April 26, 2018  

Roanoke Valley Associathion of REALTORS  

   You are receiving this online enewsletter as a benefit of being a member of the Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS®.

REALTOR®            1,237 Membership Update Logo
Offices                     130
Affiliate                    265

Click here to see which RVAR members have switched firms, gone inactive, or joined recently.
Advocacy @ Workadvocacy
Advocacy @ Work is an article aimed at updating members on what is happening in our region regarding Economic Development and/or Governmental Affairs.  

General Assembly Update

Virginia's General Assembly has now completed the regular 60-day session. Though Legislators are still working to finalize the budget.  

Virginia REALTORS® proposed 7 bills this year (5 passed unanimously) and all have now been signed by the Governor. Three bills of particular interest to mention:

*     Team Legislation - Defines a Real Estate Team and makes it clear that Teams will have to obtain a business entity license.
*     Earnest Money Deposits - Establishes in statute a right for the Broker to give written notice to the parties and disburse an EMD in accordance with the "clear terms of a real estate purchase contract".  Also, gives Brokers an option to give written notice of intended disbursement, with a 15-day "protest period" for one of the parties to object in writing (instead of the current 30-day period).
*     Condo & POA Summary - Requires Condo & Property Owner Associations to provide a short summary of important information contained in the packet. This summary will provide buyers with a brief list of items that could affect their decision to purchase (e.g., pet restrictions, parking / vehicular restrictions, special assessments, etc.).  This legislation was proposed by RVAR.

Most bills become law on July 1st except for the Team Legislation and the changes to continuing education requirements (HB864/SB514) which go into effect January 1, 2019.

Virginia REALTORS® has produced a nice visual that highlights the successes of the session and the bills. Click here to see a copy of "By the Numbers".

USDA Eligibility Maps

USDA routinely evaluates various areas that might no longer be considered rural. At the end of February, it came to our attention that the USDA was currently evaluating its Eligibility Area Maps. Two areas the USDA considers to be the Hollins (Roanoke County) and Hollins (Botetourt County) areas were on the list to eliminate from the Rural Development Housing Loan Program.

RVAR 2018 President Connie Hash and I sent a letter, with data, requesting both areas remain on the Eligibility Area Maps. So, I have some good news - the USDA retained the Hollins (Botetourt County) area. However, effective June 4th, the Hollins (Roanoke County) area will no longer be eligible for the USDA Rural Development Housing Loan Program. The maps are address specific, so if you have a property on the outlying areas of that part of Roanoke County, I encourage you to check with the USDA site, if you are seeking to use the USDA loan program.

Greenways Plan Released

Roanoke Valley Greenway Commission released the Draft 2018 Greenways Plan on Thursday, April 19th. The Greenways Plan helps to determine projects and priorities for the future. Click here to learn more about the plan and share your thoughts through a short survey.  

Article provided by Joe Sutliff, RVAR Director of Economic & Governmental Affairs
 REALTOR® Party App app

We are stronger together!  Our voice is heard when REALTORS® work together in support of policies and regulations that promote homeownership and the real estate industry through the REALTOR® Party.  The REALTOR® Party is the only organization in America that fights exclusively for homeownership, real estate investment, strong communities and private property rights.

REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts, NAR's advocacy texting platform, offers REALTOR® Associations and REALTORS® a way to stay connected directly from their cell phone or tablet. When a national or state legislative call for action is launched, subscribers get a short text message, containing information to take action.

You can sign up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alerts by texting the word REALTORS to 30644. That's it! Now, you are ready to take action!
April is Fair Housing Monthfair  

April, 2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the 1968 landmark Fair Housing Act. The Fair Housing Act prohibits housing discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap. Every April, REALTORS® celebrate Fair Housing Month to reaffirm their continuing commitment to fair and equitable treatment and a professional level of service for all in their search for real property.

In honor of Fair Housing Month, take a moment to review the resources available at FairHousing.realtor.

The "Economic Update" (formerly Speaker's Forum) is excited to present updates on timely topics that have an impact on you and your business.

