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published by the northern virginia association of realtors速

October 2009 Th e

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2009 Convention & Trade Show NEW LOCATION THIS YEAR! Tuesday, October 13, 2009 Northern Virginia Community College Annandale Campus

Learn More About Social Media on Page 24:

A Guide to Getting Logged On & Plugged In to Marketing In The New Millennium

Exceptional real estate professionals deserve exceptional service With a wide range of home loan programs and a commitment to customer service, Bank of America can help you reach out to more potential homebuyers. We offer: • Preapprovals for qualified buyers so they know how much they can afford before they shop for their new homes1 • Personal service from our local team • A range of home loan products, including fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages


Contact us today to find out how we can help more of your clients get the home financing that’s right for them.

Alexandria 703.922.2100

Annandale 703.813.5171

Fairfax 703.227.2500

Leesburg 703.443.2183

McLean 703.848.2031

Oakton 703.319.2616

Sterling 703.433.5458

Preapproval is subject to satisfactory appraisal and title review and no change in financial condition. If the rate is not locked or rate protection expires, any rate increase may lower the loan amount for which the borrower has been preapproved. THIS INFORMATION IS INTENDED FOR MORTGAGE, REAL ESTATE AND/OR BUILDER PROFESSIONAL USE ONLY AND IS NOT Equal Housing Lender AUTHORIZED FOR CONSUMER OR PUBLIC DISTRIBUTION. Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC © 2009 Bank of America Corporation. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. Terms and conditions apply. This is not a commitment to lend. Programs, rates, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice. 00-62-0197D 04-2009 AR70173

chairman of the board



October 2009


NVAR Goes Back To School; So Should You!

Volume 92, Issue 8

2009 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chairman of the Board:  Susan Mekenney, ABR, CRS, GREEN, GRI, ePro Chairman-Elect: Vinh Nguyen Immediate Past Chairman:  Jane A. Quill, ABR, CRS, CIPS, GREEN, GRI, SRES Secretary/Treasurer:  Karen Trainor DIRECTORS-AT-LARGE Val August, CRS, GRI Julia Avent, ABR, CRS, GRI Sue Bowers, CRS Laura Fall, CRS Scott Fortney, CRS, ePRO Pat Kline, GRI, SRES Diane Mun Lee Andrew Norton, ABR, CRS, GREEN, GRI, SRES Peter Rickert, ABR, ePro, GREEN Mario Rubio, SRES Trudy Severa, ABR, CRS, GRI, SRES Jon Wolford Publisher/CEO: Christine M. Todd, CAE, RCE Editor-In-Chief: Jill M. Landsman Managing Editor: Ann Gutkin Editorial Assistants: Ainsley McDougal, Allyson Teevan Marketing & Sales Manager: Tracy Reynolds Graphic Designer: Tricia Chroussis Contributors: Kipp Burgoyne, Julie P. Hawkins, Myrna Keplinger, Michele Lerner, Lisa Vierse May, John McClain, Sarah Louppe Petcher and Michele Steele

Interested in advertising? Please call 703. 207. 3206 for information. The Realtor® UPDATE (ISSN 10988475) is published nine times a year by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® as follows: combined issues for January/ February, July/August and November/December, and monthly issues for March, April, May, June, September and October. Periodicals postage paid at Fairfax, VA 22030 and additional mailing offices. Subscriptions account for $19 of each member’s annual dues. Annual subscriptions are available to non-members for $39. Subscription inquiries may be sent to the Realtor® UPDATE at the address below. Copyright 2009 by the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®. All rights reserved. Postmaster: Please send address changes to: Realtor® UPDATE Northern Virginia Association of Realtors® 8403 Arlington Boulevard, Suite 100 Fairfax, VA 22031-4601 Telephone: 703. 207. 3200 FAX: 703. 207. 3268 Web: E-mail: Advertising Info:

Follow us on Twitter and become a fan of our Facebook page.

By Susan Mekenney, 2009 Chairman of the Board


have been selling real estate full time now for 15 years. I started in 1994, a not-so-good market and graduated to the frenzied 2004-05 market. Now, I find myself in a market dominated by foreclosures and short sales coupled with brand-new lending and appraisal guidelines that seem to change daily. There are days when I feel like I am starting all over again as an agent. One thing is certain: I am spending more time these days attending classes, office meetings and networking, just to stay on top of the changes that affect how I sell real estate. Now more than ever, taking advantage of educational opportunities is a must if you are serious about your profession and want to ensure that you are not a liability to your clients, yourself and your company. As members of NVAR, we are blessed with a rich educational program led by our “Dean of Education,” Anne Gardner. Her team of teachers is a dedicated group of active real estate professionals. Part of our educational offering each year is our annual convention that is a free member benefit! This year, our convention is taking on a whole new look at a brand new location, the Annandale campus of Northern Virginia Community College (NVCC). The aptly named theme, Back to School, is jam packed with relevant subjects for all agents. No matter how long you have been in the business, these programs are guaranteed to provide you with the tools you need to not only survive but succeed in today’s real estate market. Check out the full agenda on pages 8-12 in this issue of Update Magazine. There is so much to choose from, I’m having a problem trying to figure out where I am going to spend my time! To quote the founder of RE/MAX International, Dave Liniger, “The more you learn, the more you earn.” I’d like to take that thought one step further and add “and survive in this ever-changing, challenging, real estate market.” Take advantage of these wonderful educational opportunities, network with old friends and meet new ones. I look forward to seeing you on Tuesday, October 13. Visit the event Web site at!

2009 Chairman of the Board

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



Our competitors can’t measure up!












Convenience As one of the largest title companies in Virginia, MBH has of�ices throughout the Washington metropolitan area.

Experienced Staff Having conducted over 150,000 real estate closings since 1994, our professional staff has the experience to ensure that your settlement goes smoothly.

Availability Our committed staff is accessible everyday for your settlement-related inquiries, questions or concerns. MBH is always at your service!

Real Estate Education Classes MBH is proud to offer Continuing Education and Post Licensing classes on current and important topics in the real estate industry.

On-Time Pledge We pledge that settlements will start within �ifteen minutes of your scheduled time or we will deduct $50 from your settlement fee, provided MBH has received the mortgage documents from your lender.

Satisfaction Guaranteed We are so con�ident you will be satis�ied with our service, that we guarantee it. If you are not completely satis�ied for any reason, MBH will refund your settlement fee.

NVAR Convention & Trade Show

The NVAR Annual Convention Please visit us at booths 201 & 202 Please visit us at booths 201 & 202

Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus

2009 College, Annandale Campus NorthernOctober Virginia13, Community

October 13, 2009

in this issue

8 NVAR Goes Back to School at the 2009 Convention & Trade Show Schedule, Map & Exhibitors

In This Issue

3 Chairman of the Board Column: NVAR Offers Opportunities Galore! 6 New Members; NVAR Partners 7 NVAR New Headquarters: Building Green, Building Smart 12 NV/RPAC Breakfast: Begin Convention Day with POLITICO 13 Letters to the Editor: Average Sales Price Calculations Explained 14 Marketable vs. Insurable Title: Is there a difference?

23 Agents Need to Know: Sales Associates Eligible for SBA Loans

34 NV/RPAC Major Investors Recognized 36 MRIS Compliance Tips: Test Your Knowledge 37 Green Task Force: NAR Grant Awarded 38 VHDA: Financing Plus Much More 40 Spotlight: Property Management & Leasing Forum

28 Appreciation  Cruise: NVAR 42 Designations & Specialty Boards the Courses; ABR Graduates; Cherry Blossom Education Calendar 29 Urban Land Institute Calculator: 46 Appraiser & Affiliate Directories NAR Needs Your Feedback 31 Ask NVAR: Net Sales Price Commissions Explained; Potential CRESPA Violations Revealed

August Statistics


32 Government Affairs: Candidates Endorsed for Virginia Elections


Market Update: Has Recovery Dawned? 18

Going Green: Top Remodeling Ideas 20

Social Media: 24 Get Logged On & Plugged In to Marketing

The views expressed in this publication may not reflect NVAR policy, and may be the opinions of the writer or interviewee.

