Hello Spring!
March 22, 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®            1,205 Membership Update Logo
Offices                     130
Affiliate                    261

Click here to see which RVAR members have switched firms, gone inactive, or joined recently.
Candidates Endorsed in Roanoke City & Salem City Races races 

RVAR's Board of Directors has endorsed candidates in the upcoming elections for Roanoke City and Salem City Council races. Special thanks to RVAR's Governmental Affairs Committee and the members of the interview panels for their efforts to conduct interviews for these contested races. Roanoke has seven candidates running for three seats and Salem has six candidates vying for three seats. 
The Board endorsed the following candidates: 
Roanoke City :
  • Bill Bestpitch
  • Ray Ferris
  • Robert Jeffrey
Candidates were asked the same questions related to economic development, attracting and retaining businesses, overcoming the budget shortfall, and the top priorities facing the City. The endorsed Council candidates will each receive a $1,000 RPAC contribution to their individual campaigns.
Salem City:
  • Randy Foley
  • John Saunders
Candidates were asked the same questions related to Salem's economic development news, top priorities, Roanoke College's continued growth, and funding capital improvements. The endorsed Council candidates will each receive a $1,000 RPAC contribution to their individual campaigns.
If you live in either of these two Cities, or have an election in your locality, please remember to vote on Tuesday, May 1st

 2018 General Assembly Wrap Up legislative 

The General Assembly's regular session adjourned on March 10th for the year.  The budget is still being negotiated, so the General Assembly will reconvene in a special session to work on a budget starting April 11th.

Over 3,600 bills and resolutions were introduced during this session. Virginia REALTORS® (VR) were heavily involved in proposing, supporting, monitoring and opposing 213 pieces of legislation.

Of the 213 bills identified for specific action, VR opposed 26 bills, of which 25 were killed. (Among them were bills critically negative to our industry that would have prohibited receiving a return on investment from affiliated business services). Virginia REALTORS® worked hard to defeat these bills.

Virginia REALTORS® proposed 7 bills this year (5 passed unanimously). 6 of these bills have already been signed by the Governor and the last remaining bill is on the Governor's docket to sign by April 9th.

A few bills were of special interest this year:

*     Team Legislation - defines a real estate team and requires brokerage agreements to include the name and contact information of the supervising broker.
*     Earnest Money Deposits - establishes a statute in right for a broker to give written notice to the parties and disburse an earnest money deposit in accordance with the clear terms of the contract. Also, gives a broker an option to give a written notice of intended disbursement with a 15-day "protest period" (versus current 30 day period) for one of the parties to object in writing.
*     Condo & POA Summary Bill - This was a proposal from the RVAR's Broker Council and Governmental Affairs Committee. Requires all Common Interest Communities (Associations) to provide a short summary of important information contained in the resale certificate or disclosure packet, such as:
o    Annual Dues
o    Special Assessments
o    Pet Restrictions
o    Parking or vehicular restrictions
o    Plus some others
*     Translation of Documents - Encourages real estate licensees to assist the diverse population in the Commonwealth by referring a party to a translation service(s), while making it clear the licensee is not liable for any inaccuracies of the translator.  

Click here for additional details on VR's 7 bills.
MLS Announcement: FlexMLS Selectedmls 

Last year, a Work Group chaired by Fred Hall (BHHS Premier) evaluated four MLS systems, each of whom is highly rated. The Work Group recommended - and the Board of Directors approved - selecting FlexMLS to provide our MLS system for the next three years, with the addition of two new third party integrations: (1) tax records for all municipalities covered by our MLS and (2) a showing service.

A Work Group chaired by Jay Kilby (RE/MAX All Stars) is evaluating vendors for the new third party integrations. Another Work Group chaired by Donna Marie Harris (Long & Foster) is working with FlexMLS to review the existing settings in order to optimize use of the FlexMLS system. Later in the year, FlexMLS will offer many training classes - in Roanoke and at the Lake. There will be classes for the basic user - as well as advanced classes. Stay tuned for more information on these new MLS developments.

The MLS Monitoring Committee constantly reviews the listings in the MLS system. Based on some of the most recent errors spotted, the Committee offers these reminders:

1. Owner of Record and Owner Phone Number: The MLS requires the name of the legal owner or their authorized representative in the Owner Name field. Listings with "Owner of Record" in the Owner field, or any variation other than the legal owner or legal owner's representative, are not allowed. If the showing instructions for the listing state 'Call Seller Go' or 'Text Seller Go', then the Seller's phone number must be entered in the owner phone number field. No agent phone numbers should be entered in either the owner or tenant phone number fields.

