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New FICO score model could help homebuyers

As a Realtor helping clients find their next home, you know how important a FICO score can be. Most home loans are predicated on the FICO score of the buyer and the difference between a good score and one that’s not so good can result in a higher interest rate or no loan at all.

That’s why the news from Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) on August 7, 2014 was good for both homebuyers and Realtors. See the complete story here:
http://varbuzz.com/2014-08/new-fico-score-model-could-help-homebuyers/

Real Show 2014: How do you spell success?

The 2014 Real Show — the official statewide convention and expo for Virginia Realtors — is now open for registration.

This year’s show is already shaping up to be phenomenal.

For starters, you asked and we listened: The Real Show is being held during the week, so you don’t miss any of that critical weekend client time.

We’ve streamlined our classes. Now there are three tracks: broker, risk management (“Risky Business”), and marketing (“Market Matters”). That means getting the business knowledge you want is easier than ever.

The Virginia Real Estate Awards are here

Virginia Real Estate Awards

Do you know someone who deserves some recognition? Someone who’s gone above and beyond the call?

Now’s the time to help those people shine. It’s time to nominate someone (or several someones) for the 2014 Virginia Real Estate Awards.

These recognize outstanding leadership, accomplishments, and professionalism in our industry — recipients will be recognized in a ceremony during the 2014 Real Show (and throughout the year after that).

Help us recognize the best in the business by nominating your colleagues (or even yourself).

You have until August 1, 2014 at 11:59 PM to submit any nominations. They’re being accepted for…

Richmond is hot

Here’s a perfect reason to reach out to your clients and potential clients: CNN Money named Richmond the fourth hottest housing market in the country.

New tool for brokers

Here’s a great new resource for brokers to create their own office policy manual.
It’s VAR’s new Office Policy and Procedures Manual template.

It’s a detailed Word document created by VAR’s Risk Management Committee and the Virginia Manager’s Council, and it’s been vetted by VAR’s legal team.

And we’re off!

Sales picked up in February, but really took off in March, increasing 23.5% over February. Unemployment and mortgage interest rates remained stable, so the March sales increases are simply an expression of the season. Median sales price has been rising steadily since January, likely drawing more sellers into the market.

In addition to the seasonal increase in sales, you’ll notice from the graph below that we may be experiencing a decelerating market recovery. The success of 2013 may be explained by clearing of excess supply and pent up demand. Now in 2014, we are facing the reality of a very slowly growing economy. We can expect sales to follow their historic seasonal trajectory, but this year we may only see slightly more sales than we saw in 2012.

Jay DeBoer tapped to head DPOR

Governor Terry McAuliffe has appointed VAR legal consultant Jay DeBoer as director of the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation (DPOR).

As an executive branch agency, DPOR oversees the Virginia Real Estate Board and 16 other regulatory boards, from architects and asbestos inspectors to barbers, boxers, and wastewater works operators.

This is not DeBoer’s first time at the helm of DPOR; he served as director from 2006 until 2010. Since then, while working at VAR, he’s helped thousands of Realtors across the commonwealth with a long list of real estate topics, and — thanks to that previous DPOR experience — he’s been VAR’s resident expert on anything related to the department.

Governor Signs VAR Bills

Over the weekend, your Virginia Association of REALTORS® Policy and Advocacy team received confirmation that Governor McAuliffe signed the entire Virginia Association of REALTORS® Legislative Agenda into law.  Though the specific provisions of the bills he signed will not come into effect until July 1, 2014, we are pleased that the Governor signed them, exactly as they passed the Virginia General Assembly.

Cool tech for automated homes

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.