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



new members


elcome New Members

Olgia Abache Medhat Abdou Lynn Abram Gregory Abramson Waqas Ali Young Baik Debra Bassett Donald Beavers Vincent Benincasa Tony Benita Aklilu Berhe Mulugeta Beyene George Bright Alvaro Moises Caceres Felipe Leang Callner Jenny Carlozzi Melinda Cerritos Tony Chan Wan Chen Chol Choi Robert Clements Susan Conrad Elizabeth Conroy Maria DiGilio Hien Do Vishnu Donepudi Marisol Duff Steve Dunleavey Jennifer Durbin Thomas Edmunds Lauren Ellmore Margaret Fernandez Prakasan Fimi Pankaj Garg Lori Ginter Catherine Grace Randi Halavazis Jacquelyn Hardman Patricia Heick Howard Horowitz Brian Hutt



Huy Huynh Marion Johnson III Deborah Jones Nason Khomassi Steven Klynsma Julie Krenzke Huyn Lee Chae Lim Daniel Littlefield Malin Luca Alessandra Magistrali James Manuel Christopher McCarrick Mary Menefee Thomas Dzejna Mujezinovic John Murray Dinh Nguyen Etie O’Connell Kathleen Perlman David Poole Jonathan Pyo Arthur Ripalda Jennifer Rosen Shilpa Shah Sondra Sivits Steele Sloat Cynthia Spencer Eileen Stone Chad Thitoff Darlene Toomer David Vernon Christopher Walters Kevin Warner Gerard Warwick Jeehan Wassif Thomas West Karen Winstead Thomas Woodruff Xiaoyin Yang Victoria Zenner Stephen Zolnowski     October 2009


Thanks Our 2009

Partners platinum






nvar building green

Building Green, Building Smart:

Good News for NVAR & You By Allyson Teevan, NVAR Communications & Media Relations Manager

“It’s a smart thing to do…,” comments Marlene Shade, Associate Principal with PSA Dewberry, the lead architect for NVAR’s new headquarters, who obviously is proud of NVAR’s decision to build a LEED-certified facility. NVAR is building green and in today’s business climate it’s economically and environmentally the ‘smart thing to do.’ It produces several cost-saving benefits, and Marlene Shade those financial incentives can add up. Eco-friendly construction produces an overall better quality building, while reducing harmful impacts on our ecosystem. LEED certification is achieved from points earned during the construction process. These points vary based on several key areas, such as the amount of recycled materials and resources that are used, the building’s location, its water efficiency, its indoor air quality and the innovation and design of the structure, among others. Through the use of recycled materials, NVAR is reducing waste generated from the new construction. The building’s location was also a major consideration for its sustainability. For example, proximity to public

transportation and adequacy of parking were important factors. NVAR will maximize water efficiency through the use of Energy Star® appliances, green fixtures and landscaping. LEED points for energy, atmosphere and indoor quality can be earned from the usage of natural sunlight, low-emitting materials (paints, carpets, etc.), ventilation and temperature control. These components allow for a healthy and comfortable work environment. Building green and constructing a LEED-certified building has benefits for real estate agents too! “Here is some good news for Realtors®,” said Shade. “Buildings that are sustainable are achieving higher sales, and residential buildings can be sold at a higher price if they are designed sustainably. It’s a desire of home buyers.” To view Shade’s interview and other commentary, please visit, then click on About Us to find additional information under New Building Project. As the new NVAR Headquarters building is constructed, updates will be posted to that page. ❈

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  





2009 Convention & Trade Show

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 Northern Virginia Community College, Annandale Campus


9:30 – 11 a.m. Opening Bell

7:30 – 9:30 a.m. NV/RPAC Breakfast

Power Up A Surge In Your Production Today!

Forum Room Pre-Registration Required John Harris and Jim VandeHei, Co-Founders of POLITICO

Ernst Theater Auditorium Rick DeLuca, Buffini & Co.

Virginia will be one of only two states to elect a new governor this November. Will it be a referendum on national voter sentiment or a bellwether of elections to come? NV/RPAC welcomes the co-founders of POLITICO, the newest powerhouse in political journalism, to break down the races and issues just three weeks before Election Day. Founded in 2007 by Washington Post reporters John Harris and Jim VandeHei, POLITICO and its Web counterpart have rapidly become the go-to source for all things political. It is Washington, DC’s first truly multi-platform news source catering exclusively to the nation’s 24-hour political news consumer. Join NV/RPAC and Virginia’s federal, state and local officials to hear the latest predictions from POLITICO’s John Harris and Jim VandeHei. You won’t want to miss it! Sponsored by

9 a.m. Exhibit Hall Opens 9 a.m. WiFi Lounge Opens

WiFi hot spot new this year! Keep in touch with your clients, check email and tweet about your day. Coffee will be served at 9 a.m. Sponsored by



Today’s consumers are more sophisticated and their expectations of real estate professionals are at an all-time high. Market challenges, trying economic conditions and the need to keep up with the latest technology make success in real estate more challenging than ever. Join us and learn about efficient systems to deliver more than the consumer expects so that you can succeed in this economy! Sponsored by

11 a.m. – Noon Get to Class: Session I BUS LAW 101: Don’t Get Sent to the Principal’s Office – An Update on Hot Lending & Legal Topics Forum Room Art Grace, MBH Settlement Group; Doug Enger, Wells Fargo Home Mortgage; Diane Quigley, Quigley Appraisals Don’t miss this review of the hottest legal and regulatory issues presented by a panel of industry pros. Intended for managers and broker/owners, this session will feature a review of lending issues and a forecast of things to come. Panelists will also address the impact of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct on transactions and the end of the line at the settlement table. Sponsored by

    October 2009

SOC MED 102: Maximize Your Profits with Free Social Media tools CN Building, Room CN117 Brian Block, RE/MAX Allegiance “I want to start a blog, but how do I do that? What do I write about when I start one? How do I get potential clients to go to my Web site? How do I get my Web site on the first page of Google searches? What other technology can I use to attract and connect with clients today?” Join Brian Block and those questions will be answered. Learn the ins and outs of blogging, what search engine optimization is all about, and how to utilize online social networking. You’ll walk away empowered to take the online world by storm and increase your pool of buyers and sellers in just a few days. Sponsored by

PSYCH 103: Getting Sold – Winning the Beauty Pageant & the Pricing War CN Building, Room CN103 Moderator: Tamara Inzunza, McEnearney Associates Panelists: Trish Kim, ASP Master Home Stager; Elizabeth Lucchesi, McEnearney Associates; Mark Melikan, Long & Foster Real Estate It’s not the price or condition that sells a home, it’s both. To get sold, first you need the total package – even with your REOs. A panel of top local agents will review the “dollars and sense” of staging, pricing a property correctly and proper placement of your marketing. Attend this session and you will learn how to get any home ready for sale. Sponsored by


convention schedule


Attendees are asked to bring a bag of nonperishable groceries for United Community Ministries, or a suggested donation of $25 or more.

FIN 104: The New Math – Balancing Your Personal & Business Budgets

FIN 201 or ART 201: Building an Ultimate Office – Is it Finance or Fine Art?

CN Building, Room CN126 Doug Alcorn, Alcorn & Cureton, Ltd. CPAs

Forum Room Rick DeLuca, Buffini & Co.

Join Doug Alcorn, CPA, for a fastpaced workshop on personal finance for Realtors®. Learn how to replace your personal savings and create balance in your personal and business budgets. Doug will refocus your plan for today’s reality, whether it is for your business development or retirement strategies.