2. MLS Photos: All residential and multifamily listings must include at least one photo showing the front of the property listed for sale, which must be entered at the time the listing is entered into the MLS. (NOTE: The front view is not required to be the primary photo.) All land/lot listings should have a "photo, image, scanned drawing or plat" of the property listed, and "the primary image must be of or from the specific property." If listing proposed construction, an image of a similar structure may be used but must be disclosed in the Public Remarks.

3. Land and Mobile Homes: A mobile home is personal property. REALTORS® are not licensed to sell personal property. Land with a mobile home may NOT be entered into the MLS as a residential listing; instead, may be entered as a land listing, with Mobile-SW or Mobile-DW selected as an option for the Buildings on Property field. (Once the title to a mobile home has been surrendered at DMV and the mobile home and land on which it sits is assessed and taxed as real estate, then the mobile home and land may be entered into the MLS as a residential listing.)

4. Square Footage: In April, 2017, square footage in the MLS was separated into Above Grade and Below Grade, with fields provided per level. Be sure to enter square footage by level in the appropriate fields. Click here for guidelines on the square footage per level for each style of home in the MLS. Reminder: Above grade square footage is required for all listings. "Above Grade" is defined as that part of the dwelling that is ENTIRELY above ground level. "Below Grade" is defined as the area that is ALL or PARTLY below ground level. The square footage of garages may be entered ONLY in the appropriate fields related to Primary Covered Parking and Additional Covered Parking.

5. Other - See Remarks: Many fields in the MLS include "Other-See Remarks" as a selection (e.g., schools, showing instructions, heating etc.) Whenever "Other-See Remarks" is selected, information must be included in the Remarks field of your choosing.

6. MLS Listing Exclusions: 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. MLS exclusions must be submitted on the required MLS Listing Exclusion form, which is included in RVAR's zipForms library.

7. Error Reports: All members are encouraged to use the red Report Error button, in the upper right hand corner of every listing, to alert a listing agent to a possible error in their listing. (The listing agent will not know who sent the error report.)
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!

For the fifth year in a row, millennials comprised the largest number of recent home buyers: 36% millennials (buyers 37 years and younger); 31% baby boomers (ages 53-71); 28% Generation X (ages 38 - 52); 8% the silent generation (ages 72-92.) NAR's recently released 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study reveals an increased share of millennials purchasing detached single-family homes in suburban locations.

The survey found that millennial buyers prioritize living close to friends and family over a home's location and proximity to schools. Even though sales to millennials reached an all-time survey high, stubbornly low inventory conditions pushed home prices out of reach for many. Consistent with previous surveys, sellers 52 years and younger tend to trade up to a larger, more expensive home. Sellers 53-62 stay at similarly priced and sized homes. Sellers 63 years and older often downsize to lower priced homes.

Buyers and sellers across all age groups continue to seek the assistance of a real estate agent when buying and selling a home. At 90 percent, millennials were the most likely to use a real estate agent when buying a home, compared to 87 percent of all buyers. Forty-eight percent of millennials found their agent via referrals from friends, neighbors and relatives.

Click here to read more details of NAR's study.
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.

Renovation Alliance brings volunteers and communities together to improve the homes and lives of low-income homeowners. We provide critical home repairs for homeowners in need in the Roanoke Valley, ensuring they can live independently in safe and healthy homes. Since operations began in 1999, Renovation Alliance has served more than 600 homeowners and their families. With a focus on making homes warm, safe, dry, accessible, energy efficient, and healthy, Renovation Alliance completes renovation work including re-roofing, weatherizing, plumbing and electrical repairs, and accessible home modifications. Our organization focuses on providing these critical repairs to low-income homeowners in need with a special focus on homeowners over the age of 65, living with a disability, have children living in the home, and homeowners who are active or retired members of the armed services. Renovation Alliance has been preserving and revitalizing homes and communities in the Roanoke Valley since 1999. Our programs provide opportunities for community involvement through sponsorships and volunteer work.
For more information on Renovation Alliance and how to get involved go to their website at www.renovateall.org
RPAC & You!  rpac 

RPAC is the REALTORS® Political Advocacy Committee.

