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Monday, June 2, 2014

Housing and education are tightly connected — think of how the quality of a community’s schools affects property values … and your sales. That means we need to think about housing and education policy as inexorably intertwined. In short, successful students mean successful communities — and successful Realtors need to understand the issues involved. Join VAR, Housing Virginia, and the VCU Center for Urban and Regional Development for an important statewide conference on this very topic: Connecting the Dots Between Where Kids Live and Where They Learn.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Sale prices are following their typical spring trajectory, increasing more quickly as we approach summer. The median sale price this April was 3% higher than in April 2013. This modest year over year change is evidence that home prices are stable, and have recovered from the recession. Days on the market fell to an average of 81 days in April, 3.8% higher than April 2013. Days on the market fell to record lows last spring as prices increased very rapidly, likely because inventory did not keep up with demand. Slower price increases and a more typical average number of days on the market indicate that inventory and demand are in sync this spring.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

On Wednesday, May 14 dozens of Virginia Realtors flocked to Capitol Hill to attend a Federal Address with U.S. Senators Mark Warner and Tim Kaine.

Realtors provided a big “thank you” to both senators for supporting the passage of the Flood Insurance extension bill.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

03d7b4bWe would like to welcome a new association executive to the ranks in Virginia.

James M. “Jim” Wetzel is the new CEO at the Virginia Peninsula Association of REALTORS®. Jim has 15 years of Realtor association management experience including executive management with the Kent Washington Association of REALTORS® in Greenwich, Rhode Island; the Greater Boston Real Estate Board; the Worcester Regional Association of REALTORS® in Auburn, Massachusetts; and the REALTOR® Association of Martin County in Stuart, Florida. He holds the REALTOR® Certified Executive (RCE) and GRI designations.

Monday, May 19, 2014

The latest quarterly performance report from the Federal Housing and Finance Administration makes it clear that Fannie and Freddie are optimistic about the future of the housing market.

The clearest indicator is on page 3, under the heading “Loan Loss Reserves Continue to Fall”:

Credit exposure continued to improve at the Enterprises throughout the year driven by rising house prices and stronger credit characteristics.

In other words, Fannie and Freddie are setting aside less money as a cushion against a housing downturn.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Do the pictures on your website have “alt text” (so the blind can know what the pictures show)? Do your videos have captions for the deaf? Does the condo you manage ban pot smoking?

These are things to think about based on discussions at the REALTOR® Party Convention in Washington, D.C. — according to the most recent Speaking of Real Estate blog from NAR.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

The new director of the Federal Housing Finance Administration announced some important changes aimed at keeping the housing recovery on track. In short, it plans to keep the federal government’s major role in the mortgage-finance market.

“I don’t think it’s FHFA’s role to contract the footprint of Fannie and Freddie,” said FHFA’s Director Mel Watt. Without proof that private investors will step in to fill the void, he called it “irresponsible” for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to pull back from the market.

Monday, May 12, 2014

When should you terminate a contract and when do you need a release? They both seem to end a contract, but it's more complicated than that. Know the difference.

This WorkSmart Kit covers the basic differences between terminating and releasing a contract: When you need both sides to agree, when you should use one over the other, and when you need both.

It includes a presentation, broker's guide, and a poster for your office bulletin board.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Here’s an interesting article from ABC about Boomers becoming roommates: “Aging Baby Boomers Becoming the Roommate Generation.”

Rachel Caraviello, vice president of Affordable Living for the Aging (ALA), says that nationally there are about 130,000 households where the cohabiters are aged 50 or older, and where they have no familial relationship or romantic connection.

Caraviello views these arrangements as one more manifestation of the “sharing economy”: Here, one party typically is house-rich but cash-poor; and the other has money or services to contribute.