Today’s economic conditions make growth more important and more difficult than it’s been in years. Time constraints on managers, with their many responsibilities, make recruiting and retention more challenging. You will be introduced to a ‘systematic’ approach to recruiting that attracts both experienced producers and new agents, while making your existing ones your strongest advocates. Don’t miss this information-packed session! Sponsored by

Noon – 12:30 p.m. Box Lunch in the Exhibit Hall 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. Get to Class: Session II BUS LAW 203: It’s Not Personal – Insight on Foreclosures Ernst Theater Auditorium Moderator: Matthew Deaton, Prudential Carruthers Realtors® Panelists: Phil Chernitzer, REO Real Estate; John Burson, Esq., Shapiro & Burson, LLP; Stephen Papermaster, President and CEO, Streamline Title and Escrow; Ellie Evans, Homesteps Regional Area Manager, FreddieMac Our panel of experts will outline the foreclosure process and then delve into the deeper issues. REO guru, Matt Deaton, will lead our discussion on obstacles to securing title and settlement. Panelists will also address “as is” properties and offer an update on new government policies to help clients avoid foreclosure entirely. The key point agents need to understand with foreclosures is that, “It’s not about the buyer! It’s about the bank.” Attend this session and you will learn valuable insights about the foreclosure process in today’s market. Sponsored by

SOC MED 205: Beyond the Basics – Social Media Labworks CN Building, Room CN117 Moderator: Ben Martin, Virginia Association of Realtors® Panelists: Rick Bosl, Keller Williams Realty; Ray Hwang, Frankly Realty; Brian Block, RE/MAX Allegiance Grab a lab partner and your smartphone, PDA or laptop for this session covering the latest uses of social media tools for your business. VAR’s Ben Martin (of fame) will be your guide in these experiments. You’ll be tweeting before you’re out the door! Sponsored by

DRAMA 202: Understudies Have a Voice – Assistants/Teams Panel CN Building, Room CN103 Moderator: Natalie McArtor, Long & Foster Real Estate Panelists: Anne Morrow, Long & Foster Real Estate; Tanya Tyburski, RE/MAX Choice; Jeffrey Kochan, Long & Foster Real Estate Sit tight as we pull back the curtain to reveal the real world workings of top teams and assistants. Whether you call them understudies, set builders or make-up artists, these valuable folks are making big things happen! Panelists will address their critical role in the transaction, so that “all’s well that ends well.”

ART 204: Color Me Green – Understanding How to Stay Within the Lines In the Green Real Estate Business CN Building, Room CN126 Moderator: Andy Norton, RE/MAX Distinctive Real Estate Panelists: Julie P. Hawkins, D&R International, on behalf of ENERGY STAR, U.S. Department of Energy; Erik M. Feig, Esq., General Counsel, MRIS Lou Sagatov, Sagatov Associates; Robin Spector, Senior Attorney, Federal Trade Commission, Bureau of Consumer Protection, Division of Enforcement Which features make a property ‘green’? How can Realtors® accurately list and market ‘green’ properties? What is ‘greenwashing’ and how can it create liability for Realtors® and their clients? This panel discussion, featuring representatives from the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of Energy, MRIS and the local building community, will explain how to color your business green – by the book! Sponsored by NVAR Green Task Force

1:45 – 2 p.m. Snack Break in the Exhibit Hall

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



convention schedule

Thank you to our sponsors General Session Sponsor:

Reception & Closing Session Sponsor:

WiFi Lounge Sponsor:

2 – 3:15 p.m. Get to Class: Session III

PSYCH 304: Buyer, You’re Mine

business – a lead generation system, a Web site, or even the market. In reality, you have everything you need to get to the next level of your business right at your fingertips. Find out how at Anthony Carr’s “Building Your Business from the Power Within.” Learn how to tap into the power track of your own mind, your creativity, your company and your industry.

CN Building, Room CN117 Terry Watson, Watson World

DRAMA 911: Short Sales – Need We Say More? Ernst Theater Auditorium Michael & Stacy Spickes, America’s Home Rescue Avoid the drama and the high stakes games to create solutions in managing short sales. Stacy & Michael Spickes are the nation’s go-to resources about this topic and will share their best tips and tools for helping clients through both sides of these dramatic transactions! Leave this session prepared to serve your sellers and educate your buyers in transactions involving undervalued properties, while negotiating your client’s best deal. Sponsored by

Are you tired of working solely on the honor system with your prospects? Terry will offer methods and techniques for obtaining long-term client commitments in writing. Learn what to do, what not to do, how to overcome the crippling fear of posing “the question,” how to let go of the perceived pressures, and more. If you work with buyers, don’t miss this class! It could increase loyalty among them threefold! Sponsored by

COMM 301: Become an Expert in Commercial Real Estate CN Building, Room CN103 Greg Schenk, SIOR, The Schenk Company, Inc.

BUS LAW 302: The Final Exam – The New Truth In Lending (Regulation Z) Forum Room Don Tomlinson, MBH Settlement Group The new Truth In Lending Act (TILA) changes are in effect; do you know how to manage your transactions accordingly? Our speaker will bring you up to speed on the important details about new early disclosure requirements, waiting periods, rate change triggers and more. The changes are not burdensome, but they can test the limits of an otherwise smooth transaction. Brokers, be sure to attend – your agents need you to make this session! Sponsored by

Give your career as a commercial agent a proper foundation by attending this session. You will learn everything you need to know to become an expert in commercial real estate. Learn to put together a “brag book” and become familiar with every form and agreement needed in a commercial transaction. This session is guaranteed to start you on the path to success, help you set goals, start in the right direction and follow the proven time line and formula for success.

MKTG 303: Building Your Business from the Power Within CN Building, Room CN126 M. Anthony Carr, Weichert Realtors®

4 p.m. Exhibit Hall Closes 4 p.m. WiFi Lounge Closes 3:30 – 5 p.m. Pep Rally (Annual Meeting) and Valedictorian Speech Why Be Normal! Ernst Theater Auditorium Terry Watson, Watson World At the end of the day, what moves some to greatness and holds others behind? The difference between good and great often lies in the “subtle self-sabotage.” Many times, awareness is the answer! Terry’s high-energy presentation will motivate you and demonstrate the simple things you must do today to get started on a path to great success. Learn why you shouldn’t let “perfect” get in the way of “better.” Expect to laugh, ponder and be moved! Sponsored by

5 – 6 p.m. The Mixer: Closing Reception Sponsored by

Did the change in the market seem to pass you by? Do you feel like you are a high-performing agent trapped in a foreclosure market? Many times you seek external forces to change your



    October 2009


convention map

NV/RPAC Breakfast Sponsors:

Breakout Session Sponsors:





CE – E rnst Cultural Center (Breakout sessions, RPAC Breakfast)

G – Gymnasium (Trade Show)

CN – CN Building (Breakout sessions)

B – Parking

T – Theater (General Sessions, Breakout sessions)

For complete convention details, visit NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



convention exhibitors

Booth # Company Name List is current as of September 1, 2009

904 1-800-Got-Junk? 402 Acacia Federal Savings Bank 1001 Bank of America

107 Listingbook 501 Long and Foster Real Estate 109 Maid Brigade 201 202 MBH Settlement Group

901 Prudential Carruthers Realtors® 809 Real Estate Rescue 310 Realtor ® Federal Credit Union

905 MetLife Home Loans

206 Realty Executives Mid-Atlantic

801 Mold Aid

401 RGS Title

204 Monarch Title

609 SentriLock

103 MRIS

902 The Hutt Financial Group

1003 College Hunks Hauling Junk

601 Navy Federal Credit Union

209 The Settlement Group, Inc.

102 Commission Express


701 Union Mortgage Group

1005 Dominion Title Corporation

707 NVAR Government Affairs

602 US Inspect

903 D  ryHome Roofing & Siding, Inc.

906 907 NVAR Realtor ® Store

203 VHDA

710 Ekko Title

207 Plumbing Express

1007 Virginia Association of Realtors®

1006 HMS Home Warranty

301 Pollard Environmental, LLC

1002 Washington Post Media

101 JK Moving & Storage, Inc.

1004 Preferred Staging

105 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage

208 Branch Banking & Trust Company (BB&T) 808 Buffini & Company 409 Central Title and Escrow, Inc.

608 Prospect Mortgage

John Harris Editor-in-Chief

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 Virginia will be one of only two states to elect a new governor this November. Will it be a referendum on national voter sentiment or a bellwether of elections to come?

Jim VandeHei Executive Editor

NV/RPAC welcomes the co-founders of POLITICO, the newest powerhouse in political journalism, to break down the races and issues just three weeks before election day. As always, we’ll be joined by a host of Virginia’s federal, state and local elected officials.

Northern Virginia Community College Cultural Center Forum Coffee & Registration: 7:30 a.m. Breakfast & Presentation: 8 - 9:30 a.m.

