NAR Chief Economist speaks to BTVAR and SWVAR

Last Thursday, the Bristol Tennessee/Virginia (BTVAR) and Southwest Virginia (SWVAR) Associations of REALTORS® hosted Dr. Lawrence Yun, chief economist with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), to present information on the local real estate market and discuss how national economic factors impact the area.

Yun - Hunt - McClellan

From L to R: BTVAR President Fred McClellan, NAR Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun, SWVAR President Evie J. Hunt

SWVAR President Evie J. Hunt and BTVAR President Fred McClellan coordinated their groups’ efforts to bring this insightful presentation about the economic and housing outlook to area REALTORS® and other community guests.

“This presentation was made possible by the collaborative efforts of the Southwest Virginia Association of REALTORS® and the Bristol Tennessee Virginia Association of REALTORS®. We were very honored to have Dr. Yun as our guest in Southwest Virginia and we are also very proud of the manner in which our two local REALTOR® associations continue to work together to be the ‘Voice of Real Estate’ in our area!  Although our two associations are small, our visions are huge and co-hosting this successful event solidifies our commitment to our customers, clients, and the real estate industry,” said Hunt.

Yun - presentation

NAR Chief Economist Dr. Lawrence Yun presents to area REALTORS® and community guests.

You can read a recap of the event from the Bristol Herald Courier here.



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New VAR Legal Hotline video: 2016 New Laws Pt.1 – Licensee Issues

Legal video 2016 New Laws Pt 1

In this four part video series, Laura Farley discusses the 2016 new laws. One of VAR’s initiatives in the 2016 General Assembly session was an omnibus bill (House Bill 567) that amended portions of the real estate licensee laws (§54.1-2100). Such changes include:

  • Giving the Virginia Real Estate Board (VREB) the authority to take disciplinary cases under advisement, defer findings and dismiss such actions on terms and conditions set by the VREB;
  • Giving VREB the authority to grant exemptions or waive or reduce the number of CE hours required in cases of certified illness or undue hardships;
  •  Requiring supervising brokers for a branch office to provide VREB with the name and license number of the supervising broker for that office by January 1, 2017 and upon the renewal/transfer of each individual license, provide VREB the name and license number of those working at the branch office on a DPOR form;
  • Updates to the definitions, brokerage relationship sections and disclosure sections to clarify what is required in residential relationship vs. commercial relationships;
  • Clarifying that the law does not require a written agreement between a licensee and a prospective buyer prior to showing properties; and
  • Clarifying that nothing in the licensing statute is intended to create an independent civil cause of action in a lawsuit.

Click here to watch the video.

Laura Farley serves as the VAR Deputy General Counsel, monitoring regulatory bodies that effect REALTORS® in Virginia, staffing the Legal Hotline and teaching CE courses. She also serves as liaison to the Standard Forms Sub-committee and the Grievance Committee.

The 2016 New Laws video series is presented to you by the VAR Legal and Member Marketing teams.



Honoring heroes this Memorial Day

The Virginia Association of REALTORS® invites you to honor Virginia heroes this Memorial Day. Can you give at least one dollar to make a home happen for a Virginia hero and their family? In continued partnership with Homes for Our Troops, Virginia REALTORS® are supporting the construction of homes that are specially adapted to severely injured post-9/11 veterans. These mortgage-free homes offer a new start to a veteran and his or her family… a chance to focus on recovery and to rebuild independent lives. Over 210 homes have been completed across the nation, most recently in our own Nokesville, Virginia.

regional partner Since beginning this partnership in May of last year, Virginia REALTORS® have contributed nearly $70,000, and we are just getting started. Your support means that these homes continue to go up for the neighbors who have served all of us.

As we recognize the sacrifice of service men and women this Memorial Day, let’s show these heroes and our communities across the state that REALTORS® truly make homes happen.

Join us by giving today. With even one dollar per member, we can make an enormous difference in the lives of Virginia veterans and their families. Take one minute to complete a gift online. Share the news of your gift. Challenge another REALTOR® to match your gift until every Virginia REALTOR® has pledged to the cause. Thank you for joining us in recognition of Memorial Day and our nation’s heroes.

