than the first quarter of 2013.


The median sales price in Virginia increased 4.2 percent compared to the first quarter of 2014, to $244,467. All regions around the state saw increases with Southwest Virginia having the greatest increase of 10.8 percent.


Year-over-year sales were particularly substantial in the $200K-300K price range. Home sales increased in all price ranges this quarter except for the $0-100K price range. Low sales in this range may have resulted from low market inventory in this category and/or higher financial barriers experienced by buyers in this market segment. All other price ranges saw increases in residential sales, reflecting the overall increase in sales year-over-year.

The entire first quarter report with charts and graphs is available on the VAR website.




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Deborah Baisden is a founding member of the Virginia Beach Housing Crisis Foundation, Inc.


Deborah Baisden was appointed to the newly minted Board of Directors of the Virginia Beach Housing Crisis Foundation, Inc. The organization will focus on mobilizing the community to help the needy. The board plays two important roles: 1) raise resources to support the mission and 2) receive proposals and make decisions about the use of resources.


Volunteer for a committee postion!

Consider becoming a leader and committee volunteer with the Virginia Association of REALTORS®. Once a year we offer REALTORS® across Virginia a chance to take their careers to a higher level in the industry and build life-long connections with your peers. Now is that time!

VAR wants—and needs your expertise, experience and enthusiasm. As a committee volunteer leader, your efforts will help improve the industry for your fellow REALTORS® and private property owners in the Commonwealth.

What interests you?

  • Legislative policy and advocacy —we are the most powerful trade association in the state, so get active on one of many committees that advance REALTOR® issues and the REALTOR® Party.
  • Education and professional development—help chart the course the association takes to offer members informative, motivating programs and speakers.
  • Legal protection and regulatory practices—serve on committees that help protect REALTORS®

There are more than 20 committee options to explore. Choose one! If you are worried about the time commitment, it is minimal—three to five meetings a year. Get involved and make a difference that helps your fellow members.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the committee options available to you and make your selection. Please help continue the success of VAR and make a difference in 2016 by re-applying or applying today. The application deadline is July 1, 2015