NewsRecent news, business resources and press releases.
The Virginia REALTORS® legal and government affairs teams are working to amend recently-changed language to a form that may affect property owner association related transactions.
The Common Interest Community (CIC) Board has amended the Virginia Property Owners’ Association Disclosure Packet Notice Form, which is required to accompany all property owner association disclosure packets.
This form now states, “[t]he purchaser may have the right to cancel the contract after receiving the disclosure packet or an update of the disclosure packet.”
The form is currently available on the Common Interest Community Board website and is already in use by property owner associations.
The use of the word “may” in this context could cause confusion as to whether and when a buyer has a three-day right of cancellation, when in fact, the law does give the buyer the right to cancel the contract after receiving the disclosure packet, but not after receiving an update.
We will offer additional information as your Virginia REALTORS® staff works on your behalf to ensure that the form language accurately reflects the law.
What you need to know
- The form is legally incorrect since it says the buyer may have a right to terminate after receiving an update. However, the use of the word “may” reduces the risk while we work to have the form changed.
- The form could cause some confusion with your clients as to their rights.
- There IS absolutely a three-day right of cancellation after receipt of a disclosure packet.
- There is NOT a three-day right of cancellation after receipt of an update.
- This does not apply to the Condominium Act or condo resale certificate.
Thank you to all the REALTORS® and Affiliates who participate in community service projects throughout the year and to those who shared their projects with us! REALTORS® are engaged in the community in lots of different ways and we are proud to highlight the efforts of our members. Take a look at all the great submissions received last week! Lastly, we would also like to give a special thank you to those REALTORS® and Affiliates who serve on the FAAR Community Service Committee – your commitment and dedication does not go unnoticed.
Read the special announcement below about why the Virginia Realtors® will not be endorsing any candidates in the statewide elections this year. FAAR will be interviewing for possible endorsement in local elections so be on the lookout for those announcements in early September.
Special Announcement from 2017 President Claire Forcier-Rowe
As one of only two states to hold major elections in 2017, much national attention and political energy will be focused on Virginia this year.
In the past, the RPAC of Virginia Trustees have endorsed and supported candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Attorney General. This year presents the Trustees with unique circumstances. After serious consideration and deliberation, the RPAC of Virginia Trustees have decided at this time not to endorse candidates in Virginia’s statewide elections.
Virginia Realtors® have strong relationships and a positive history with both Ralph Northam and Ed Gillespie, the Democratic and Republican nominees for governor, respectively.
The advocacy goal of the Virginia Realtors® and RPAC of Virginia is to promote the Realtor® Party by supporting candidates who champion our issues, regardless of political affiliation.The Trustees are confident that either candidate would, as governor, pursue policies beneficial to Realtors® and your clients.
Thank you to the RPAC of Virginia Trustees for thoughtful deliberation in this choice.
Our new website has multiple ways of finding an Affiliate member. You can use the member search located at the top of every page or you can utilize the Affiliate Marketing Partners page under the “Your Association” tab. FAAR also publishes an annual Affiliate Directory as a digital pdf which you can download here!
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Virginia Realtors® fought for several news laws during the 2017 General Assembly session to protect private property rights that will go into effect on July 1, 2017. Each year, the Realtor® organization advocates for legislation at the General Assembly to support the real estate industry, protect private property rights, and encourage homeownership.
In the 2017 General Assembly session, Realtors® helped enact laws that impact property management. New laws provide for a smoother transition for an existing tenant in the event of a property foreclosure by allowing the property management agreement to continue in place on a month-to-month basis and clarifying to whom the tenant pays their monthly rent. In addition, a new law also allows for an easier process for a property manager to transfer a security deposit to the owner and codifies in statute the common practice of a lease continuing month-to-month after a foreclosure.
In addition, Realtors® advocated for the passage of a new law that prohibits a homeowners’ association from restricting for lease and for signs unless that provision is included in the association’s covenants and restrictions. The new law also prevents an association from requiring a formal power of attorney from a real estate licensee to represent their client before the association. The bill also imposes a fine of up to $1,000 for associations failing to provide the association disclosure packet within the 14-day requirement stipulated by law.