Donna Marie Harris, an agent with Long & Foster and Vice Chair for the Governmental Affairs Committee, believes that "everything RPAC stands for is my business. How it affects property rights. How it affects the policies and regulations of our industry. How it affects my business. RPAC is my business!"

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.

NAR's Midyear Trade Expo will be held May 16th and 17th (10AM - 6PM) at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC. The Expo features the latest in real estate products and services from over 100 industry-leading companies. There is something for every REALTOR®, such as lead generation systems, Internet prospecting solutions, virtual tour technology, financial services and more. Plan to stop by the show and walk away with profitable ideas to gain an edge in today's market. Admission to the Expo is FREE for all REALTORS® Click here for more information or to register.

And NAR's Annual Convention is in Boston November 2nd - 5th. Why not plan to treat yourself after a successful year! Click here for more information or to register.
Upcoming Educationeducation

Managing Seller and Buyer Expectations - The second class in this three-part series, rescheduled due to the recent snow, will be offered on Tuesday, March 27th, 2:30-4:00PM at the RVAR Office. This class will focus on managing expectations DURING the transaction, including educating Sellers on showings, negotiations, inspections and repairs AND preparing Buyers on how to craft their offer and negotiate repairs. The instructors will be Shannon Hines (Long & Foster) and Beth Wilson (BBHS Premier). Click here to register for this FREE class.
Link to online registration
Code of Ethics Training - This Thursday, March 23rd (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. (Can't make this class? RVAR will offer this class again on June 25th.)
Fair Housing - RVAR's Education Committee presents this class in conjunction with the Moseley Dickinson Academy of Real Estate, Friday, April 13th, 2:00-4:00PM at the RVAR office.
          New members: This class is free - earn 2 hours PL or CE credit.
          Existing members: Pay $10 at the door for 2 hours CE credit.
Click here to register.
GRI 501 Agency in Virginia - Well-known instructor Donna Austin will conduct this class on Tuesday, April 17th (9:00AM-4:30PM) at the RVAR office. This class will focus on Virginia legal requirements related to agency: brokerage relationships, agency, disclosure, confidentiality and transactions. CE credits = 3 hours Virginia agency + 3 hours Real Estate Related; PL credits = 3 hours Virginia agency. 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
Boost Your Knowledge on Wells and Septic Systems : Back by popular demand - RVAR's Education Committee, in partnership with Virginia Tech, will offer this class on Wednesday, April 18th, 10AM-Noon at the RVAR Office. This class will be taught by an instructor from Virginia Tech's Household Water Quality Program. This class will focus on testing, common problems, treatment options and maintenance. Click here to register for this FREE class.
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.
ABR Designation Class: Just announced - RVAR's Education Committee will offer the 2-day course required to earn the ABR designation, taught by instructor Donna Austin on October 4th and 5th. CE credits = 3 hours Ethics, 3 hours Agency, 3 hours Real Estate Related, 2 hours Fair Housing, 1 hour Legal and 1 hour Contracts. PL credits = 3 hours Ethics, 2 hours Fair Housing, 2 hours Current Industry Trends. Click here to register.

Our RVAR Familyfamily

RVAR expresses sympathy to Debra Anglin of Anglin Realty upon the recent death of her mother, to Ralph Mabes of Hall Associates upon the death of his wife and to John Vaught of MKB, REALTORS® upon the death of his father.


RVAR congratulates Dennis Cronk of Poe & Cronk Real Estate Group on being named one of the 50 Most Influential Virginians by Virginia Business magazine.

RVAR congratulates Pat Dew of Barker Realty upon being appointed by Salem City Council to its Fair Housing Board.

RVAR also congratulates Kit Hale of MKB, REALTORS® upon being elected Chair of the VHDA Board of Commissioners.

RVAR celebrates receiving NAR's 2017 Local RPAC Triple Crown Award, for exceeding its 2017 RPAC goals. Thank you to the 439 REALTORS®, Affiliates and Staff who contributed to RPAC in 2017.

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

March 23rd 
March 27th
March 30th 
April 13th
April 17th
April 18th
April 26th
May 17th
May 22nd  
Code of Ethics Training 
Managing Expectations: During the Transaction
RVAR Office Closed for Good Friday 
Fair Housing Training 
GRI 501 Agency in Virginia 
Well and Septic Class
REALTOR® After Hours at the Lake
Lender Panel
GRI 507 Ethics and Professional Responsibilities 

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