April 25, 2019 

Roanoke Valley Associathion of REALTORS  

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REALTOR®            1304 Membership Update Logo
Offices                     133
Affiliate                   302

  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.
I-81 Update - During 2018, the Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) completed a lengthy study for improvements along I-81.  The findings of the "Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan" were reported to the General Assembly and the study identified a $2 billion package of projects along the corridor. 
During the 2019 General Assembly, two bills were passed regarding the Interstate 81 Corridor Improvement Plan. These bills called for further study but did not identify dedicated revenue sources for funding any improvements. On March 28th, Governor Northam came to Salem and announced amendments to the two bills, which would provide for dedicated funding sources for projects identified as priorities. The General Assembly, on April 3rd approved the Governor's funding amendments for I-81. 
Funding improvements to I-81 was a priority this session and it took a great deal of effort on the part of our legislators championing this issue to get it passed.  
Delegate Terry Austin and Senator John Edwards were patrons for bills during the session and were vocal leaders in finding a solution this year. Delegates Chris Hurst and Sam Rasoul were critical in garnering additional support from other parts of the state to get the Governor's amendments passed. We are very appreciative to Delegates Terry Austin, Chris Hurst, Sam Rasoul, and Senator John Edwards and thank them for their leadership on this important issue.
National Flood Insurance Program Update - The current NFIP extension is yet again scheduled to expire on May 31st. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is working on a revamp of the location/ replacement cost formula called "Risk Rating 2.0". This does show that FEMA is moving forward to make much needed reforms to the program and is working with Congress on these changes. 
I hope the extension in May does not get caught up in another contentious Continuing Resolution centered on the budget. However, if you have closings scheduled for late May on properties that require flood insurance, you should pay close attention to this issue. The easiest way to stay up to date on this, and other important issues, is to sign up for REALTOR® Party App alerts. Please see the article below to sign up for these alerts.  
If the National Association of REALTORS® does issue a Call for Action, please respond quickly to support an extension of the NFIP.
Article provided by Joe Sutliff, RVAR Director of Economic & Governmental Affairs. 
Sign Up for REALTOR® Party Mobile Alertsapp 
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, 2019 marks the 51st 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.
Recap from April BOD Meetingbod 
Click on the picture above to watch the next installment of President Neil Conner's video recap of what RVAR's Board of Directors accomplished at its April 11th meeting.
March Home Salesfeb    
The 447 homes sold in March represents a 38% increase over February slaes. The 570 homes placed under contract represents the highest March pendings since 2006. A link to the March homes sales statistics, including a 4-year comparison, is provided on the front page of RVAR.com. The MLS releases its monthly sales statistics around the 15th of the following month. 
Coming Soon Rules Go Into Effect May 6thsoon  
"Coming Soon" is an industry term for marketing a property before it is officially offered for sale. RVAR's Board of Directors has approved a new set of MLS rules which will accompany a new 'Coming Soon' status in FlexMLS. A new Coming Soon Addendum has also been approved.  
Effective May 6th, all Coming Soon listings located within the MLS service area shall be entered into the MLS system - in a Coming Soon status - no later than 24 hours or by 5:00PM next business day after the commencement date of the listing period as stated in the listing agreement. The Coming Soon period in the MLS will be a maximum of 21 days, after which the status of the listing will automatically change to Active in the MLS system.

Review the Coming Soon Rules for more information about MLS procedures, showings and advertising.  

A 30-day grace period (May 6th - June 5th) has been established to allow listing agents who currently have MLS Listing Exclusion forms on file with the MLS to enter those listings into the MLS in a 'Coming Soon' status. All MLS Listing Exclusion forms currently on file with the MLS will expire on June 5th - with the exception of those MLS Listing Exclusion forms which indicate the listing will not be entered into the MLS. The MLS will also provide a 30-day grace period (May 6th - June 5th) before the MLS begins issuing Coming Soon related violations and/or fines.

Questions? Contact RVAR's CEO Laura Benjamin or contactus@rvar.com.

Special thanks to the Coming Soon Work Group who reviewed Coming Soon Rules from 10 different MLSs in order to create RVAR's new rules: Chair Kit Hale, Kathy Chandler, Ashley Donahue, Damon Gettier, Donna Greer, Donna Marie Harris and Tom Wilson.    
Form Changes Effective May 1stform  
Revisions are being made to five RVAR standard forms, effective May 1st. Plus the new Coming Soon Addendum (mentioned above) will become available. Click here for a description of the revisions being made.
MLS Changes effective May 6thmls   
In addition to the new Coming Soon status (see article above) being implemented in the MLS on May 6th, several additional changes will be made:
  • USDA will be added to the How Sold choices when closing a listing
  • The labels for the fields for the # of parking spaces will changed
  • For listings with Water Access Only, a new required field will be added:  Location of Off Site Water Access
  • The Tax ID field will be expanded to 50 characters

Join us on Thursday, April 25th from 5:00 until 7:00PM at Bridgewater Bay Clubhouse in Moneta for our Luau-inspired REALTOR® After Hours! There will be great food, music, door prizes, 50/50 cash raffle, lively conversation and... assorted beverages! This event is made possible by our fantastic 2019 Partner/Sponsors!  
Bring a business card for a chance to win terrific cash door prizes.  
Grab your grass skirts and Hawaiian shirts 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 27th 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 2019 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.
NEW FOR 2019!! RVAR is excited to announce that registration is now open for the newest addition to our event calendar! The 2019 RVAR Lake Golf Tournament will be held at Waterfront Country Club at Smith Mountain Lake on Monday, May 13th. The day will start with check-in and a box lunch at 11:00AM and shotgun start at 12:00PM. It's going to be a great day of golf with great prizes and giveaways! Plus, what better way to start off your week! 

