25 Most Common Legal Hotline Questions & Answers

VAR recently updated the Top 25 Legal Hotline Q&A brochure. This refreshed content includes changes to the law that have taken place over the past three years.

Download the brochure herelegal-hotline-issu

From January 1, 2016 to-date, VAR attorneys have received an responded to 950 calls from Brokers. This brochure highlights the 25 most frequent asked questions and answers.

Topics in the brochure include: Advertising, Agency, Commission, Disclosure, Earnest Money Deposit, Liability Protection, License Law, Property Management, Property Owners Association Act and Document Retention.

About the VAR Legal Hotline

  • The VAR Legal Hotline is a member benefit for Principal Brokers and one designated staff person from that broker’s office. For example, an associate broker or office manager may register as designees of the principal broker.
  • Before calling the Legal Hotline, you must have completed an application.
  • When you call, please have your NRDS number ready, and put it on any e-mailed questions. Calls and e-mails will be handled by VAR staff counsel.
  • The hotline is not a service for real estate consumers. Consumers and members of the public who have questions about their REALTOR® or their transaction should contact either the firm’s managing or principal broker.
  • Questions about ethical behavior should be directed to the nearest Local Association of REALTORS®.
  • Questions about law or regulation should be directed to the Virginia Real Estate Board (VREB) at (804) 367-8500.

Contact the VAR Legal Hotline
By phone: (804) 622-7955

By e-mail: hotline@varealtor.com
Hours: Monday – Friday (except holidays) 10 AM – 4 PM
Learn more about the VAR Legal Hotline

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VAR Legal Hotline video: Stigmatized Property

Gravesites, ghosts, and ghastly stories are not just for Halloween! VAR’s Laura Farley discusses stigmatized properties, including disclosure obligations for both the seller and the listing agent, how and when to make the disclosures, and what disclosures are prohibited.  Watch this video now, by clicking the play button above.

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.


Laura will be teaching two sessions at the upcoming VAR Property Management Conference:

  • Property Management Forms for Beginners – Approved 2 Hours Real Estate Contracts CE; 2 Hours Elective PL
  • VAR Property Management Forms Update – Approved 2 Hours Real Estate Contracts CE; 2 Hours Elective PL

This event will sell out, so register and reserve your space today!

Dates & Location
November 16-18, 2016
VAR Property Management Conference
Doubletree Charlottesville Hotel
990 Hilton Heights Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901

 

 

 

 

 

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Learnings from Fall Broker Day for Virginia REALTORS®

Last Thursday, October 20, more than 90 Virginia Brokers gathered in Richmond, VA for VAR’s Fall Broker Day 2016. Don Carnesi, Fall Broker Day Workgroup Chair led the day as Master of Ceremonies.

The action-packed day was filled with informative sessions such as keynote speaker Steve Murray, President of REAL Trends, who presented an update on the latest industry trends, including a look at the market in 2017.steve-murray-broker-day

Steve noted that although it is unclear and disputed, the market in 2017 nationwide will likely be determined by these key factors:

  • Economy and household income growth
  • Foreign purchasing
  • Inventory
  • Affordability

An Informal Fact Finding (IFF) Mock Hearing also took place, lead by members of the Virginia Real Estate Board (VREB) Lynn Grimsley, Broker Associate at RE/MAX Peninsula and Lee Odems, Principal Broker/Owner, Buyers Advantage Real Estate Corp., and Jennifer Winters, Adjudication Specialist, DPOR. This session showed Virginia Brokers firsthand what this type of hearing looks like, and the do’s and don’t of what to say and ask during.

mock-hearing

Blake Hegeman, Deputy General Counsel, led a discussion on “Broker Supervision the Right Way”.

Thank you to all the attendees, speakers, Fall Broker Day Workgroup and the VAR staff who made this event a success. Stay tuned for information on VAR’s Spring Broker Day on April 5-6, 2017.

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Strong and stable third quarter housing market works for Virginia buyers and sellers

The Virginia residential real estate market continued year-over-year and long term improvement through the third quarter of 2016. Both the total number of sales and the value of transactions rose from the same period last year, to 32,949 units and $10.821 billion, respectively. Volume – the sum of all transactions for July, August, and September of 2016 – was 5.8 percent higher than the same period last year, and 17.6 percent higher than the third quarter of 2014. Annualized residential sales, a rolling sum of the home sales closed in the preceding twelve months, rose 1.2 percent from 112,458 units in the preceding quarter to 113,817. Relative to last year’s third quarter, annualized sales rose 5.7 percent (from 107,639). Serial improvement in annualized sales, as demonstrated by Virginia’s eight consecutive periods of growth, indicates sustained market strengthening.

Aggregate median sales price for this quarter was $270,000, an increase of 1.9 percent from the third quarter of 2015 ($265,000). The average number of days on the market dropped from prior year benchmarks to an average of 61 for the 2016 third quarter, 10.3 percent lower than last year’s third quarter average (68 days). Atypical of industry seasonality, the average length of time on the market decreased from the second quarter to the third. Historically, the second quarter, with peak summer sales activity, exhibits the fastest pace from listing to close. The decrease in days on the market year-over-year and from the preceding quarter reflects strong buyer motivation, compelled by limited inventory and continued access to low-cost financing.

“Virginia’s third quarter housing market illustrates opportunity for both buyers and sellers,” said 2016 VAR President Bill White. “It’s a great time to list, as demand is still high from buyers who weren’t satisfied with limited summer inventory and prices are buoyed by their motivation. For buyers, more options are coming onto the market while they can still take advantage of historically low interest rates.”

