REALTORS® year-round commitment to safety

In light of the recent verdict, Beverly Carter’s attacker is found guilty placing safety in the national spotlight. NAR has created a number of resources encouraging safety awareness year around. Consider adding a personal safety protocol, such as smartphone apps and safety product.

Safety products include:

Mace Alert 911
Prop Lock
Women on Guard

Click here to read the article Open House Safety Tips.


Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association: Tips on Practicing Safe Real Estate in 2016

Hampton Roads REALTORS® Association members packed the  house on January 14th to hear Blake Hegeman, who is the Virginia Association of REALTORS® deputy general counsel, address the joint REALTOR®/Lawyer, Government Affairs and Resale Council Forum. Exploring “Tips on Practicing Safe Real Estate in 2016,” Hegeman’s interactive discussion piqued curiosity and sparked plenty of Q&A. Hegeman also served on the day’s attorney panel when affiliate member John Faber, Esq., presented his monthly “Legal Corner” case. In Addition, attorneys Richard Brian Campbell, Susan Walker and Dominic Lascara served on the panel. Hegeman’s expert presentations are always among the best attended events of HRRA and had almost 150 participating members.



VAR Deputy General Counsel Blake Hegeman


Blake and several of the presenting chairs. From left: Sherry Snyder, Resale Council chair; Cosette Woods, REALTOR®/Lawyer vice chair; Barbara Sgueglia, REALTOR®/Lawyer chair; Blake; Shewling Moy, Government Affairs chair; Dennis Russell. REALTOR®/Lawyer vice chair; and Kimblerly Plourde, REALTOR®/Lawyer vice chair.






Attorney panel: (from left) Richard Brian Campbell, Dominic Lascara, Susan Walker, and Blake Hegeman




Richmond predicted as fourth hottest housing market in 2016


Photo via Ron Cogswell/Flickr

It’s no surprise to Richmond REALTORS® that RVA has been predicted as the nation’s fourth hottest housing market in 2016, according to Tuesday’s article in the Richmond Times Dispatch.

The article described specific areas of Richmond that are up and coming.

 “The hottest neighborhoods here, according to the prediction, are all in the city: Church Hill, with a forecast of 6.7 percent in home value growth; followed by Carytown with a 5.3 percent home value growth; the Fan District at a 4.8 percent growth; northern Barton Heights with a 4.7 percent growth;and Forest Hill Terrace at 4.6 percent.”

Surprisingly, many cities ranked in the top 10 this year are not the large cities you often hear about, according to the article: “Rounding out the top 10 housing markets for 2016 are Boise, Idaho; Ogden, Utah; Salt Lake City; Omaha, Neb.; Sacramento, Calif., and Portland, Ore.”

In December 2015, Richmond was named #3 out of 50 Best Places to Travel [internationally] in 2016  by Travel+Leisure Magazine: “Virginia’s capital, with its Civil War monuments, distinctive architecture, and intriguing galleries, has started to draw a cosmopolitan crowd.”

In November 2015, Redfin named Richmond #9 out of 10 Top Most Walkable Mid-Sized Cities in the U.S.: The charming, historic homes, tree-lined streets and proximity to an array of shops and restaurants are a potent combination, creating strong demand and bidding wars.”

For more information on the Richmond housing market, visit the Richmond Association of REALTORS® Housing Market Statistics & Reports page.

Source: Hazard, C. (2016, January 12). Richmond is the nation’s fourth hottest housing market in 2016. Richmond Times-Dispatch.


VAR recorded webinar: January 2016 standard forms now available

PHOTO Laura Farely getting ready for Webinar Form Changes 1.12.2016

Laura Farley, VAR Deputy General Counsel helped members navigate the new form layouts and answered questions on the updated forms. Laura highlighted the changes to the VAR standard forms, effective January 1, 2016, including edits made to the listing agreements, buyer and tenant brokerage agreements, agent referral agreements, and lead based paint disclosures.

Click here to watch the recorded webinar, access the deck and other member only resources.






