ROANOKE VALLEY REALTOR®                  Online

 Roanoke Valley  Associathion of REALTORS



You are receiving this online newsletter as a benefit of being a member of the Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS®.
Contact RVAR
Membership Update Logo


Member Type | Count


REALTOR®         1,100

 Offices                 131

Affiliate                168


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

In This Issue
VAR Promotes Legislative Issues
NAR Predicts Increased Home Sales in 2015
2014 Home Sales Statistics
RVAR Community Service Days
Save the Date for Tech Education
The Speaker's Forum Presents...
REALTOR® Safety: Make it a Priority
Upcoming Education
GRI Program on Hold
VREB Adds Photo Requirement for New Licensees
RVAR A Decade Ago
Our RVAR Family
Upcoming Events & Deadlines
VAR Promotes Legislative Issues
The Virginia General Assembly convened on January 14th, for a 45-day session. During the General Assembly Session, VAR will track dozens of bills and policy issues of importance to REALTORS®. The key bills VAR is promoting are:
  • Making a violent crime against a REALTOR® a felony.
  • Adding flood certification to the 'buyer beware' disclosure form.
  • Adding storm water maintenance agreements to the 'buyer beware' disclosure form.
  • Making further clarification to the POA and COA Acts to clarify what fees can be charged and what actions the Associations can take.
Click here to learn more about these issues.    

RVAR will take about 25 REALTOR® and Affiliate members of its Governmental Affairs Committee and Board of Directors to Richmond for VAR's February 11th Day on the Hill. Individual meetings will be held with the Senators and Delegates who cover any portion of RVAR's jurisdiction to discuss issues of importance to RVAR members.

NAR Predicts Increased Home Sales in 2015

Existing-home sales are forecasted to rise 7.4% in 2015 behind a strengthening economy, solid job gains and a healthy increase in home prices, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Home prices have risen for the past three years cumulatively about 25%, which boosts confidence in the market and traditionally gives current homeowners the ability to use their equity buildup as a downpayment towards their next home purchase," says Yun. "Furthermore, first-time buyers are expected to slowly return as the economy improves and new mortgage products are made available in the marketplace with low downpayments and private mortgage insurance."

Yun also predicts median home prices to increase 4%; new home sales to increase 37%; and rental rates to increase 4%.

Despite his forecasted increase in sales, Yun cites the anticipated rise in interest rates, lenders being slow to ease underwriting standards back to normalized levels, and homeowners unwilling to move because they are comfortable with their current low interest rate as potential speedbumps that could slow the increased pace of sales this year.

2014 Home Sales Statistics  

2014 closed with 357 residential contracts closed in December -- the strongest December since 2006. The number of homes sold in 2014 totaled 4,084, 5% less than 2013 -- but still the second best year end total since 2007. The average home price for 2014 was $193,815, the highest annual home price since 2010.

A link to the monthly home sales statistics, along with a 4-year comparison, is provided on the front page of RVAR.com. The MLS releases its monthly home sales statistics around the 15th of the following month.

RVAR Community Service Days
Join In & Help Make A Difference!    

The 2015 Community Service Committee needs your help by volunteering just a little of your time throughout the year!  The Community Service Committee has established four RVAR Community Service Days for 2015 with the goal of helping one of our supported charities each quarter.  The charities scheduled for 2015 are Feeding America Southwest Virginia, Rebuilding Together Roanoke, Apple Ridge Farm and the Community Christmas Store of the Roanoke Valley.  

Join in and help make a difference by donating just a few hours of your time on each scheduled project.  Collectively, we believe our REALTOR® and Affiliate members can make a huge impact on our community and the people that live here.  Make plans to volunteer in 2015!    

Our first RVAR Community Service Day will be Friday, March 6th at Feeding America Southwest Virginia (1025 Electric Road, Salem, VA 24153).  There will be two opportunities to volunteer that day either from 9:00AM - 12 Noon or 1:00PM - 4:00PM and lunch will be provided.  Our primary service will be helping to inspect and sort dented cans, crushed boxes, or other superficially damaged food to ensure the food inside is safe.  Please click here to sign up for the AM Shift. Please click here to sign up for the PM Shift. Or call RVAR to have us register you for a shift of your choice.  

Feeding America Southwest Virginia's mission is to feed Southwest Virginia's hungry through a network of partners and engage our region in the fight to end hunger. They distribute more than 20 million pounds of food annually to nearly 400 partner agency soup kitchens, rescue missions and food pantries throughout the 26 counties and associated municipalities that make up Southwest Virginia. 

Next RVAR Community Service Day: Helping with Rebuilding Together Roanoke on Saturday, April 25th.  More details to follow. 

Save the Date for Tech Education  

RVAR's Technology Committee has several FREE tech education opportunities scheduled in the coming months. Details are being confirmed. Watch the MLS Bulletin Board and RVAR.com for announcements when registration opens for these sessions.

Tech Lunch & Learn: Keeping Client Connections Using FlexMLS.
Join us on Tuesday, February 24th, 11:30AM-1:00PM at the RVAR office. Learn how to create custom client searches and set up client accounts/portals. Bring your lunch and laptop -- RVAR will provide drinks, chips and cookies!