Finally, Virginia Realtors® fought for a law that changes the name of the “red-flag” disclosure statement to the “buyer to beware” statement. This is more representative of what the statement actually is in practice, since the onus is on the buyer to investigate whether the issues raised in the buyer to beware statement are actually applicable to the property in question.
The Fredericksburg Area Association of Realtors® is already working on assembling a packet of issues for consideration in next year’s General Assembly session that will support the real industry and protect private property rights.
After attending NAR’s Midyear Meeting in 2016, FAAR 2016 President Christine Singhass and CEO Pat Breme returned to FAAR energized about the possibility of FAAR seeking a grant to engage even deeper into our local community. Christine and Pat sat through a session about Smart Growth grants and learned about all of the good work that other associations were doing and decided it was time to bring some of that money back to Fredericksburg.
Working with Public Policy Director Kim McClellan, Christine delivered presentations to the George Washington Regional Commission detailing the idea of a housing study for our region. Working with economic development directors, local elected officials, and Fredericksburg’s City Manager, FAAR was able to put together a robust grant application for a $14,500 Smart Growth grant to conduct a comprehensive housing stock assessment of the entire region complete with predictions about the future. FAAR contracted with Dr. Lisa Sturtevant, a researcher formerly with the George Mason University who established her own research firm, to conduct the study.
The study is broken into individual reports for each jurisdiction in the FAAR footprint: covered by the report are the counties of Caroline, King George, Stafford and Spotsylvania and the City of Fredericksburg. The study is currently being finalized and FAAR will deliver each piece to its respective jurisdiction when it’s complete. The goal of this study is to provide the localities with some solid data to guide their future land use decisions. What do we currently have in place? Is it enough to sustain future population growth? Do we have the right mix of housing types to encourage affordability and entice millennials and retiring baby boomers? These are the kinds of questions this study is seeking to answer. Be on the lookout for an official rollout from FAAR sometime this summer!
2017 is flying by! These committees have been hard at work the last six months to continue to bring you the best services and benefits in the business. See a group that interests you? Learn more about the groups below at faarmembers.com/committees.
Education | Professional Development Committee
The committee has guided the FAAR Academy class schedule, to include a diverse line-up of classes for March is For Members, Summer Lawyer Series, and FAAR EXPO. They will begin planning the 2018 class schedule next month.
Public Policy | RPAC Committee
The Committee has been hard at work engaging on continued sign issues with local elected officials, developing a 2018 Legislative Agenda, and interviewing candidates for the 2018 election cycle.
Communication and Technology Committee
The new FAARmembers.com website will launch in June and will be responsive, ADA accessible, and include an avenue for feedback/improvements to the site. The new RAMCO database will allow members to manage their news preferences and how they receive information.
There was an organized effort last fall to increase the number of award applications, comments Chair Bonnie Ramey. The marketing push was successful because the number of award applications increased. This year for the spring awards cycle, a record number of Rookie of the Year, as well as Manager of the Year, applications were submitted.
Community Service Committee
This group has had a very busy year, including homeless shelter dinners, Ride Virginia, and clothes for a cause. Be on the look-out for Cereal Drive details coming soon!
Three very successful events have been held so far in 2017 (Bowling Mixer, Bingo and Awards). There are five more events for 2017 so make sure and save the following dates: Renovation Open House July 14th, Family Fun Day July 22nd, FAAR Expo September 13th, Halloween Mixer October 26th, and Installation of 2018 President Kevin McGrath and his Leadership Team December 7th.
Young Professionals Network (YPN)
The Committee has completed their first fund raiser of the year (school supplies at the Bingo Mixer) and are working on the second one, The Annual Pub Crawl. scheduled for October 14th. They are also trying a new networking time on the evening of orientation to get new members involved.
Property Management Working Group
The Committee has held several successful roundtable discussions and one class. The roundtables give property managers a forum to discuss issues they are facing and share best practices.
Currently, in the building stages. Contact Barbara Castillo for more information
Fredericksburg Realtors® Foundation
The Foundation has raised approximately $5,000 so far this year and is working with several charities to submit grant requests for suitable projects. Their biggest fundraising is a golf tournament scheduled for October 13th so mark your calendar!