Advocacy Alert: General Assembly Kickoff

It’s that time of year again! No, I’m not talking about struggling to keep those New Year resolutions.  Wednesday, January 13th, kicks off the Virginia General Assembly 2016 Session in Richmond. All 100 Delegates and 40 Senators from around the Commonwealth descend on Richmond for 60 days of deliberation and voting on thousands of bills and budget amendments.

While it seems like the action is just starting, the process of developing VAR’s legislative agenda began several months ago.  Taking input from local associations and individual REALTORS®, the volunteer members of the Common Interest Community Subcommittee and the Public Policy Committee (PPC) vetted dozens of ideas and recommended a legislative package for the VAR Board of Directors to formally endorse.

The four initiatives included in VAR’s 2016 legislative agenda are:

-         Changes to the Property and Condominium Owner’s Association Acts.

-         Revisions to the Agency/Licensing Law.

-         Creation of licensure for Home Inspectors.

-         Allowing interpleaded escrow funds and earnest money deposits to be sent to the Housing Trust Fund.

In addition to these four REALTOR® requested pieces of legislation, the VAR Public Policy Committee will meet weekly during the session to vet several hundred bills, as well as a few budget items, to determine their potential impact on housing and private property rights.  The Public Policy Committee will then take a position of “support”, “oppose” or “amend” on each of these bills.

For more information on VAR’s agenda and updates on real estate related legislation, visit

Keep an eye on the Commonwealth Daily and VAR’s Facebook and Twitter accounts for future Advocacy Alerts on the latest happenings at the Virginia Capitol.

Finally, plan to attend VAR’s annual Get Active Legislative Advocacy Conference and Day on the Hill February 16-18 and join hundreds of fellow REALTORS® from around Virginia to voice your support for policies that promote home ownership and protect private property rights.


Fredericksburg Area REALTORS® gathered on Tuesday, January 12th, to host a roundtable discussion on the regional market and trends in the real estate industry. 2016 FAAR President Christine Singhass invited a panel of REALTOR® experts to address questions on the type and pace of sales in their regions and to share their observations of recent activity. Members agreed that seasonal trends have become harder to predict and that economic influences like retail expansion and job growth have impacted market demand.  The affordability and appeal of owning versus renting was a key feature of discussion, especially for those who represent buyers and sellers in the northern part of FAAR’s region, where housing prices are particularly affected by the commuter market. Rising prices indicate that the market is heating up, but they can also challenge first time homebuyers as inventory in starter price ranges becomes more and more limited. Looking ahead to 2016, the FAAR REALTORS® emphasized the importance of educating consumers on the benefits of homeownership and steps to take to purchase a home. Stafford REALTOR® Sherry Bailey, who serves on the Virginia Association of REALTORS® Board of Directors, said “With the improvement of the economy and interest rates remaining accessible, there are financial incentives to buy now – REALTORS® are the key to helping clients achieve that American Dream.”

FAAR will offer its members an opportunity to be certified to teach VHDA’s Homebuyer Education on February 25th; for information on registering click here.



Use the power of your voice during VAR’s REALTORS® Day on the Hill

Please plan to join your fellow REALTORS® from across the state at the Virginia Capitol for VAR’s annual Get Active Legislative Advocacy Conference and Day on the Hill. It will soon be time to meet and inform members of the House and Senate about legislation that could impact the real estate industry and your business! While you are in Richmond, please plan to take advantage of CE courses and the opportunity to network with REALTORS® from all over Virginia.

More Event Highlights

  • REALTORS® Day on the Hill with face-to-face visits with legislators (Wednesday, February 17th)
  • REALTORS® Day on the Hill Lunch featuring Charlie Cook, Editor and Publisher of The Cook Political Report and Columnist for the National Journal (ticket required and limited seats available)
  • 2015 RPAC Awards Ceremony and Reception
  • Legislative Reception at the Jefferson Hotel
  • Continuing education courses ​

Register before the early bird deadline which ends on Friday, January 15, 2016. Click here to see the complete agenda and register today!