The "Economic Update" will be held on Wednesday, May 23rd with Beth Doughty, Executive Director of the Roanoke Regional Partnership as our presenter.  Beth has served as Executive Director twice - from 1991 to 1999 and since March 2008. She also serves as executive of the Roanoke Outside Foundation and executive director of the Western Virginia Regional Industrial Facility Authority.  Beth always is knowledgeable and insightful about what is taking place in the region.  Don't miss this opportunity!

The "Economic Update" will start at 8:45AM with coffee, juice and pastries provided.  The presentation will begin at 9:00AM at the RVAR office with a brief welcome followed by Beth Doughty's presentation and include time for questions & answers.  We will conclude no later than 10:00AM.

There is NO CHARGE to attend this event, but seating is limited.  Click here to register or contact the RVAR office.

The "Economic Update" has the goal of providing local, informative presentations regarding topics that affect you and your business. All REALTOR® and Affiliate members are encouraged to attend.
Franklin County Seeks REALTOR® Input on Subdivision Changesfranklin 

The Franklin County Planning Commission is proposing amendments to the County's Subdivision and Fee Schedule, the first major update since the mid 1970's. The proposed amendments include definitions pertaining to subdivisions, including public street requirements and private road standards. Click here for more information.

The Planning Commission is seeking input from REALTORS®, citizens and interested public. The next Commission public hearing will be held on Tuesday, May 8th at 6PM at the Franklin County Government Center, 1255 Franklin St., Rocky Mount VA 24151. For additional information, contact: Terrance Harrington, Senior Planner, Planning & Community Development (540) 483-3027 ext. 2430.
Protect Your Business and Clients from Cyberfraudprotect  

By 2019, cybercrime will cost businesses an estimated $2 trillion annually, according to NAR. Don't be part of that statistic! Implement the following best practices to safeguard you, your clients and your business from online criminals, as recommended by NAR.

Best email practices: Unsecure email accounts are open doors to cyber criminals. Follow these guidelines to help keep that door securely shut and locked tight.
  • Whenever possible, avoid sending sensitive information via email.
  • Never trust contact information in unverified emails.
  • If an email looks even slightly suspicious, do not click on any links in it, and do not reply to it. Either ignore / delete the email or check with the alleged sender of the email.
  • Clean out your email account regularly. You can always store important emails on your hard drive.
  • Do not use free wifi to transact business.
  • Avoid using free email accounts for business.
  • Use strong passwords; change your passwords regularly.
Best transaction practices: Real estate transactions require flurries of information between numerous parties. This makes for primetime opportunities for fraudsters. How do you secure your deal?
  • From the very start of any transaction, communicate and educate. Get all parties to the transaction up to speed on fraud 'red flags', and make sure everyone implements secure email practices.
  • Consider adding the following wire fraud notice to your email signature line.
  • IMPORTANT NOTICE: Never trust wiring instructions sent via email. Cyber criminals are hacking email accounts and sending emails with fake wiring instructions. These emails are convincing and sophisticated. Always independently confirm wiring instructions in person or via a telephone call to a trusted and verified phone number. Never wire money without double-checking that the wiring instructions are correct.
  • When wiring money, the person doing the wiring should pick up the telephone and call the intended recipient of the wired funds immediately prior to sending the funds in order to verify the wiring instructions.
  • Remember to use only independently verified contact information.
Best damage control practices: It's happened. A breach of data, a successful scam, a hack. What to do?
  • If a money wire has gone out, immediately contact the bank to try and stop the funds.
  • Notify all affected or potentially affected parties.
  • Change all of your passwords. If possible, change usernames as well.
  • Talk to your attorney.
  • Contact the police.
  • Report the breach to the  FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center.
  • Notify RVAR.
Click here for NAR's Data Security and Privacy Toolkit.

REALTOR® After Hours @ the Lake rah

Join us on Thursday, April 26th from 5:00 until 7:00PM at Bridgewater Bay Clubhouse in Moneta for our Great Gatsby-inspired REALTOR® After Hours! There will be great food, music, door prizes, 50/50 cash raffle, lively conversation and... assorted beverages! No money necessary for this party, it's a free event made possible by our fantastic 2018 Partner / Sponsors!
Bring a business card for a chance to win terrific cash door prizes.