Cost: $35 per person Free to 2009 NV/RPAC Contributors of $250 or more Download Registration Form at

Sponsored By:



    October 2009


letters to the editor

Keep the Money You Make at

Letters to the


Average Sales Price Data Calculations Are Weighted; Explanation Provided to a Curious Reader

100% Commission $149.00 Monthly Fee $495.00 Transaction Fee

One eagle-eyed reader raised an interesting question about the May 2009 housing statistics that appeared in our July/August issue of Update magazine. Since the answer requires an explanation about how MRIS arrives at each average sale price, the Update editorial staff is taking this opportunity to offer a lesson about this equation for all readers. On page 35 of the July/August Update, the Arlington sales data cited that in each of the three housing categories – detached, attached and condo, average sold prices were lower in 2009 than in 2008. “The problem,” writes Frank LLosa of, “is you have three categories that are all lower than the previous year, but the ‘Overall’ is higher. Unless there is a missing category, [how is it possible to] have three sectors falling year over year, but have the ‘Overall’ $3,000 higher?” MRIS Statistics Department Response: In May 2009 there was a higher percentage of detached sales and a lower percentage of condo sales than in May of 2008. Since the detached prices tend to be significantly higher than the condo prices (the detached Average Sold Price is around two times greater than the condo Average Sold Price), this causes the overall Average Sold Price to be higher. In other words, the total volume of sales for 2009 is “weighted” with sales that tend to have a much higher Sold Price, therefore, the Average Sold Price is going to be higher.    For more confirmation, notice that while the percent increase in Average Sold Price increased by less than 1 percent from May 2008 to May 2009, the Median Sold Price* increased by 11 percent for the same period. The Median Sold Price is the price at which half the sales have a higher price and half the sales have a lower price.  This indicates that, overall, the ‘Sold Price’ increased. * Editor’s note: Median Sold Price - a number not included in Update magazine, but that is always available monthly under the Market Statistics tab on ❈ 

 Prime McLean Location  Licensed in DC, MD & VA  Buffini & Company Certified Mentor™  VA Broker Pre-Licensing Classes 42” Monitor for Client Consultations Free In-House Copies, Phone & Fax  In-House Graphic Design

Call Me Now! 703.749.0004 Donna Paton Principal Broker 1401 Chain Bridge Road, McLean, VA

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



title insurance

Title Insurance is Title Insurance — or is it? By Myrna Keplinger, Principal of The Settlement Group


or any Realtor® who has had to explain to a client that purchasing title insurance is not optional, it may be helpful to know a little bit about the product’s history and to understand the difference between insurable title and marketable title. Not many people know that Daniel Boone, pioneer of the Kentucky wilderness, lost his vast landholdings because he had “the wrong kind of papers.” When Abraham Lincoln was a young boy, his father lost his Kentucky home due to a defect in the title. Tom Lincoln then moved his family 8 miles away and once again had to go to court to prove the ownership of his second home. Even though Lincoln won the suit, he was concerned that he might lose this home. Talk of land titles, landowners, landlords, land-laws, land-lawyers and land-sharks made Lincoln unsure of this title, so he moved his family to Indiana where there was government land with clear title. At one time, transferring title to real property was handled primarily by conveyancers, who were responsible for all aspects of the transactions. The conveyancer conducted a title search to determine the ownership rights of the seller and any other rights, interest, liens or encumbrances that might exist with respect to the property. Based on the search, a signed abstract (or description) of the status of the title was provided. Although the conveyancer was generally not a lawyer, that individual was recognized as an authority on real estate law. The origin of title insurance is directly traceable to the limited protections that the work of such a conveyancer provided to the purchaser of real property.

Protecting the Purchaser It wasn’t until 1868 in the celebrated case of Watson v. Muirhead that the need to protect the purchaser came to everyone’s attention. In this case Muirhead, a conveyancer, had searched and abstracted a title for Watson, the purchaser of a parcel of real property. In good faith and after consulting an attorney, Muirhead chose to ignore certain recorded judgments and to report the title as good and unencumbered. On the basis of Muirhead’s abstract, Watson went ahead with the purchase, but was subsequently presented with, and required to satisfy, the liens that Muirhead had concluded were not impairments to title. After Watson lost his investment at a sheriff’s sale as a result of the outstanding prior lien, he sued Muirhead to recover his losses. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled that there was no negligence on the conveyancer’s part and dismissed the case. Watson, an innocent purchaser who had suffered financial damages because of the encumbrances on his title, had no recourse. The decision of Watson v. Muirhead demonstrated clearly that the existing conveyancing system could not provide total assurance to purchasers of real property. After that decision, the Pennsylvania legislature passed an act “to provide for the incorporation and regulation of title insurance companies.”

Out of Necessity, Title Insurance is Born In 1876, a group of conveyancers led by Joshua Morris met in Philadelphia to incorporate the world’s first title insurance company, The Real Estate Title Insurance Title Insurance, continued on page 16



    October 2009


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Final opportunity! Early move-ins Available! From the Upper $400’s. Herndon. 703.453.3496

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title insurance Title Insurance, continued from page 15 Company of Philadelphia. We know them today as Commonwealth Land Title, which is part of the Fidelity Title Insurance Company family. That same year, The Real Estate Title Insurance Company of Philadelphia issued the first title insurance policy to Martha Morris to protect her loan on a residential row home in Philadelphia. This new type of insurance, called Title Insurance, addressed the concerns raised in Watson v. Muirhead by providing (1) responsibility without proof of negligence, (2) financial protection through a reduction of the risk of insolvency and (3) the assumption of risks beyond those disclosed in the public records.

Title insurance emphasizes loss prevention by eliminating risks caused by title problems arising from past events. Approximately 25 percent of all residential real estate transactions have issues with the title that are resolved by title professionals before closing. This emphasis on loss prevention results in fewer claims paid by title insurers compared to other lines of insurance. However, loss preventions and clearing title issues are laborintensive and costly components of a title company’s operating budget. To compare, the expense ratio for title insurers averages 90 percent, while the expense ratio for property and casualty companies is less than 30 percent.

Insurable or Marketable: Is There a Difference? Realtors® may be aware that “insurable title vs. marketable title” is a hot topic right now. With so many REO properties on the market to be

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title insurance

sold, and most of those contract addenda requiring just “insurable title,” does this present a problem? After all, title insurance is title insurance, right?

Ma Kettle closes her refinanced loan and has purchased lender’s title insurance from the insurer of her owner’s policy, “Oops Title Insurance Company.”

The language in paragraph 19 of the NVAR sales contract would indicate otherwise: “Title is to be good and marketable, and insurable by a licensed title insurance company with no additional risk premium.”

Several years down the road, Ma Kettle is ready to sell her home. In the course of preparing to close this sale, a full title search is done. Both Ma Kettle and her daughter are included in the land records search and a judgment against the property in Ma Kettle’s daughter’s name is revealed.

Insurable title is defined as: a land title that a title insurance company is willing to insure. The definition of Marketable Title is: a title that a reasonable purchaser, well informed regarding the facts and their legal meaning, would be willing to accept. So is there really a difference?

Consider the following (true) scenario: Ma Kettle buys a house and an Owner’s title insurance policy. A few years later, she adds her daughter to the title via a Deed of Gift. When Ma Kettle decides to refinance the house, her daughter returns her interest in the house to her mother, and Ma refinances her loan. The title company closing the loan neglects to do a full 60-year title search and only performs a bringdown from the date of the Deed of Gift. A land records search under the daughter’s name was not performed.

Oops Title Insurance Company is willing to ignore the judgment and insure the property, because no one had made any claim against them for the judgment. Whew! Ma Kettle has insurable title! However, the purchaser of the home was insistent that he receive marketable title, not just insurable. Fortunately, Ma Kettle was willing to pay the outstanding judgment and have it released from the land records. Now Ma Kettle has marketable title as well. This is rather a simple overview of Insurable Title vs. Marketable Title as this a complex issue. ❈ Editor’s Note: First America Title Insurance Company, Old Republic Title Insurance Company and American Land Title Association provided information used in this article.

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NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  




market update

We Are Starting to See the But Has By John McClain, Senior Fellow, George Mason University, Center for Regional Analysis


he national recession as measured by Gross Domestic Product was at its worst in the fourth quarter of 2008 and in the first quarter of 2009. However, several indications show that those two quarters may have represented the bottom of the recession and that the economy will begin growing again in 2009. The positive signs will be seen in increased consumer confidence and then consumer spending as growth begins. The jobs part of the economy will likely not see growth until 2010. The implementation and effectiveness of the stimulus packages will be important in how the economic conditions play out for the rest of 2009 and into 2010. The Washington region and Northern Virginia have fared better than most parts of the country. While jobs have been lost in some sectors – particularly the construction and retail sectors, other sectors of the economy continue to grow, including Professional and Business Services, Health and Education Services, and Federal Government. The June 2009 unemployment rate rose to 6.6 percent for the metropolitan area and 5.5 percent for Northern Virginia, while for the nation it was 9.7 percent (all rates not seasonally adjusted). One of the most significant signs of recovery is the housing market, in which sales are up, and prices metro-wide are down by only single digits. Prices are actually up in the NVAR region compared to one year ago.