Click here to view the Third Quarter Home Sales Report.q3-blog-graphic

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Virginia’s voter registration period extended until Friday, October 21, 2016

rp-vote-300Virginia’s voter registration period has been extended until 11:59 PM on Friday, October 21, 2016, after unprecedented web traffic prevented many people from completing their registrations online before the original deadline.

Virginians who are interested in registering to vote are encouraged to act as quickly as possible and, if they are able, to take advantage of all of the available ways to register to vote, including visiting a local registrar’s office or a Department of Motor Vehicles office.

For more information on how to register to vote, please visit http://www.elections.virginia.gov/registration/how-to-register/.

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VAR Legal Hotline video: Property Management a Licensed Activity?

VAR’s Erin Barton discusses the often misunderstood topic of property management and licensing in this video.

  • Do you need to be licensed to do property management?
  • Which property management tasks are licensed activities?
  • What exceptions are there, if any, to the licensing regulations for property management?

Need answers to these questions and more…push the play button above or click here to watch the video.



VAR Property Management Conference

Erin will be teaching a session at the upcoming Property Management Conference entitled Advertising for Property Managers. This course will provide substantive guidance to real estate licensees working in property management on advertising issues frequently asked of the attorneys at the Virginia Association of REALTORS®.

Topics include:

  • What is Advertising
  • Who Regulates Advertising
  • Agent/Owner Advertising
  • Tenant Referral Fees

Pending 1 Hour Legal Updates CE; 1 Hour Broker Management; No PL.

Save $30 on your registration price when you register before November 10th. Remember, this event sells out every year, so register early!

Date & Location
VAR Property Management Conference
November 16-18, 2016
Doubletree Hotel Charlottesville
990 Hilton Heights Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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Today is national ‘Get to Know Your Customers’ Day

October 20th is recognized as national “Get to Know Your Customers Day”. Get to Know Your Customers Day is observed annually on the third Thursday of each quarter in January, April, July, and October. This is a great day to reach out to your clients!get-to-know-customers

As mass consumerism has become mainstream, much of the personal attention to customers has gone by the wayside. REALTORS® make it a point to get to know our clients and to make each of them feel like they are our top priority.

Keeping in contact, handwritten notes, meaningful questions to understand them better, remembering their children’s or pet’s names, and sending a gift are good ideas for making your clients feel valued.

How do you get to know your clients better? Share your tips with us on social media and use the hashtags #VirginiaREALTORS #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay


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Free webinar: An Introduction to Property Management – What You Need to Know Before the Lease is Signed

An Introduction to Property Management:
What You Need to Know Before the Lease is Signed

Tuesday, November 8, 2016
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM EST
Free for VAR members

Join Erin Barton, VAR Staff Counsel and Laura Farley, VAR Deputy General Counsel for an introduction and general overview of property management and the process of getting the lease signed.

Topics to be discussed include:
• Differences between the Virginia Residential Landlord and Tenant Act and Virginia Common Law
• Required Disclosures by the Property Manager
• Application Deposits v. Application Fees v. Security Deposits
• Escrow Requirements
• Licensing Regulations
• VAR Property Management Forms

A live question and answer session will follow the webinar. Register today!

Comment!

VAR Legal Hotline video: Property Management a Licensed Activity?


VAR’s Erin Barton discusses the often misunderstood topic of property management and licensing in this video.

  • Do you need to be licensed to do property management?
  • Which property management tasks are licensed activities?
  • What exceptions are there, if any, to the licensing regulations for property management?

Need answers to these questions and more…push the play button above or click here to watch the video.



VAR Property Management Conference

Erin will be teaching a session during the upcoming Property Management Conference entitled Advertising for Property Managers. This course will provide substantive guidance to real estate licensees working in property management on advertising issues frequently asked of the attorneys at the Virginia Association of REALTORS®.

Topics include:

  • What is Advertising
  • Who Regulates Advertising
  • Agent/Owner Advertising
  • Tenant Referral Fees

Pending 1 Hour Legal Updates CE; 1 Hour Broker Management; No PL.

Save $30 on your registration price when you register before November 10th. Remember, this event sells out every year, so register early!

Date & Location
VAR 2016 Property Management Conference
November 16-18, 2016
Doubletree Hotel Charlottesville
990 Hilton Heights Road
Charlottesville, VA 22901

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VAR Local Association Leadership Summit 2016 re-cap

On Monday, October 10, 2016, leaders and staff of Local REALTOR® Associations and VAR gathered in Richmond to network, learn and prepare for the upcoming year.

The summit was led by incoming 2017 VAR President, Claire Forcier-Rowe, who provided a warm welcome, her personal leadership remarks and a review of the NAR Core Standards.leadership-summit-2

Guest speaker Steve Rizzo presented “Leadership Secrets from Near and Far.” As a comedian himself, he urged all future leaders to “get their SHIFT together” to inspire change and set an example for others, and while they’re at; laugh a little more!

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist, realtor.com provided an Economic Outlook to attendees, highlighting major economic factors that impacted the housing market this year, both nationally and across the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Following the summit, attendees visited the VAR Headquarters for an Open House. VAR Staff enjoyed having members and local association staff in the building to tell them more about what we do on a day-to-day basis here at VAR.

Thank you to the leaders, staff, speakers, and the sponsors, RPR and HMS for making this wonderful summit possible!
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