Town Hall Revamp Task Force
Chair Kevin McGrath and his group have overhauled the meeting format to focus on issues/challenges that agents face in today’s market. A lively discussion will be generated by the audience and a panel of experts. The new format begins with the June 14 event.
Strategic Planning Task Force
The Association will hold a strat planning session in the fall. In preparation, a membership survey and a focus night are planned to determine the concerns/issues of the members that should be part of future planning for FAAR.
The Meet Up Networking group is bridging new and experienced members together in a fun, engaging format. Out of the box events include playing Jeopardy, Family Feud or unique networking like tubing the Rappahannock and Scavenger Hunts in downtown Fredericksburg.
Women’s Council of Realtors® (WCR)
The Women’s Council of Fredericksburg has had the pleasure of supporting the following non-profits; Habitat for Humanity, Loisann’s Hope House, The 514 Construction Ministry, Mental Health America-Fredericksburg and the Rappahannock United Way. During monthly meetings, WCR has hosted a photography panel, a home staging showcase, and a regional transportation forum.
Ombudsman | Grievance | Professional Standards
There was one failed effort in the Ombudsman program, The Grievance Committee, chaired by Dave Moberly, reviewed one ethics complaint which was resolved before a hearing. The Committee also reviewed a request for arbitration and a counter request involving the same transaction. Members of the Professional Standards Committee, chaired by Lynn Lenahan, held a hearing and the non-prevailing party requested a procedural review.
The group, chaired by Christine Singhass, will review leadership applications this month and after interviews will formulate a slate for September election. The Board of Directors will approve the slate at its July meeting.
Leadership Development Committee (LDC)
Chaired by 2016 President Christine Singhass , LDC is tasked with seeking out and nurturing members to take on leadership role in the Association, The group will identify recruiters, prepare a “why lead” marketing piece, host at least one meet & greet event and look for advice from graduates of the Virginia Leadership Academy.
The FAAR Academy is excited to kick off the Summer Lawyer’s Series on July 11 with an exciting new class from Barry Clark and Ali Lambo Newkirk of RGS Title, E-Communications & Cyber Fraud: Do We Worry Too Much? Electronic communication has become the preferred method of conducting business in today’s real estate world. E-communication comes with a high level of risk and responsibility for all parties involved in a real estate transaction. As technology evolves, so do the criminals. What information is at risk? What are the criminals doing with this information? What can a real estate professional do to best protect their clients and themselves? Topics covered in this class include NPI, wire fraud, spoofing, and e-mail best practices. Upon completion of this class, REALTORS® will not only have a greater appreciation for the risks associated with e-communication, but they will hopefully understand the need to implement a more rigorous set of best practices.
Other highlights for the 2017 Summer Lawyers Series include an in depth look at the VAR Purchase Contract with Laura Farley, Vice President of Legal Operations/Deputy General Counsel with the Virginia Realtors on August 15 from 9-12. Also Michele Freemyers of EKKO Title will be giving 2 great classes: Deconstructing the New Home Contract on July 18 from 9-11, and Distressed Properties August 22 from 9-11.
Big changes are coming to Courthouse Road, how will they impact you and your clients? Review VDOT’s latest project update to be able to educate your clients and yourself about the construction impact and final project improvements.
VDOT Courthouse Road project update
May 24, 2017: Fredericksburg Realtors® Foundation to Host Donna Tyson
May 10, 2017: FAAR Release April Housing Market Report
April 28, 2017: FAAR to Host Professional Clothing Drive for Area Non-Profits
April 11, 2017: FAAR Releases March Housing Market Report
March 31, 2017: Tax Breaks Only Homeowners Can Claim
March 10, 2017: February Real Estate Market Posts Significant Gains
February 10, 2017: January Kicks Off 2017 with Consistent Numbers for Local Real Estate
January 26, 2017: FAAR Supports Passage of Stafford Sign Ordinance
January 12, 2017: FAAR Releases 2016 Year End Housing Report