HFOT updated header 5.25


Deadline to submit ideas for 2017 legislation is June 15

Each year the VAR Public Policy Committee (PPC) embarks on the long process to review, discuss and recommend legislative priorities for the next Virginia General Assembly session. The process begins with ideas being submitted by local associations and individual REALTORS®. Those ideas are researched and vetted by the PPC and VAR staff.  Finally the recommendations are reviewed and ultimately approved in the fall by the Board of Directors at VAR’s Annual Convention.

The deadline to submit ideas to be considered by the PPC for 2017 legislative package is June 15.  You can submit your ideas on VAR’s My Law page.

As REALTORS®, you are the ones who know your market the absolute best. And you also know the issues that come up that can hinder your transactions. So let us know what you’re experiencing out there. Go to VAR’s My Law page to submit your idea.


Highlights from the 2016 NAR Member Profile

2016-Member-Profile-Highlights-COVER GRAPHIC

2016 NAR Member Profile

Based on a random sampling of NAR’s membership, the Member Profile strives to answer the question: Who are REALTORS®? It looks at a variety of economic and demographic characteristics, and business practices.

Business Characteristics of REALTORS®

  • Sixty-five percent of REALTORS® are licensed sales agents (up from 58 percent in 2014), 21 percent hold broker licenses, and 16 percent hold broker associate licenses.
  • The typical REALTOR® has 10 years of experience, down from 12 years in 2014.
  • Sixteen percent of members have at least one personal assistant.
  • Fifty-four percent of REALTORS® reported having a website for at least five years, 11 percent reported having a real estate blog, and 70 percent of members are using social media, up from 65 percent in 2014.
  • The most common information found on REALTOR® websites is the member’s own listings and home buying and selling information.
  • Eighty-three percent of REALTORS® are very certain they will remain active as a real estate professional for two more years

Demographic Characteristics of REALTORS®

  • The typical REALTOR® is 53 years old, white, female, has attended college, and is a homeowner.
  • Sixty-two percent of all REALTORS® are female, up from 58 in 2014.
  • Sixteen percent of REALTORS® had a previous career in management, business, finance, sales, or retail. Only four percent of REALTORS® reported real estate was their first career.
  • Seventy-four percent of REALTORS® said that real estate was their only occupation, and that number jumps to 86 percent among members with 16 or more years of experience.
  • The median gross income of REALTOR® households was $98,300 in 2015, a decrease from $106,800 in 2014.
  • The majority of REALTORS®—81 percent—own their primary residence.
  • Eighty-three percent of REALTORS® are very certain they will remain active as a real estate professional for two more years

The study can be ordered by calling 800-874-6500, or online at The profile is free for credentialed media and costs $14.95 for NAR members and $149.95 for nonmembers.

Source: National Association of REALTORS®


VAR Legal Hotline video: Code of Ethics Article Three Duty of Cooperation

Legal video COE of Article 3

The Virginia Association of REALTORS® Blake Hegeman explains the duty to cooperate as outlined by the REALTOR® Code of Ethics, including issues like:

  • License law vs. REALTOR® Code of Ethics obligations
  • When REALTORS® do not have the obligation to cooperate

Click here to watch the video which is a resource available exclusively to VAR members.

As deputy general counsel for the Virginia Association of REALTORS®, Blake counsels association staff and volunteers on legal best practices. Additionally, he teaches more than 60 educational sessions each year, writes the “Legal Lines” section for Commonwealth Magazine and answers the VAR Legal Hotline.

VAR Legal Hotline for Brokers
The VAR Legal Hotline is a free, members-only benefit for brokers. You can receive answers to questions about Virginia real estate law and timely information on legal and regulatory issues concerning the real estate industry. Click here to learn more.

The Legal Hotline provides legal information, not legal services. You should consult your attorney if you need representation or advice.





NAR 2016 Q2 Commercial Real Estate Outlook

NAR’s latest Commercial Real Estate Outlook for the second quarter of 2016 offers overall projections for four major commercial sectors and analyzes quarterly data in the office, industrial, retail and multifamily commercial q2markets.

Download the full report here.

Report Highlights

  • The pace of commercial transactions dropped in the first quarter of 2016, following an upbeat 2015.
  • The volume of commercial sales in LCRE markets totaled $111 billion, a 20 percent year-over-year decrease.
  • Continuing the trends from 2015, apartment transactions comprised the largest share of first quarter volume, with $38.6 billion in sales, followed by office properties, which accounted for $31.2 billion.
  • Retail and industrial sales totaled $17.9 billion and $12.6 billion, respectively.
  • In comparison, sales in SCRE markets rose 8.5 percent year-over-year during the first quarter, based on REALTORS® market data.