National Economic Backdrop GDP was down 5.4 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008, and declined 6.4 percent in the first quarter of 2009, but was down only 1.0 percent in the second quarter of 2009, compared to the previous year. The result of this trend is that many are now predicting that the economy will start to improve in the third quarter of 2009 – well ahead of what was being predicted earlier in 2009. Global Insight is forecasting that GDP will increase 0.6 percent in the third quarter, 1.1 percent in the fourth quarter, and will continue gaining momentum into 2010, reaching a growth level of 3.3 percent by the fourth quarter of



2010. This recession is already longer and deeper than the recession of the early 1980s. This recession will also be known as having a jobless recovery: similar to the conditions after the 2001 recession, it will take some time for unemployment rates and job growth to return to normal. Some key national indicators as of the end of the second quarter: Housing sales have picked up during the spring months throughout the country. This has been particularly evident in markets that were the hottest in mid-decade and where the foreclosure situation has been the worst, creating significant sales of foreclosed homes. Also, there are indications that sales of new homes are increasing. Prices are still declining at the national level but not declining as much. It would appear that normal market forces coupled with government programs – especially the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit – are starting to turn the tide in the housing sector. Nationally, housing sales have been the strongest for houses in the under $400,000 range. July existing home sales had the highest month-over-month percentage increase in more than a decade. There appears to be an increase in buyers, and it is hoped that these positive trends can be sustained over the coming months. An important factor in the housing market recovery will be avoiding another round of foreclosures due to “Alt-A” and option arm mortgages that will begin resetting. Part of the Obama administration’s stimulus program includes initiatives to refinance many of these mortgages, and the success of that will be key to the market’s recovery. Consumer confidence indices declined to record lows earlier in the year but have rebounded significantly. While not yet back to normal levels that would provide a bounce in consumer spending, it appears that consumers’ expectations for the economy are improving. Oil prices and interest rates are two positive indicators as the summer of 2009 has progressed; both are lower than they were last year at this time. Indices that measure the performance of the manufacturing and services sectors are also showing improvement. The jobs picture has been bleak. At the national level, payroll jobs in June were down 5.8 million from June of 2008. Unemployment reached 9.5 percent in June and

    October 2009


market update

Light, Recovery back down to 9.4 percent in July (seasonally adjusted figures), but most expect it to surpass 10 percent before beginning to decrease in a meaningful way. First-time claims for unemployment began to fall off significantly in July and early August, and it is expected that this trend will continue.

The NVAR Housing Market One of the brightest spots in the local economy is the latest data on the housing market. Average sales prices in the Washington metro area were down 26 percent at the beginning of the year compared to the same time a year earlier. Price drops were less severe each month and as of July were down only 8.5 percent metrowide and down only 2.0 percent for the Northern Virginia portion of the “metropolitan statistical area,” which includes NVAR as well as Loudoun, Prince William, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Fauquier, Clarke and Warren Counties.

Dawned? by the near-collapse of the financial system. Another threat continues to be foreclosures in the housing market, which now appear to be caused by unemployment rather than by subprime mortgages. One force working to overcome these pressures is the stimulus package, which has just begun to gain traction. Much of the stimulus money has yet to enter the economy but will be doing so well into 2010. The stimulus package and other elements of national policy, plus trends in several economic indicators, would point towards an economy that is on the road to recovery. That recovery has probably already dawned in Northern Virginia. ❈

For the NVAR region sales were up and the median sales price increased on an annual basis in July (compared to July 2008) for the first time since April 2006 – more than three years ago. Does all this mean that recovery is here? There are several signs of improvement and most economists agree that recovery is on the way. There are some threats to the economy’s ability to gain momentum and grow at a healthy pace during the next few years. One problem is the commercial markets, which have yet to work through the issues caused

The stimulus package and other elements of national policy, plus trends in several economic indicators, would point towards an economy that is on the road to recovery. That recovery has probably already dawned in Northern Virginia. NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



going green



Green Remodeling Ideas Get greater return on investment with eco-friendly projects

By Julie P. Hawkins

With all the emphasis on eco-friendly features these days, how can Realtors® advise clients about incorporating green features into their pre-sale improvements? According to the Remodeling Magazine (RM) Cost vs. Value Report 2008-2009 (featured on page 28 of the July/August 2008 issue of Update magazine), the following upgrades fetch the most return at resale. Here’s some advice on how to shade them green. 1. Deck addition (wood) Cost: $10,601 Resale value: $8,676 Recouped: 81.8 percent

they also get a better return on investment at resale than standard vinyl (86.7 percent vs. 80.7 percent for vinyl). Depending on the home’s age, it may be possible to use more efficient insulative vinyl siding, which adds another layer of insulation and moisture protection. This helps to save on heating and cooling costs. 3. Minor Kitchen Remodel Remodeling Magazine scenario: Cost: $21,246 Resale value: $16,881 Recouped: 79.5 percent

Green it up: For a deck addition, choose green materials that are non-toxic, last longer, and require less maintenance. For a wood deck, look for lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), which guarantees that the wood either came from a certified well-managed forest, or is a reclaimed or recycled product. The low-maintenance, high-recycled content and durability of plastic or composite decking also make it a sustainable choice. The Healthy Building Network offers ratings on plastic and composite lumber at pdf. Disposal of the old materials is just as important as what is installed. Decking materials were historically treated with toxic chemicals, so should never be burned. Clients should be advised to take treated wood to the local landfill or transfer station and place it in the non-clean wood pile. 2. Siding replacement Remodeling Magazine scenario: Foam-backed Fiber-cement Vinyl siding (insulative) siding vinyl siding Cost: $10,256 Cost: $13,177 Cost: $12,528 Resale value: $8,274

Resale value: $11,424

Resale value: $10,074

Recouped: 80.7%

Recouped: 86.7%

Recouped: 80.4%

Green it up: Mineral-fiber and cement-based siding products are inexpensive, require little maintenance, and rarely need replacement. According to RM’s report, 20


Green Kitchen: This green kitchen features ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescent lighting, an ENERGY STAR® qualified refrigerator, colored concrete and recycled glass counter tops, cork flooring, formaldehyde-free wheat board cabinets, and a water filtration system. Learn more on the Virtual Tour at

Green it up: There are dozens of easy green options for a kitchen remodel, where upgrades can have a dramatic visual impact. Just for a short list, start with FSC-certified cabinets, low- or no-VOC (volatile organic compound) paints and finishes, and faucets with aerators. Cabinets are often made of pressed or composite wood (particle board) and contain urea-formaldehyde, which will off-gas for some time. Choose new cabinets that don’t contain formaldehyde. For existing cabinets, seal exposed pressed-wood surfaces with a low-VOC sealant such as AFM’s Safecoat Safe Seal.

    October 2009


going green

Refinish wood floors with a low-VOC sealant or install a sustainable flooring product like cork, salvaged stone, or true linoleum. Learn more from the Buyer’s Guide to Green Flooring Materials at To save energy and water, replace outdated lighting, refrigerators, freezers, and dishwashers with ENERGY STAR® qualified products. If the kitchen contains an old washing machine, replace that too. Learn more at 4. Window replacement Remodeling Magazine scenario:

Insulated, low-E, simulated-dividedlight wood windows (interior) with stained hardwood interior finish and custom-color aluminum exterior cladding

Basic insulated vinyl windows

Insulated wood windows, exterior clad in vinyl or aluminum

Insulated vinyl, low-E, simulateddivided-light windows with simulated wood grain interior finish and custom-color exterior finish

Cost: $10,537

Cost: $11,512

Cost: $13,608

Cost: $17,580

Resale value: $8,132

Resale value: $8,946

Resale value: $10,781

Resale value: $13,455

Recouped: 77.2%

Recouped: 77.7%

Recouped: 79.2%

Recouped: 76.5%

Green it up: Replacing old, inefficient windows with ENERGY STAR® qualified models can save homeowners 7 to 24 percent on energy bills, and offer a better return on investment at resale. Visit for valuable installation and purchasing tips. If window replacement isn’t in the budget, suggest storms. Tightly fitting storms can be nearly as efficient as new windows—and a great alternative to throwing old windows into a landfill. Many people replace windows when it isn’t necessary. If the existing windows are double pane but just leaky, try stopping air infiltration using V-seal and caulk. Google “Improving the Energy Efficiency of Existing Windows” for guidance from the U.S. Department of Energy. Going Green, continued on page 22

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going green Going Green, continued from page 21 5. Upscale bathroom remodel Remodeling Magazine scenario: Cost: $51,455 Resale value: $36,400 Recouped: 70.7 percent

CFL Comparison Chart: CFLs are an easy and effective option for reducing the energy consumption of any home. Source: U.S. Department of Energy.