Tech Forum: Plan to attend the Annual Tech Forum, Wednesday, March 18th, 9:30AM-1:00PM at the Holiday Inn Tanglewood. Sessions will focus on the latest from FlexMLS, zipForms and DocuSign.

The Speaker's Forum Presents...

The 2015 Speaker's Forum is planning to host an exciting array of speakers throughout the year!  The Speaker's Forum will kick off the year with a presentation by Court Rosen, Council Member for the City of Roanoke.  Mr. Rosen has an extensive background in business and residential real estate development and will share his thoughts and perspectives about what is taking place in the Roanoke Valley. The first Forum will be on Tuesday, February 24th at the RVAR office starting at 8:45AM with coffee, juice and pastries provided.  From 9:00 - 9:45 we will have a brief welcome followed by Court Rosen's presentation.  There is NO CHARGE to attend this event, but seating is limited.  Click here to register or contact the RVAR office.
The Speaker's Forum helps to provide local, informative presentations regarding topics that affect our businesses. The Forum welcomes any REALTOR® and Affiliate members and there is no charge to attend. Additional Forum meetings for 2015 are scheduled for April 21st, June 2nd, September 22nd and November 19th.
REALTOR® Safety: Make it a Priority
REALTORS® interact with strangers for a living. Make your safety a priority in all of your interactions. RVAR will offer monthly safety tips to assist you in developing your safety plan.

Click here to review 7 tips for showing property safely.

And plan to attend the February 25th REALTOR® Safety: Be Prepared class offered by RVAR's Education Committee. The following speakers will provide practical tips to help you develop your own safety plan: Rick Crosier, Crime Prevention Specialist for Roanoke County Police and Todd Maxey, a REALTOR® and Lieutenant with Franklin County's Sheriff's Office. Click here to register for this FREE and informative session. 
Upcoming Education
Listings to the Max: LeRoy Houser returns with his newest class, scheduled for February 18th, 9:00AM-Noon. This class will highlight the latest online and offline techniques employed by successful salespeople to obtain, market and sell listings. Topics will include: lead generation; working expired listings; pricing a new listing; and re-pricing a listing that just won't sell. Click here to register.

REALTOR® Safety -- Be Prepared: Make your safety a priority. This February 25th class, 10:00-11:30AM, will provide practical tips to help you develop your own safety plan. Speakers will be: Rick Crosier, Crime Prevention Specialist for Roanoke County Police and Todd Maxey, a REALTOR® and Lieutenant with Franklin County's Sheriff's office. Click here to register for this FREE and informative session.

March is Education Month: RVAR's Education Committee plans to offer education throughout the month of March. Plans are currently being finalized for:
  • March 3rd: Overview of RVAR Purchase Agreement and Inspection Addendum
  • March 12th: Integrated Mortgage Disclosures: Are You Ready? (offered in partnership with the Blue Ridge Mortgage Lenders Association)
  • March 18th: The latest technology education will be offered at the Tech Forum
  • March 24th: Smooth Settlement Panel
These classes, once details are confirmed, will be announced on RVAR.com.
GRI Program on Hold 
VAR has announced that the REALTOR® Institute (GRI) Program is on hold until June, 2015. This is the result of changes recently enacted by NAR, which require that VAR undertake a comprehensive review of the GRI program in order to bring it into compliance with NAR's new standards. In doing so, VAR will be able to maintain its accreditation as well as ensure the GRI program meets the needs of the current market.

Stay tuned for VAR's announcement of GRI dates and locations during the second half of 2015.
VREB Adds Photo Requirement for New Licensees
The Virginia Real Estate Board recently added a new requirement for real estate candidates pursuing a license. As an increased security measure, a candidate must now submit a photograph to their pre-license education provider. In turn, the education provider will have to submit that same photo to PSI, the real estate license test administrator, prior to the candidate taking the exam.

This new requirement came about as a result of systemic fraud across several professions regulated by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The scheme originated in Northern Virginia and included identity fraud, false verification of education and experience, and in some cases, another individual took exams on behalf of the candidate.
RVAR A Decade Ago
How much has changed in the past 10 years? Click here to check out the real estate market and RVAR in 2005. (Hint: 2005 began with 1,410 REALTORS®, whereas 2015 began with 1,100 REALTORS®.)
Our RVAR Family



RVAR offers condolences to Catina Wright of RE/MAX Lakefront upon the recent death of her father; to Erin Huffman of MKB, REALTORS® upon the death of her mother; to Carolyn Green of Gwyn & Harmon upon the death of her husband; and to Nick Beasley of Long & Foster upon the recent death of his brother.  



RVAR congratulates Mary Dykstra of MKB, REALTORS® for being named an RPAC of Virginia Trustee, representing Southwest Virginia.

RVAR salutes Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Smith Mountain Lake Real Estate for being recently awarded "Real Estate Service of the Year" by the Smith Mountain Lake Regional Chamber of Commerce.  

Let RVAR know if you have news to share.



February 18
LeRoy Houser's Listings to the Max 
February 24
Speakers Forum
February 24
Tech Lunch & Learn
February 25
REALTOR® Safety: Be Prepared
March 6th
Community Service Day: Feeding America Southwest Virginia
March 18th

Tech Forum



Your Member Input Is Important    

Click here to offer your input or a suggestion for the Association.
Roanoke Valley Association of REALTORS® 
 www.RVAR.com | (540) 772-0526 | Email