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Friday, April 4, 2014

Did you know that NAR produces a weekly real estate radio show called “Real Estate Today”? You can hear it live on the radio in the Harrisonburg and Richmond-Petersburg areas (and in Washington, D.C.), but it’s also available through our website.

When you go to VARealtor.com you’ll see the button right on the home page. Click it and you’ll be able to listen to that day’s show. (You can also go directly to the RET website, RETRadio.com.)

Friday, April 4, 2014

There are some really cool and interesting gadgets you can buy — right now, for cheap* — that can automate all sorts of things in your home. They’re a big step up from thermostats with timers or coffee machines that brew just before you work up. (Although those are pretty nifty.)

And when I say “automate,” you might be surprised by what I mean.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

DPOR is experiencing significant delays in processing applications for new and transferring real estate agents.

Monthly applications have been up almost 50 percent this year compared to last, and DPOR simply doesn’t have the staff to handle the increase.

The good news is that DPOR has been approved to pay for overtime — including having staff come in on Saturdays — to catch up on some of the backlog. It’s also received the go-ahead to hire three more staff, and expects to be able to add a fourth as well.

That will make a tremendous difference, but the agency still has had to cut back on phone and e-mail service to focus on processing applications.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

NAR is trying something new. In its latest Call for Action, it wants Realtors across the country to reach out to the Senate via Twitter. The issue: patent trolls.

Patent trolls are a threat to America’s economy and have increasingly become a financial and legal burden on individual REALTORs, MLSs, and our state and local REALTOR associations. Patent trolls are companies that use patents as legal weapons rather than to produce products or create new innovations. These trolls send threatening demand letters, seeking payment from small businesses like REALTORs, for using common business technologies like scanner-copiers; drop-down website menus; or even mapping features.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

We talk a lot of state-level rules and regulations, but federal guidelines are just as important. Here's an overview of some of the most notable real estate related rules out of Washington.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Daan!Congratulations to Realtor Daan De Raedt of RE/MAX Allegiance in Arlington, who was named as one of REALTOR magazine’s 2014 “30 Under 30″ — “hard-working young professionals [who]… put their customers first, and are champions for their communities.”

And congrats, too, to two Realtor neighbors from just north of the state line: CJ Davis and Ron Mangas, Jr., both of Washington, D.C., who also made the 30 Under 30 list.

Friday, March 28, 2014

As the first women to head Virginia’s largest trade association, VAR CEO Terrie Suit was named in Virginia Business magazine’s “On the move” section — part of its annual feature on the most influential people in the state.

The magazine listed Suit as one of the “People who are making their mark” along with others such as Tom Folliard (president and CEO of CarMax), Gracia Martore (president and CEO of Gannett Co.), John F. Reinhart (CEO and executive director of the Virginia Port Authority), and George Sherman (president of Advance Auto Parts).

Congratulations, Terrie!

Click here to see the article.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

There’s an excellent column in the Washington Post by regular contributor Jill Chodorov on off-market or “pocket” listings. (Technically it’s a column, but it reads more like a well-researched article.) Whatever you think of pocket/off-market/pre-listing listings, it’s worth a read to understand how and why they’re out there.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

obamasignsAs expected, President Obama signed the bipartisan Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act on March 21, which extended government flood-insurance subsidies to people in flood zones. Because of the 2012 Biggert-Waters law, many of those people would have seen their flood insurance premiums skyrocket as they were adjusted to accurately reflect the flood risks.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Earnest money deposits account for more complaints against Realtors than any other issue, so it's critical to know the rules.

This WorkSmart Kit covers a few of the more recent changes to regulations involving EMDs: When they can be released, who gets the interest, and more.

It includes a broker's guide, a recent Commonwealth magazine article, and a poster for your office bulletin board.