Giving Tuesday

The Tuesday after Thanksgiving has become an annual giving tradition – a day to elevate charitable giving during the holiday spending season.

REALTOR® generosity happens year-round. Throughout Virginia, REALTORS® impact communities and uplift neighbors. Whether you giving-tuesdayoffer assistance to the victims of natural disaster, mentor homeless and vulnerable Virginians, or support the Virginia REALTOR® partnership with Homes for Our Troops, your gift matters.

To give to Homes for Our Troops this Giving Tuesday, click here. Your gift makes mortgage-free homes happen for Virginia heroes.

To learn more about Virginia REALTOR® community outreach, or to share your own impact story, contact Jenny@VARealtor.com.

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Simple thanks

During this season of thanks, we wish you a safe and joyful time to celebrate your families, communities, and achievements. Your work makes a difference in the Virginia economy and in every one of our cities, counties, and neighborhoods.

Thank you, Virginia REALTORS®.

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NEWS ALERT: Federal Overtime Rule Blocked

A federal rule slated to take effect December 1 that had the potential to increase labor costs for employers in industries throughout the United States, including real estate, hit an unexpected roadblock on Tuesday when a Texas federal court blocked the rule from taking effect. The mandatory overtime rule wasn’t expected to have an effect on the compensation of real estate sales associates and brokers who are independent contractors and earn their income through commission sales, but it could have impacted the compensation of salaried employees of brokerages and state and local associations, among other employers in the industry. Read more here.

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Legal Video: Short Term Rentals

VAR’s Laura Farley provides an overview of short term rentals in Virginia. Click the video to watch. Discussion points include: 

 

  • The exclusion from the Virginia Residential Landlord Tenant Act for tenants renting property that is not their primary residence.
  • Using web based platforms to advertise short term rentals, including licensure requirements and required disclosures.
  • Discuss with your client any money that may be held by a third party (besides yourself).
  • Unlicensed individuals, except current tenants residing in the property, cannot be paid referral fees.

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October sales reflect seasonal balance, continued high demand

October 2016 residential real estate sales performed steadily relative to prior year benchmarks, rebalancing from a third quarter balloon and still reflecting high buyer demand. The value of transactions for October 2016 was $2.815 billion, up 1 percent from the same month in 2015 ($2.787 billion). Volume through the end of October 2016 exceeded $31.970 billion, a gain of 6.4 percent from last year’s accumulation of $30.050 billion.

As high demand overcame typical seasonal trends, October median price was unchanged month-over-month and was 5.0 percent higher than in the same month last year ($262,500 over $250,000 in October 2015). Typically, price drops month-to-month from June through the end of the year. Average length of time on the market decreased markedly year-over-year, by 16.7 percent (from 78 days last October to 65 this year). The number of October transactions in 2016 was slightly fewer than in 2015, declining 0.9 percent from 8,870 to 8,789. October sales reflect buyer eagerness to absorb inventory and take advantage of continued low financing rates.

Click here to view the full October 2016 Home Sales Report.

The historical trend line for October sales indicates sustained long term improvement.

The historical trend line for October sales indicates sustained long term improvement.

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REALTORS® Have a Heart: Hampton Roads members assist hurricane victims

The Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association (HRRA) has given essential aid to neighbors in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Through their REALTORS® Have a Heart Flood Relief effort, HRRA members have worked tirelessly to deliver care packages, going door to door in the areas most severely affected by October’s Hurricane Matthew. Additionally, the Virginia Association of REALTORS® and HRRA, in coordination with the Partnership for Housing Affordability and the national REALTOR® Relief Foundation, offered direct financial assistance for housing relief to Virginians affected by the storm and resultant damage. HRRA got the message out to the community, membership, and the media through mass emails and social media efforts. Members played a critical role in building awareness of the resources by sharing information with clients, neighbors, and fellow members once the grant monies were made available. Over $60,000 in assistance was granted to dozens of residents, and HRRA members are still helping with ongoing challenges. Volunteers have offered not only supplies and assistance in recovery, but also the support and listening of true neighbors.

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Read more here on the HRRA hurricane recovery effort, or contact Victoria Hecht at vhecht@hrra.com for more information. For information on the Virginia REALTOR® commitment to communities and housing opportunity resources, contact Jenny Wortham at Jenny@VARealtor.com.

 

Posted in Consumer, In the News, Local Associations | 1 Comment

Hale: Solutions to address Virginia’s rural housing challenges

In an op-ed in Wednesday’s Roanoke Times, VAR Past President Kit Hale laid out the results of a year-long review of rural housing trends and needs facilitated by Housing Virginia in partnership with the Virginia Association of REALTORS®.  The report, which was compiled from a series of rural housing stakeholder meetings around the Commonwealth, will be released this week at the Governor’s Housing Conference in Roanoke.

Hale, who is also chair of Housing Virginia, concluded, “We all have a responsibility to our neighbors around Virginia. Rural communities have received too little support in recent years and we do ourselves and the Commonwealth a disservice when we don’t undertake policies that address the needs of all Virginians. We need to ensure that the rural housing crisis in Virginia is not a silent crisis, but is instead one that we work together to solve.”

You can read Hale’s full op-ed here.

To learn more about the REALTORS®’ efforts with rural housing, contact VAR Senior Vice President of Communication & Public Relations Jenny Wortham.

Posted in Advocacy, Community Matters, Education, Senior | Leave a comment

Get your home ready for winter

winter-weather-tipsWhether you’re ready or not, winter is coming. And while we don’t know if this season will be milder or more severe than normal, it will undoubtedly be colder and gloomier than the rest of the year. However, there are steps that homeowners can take to protect their families and homes during the frigid fourth season.

In their “Spotlight: Get Ready to Hibernate” series, HouseLogic offers a rich resource of ideas to help insulate your financial and personal well-being against the onslaught of the winter months.

Topics include:

Tips for a Spring-Clean Home All Winter Long

9 Ways to Fool Yourself Into Thinking It’s Spring Inside

9 Mood-Lifting Ideas For a Cozier Home This Winter

7 Mistakes That Cost Homeowners BIG Money During Cold Weather

So take a little time today to research and prepare, and you’ll be able to weather the cold and emerge next spring in a better state.

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Legal Video: Designated Agency

VAR Attorney Blake Hegeman discusses aspects of designated agency, including:

  • What is designated agency?
  • How is a designated agency relationship formed?
  • Who represents the seller and buyer in designated agency relationships?
  • Can designated agency occur with less than three licensees?

Click the video to watch.

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Webinar now online: An Introduction to Residential Property Management

Check out the most recent legal webinar on VAR’s site now.  Laura Farley and Erin Barton offer a general overview of property management and the process of getting a lease signed. Discussion topics 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 Formsintro-to-pm-webinar

There’s still a chance to register for this year’s Property Management Conference, hosted November 16-18 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Don’t miss this opportunity for valuable education and networking!

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