Green it up: The RM bathroom remodel is pricey, but clients can revive a bathroom on a budget and still make it green. Forget heated towel bars and a whirlpool tub and install a water-efficient toilet and aerators instead. Visit for product guidance. Other low-cost options include using low- or no-VOC paint, reglazing existing tile rather than replacing it, and installing ENERGY STAR® qualified compact fluorescent lights (CFLs). An ENERGY STAR® qualified exhaust fan will control moisture and run quietly and efficiently. Advise clients to keep tabs of all green upgrades by saving receipts, manufacturer information, and energy bills to help tell the story and sell that house! Highlight the home’s green features accurately on the MLS and with in-home signs and fact sheets. And remember to point out not just the features, but their benefits to the buyer: a more efficient, more comfortable, healthier, longer-lasting, lowermaintenance, and less expensive to operate home. ❈ Julie P. Hawkins is a licensed real estate agent, a Realtor® and a LEED® Accredited Professional. She writes about energy efficiency, green building and real estate on behalf of ENERGY STAR® and the U.S. Department of Energy real estate initiative.

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back in school

Your Client agents need to KNOW Just Did What? Sales Associates Eligible for SBA Loans


he flagship loans of the U.S. Small Business Administration–as well as a new loan created as part of the federal government’s big economic recovery initiative–are available to individual practitioners, SBA has clarified. The National Association of Realtors® sought clarification from SBA after hearing that lenders in some jurisdictions were making the loans to practitioners while others were not. Having these loans available to individual real estate licensees without ambiguity potentially gives a shot in the arm to practitioners who are struggling with high business-related debt. The new loan program, called ARC (America’s Recovery Capital), is an interest-free, deferred payment loan of up to $35,000. One of its intended uses is to help businesses avoid ruinous debt. Thus, if practitioners have maxed-out business credit cards (it has to be business-related debt; personal debt won’t qualify), they can pay off the debt with the far-more attractive SBA loan. SBA’s two flagship loans, known as the Section 7(a) and Section 504 loans, are also open to individuals. The terms of these loan programs have been made more attractive recently, so practitioners have additional loan options that they might want to consider. On the 7(a) loans, the SBA says, “To assist small businesses during the economic downturn, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act authorizes SBA to temporarily reduce or eliminate loan fees for borrowers . . . and raises the loan guarantee from the current level to 90 percent.”

You don’t have to be a detective. Listingbook shows you what properties your clients are really looking at online. With our patented Client Manager, you can see when your client logs in, what properties they view, their rejected and favorite list, if they changed their search criteria and much more—all in real time.

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Read more about the ARC program at arcloanprogram/index.html. ❈ ®

By Robert Freedman for REALTOR® Magazine Online, Daily Real Estate News, August 10, 2009.

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



social media guide

By Michele Lerner

Social A Guide to Logged On & Plugg In The New A

Realtor® might often be described as a “people person,” someone with a natural affinity for networking. Interacting over the Internet and through social media such as Facebook and Twitter may be a stretch for some real estate professionals who crave personal contact, but experts suggest that these technology tools are really just an extension of what Realtors® have always known how to do: build relationships. “People are having conversations about real estate everywhere you go, whether it’s at a party or the grocery store. They are having these same conversations online. Realtors® need to tap into places online where they can get involved in conversations and answer questions,” says Brian Block, managing broker with the Block Real Estate Group at RE/MAX Allegiance in McLean. Block estimates that about 70 percent of his clients come to him through social media. “The most important thing about using social media is to really engage your audience.

Social Media for Beginners

Once the lingo is learned, new gadgets are acquired and software is installed, what is the first move in the 24


social media game? Getting started can be intimidating, but agents who regularly use social media have plenty of advice for novices. Frank LLosa, the Broker/Owner of who gets about 80 percent of his business through social media, suggests starting with Facebook. “Immediately add a photo of yourself. You look creepy if you go around asking to be ‘Friended’ without a photo,” says LLosa. LLosa says agents should avoid being too “sales-y” and only posting new listings on Facebook. Instead, he suggests interacting with others by leaving comments. Next, he suggests joining Twitter and following people

    October 2009

who can be found on Twitter through the agent’s email address book. “I think after getting on Facebook and Twitter, agents should start with a ‘hello world’ blog and video. Literally, goal number one is to get a blog up and just write ‘Hello World.’ Also shoot a video and say ‘hello’ and post it on YouTube. Too many times people get frozen about what to say, and they don’t even get the first step completed,” says LLosa. Heather Elias, a Realtor® with Century 21 Redwood Realty in Ashburn, says she gets 75 to 80 percent of her clients from her blog and suggests that other agents try blogging. “Agents should use what they enjoy using and find something they are comfortable with,” says Elias. “If you want to do a photo blog instead of writing, you should try it, because if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing, people will know.” Elias advises new bloggers to think about their target audience and then NVAR Realtor® UPDATE

social media guide

Media: o Getting ged In to Marketing Millennium develop the blog for that audience. “If you don’t know what you want to write about, just start anyway. It took me about six months to really figure out what I wanted to write,” says Elias. “Realtors® should start by looking at other people’s blogs to see what they are writing and then write about something they think is interesting,” says Block. “If you have a conversation with someone about anything related to real estate, that can work as a blog post.”

Tying Social Media Tools Together Builds A Web Presence

Regardless of whether agents start with Facebook, a blog or another social media tool, experts agree that tools should be linked. Ed Mermelstein, co-founder and managing principal of Edward A. Mermelstein & Associates in New York, says, “The most effective way to use social media is to make sure

each method you use refers to the others as much as possible. Your professional Web site should be linked to Facebook, Twitter and to your blog in order to increase your visibility.” LLosa says that “Advertising 101” teaches that you need to be everywhere. “Frequently my clients will say they found me in several places, including offline references, online places (like Google) and more private arenas like Facebook. By getting plugged in, your future clients will see you everywhere and know that you are the go-to person for that area,” says LLosa. Jennifer Klaussen, a Realtor® with Keller Williams Realty in McLean, uses Facebook and Twitter to increase her referral base, but her blog brings her more business locally. “I’m fairly active on Facebook, which I use partly for personal contacts, but I am conscious of it being open, too,” says Klaussen. “It’s not a bad

message to subtly remind people (actually I call them ‘my friends who live inside my computer’), that I am out showing houses and working seven days a week.” Klaussen says that the traditional method for new agents, staying in touch and building their sphere of influence, actually hasn’t changed. “It’s as important as ever to keep in touch, but mail and even email are not always the way to do it, especially with the current young generation of buyers who all go online before doing anything else,” says Klaussen. Block says when using Facebook and Twitter, it’s important to let people know what you do, but to also be a real person. “You can’t be all business all the time on these sites,” says Block. Many agents find LinkedIn to be more static and business-oriented rather than social, but find it useful as one more place where

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  

Social Media, continued on page 26     


social media guide Social Media, continued from page 21 potential clients can check on their professionalism. Expert users of social media say they plan to expand their use of videos and Twitter and continue to track the topics and technology preferred by potential clients.

alerted (‘pinged’) whenever you are mentioned in someone’s conversation,” says Massey.

extremely local in my content and make sure that what I write is meaningful to buyers and sellers.”

Massey says that as technology changes, Twitter and Facebook may disappear, but “the way that people are connecting won’t go away.”

