July 27, 2017 

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®           1,194 Membership Update Logo
Offices                     132
Affiliate                    244

  Click here to see which RVAR members
have switched firms, gone inactive, or joined recently.

Interested in a leadership role in RVAR? Are you ready to give back to the REALTOR® community? Do you have fresh ideas for change?

RVAR's Board of Directors has announced the following leadership openings for 2018:
President-elect, Vice President and 3 Director positions. Based on Bylaws revisions approved last year, the process for applying for a Director or Officer position has been streamlined:

*    The application period begins Tuesday, August 1st and ends on Monday, October 2nd.

*    A period of RVAR membership is required: 2 years for Directors, 3 years for Vice President
     and 4 years for President-elect.

*    No more than 2 members from the same firm may serve at the same time on the Board of
      Directors, with the exception of the Immediate Past President.

*    All applicants must meet the following objective criteria:
     o  Must have served on an RVAR Committee, Task Force etc. within the previous 10 years;
     o  Must not have had a Virginia Real Estate Board violation within the previous 2 years;
     o  Must not have had a Code of Ethics violation within the previous 2 years.

The Board is a hardworking body of 12 REALTORS® who set policy for RVAR and the MLS. The group meets 10 times each year to ponder issues, solve problems and manage the Association and MLS funds. If you are interested or have any questions about the requirements and benefits of serving on the Board of Directors, please contact President Kathy Chandler or CEO Laura Benjamin. Click here for more information on the candidate application process, including the application form.

Continuing their service on the 2018 Board will be: President Connie Hash (MKB); Immediate Past President Kathy Chandler (MKB); and Directors Bitsy Davis (Long & Foster), Becky Fields (BHHS Premier), Jeff Fletcher (BHHS Premier) and Renee Wiggins (RE/MAX All Stars).
Home sales for the first half of 2017 equaled 2,600 residential properties sold, with an average price of $208,390. During that same time frame (January - June, 2017), 3,140 residential properties went under contract in the MLS. These statistics are based on properties listed in the Roanoke Valley MLS.

MLS historical records indicate that the 2,600 homes sold during the first half of 2017 is the highest such number since the 2,791 homes sold during the first half of 2006, with an average price of $201,897. Back in July, 2006, RVAR had 1,689 REALTOR® members, much higher than the 1,194 members RVAR has today. 
 MLS Listing Exclusion - New Form RequiredMLS

The MLS Rules permit a listing agent to take a listing even if the Seller does not want the listing entered into the MLS -- either for a specific period of time (such as with a 'coming soon' listing) or at all. Effective August 1st, MLS exclusions must be submitted on the new, required MLS Listing Exclusion form. This form will be added to RVAR's zipForms library by August 1st.

RVAR's Broker Council recommended the creation of a required, standardized form and assisted with its design.
REALTOR® Liability for Unlicensed Home InspectorsInspector

Effective July 1st, the act of performing a home inspection for compensation in Virginia requires a license issued by DPOR. Also effective July 1st, home inspections of new construction requires a licensed home inspector with the additional New Residential Structure (NRS) specialty designation.

The Virginia REALTORS® advises that you may be liable if you recommend an unlicensed home inspector. "Agents will be liable for recommending unlicensed home inspectors in the same way that they are liable for recommending unlicensed contractors, etc. Not only is there potential liability if the home inspector makes a mistake, there is also potential liability to the client if an unlicensed home inspector is used pursuant to a home inspection contingency which requires a licensed inspector." The Virginia REALTORS® also advised that E&O insurance "will likely not cover any liability for recommending unlicensed home inspectors."

Click here for more guidance on this issue from the Virginia REALTORS®.
2017 RVAR Annual Golf Tournamentgolf

The 2017 RVAR Golf Tournament will be returning to Roanoke Country Club on Friday, September 8th. The day will start with check-in and a box lunch at 11:00AM and shotgun start at 12:00. Roanoke Country Club does an outstanding job hosting this event and this should be a fantastic tournament. Plus, what better way to start your weekend!  

The price is still just $60 per player / $240 per team which includes box lunch, range balls, golf and a reception with some great prizes. The Community Service Committee will again be holding a 50/50 raffle to benefit some of the RVAR charities, so bring some extra cash.

Start putting your team together and come play for $1,000 in CASH prizes (plus annual braggin' rights!) to the top two Net and Gross scoring teams. We will again have a Hole in One contest with a chance at $20,000.  

We expect this Tournament to be sold out, so register early!  Click here for all the details and the registration form.
Advocacy @ Work advocacy 

Advocacy @ Work is an article aimed at updating members on what is happening in our region regarding Economic Development and/or Governmental Affairs.

Has Flood Insurance ever affected one of your transactions?  If it has, you know firsthand the importance for purchasers to be able to obtain Flood Insurance for the transaction to move forward, and successfully close.  Without the National Flood Insurance Program, many properties in the Roanoke Valley, Salem, Vinton and surrounding counties would not be marketable without very expensive insurance coverage provided by private insurers - if available at all.  