Click here to register yourself or your foursome today! 
Start off your Memorial Day weekend early with the RVAR! 5 O'clock Hops will be in Botetourt on Thursday, May 23rd at Ballast Point Brewing Company, (555 International Parkway, Daleville, VA 24083) from 5:00PM 'til 7:00PM.  
No Registration Required for 5 O'clock Hops - just show up! And bring a friend!

*    Appetizers Provided!
*    Enjoy Ballast Point's beer and wine selections! 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 2019 Partner/Sponsors.  
May Tech Lunch & Learnlearn 
Plan to join RVAR's Technology Committee for its Tuesday, May 7th Lunch & Learn (11:30AM-1:30PM) - Apps to Add to Your REALTOR® Toolkit. Tech Committee members will share their favorite apps - for both iPhones and Androids - plus most are free! The types of apps will range from photo editing to safety to mortgage calculators. Come prepared to share your favorite apps!

Bring your lunch and phone or tablet - RVAR will provide drinks, chips and dessert! Click here to register for this FREE event. 
The "Economic Update" presents updates on timely topics that have an impact on you and your business.

The next "Economic Update" for 2019 will be held on Tuesday, May 21st with Pete Eshelman, Director of Roanoke Outside as our presenter.  Pete is enthusiastic about all things outside and will give an update on some exciting developments taking place throughout the Roanoke region. He will also highlight the important economic impact of our outside amenities and the importance of those amenities to your business.  Make plans to attend this informative and helpful update about what is taking place outside in the greater Roanoke 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 Pete Eshelman'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.
NAR Report: Results of StagingNAR 
As the spring home buying season is in full swing, a new survey from NAR shows that 83% of buyer agents say that staging makes it easier for buyers to visualize a property as their future home. Other insights from NAR's 2019 Profile of Home Staging:
  • The most common rooms that were staged included the living room (93%), kitchen (84%), master bedroom (78%) and the dining room (72%).  
  • A median of 10% of survey respondents cited that buyers felt homes should look the way they were staged on TV shows.
  • Thirty-eight percent of respondents said that TV shows which displayed the buying process impacted buyers' expectations of the buying process.
  • One-quarter of buyer agents said that staging a home increased the dollar value offered between one and five percent compared to other similar homes on the market that are not staged. Thirty-nine percent of seller agents reported an increase in dollar value offered due to staging.
Click here to read more of NAR's report.
NAR REALTOR® Safety Networksafety 
NAR has just initiated a new REALTOR® Safety Network. Members can go to NAR's website to report an incident. An NAR response team will evaluate the submission to confirm it meets the criteria for a REALTOR® Safety Alert - which NAR would share via social media when a physical or cyberthreat to REALTORS® warrants national attention. For incidents that do not meet the criteria for a national alert, the REALTOR® Safety Team will ensure the local association is informed.

Examples that might trigger a national safety alert:
  • A pattern of assaults against REALTORS® has been reported
  • A REALTOR® or the immediate family member of a REALTOR® goes missing
  • NAR learns that an Association name or the name of a member is being used fraudulently to attempt to collect money or information for REALTORS® or other.
Broker CE Class Scheduledbroker 
RVAR is partnering with John Dickinson of the Moseley Dickinson Academy of Real Estate to offer the required 8 hour Broker CE class on Friday, October 11th, 8:30AM-4:30PM at the RVAR office. Mark your calendar! Registration for this class will open later in the year.
Upcoming Educationeducation 
Evaluating Rental Properties: Are you or your clients looking for investment properties? Learn how to evaluate rental properties on Friday, May 10th, 8:30AM-12:30PM. Instructor John Dickinson will address financing options, cash-flow analysis, impact on taxation and strategies to reduce taxes. CE credits = 4 hours Real Estate Related. Click here to register.

Radon in Virginia Real Estate Transactions: Radon is common in the Greater Roanoke Valley. Learn all about radon from Ryan Paris, Radiation Safety Specialist and Radon Coordinator for the VA Department of Health. This Wednesday, May 15th class (9:00-11:00AM) will explain how to test for radon and how to mitigate the radon levels. Click here to register for this FREE class.
Need CE/PL credit? Just pay $10 at the door for 2 hours CE credit (Real Estate Related) or 2 hours PL credit (Current Industry Issues/Trends.)
GRI 505 Working with Sellers: Well-known instructor LeRoy Houser returns to conduct this class on Wednesday, May 22nd (9:00AM-4:30PM) at the RVAR office. Learn proven strategies for lead generation for Sellers. Learn tips for listing presentations and a 'how to' for marketing listings in your local area. Strengthen your communication skills with sellers. PL credits = 2 hours Current Industry Issues / Trends). Click here to register.
Code of Ethics Training - This Wednesday, June 12th (9:00AM-Noon) 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. Click here to register. (Can't make this class? RVAR will offer this class again on November 20th.
Our RVAR Family family
RVAR offers condolences to Mary Kay Thurman of RE/MAX All Stars upon the death of her grandson; to Wendy Gilbert of RE/MAX All Points upon the death of her father; to Jody Lyons of Lyons Team, REALTORS® upon the death of his mother; and to Vicki McAllister of Homestead Settlement Service upon the death of her husband and BJ Frye of Young Realty upon the death of her sister.  

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

April 25th
REALTOR® After Hours at the Lake
April 27th
Community Service: Renovation Alliance
May 10th
Class: Evaluating Rental Properties
May 13th
Lake Golf Tournament
May 21st
Economic Update
May 22nd
Class: GRI 505 Working with Sellers
May 23rd
5 O'clock Hops
May 27th
RVAR Office Closed for Holiday
June 12th
Class: Ethics


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