Twitter: It’s Not For The Birds

“Realtors® tell me they don’t always use Twitter to get new clients, but they are using it to stay in touch with other agents,” says Massey. “For me, Realtors® are my source of business so it helps me to ‘follow’ them, ‘listen’ to their conversations and build relationships.”

Writing her blog for about two years, Klaussen has a library of relevant content that continues to attract readers and potential clients. For example, a post she wrote months ago about Colonial Village continues to bring in buyers, sellers and renters to her business.

Derek Massey, President of MidAtlantic Settlement Services, has discovered how easy it can be to build relationships with Twitter. “I’m intrigued by following Realtors® on Twitter because they can refer business to me and also because they understand the real estate business so completely,” says Massey. “I’ve met Realtors® through Twitter that I didn’t know six months ago by becoming part of their conversation with other agents.” Massey emphasizes that Twitter is about networking, not technology. “Twitter works like real-life networking, where you might introduce yourself to someone at a breakfast who is talking with someone else you know,” says Massey. “On Twitter, you have this same ability to introduce yourself and follow someone’s conversations by clicking on their username and reading their profile.” While some people may think Twitter and Facebook could become overly time-consuming, Massey says that Twitter is a perfect match with iPhones and Blackberries, which people can use for a few minutes at a time while waiting for an appointment to begin. “Another nice feature of Twitter is that you can arrange to be



LLosa says he recently began using Twitter more because it requires shorter messages, which are less time-consuming to write than blog posts. He keeps his Twitter profile set to private, which means it requires permission to follow, because he feels more comfortable sharing comments with friends than with the general public. “Mobile media such as the iPhone puts social media at people’s fingertips constantly, so you can reach people wherever they are,” says Block. “This means you need to update your information more frequently to keep people’s attention.”

Blogging: It’s The “Write” Thing To Do While Twitter and Facebook require short bursts of interaction, most bloggers say they take more time with the articles they post. LLosa writes lengthy pieces that he posts infrequently, while other bloggers post articles bi-weekly or even daily. “The single most effective thing I do to get new business is writing my blog,” says Klaussen. “I stay

    October 2009

“At first I tried to use search engine optimization techniques, but after a while I realized that what matters more is answering consumer questions,” says Klaussen. “Consumer questions are what they will search for online.” Elias says she spends several hours a day on her Loudoun County-focused blog because she feels it works better for her than emailing or cold calling. “Everything I do links back to my blog, which is hyper-local to Loudoun County, with local events, news about the Board of Supervisors and photos,” says Elias. “My Facebook Fan Page directs people back to the blog, but I also find that Facebook works well to increase my visibility to friends of friends.” Elias eliminated a separate Web site a few months ago and now uses her blog page at for all contacts. The blog has a home search page connected to it, along with separate blogs that are more statistical and include local market charts. “I found that my blog was drawing in far more clients than the Web site, so I decided to just use the one place for everything,” says Elias. “This may be a new trend among agents to focus


“You never know which marketing tool works the most, so I try to keep up on Twitter and Facebook, but with my blog as the central element. The blog is the backbone of my marketing, so I try to drive people there through other social media.” — Brian Block, RE/MAX Allegiance on a blog site rather than a separate blog page and a Web site.” Block says he gets referrals and gives referrals to other agents he has gotten to know through their blogs on ActiveRain. “You never know which marketing tool works the most, so I try to keep up on Twitter and Facebook, but with my blog as the central element,” says Block. “The blog is the backbone of my marketing, so I try to drive people there through other social media.” One of Block’s most successful blog posts, “Maryland Millionaires Welcome in Virginia,” landed him an interview on Neil Cavuto’s Fox News program in May. “Blogging is the gift that keeps on giving,” says LLosa. “Write a good post once and people will read it forever and use it as the entry point to your blog. I have people contact me eight months after following me. They feel like they know me, because

social media guide I spent three hours over two years ago explaining how the Exclusive Buyer Agency agreement helps buyers. Remember to think about ‘what’s in it for your customers’ when you are writing.” LLosa recommends that first-time bloggers stay hyper-local with their content, focusing even on just one subdivision or community. “Keep in mind there are two audiences for your blog,” says LLosa. “First, there are your current potential clients. Your information on your blog will help them be more comfortable using you. The second audience is strangers who come in through a Google search. Those are much tougher to convert. You’d better be good and hyper-local. They want to get a feeling for your style and approach to real estate.”

Video: What You See Is What You Get Agents more comfortable talking than writing may want to try using videos to talk about real estate and posting them on YouTube and other Web sites.

“Think of social media as your chance to have your own TV show, and you are the host,” says LLosa. “In the YouTube world, there is a concept called ‘Organic’ which means a video can actually seem MORE realistic if it is NOT overproduced. Just grabbing a camera that has video on it and talking into the camera is oftentimes good enough.” Block believes videos will be the next area he will develop, having already done a series of tongue-in-cheek videos called “Desperate Realtors®” about what agents wish they could say to clients.

“I actually got a new client out of one of those videos who liked my sense of humor and realized it would be better to spend time searching for homes with someone fun,” says Block. “Videos can definitely show your personality and can be a way to get noticed in a sea of information.” LLosa says his number one “nobrainer” tip for agents is to use live videos for their listings, not just using photos in a virtual tour. “Agents can learn to use a $150 video camera and walk through the house to film it, but I use VideosByAddress. com,” says LLosa. “They are the only vendor approved by MRIS, and they are offering the service of posting your videos to your MLS listings for free.” Whether using Twitter or a video camera, Elias says agents need to migrate with their community to find the best way to stay connected. Technology comes and goes; the important thing is to stay up-to-date with the latest trends being used by potential clients. “Using social media can take time, at least two to four months of consistent effort before seeing results,” says Block. “But the nice thing is that this is almost all free. It takes time, but not money.” No matter how real estate professionals create their online personae, these Realtors® have some things in common: They enjoy their virtual conversations, networking and branding. Distinguishing factors for them in the world of social media are they never lose their own DNA, their own styles nor their own specialties. ❈

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



appreciation cruise

Cherry Blossom Trip NVAR Hosts A Potomac Cruise TO Show Appreciation The historic Cherry Blossom River Boat, boarding at the Alexandria marina, once again was the venue for NVAR’s Appreciation Cruise, which took place on Thursday, August 20. A sultry late-summer evening provided the backdrop for 2009 Chairman Susan Mekenney’s remarks, which included a moment of silence in memory of Past Chairmen Nathan Booth and Luis A. Lama. These beloved members’ wives, Cynthia Hausch-Booth and Maria Lama, attended the cruise and accepted flowers from Mekenney on behalf of NVAR. “Luis and Nathan will live on in our hearts and minds forever,” Mekenney said. “Because of them, our


association is what it is today.” Mekenney also thanked the NVAR instructors, partners, affiliates, committee and forum chairs, members of leadership and staff who attended. “Tonight is really all about you,” Mekenney said. “Thank you for helping to make NVAR a premier real estate association not only in Virginia but in the nation.” To celebrate the news that Trish Szego, ERA-Elite Group Realtors® and past NVAR Chairman, was elected that day as First Vice President of the Virginia Association of Realtors®, Mekenney led the group in a champagne toast. ❈






1. NVAR Chairman Elect Vinh Nguyen, Westgate Realty Group (left), celebrates with NVAR instructor Vimal Kapoor (right) and his wife, Anita Kapoor. 2. NVAR CEO Christine Todd (center) enjoys the sunset with former NVAR Chairmen of the Board Pam McCoach, Long & Foster (left) and Teddy Goodson, ERA-Elite Group Realtors®. 3. Susan Mekenney, 2009 NVAR Chairman of the Board (left), offers a toast to celebrate the election of Trish Szego, ERA-Elite Group Realtors® to the post of 2010 VAR First Vice President.



4. CEO Christine Todd (left) shares a tender moment with Maria Lama, widow of former NVAR Chairman Luis A. Lama. 5. (left to right) Former NVAR Chairman Margaret Ireland, Weichert Realtors®, enjoys the evening with affiliate members Fred Bowers, Intercoastal Mortgage, and Sue Bowers, Suburban Appraisers. 6. The Cherry Blossom awaits its NVAR passengers.

    October 2009


cost calculator feedback

NAR Needs Your Feedback!

Fly High With a GRI! Learn how with the GRI Designation. Register Today!