Did you know that the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is scheduled to expire on September 30th?  

The National Association of REALTORS® Public Policy team is (has been!) working and monitoring the progress of the reauthorization of the NFIP. NAR has made enacting a five-year reauthorization of the NFIP a legislative priority for 2017.  On July 19th, NAR reached an agreement to move closer to this goal by working to make key changes to H.R. 2874, "The 21st Century Flood Reform Act". Some of the important aspects of this bill are:
*    The bill would reauthorize the NFIP for five years!
*    No changes to the grandfathering rules
*    Work to address NAR's affordability concerns
*    Improve accuracy of flood mapping
The Senate Banking Committee is working on its own version of this legislation.

In May, representatives of the RVAR and I met individually with our local House members in DC and expressed our desire to see this legislation passed without a lapse in the program.  Virginia REALTORS® have also stressed the same need to both Senators Warner and Kaine's offices.

NAR is hopeful that both the House of Representatives and the Senate could agree on legislation prior to the looming August Congressional Recess and the September 30th expiration of the current program.  Stay tuned! 
Article provided by Joe Sutliff, RVAR Director of Economic & Governmental Affairs.
Home Staging Decreases Time on the Marketstaging

Sixty-two percent of listing agents say that staging a home decreases the amount of time a home spends on the market, according to the National Association of REALTORS® 2017 Profile of Home Staging.

Seventy-seven percent of buyer's agents said that staging a home makes it easier for buyers to visualize the property as their future home. However, 38 percent of buyers' agents said that staging positively affects a home's value if the home is decorated to the buyer's taste, meaning that a home's staging should be designed to appeal to the largest number of potential buyers.

REALTORS® representing both buyers and sellers agreed that the living room is the most important room in a home to stage, followed by the master bedroom and the kitchen. The guest bedroom is considered the least important room to stage.

Beyond staging, agents also named the most common home improvement projects they recommend to sellers: 99 percent recommend decluttering the home, 89 percent recommend an entire home cleaning, 81 percent recommend carpet cleaning and 80 percent recommend removing pets during showing.

Click here to read the full report.
The 5 Hurdles to Buying a Homebuying

Despite record low mortgage rates, strong job growth and considerable consumer interest in owning a home, the U.S. homeownership rate is stuck near a 50-year low. Here are the 5 main reasons why too many prospective buyers are still not reaching the market, based on a study commissioned by the National Association of REALTORS®:

Tight mortgage credit standards: Borrowers with good-to-excellent credit scores are not getting approved at the rate they were in 2003, prior to the period of excessively lax lending standards. Safely restoring lending requirements to accessible standards is key to helping creditworthy households purchase homes

Student debt burden: Young households are repaying an increasing level of student loan debt making it extremely difficult to save for a down payment, qualify for a mortgage and afford a mortgage payment. Policy changes need to be enacted that address soaring tuition costs and make repayment less burdensome.

Post-foreclosure stress disorder: There are long-lasting psychological changes in financial decision-making for the 9 million homeowners who experienced foreclosure, the 8.7 million people who lost their jobs and some young adults who witnessed the hardships of their family and friends.

Single-family housing affordability: Lack of inventory, higher rents and home prices, difficulty saving for a down payment and investors scooping up single-family homes have all lead to declining affordability conditions.

Insufficient single-family housing supply: New construction of single-family homes plummeted after the recession and is still failing to keep up with demand. Fewer property lots, higher prices plus difficulty finding skilled labor all contribute to this shortage.

Click here for the full report.
REALTOR® Conventions in the Fallconvention

Virginia REALTORS® Convention comes to The Hotel Roanoke, October 3-5, 2017. Plan to  attend and welcome fellow REALTORS® from across Virginia.

The Convention is a must-attend opportunity to grow your business through powerful education from the nation's real estate stars and relationship building with successful members. Attending the Convention gets you 'in the know' about Virginia real estate and puts you in the mix with industry leaders from the state and nation.

NAR's Annual Convention will be held in Chicago, November 3rd - 6th. Choose from more  than 100 education sessions during the four days, plus the largest real estate trade show in the world, featuring nearly 400 exhibitors with the latest innovations and products. Plenty of networking opportunities plus a celebrity concert featuring John Fogerty and Olympic Gold Medalist, Michael Phelps.
VR Broker Daybroker

Brokers, Managers and those who aspire to be a Broker in the future -- plan to attend VAR's Fall Broker Day 2017 on Thursday, September 14th, 9AM - 4:30PM in Richmond VA. Sessions include a keynote presentation by Steve Murray, REAL Trends founder and industry icon, plus a session on broker supervision requirements and best practices. The Virginia REALTORS® legal team will present case studies on 'failure to supervise' violations. (Approval is pending for 3 hours Broker CE.) Cost to attend is $125 by July 31st; then the fee increases to $150. Click here for more information or to register.