February 16-18, 2016
VAR Legislative Advocacy Conference

Omni Richmond Hotel
100 South 12th Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219

IMG_0496 VAR-20150211-007-XL var-20150211-242



Best remodeling projects depend on future tenure

2015-remodeling-impact-report-2015-12-09-600According to a new study by the National Association of REALTORS®, the type of project you should consider depends on just that—whether you plan to enjoy the finished product yourself or make it more appealing to buyers. For example, REALTORS® ranked the addition of a bathroom, a complete kitchen renovation, a new master suite, new fiber-cement siding, a new front door, and new roofing as projects that brought the most personal joy to homeowners. Yet projects with the highest cost recovered upon selling were hardwood flooring refinish, an insulation upgrade, new wood flooring, new roofing, a new garage door and new vinyl siding.

NAR’s 2015 Remodeling Impact Survey to see what REALTORS®, consumers and home remodelers said were the best projects to tackle. Talk to REALTORS® in your area to find out what feature they see home buyers seeking.


Governor McAuliffe announces $196,000 in Building Collaborative Communities Funding

Grants encourage regional economic collaboration  

Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced $196,000 in funding for five collaborative efforts in Virginia through the Building Collaborative Communities (BCC) program. The BCC program was introduced in 2012 and designed to assist regions in creating and sustaining new economic opportunities across Virginia. The program promotes regional economic collaboration in economically distressed areas that stimulates job creation, economic development, and provides a significant return on state investment.

Speaking about today’s announcement, Governor McAuliffe said, “Successful regional partnerships have been created and prospered through the Building Collaborative Communities program.  Regional collaboration is a key in our efforts to build a new Virginia economy, and we continue to see the impact it has on building strong and sustainable communities throughout the Commonwealth.”

Selected projects will focus on and facilitate significant involvement from the private sector, economic development agencies, community organizations, educational institutions, nonprofits, local leaders and governmental officials.  Today’s announcement was made in Kilmarnock for the Northern Neck High-Tech Center. The following projects were awarded funding through the Building Collaborative Communities program:

Applicant and

Localities Targeted

Project Name Award Offer
New River Valley Planning District

(Counties of Floyd, Giles, Montgomery, Pulaski and the city of Radford)

New River Valley Regional Tourism      $ 25,000
Northern Neck Planning District

(Counties of Westmoreland, Richmond, Lancaster and Northumberland and the towns of Colonial Beach, Montross, Warsaw, Kilmarnock, White Stone and Irvington)

Northern Neck High-Tech Center      $ 70,000
Northern Shenandoah Valley Collaborative

(Counties of Clarke, Frederick, Page, Shenandoah and Warren and the towns of  Berryville, Boyce, Edinburg, Front Royal, Luray, Middletown, Mount Jackson, New Market, Shenandoah, Stanley, Strasburg, Stephens City, Toms Brook and Woodstock and the city of Winchester)

Northern Shenandoah Valley Collaborative      $ 40,000
Roanoke Regional Partnership

(Counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke, the cities of Roanoke and Salem and the town of Vinton)

Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority      $ 36,000
West Piedmont Planning District Commission

(Counties of Henry, Patrick and Pittsylvania; cities of Danville and Martinsville and the towns of Boones Mill, Rocky Mount, Chatham, Gretna, Hurt, Ridgeway and Stuart)

West Piedmont Planning District Regional Strategic Plan      $ 25,000


VAR Legal Video Series: Part 2 Buyer Brokerage & Tenant Brokerage Agreements

New Forms Part 2 Legal Video GRAPHIC

Click here to watch the video.

In this three part video series, VAR’s Laura Farley discusses the changes to the VAR Buyer Brokerage and Tenant Brokerage Agreements for January 2016. Click here to watch the video.

Also, sign-up for the VAR Webinar on the new forms on January 12, 2016 starting at 10:00 AM. Laura Farley, VAR Deputy General Counsel will highlight the changes to the VAR standard forms, effective January 1, 2016, including edits made to the listing agreements, buyer and tenant brokerage agreements, agent referral agreements, and lead based paint disclosures. Space is limited.

Webinar: January 2016 Standard Forms Update

Date: January 12, 2016

Time: 10:oo-11:oo AM

Presenters: Laura Farley, Deputy General Counsel

Registration: Click here to reserve your spot today