April Sales Indicate Booming Spring Market

Home Sales Report 4.16

- Composed by Jenny Wortham, Director of Community Outreach

According to the April 2016 Home Sales Report released by the Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR), the Virginia spring selling season is booming.

The number of transactions rose by nearly 8.5 percent year-over-year, from 9,169 sales to 9,945. The value of transactions for April 2016 rose above $3.2 billion, gaining nearly 10 percent on the same month last year. As expected with industry seasonality, April sales outperformed March, rising over 16.5 percent in units sold and over 22 percent in total transaction value for the month.

Median price and days on the market also indicated strengthening, both seasonally and year-over-year. Median price for the month rose to $265,000, up more than 5 percent from March ($252,000) and up nearly 2 percent from April 2015 ($260,000).

The average length of time on the market declined significantly month-over-month and year-over-year to 70 days, dropping nearly 10 percent from March 2016 (79 days) and the previous April benchmark (77 days). Rising median price and declining time on the market reflect that inventory has remained tight.

As the market moves into more active spring months and low interest rates continue to entice prospective buyers, limited inventory will continue to pressure sales price and create urgency.

Click here to view the April 2016 Home Sales Report.

Sales Pace Benchmark 4.16



Virginia REALTORS® celebrate the success of partnering with Homes for Our Troops

The Virginia Association of REALTORS® (VAR) won recognition on Wednesday, May 18th, for the public relations campaign that announced our inaugural sponsorship of Homes for Our Troops. Honored at the 69th annual Virginia Public Relations Awards ceremony, VAR won the Community Relations Excellence Award for outstanding public relations tactics that were implemented as part of a larger public relations program. Our campaign to support Homes for Our Troops and to build awareness of the organization and REALTOR® partnership is a priority for VAR because it highlights the commitment of our members to finding the best housing for veteran and military families and for all Virginians. Through media relations, member messages, and strategic marketing, the Virginia Association of REALTORS® proudly promotes the impact of our 31,000 members.

With your commitment to Homes for Our Troops and communities throughout Virginia, and through your expertise and professionalism, we’ll keep making news. As you make homes a reality for veteran heroes and every Virginia neighbor, we proudly share your impact and celebrate together the meaning of being a REALTOR®.

To contribute to the Virginia REALTOR® partnership with Homes for Our Troops, click here. For more information on the partnership or the efforts to promote REALTOR® impact in every Virginia community, contact the VAR Director of Community Outreach.

VAR’s Anthony Reedy (far left), Jenny Wortham (center), and Carley Dobson (far right) stand with the President of the Richmond Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Andrew Ryan, and Sara Hunt of Sara Hunt PR. Photo courtesy of Chip Brierre.

VAR’s Anthony Reedy (far left), Jenny Wortham (center), and Carley Dobson (far right) stand with the President of the Richmond Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, Andrew Ryan, and Sara Hunt of Sara Hunt PR. Photo courtesy of Chip Brierre.


Greater Piedmont REALTORS® model success in Housing Opportunity

The Greater Piedmont Area Association of REALTORS® (GPAAR) took the national stage last week. Invited to participate on a Housing Opportunity Program panel at the National Association of REALTORS® annual mid-year conference, GPAAR shared the impressive results of its collaboration with Culpeper County to review and update the county’s comprehensive land use policy. Government officials rely on comprehensive plans for decisions on zoning, infrastructure, and housing policy. As the leading real estate industry experts, REALTORS® are poised to provide essential data for smart policymaking.

According to GPAAR CEO Debbie Werling, “Our association has gained more credibility with the county, and even with state officials who represent the county. That’s huge.” She shared that this project has created a model for fellow local associations to offer critical resources to housing stakeholders. In Virginia alone, the Williamsburg, Virginia Peninsula, and Harrisonburg/Rockingham Associations of REALTORS® have undertaken grant-supported efforts with academic research partners to develop comprehensive municipal plans. In addition to participating at the national Housing Opportunity meeting, GPAAR was featured in the current Summer 2016 issue of On Common Ground. Read more on their leadership in building partnerships for community impact here.

For more information on Housing Opportunity Program resources and NAR grants, contact Jenny Wortham, VAR Director of Community Outreach.