"My RVAR Commitment Matters": Valeria Alphinmy  

Valeria Alphin, with Long & Foster REALTORS® says, "Being involved at the local level with the RVAR is rewarding in many ways. One exciting aspect of my involvement is being able to impact legislation with 'feet on the ground' lobbying.  I have really enjoyed meeting our legislators face to face."

Valeria continues, "The real estate industry and demographics are changing every day. Being involved helps keep your finger on the pulse of the industry and helps increase professionalism in the industry. I believe that participating with both the local and the state associations increases my awareness regarding the myriad of complicated issues we face in our business."

Valeria has been a REALTOR® for more than a decade and is involved in civic and community organizations in the city.  She has served on the Advertising Advisory Committee as Chair and is currently serving on the Governmental Affairs Committee as Vice Chair, and a member of the Economic Development Committee.

She is also currently representing RVAR in the 2017 Virginia REALTORS® Leadership Academy which is a year-long commitment culminating at the state convention in Roanoke this year. 
Upcoming Educationeducation

Code of Ethics -- This Wednesday, August 23rd (9AM - 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. The current two-year cycle ends December 31, 2018. Click here to register.
Annual Legal Update - Join us on Thursday, September 21st (9AM-Noon) for this annual event at the South Roanoke County Library. The cost is $10 in advance and $15 at the door.

Topics to be covered this year by Virginia REALTORS® Associate General Counsel Erin Barton will be:
    *  Good Intentions but Risky Results: Balancing Client Interests and Legal / Ethical
- CE 2 hours Legal Update with Flood or 2 hours PL Current Industry
   *  Agency: A Complicated Relationship - CE 1 Hour Agency - No PL
  Click here to register.

CRS 121: Win-Win Negotiation Techniques - RVAR's Education Committee, in partnership with the Virginia CRS Chapter, is pleased to bring this new CRS one-day course to Roanoke on Thursday, October 19th, 8:30AM-5:00PM at the RVAR Office. Well known CRS instructor Mark Given will provide negotiation strategies to enable you to achieve successful results. Learn how to prepare effectively for negotiations and respond more effectively to the most common issues that arise during transactions. This class is offered at the special low rate of $99. Click here to register.

Want to learn more about earning the CRS designation? Contact Kim Martin, liaison to the Virginia CRS Chapter (804-249-5722).
Our RVAR Familyfamily


RVAR expresses sympathy to Sharon Ruthenberg of MKB, REALTORS® upon the death of her daughter and to Mark Wolford of RE/MAX All Stars upon the death of his mother and to Sterling Broyles of Campbell Realty upon the death of his brother.

RVAR expresses sympathy to the friends, family and colleagues of Lee Lawson, Sr. of Lawson Associates upon his recent death, including his son Lee Lawson, Jr. and his brother Greene Lawson.

RVAR also expresses sympathy upon the death of Affiliate Tim Barker of Graphic Dimensions.


RVAR congratulates Callie Dalton of Long & Foster upon her appointment to the Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute Advisory Board and Frank Martin of Hall Associates upon his appointment to the Roanoke Higher Education Center Foundation Board of Directors.

Congratulations to those recently named '2017 Best of' in The Roanoke Times SWVA Living Reader's Choice Awards, which included categories for real estate firms and agents. Some of RVAR's Affiliate members were recognized, too!

Overall Best Real Estate Firm: Lichtenstein Rowan, REALTORS®

Botetourt Best REALTOR®: Pete Wood, RE/MAX All Stars

Roanoke City and Roanoke County Best REALTOR®: Norm Pullen, MKB, REALTORS®

Salem Best REALTOR®: Egon Hofmann, Barker Realty

Overall Best Banking: Bank of Botetourt

Roanoke County Best Insurance Agent: Bill Meador, Bill Meador Insurance Agency

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

August 23rd
September 4th
September 8th
September 21st 
Code of Ethics Training
Office Closed for Holiday
Annual Golf Tournament
Legal Update 

Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS®
Proudly Recognizes Our 2017 Partner / Sponsors 
Platinum Level Partner / Sponsor 
Diamond Level Partner / Sponsor  
BB&T Home Mortgage  
The Roanoke Times  
Virginia Mountain Mortgage 

Gold Level Partner / Sponsor 
Acquisition Title & Settlement Agency, Inc.
Bill Meador Insurance Agency 
 Blue Eagle Credit Union 
Colonial Mortgage Company 
Consolidated Construction Services, Inc.  
Integrity Home Mortgage Corporation  
Southwest Virginia Moving & Storage  
Virginia Title Center, LLC  
Virginia's All-American Movers

Silver Partner / Sponsor
Bug Man Exterminating, Inc. 
Colonial Title & Settlement Agency, LLC
First American Home Buyers Protection  
First Citizens Bank
HMS National Home Warranty
HWA (Home Warranty of America)
Seal-Tite Basement Waterproofing Co.
VIA Insurance Agency, LLC 
  |  540.772.0526