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New standard forms are here

Today we’re rolling out four new standard forms and nine revised forms. You’ll want to check them out immediately — so click here to go to our new-forms page.

And beginning today, VAR will update its forms library twice a year: every January 1 and July 1. This makes forms updates more predictable (and it’s how other associations across the country do it).

Each update will include the new forms themselves (obviously) as well as a document describing and highlighting the revisions — and it will all be at VARealtor.com/newforms.

What are you waiting for? Get those new forms ASAP!

New real estate laws take effect in Virginia

Today’s the day: July 1. That’s when most new laws take effect in Virginia, and this year includes several that VAR fought for to improve the real estate climate in the commonwealth (not to mention help the rights of property owners).

From important changes to the Landlord-Tenant Act to protecting you from being unjustly labeled a criminal, our Policy and Advocacy Team worked hard and scored big this year. (The biggest news, of course, was the launch of First-time Homebuyer Savings Plans.)

Click here to see what the new laws are and learn how they affect you.

First-time Homebuyer Savings Plans are here

Starting today, July 1, 2014, Virginians can create First-time Homebuyer Savings Plans, where they can put money to use for the closing costs on their (or someone else’s) first home and keep it free of Virginia taxes.

Click here to read all about FHSPs — and be sure to tell your clients!

First-time Homebuyer Savings Plans


Roanoke named one of America’s most livable cities

The City of Roanoke received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the U.S. Conference of Mayors, marking it as one of the country’s most livable cities.

The winners were chosen from a pool of more than 200 applicants by an independent panel of judges, and “recognizes mayoral leadership in developing and implementing programs that improve the quality of life in America’s cities, focusing on the leadership, creativity, and innovation demonstrated by the mayors.”

Real Show 2014 registration is open!

RS-Rot-Banner-FeatureThe 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.