Grab your favorite guy or gal and plan to join your REALTOR® & Affiliate friends for a fun evening... at the Lake! Click here to register and for details about this free event!
RVAR Community Service Day Projectproject

RVAR's next Community Service Day is being held on Saturday, April 28th as we support Renovation Alliance for their Community Renovation Day, an effort dedicated to rebuilding the homes of low-income homeowners across the Roanoke Valley. These projects usually consist of both some interior and exterior repairs, doing some painting, carpentry work as well as general clean up, lawn and garden work.

Would you help make a difference in our community by donating just a few hours of your time to join your fellow REALTORS® & Affiliates for a worthwhile and rewarding day?  Your help is needed no matter your skill level! You can stay for part of the day or all day and lunch will be served for all volunteers. Sign up to help out by clicking here to complete the volunteer form. This charitable effort is organized by RVAR's Community Service Committee and sponsored by our 2018 Partner / Sponsors. Contact Jim at the RVAR Office with any questions.
You can also call the RVAR at 540-772-0526 to have us register you for the shift of your choice.
Start off your Memorial Day weekend early with the RVAR! 5 O'clock Hops will be in downtown Roanoke on Thursday May 24th at Big Lick Brewing Company, (409 Salem Ave SW, Roanoke, VA 24016) from 5:00PM 'til 7:00PM.  You are welcome to bring your significant other or friends!
No Registration Required for 5 O'clock Hops - just show up! And bring a friend!

*    Appetizers Provided!
*    Enjoy Big Lick's beer selection! Or something non-alcoholic, if you prefer. (First round is on us!)
*    Door Prizes for REALTORS® & Affiliates! Bring a business card!   
This event is sponsored by our outstanding 2018 Partner/Sponsors.

Plan to attend RVAR's Membership Meeting, Wednesday, June 20th, 11:30AM - 2:30PM at the South County Library. Learn the latest RVAR and MLS news, plus hear a message from Virginia REALTORS® President Jay Mitchell. Box lunches will be provided. Then stay for a 2 hour CE class taught by John Dickinson of Moseley Dickinson Academy of Real Estate (this class will provide required credit 1 hour Agency; 1 hour Contracts.) Attend the entire event (including lunch and CE class) for $10; or attend the presentations and lunch (no class) for free. Thank you to RVAR's Partner / Sponsors for providing the box lunches. Registration will open soon.
RPAC & You!  rpac 

RPAC is the REALTORS® Political Advocacy Committee.

Henry Scholz, Director of Commercial Real Estate Services at MKB, REALTORS®, says "RPAC represents my investment to make sure that individual property rights are defended. RPAC also exemplifies an investment in helping to determine how my business is regulated."

The issues that impact your bottom line are the RPAC issues. Those are the issues we advocate for - to empower your success and protect your opportunities.
RVAR Charity of the Monthcharity

Each month we will highlight one of the 12 charities that RVAR supports through volunteering, donations and awareness. With the assistance of our Community Service Committee, we strive to give back to our communities and citizens that make up the beautiful Roanoke Valley.

Our April focus on charity and community outreach is Angels of Assisi.

Angels of Assisi seeks to change the traditional definition of an animal shelter by offering services and programs to benefit the community, the people that live there, and the pets they love. The organization operates the largest private animal shelter in the Roanoke Valley, as well as a low cost Community Pet Clinic and farm animal sanctuary. Through the Community Pet Clinic and Adoption Center, Angels of Assisi is able to provide resources to pet owners to keep their pets happy and healthy. The adoption center puts emphasis on these services to help people be able to keep their pets over turning them in to the shelter. Angels of Assisi strives to be a resource to the community and also offers services to area and rural shelters to help end the euthanasia of healthy, adoptable pets.

For more information on Angels of Assisi please visit their website at www.angelsofassisi.org.
Does Your Facebook Page Comply?comply

Do you use your Facebook page to promote your real estate business and/or promote individual listings, open houses etc.? If so, then your Facebook page MUST contain the following online advertising disclosures required by the Code of Ethics and the Virginia Real Estate Board:
  • Firm name
  • City and State of Firm's main office (or, if applicable, Firm's branch with which REALTOR® is affiliated)
  • State(s) of licensure
You must either (1) include the required online disclosures on the first screen people see when they reach your Facebook page OR (2) include a link on your Facebook page that is one click away to a website with the required disclosures clearly displayed (usually an agent's website.) Questions? Contact Laura Benjamin at the RVAR office.

NOTE: These same disclosure requirements apply should you make real estate-related or listing specific postings on Twitter.
Upcoming Educationeducation                              

Lender Panel: Making It Easier for You and Your Clients
The Education Committee will offer this class on Thursday, May 17th, 10-11:30AM at the RVAR Office, focused on the following key topics:
  • Appraisals (what happens when the appraisal doesn't support the contract price; how to dispute an appraisal)
  • Government vs. Non-Government loans (including lender requirements)
  • Credit issues
  • Data demographic changes
This class will be emceed by Scott Vaughan (Embrace Home Loans) with the following presenters: Tom Floyd (Member One Federal Credit Union); David Hipes (BB&T Mortgage); Adam Johnston (Freedom First Federal Credit Union) and Gail Perry (American National Bank.) Click here to register for this FREE class.
GRI 507 Ethics and Professional Responsibilities: Instructor Tim Vohar will conduct this class on Tuesday, May 22nd (9:00AM - 4:30PM) at the RVAR Office. This class will focus on how the Code of Ethics helps your business, including hands-on case studies. CE credits = 4 hours Ethics + 2 hours Fair Housing; PL credits = 3 hours Ethics and Standards of Conduct + 2 hours Fair Housing. Click here to register.
Already have your GRI designation? Contact Louann Pagans to register for this class at the reduced rate of $45, includes materials and CE credits, but no exam
Code of Ethics Training - This Monday, June 25th (1:00-4:00PM) class, taught by John Dickinson, not only provides 3 hours of CE credit for license renewal, but also meets NAR's ethics training requirement. NAR requires all REALTORS® to complete 3 hours of Code of Ethics training every two years. The current two-year cycle ends December 31, 2018. Click here to register.   
Our RVAR Familyfamily

RVAR expresses sympathy to Kappy High of Gracious Living Realty upon the recent death of her son and to Sterling Broyles of Campbell Realty upon the death of his mother.


RVAR congratulates Affiliate Bob Sowder of Bob Sowder Real Estate Photography, winner of the 2018 "Best of Real Estate Photography" by Houzz, a national home remodeling and design website.

Let RVAR know if you have news to share. 
Upcoming EventsUpcoming 

April 26th
April 28th
May 17th
May 22nd 
May 23rd
May 24th
May 28th
June 20th
June 25th

REALTOR® After Hours at the Lake
Community Service Day - Renovation Alliance
Lender Panel
GRI 507 Ethics and Professional Responsibilities
Economic Update
5 O'Clock Hops at Big Lick Brewing Company
RVAR closed for Memorial Holiday
Membership Meeting
Code of Ethics Training

Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS® 
Proudly Recognizes Our 2018 Partner / Sponsors partner 
Platinum Level Partner / Sponsor

Gold Level Partner / Sponsor 
Acquisition Title & Settlement Agency, Inc.
 Blue Eagle Credit Union 
Colonial Mortgage Company
Colonial Title & Settlement Agency, LLC  
Consolidated Construction Services, Inc.
First Citizens Bank   
Southwest Virginia Moving & Storage
Union Mortgage Group    
Virginia Title Center, LLC  
Silver Partner / Sponsor
Bug Man Exterminating, Inc. 
First American Home Warranty 
HMS National Home Warranty
Lawrence Moving & Storage
Old Republic Title
Seal-Tite Basement Waterproofing Co.
Sticks & Bricks Home Inspections, LLC
VIA Insurance Agency, LLC 
  |  540.772.0526