Has the Urban Land Institute’s Cost Calculator Helped You Determine Your Beltway Burden?


AR and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Transportation and Department of Housing and Urban Development are banding together to work on sustainability issues, including homebuyer awareness of the ‘Cost of Place.’ This concept, discussed at NVAR’s June 11 Road to Recovery event in Herndon, and featured on page 9 of the July/August issue of Update magazine, explores the total cost of a housing location. That amount is equal to not just the house payment, but also the transport costs associated with the location (and the activities of the people who live there). NAR has asked NVAR to request feedback from Realtors® who have used the Urban Land Institute’s Cost Calculator, found at, or who have recommended it to their clients. Please contact Ann Gutkin at if you have such experience. ❈

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



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ask nvar


MRIS Intricacies: Net Sales Price Commissions Explained – PLUS – Beware of Potential CRESPA Violations By Sarah Louppe Petcher, NVAR General Counsel

Question: I represent the buyer in a

transaction. The preliminary HUD sheet indicates a lower amount of commission than what I had calculated based on the gross sales price of the house. I call the settlement agent who informs me that the commission is to be paid on the net sales price. I review the short listing in the MLS and find no indication that commission is to be paid on the net sales price. What is a net sales price? Where is it indicated on the MLS listing?


The MRIS rules and regulations state in Section X: “Sec.2. Compensation specified on listings filed in the service shall appear in one of three forms: a) by showing a percentage of gross selling price b) by showing a definite dollar amount c) commission may be paid on Net Sales price (Sales Price minus seller concessions) or on base price in new construction if specified in the system.” MRIS allows commissions to be paid on the net sales price, which it defines as sales price minus seller concessions. What does that mean? The net sales price is the gross sales price less any closing costs normally paid by the buyer, which in this transaction are paid by the seller. Costs to be deducted can include the home warranty, any inspection (home inspection, termite, radon), and all other closing costs paid by the seller. Where should Realtors® look to find whether their commission is based on the gross sales price or the net sales price? This information is included under the “legal” category of the long version of the listing.

Question: In reviewing the MLS comment

field, I find a lot of information that should not be there. Can you give us guidance about what information does not belong in the comment section?

answer: The increase in listings of bank-

owned properties in the MLS has led to an increase in improper listings. Many bank-owned listings include the name and phone number of the bank that owns the property. Telephone numbers should never be included in the comment section of the MLS. MRIS is currently auditing all listings to identify those that list the bank’s telephone number in the comment section. Another common problem found in listings of bankowned properties are words to the effect of: “you must use Lender X” or “you must use settlement agent X.” Both of these statements raise the specter of a potential RESPA violation. The legislature in Virginia was clear in its last session that such language constitutes a potential violation of CRESPA (the state equivalent of RESPA). Indeed, new legislation required an amendment to our Virginia Jurisdictional Addendum to include the following language: “Variation by agreement: The provisions of the Consumer Real Estate Settlement Protection Act may not be varied by agreement, and rights conferred by this chapter may not be waived. The seller may not require the use of a particular settlement agent as a condition of the sales of the property.” ❈

What can Realtors® do to address this? For most transactions, the difference in the commission paid based on the net sales price and the gross sales price is generally a small portion of the total commission. However, to ensure that payment is based on the gross sales price, Realtors® should make sure to discuss this with their buyer clients and modify the buyer broker agreement to reflect that compensation will be based on the gross sales price of the property. Also, if the commission is paid by the cooperating broker based on the net sales price, then the client will make up the difference. NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



government affairs

NV/RPAC Endorses Candidates for 2009 Elections in the Commonwealth Support the Realtor® Party on November 3! By Lisa Vierse May, NVAR Government Affairs Manager


n April and August, the Northern Virginia/ Realtors® Political Action Committee (NV/RPAC) Trustees gathered to interview candidates for the Virginia House of Delegates. This non-partisan group of Realtors® met with open seat candidates and reviewed voting records of incumbents to determine their views on real estate issues. The areas surveyed include: affordable housing, transportation, tax policy, environmental and green building measures, land use rights, development, the Northern Virginia economy and regulatory issues, among others. The association’s positions on these issues are approved by the NVAR Board of Directors in consultation with the Government Affairs Committee.



Candidates for the statewide offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor and Attorney General, were interviewed in August by members of the RPAC of Virginia Trustees. NV/RPAC and RPAC of Virginia urge Realtors® to vote on November 3. Realtor® support of our endorsed candidates can make a difference and will help ensure a continued favorable environment for real estate in this region. The following is a list of the major party candidates running for elected office this fall. Realtor®-endorsed candidates are in Bold, while * denotes the incumbent. Read more about these candidates and the upcoming elections in the Government Affairs section of ❈

    October 2009


online dues payments

* = Incumbent

Virginia Statewide Offices Governor Robert McDonnell (R) R. Creigh Deeds (D)

Lt. Governor * William “Bill” Bolling (R) Jody M. Wagner (D)

Boldface = Realtor® endorsed

Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, II (R) Stephen Shannon (D)

Virginia House of Delegates 32nd House District Tag Greason (R) * David E. Poisson (D)

38th House District Danny R. Smith (R) L. Kaye Kory (D)

43rd House District Tim D. Nank (R) * Mark D. Sickles (D)

48th House District Aaron E. Ringel (R) * Robert Brink (D)

34th House District Barbara J. Comstock (R) * Margi Vanderhye (D)

39th House District Joseph G. Bury (R) * Vivian E. Watts (D)

44th House District Jay McConville (R) Scott A. Surovell (D)

49th House District * Adam P. Ebbin (D)

35th House District James E. Hyland (R) Mark L. Keam (D)

40th House District * Timothy D. Hugo (R) Sue S. Conrad (D)

45th House District Victoria L. Vasques (R) * David Englin (D)

36th House District Hugh "Mac" Cannon (R) * Ken R. Plum (D)

41st House District Kerry D. Bolognese (R) * Dave W. Marsden (D)

46th House District Sasha Gong (R) * Charniele Herring (D)

37th House District * David L. Bulova (D)

42nd House District * David B. Albo (R) Greg A. Werkheiser (D)

47th House District Eric J. Brescia (R) Patrick Hope (D)

53rd House District Chris D. Merola (R) * James M. Scott (D) 67th House District James M. LeMunyon (R) * C. Chuck Caputo (D) 86th House District * Thomas Davis Rust (R) Stevens R. Miller (D)

Northern Virginia Association of REALTORS®

Renew Again For 2010 - Pay Online In 2009 2010 online dues billing began on August 3, 2009. To ensure a smooth renewal, follow these simple steps: » Go to » Click on the large, red “Pay Dues” button » Follow the login and payment instructions To view the invoice amount for your 2010 dues, you must login to Don’t want to pay online with a credit card? Simply print out the renewal invoice that is available on and mail it in, together with your payment, to: Dates To Know: NVAR August 3, 2009: Dues Billing Period Opened P.O. Box 586 September 30, 2009: Renewals Must Be Received Merrifield, Virginia 22116 October 1, 2009: $50 Late Fee Imposed Payment by October 1, 2009 will keep all your member OR bring your renewal form and payment to the NVAR benefits active. Fairfax or Herndon locations. Pay on time to avoid a late payment fee of $50, effective Oct. 1, 2009. NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



nv/rpac major investors

Northern Virginia/Realtors® Political Action Committee

Sterling R ($1,000)

Thanks Our 2009 Major Inv


Bob Adamson

Julia Avent

Scott Avery

Wayne A. Babb

McEnearney Associates

RE/MAX Allegiance

Avery Hess

RE/MAX Allegiance

David Charron

Angela Eliopoulos

Margaret C. Handley

Jo Anne Johnson


Long & Foster

M.C. Handley, Ltd.

Westgate Realty

Scott A. MacDonald

Kayvan Mehrbakhsh

Susan Mekenney

Tom Meyer

RE/MAX Gateway

Sperry Van Ness

RE/MAX Allegiance

Condo 1

Jane A. Quill

Anne Rector

Peter A. Rickert

Zinta Rodgers-Rickert

RE/MAX Presidential

Long & Foster

Coldwell Banker

RE/MAX Allegiance


    October 2009



Golden R ($5,000)

nv/rpac major investors

John E. McEnearney McEnearney Associates

Northern Virginia Association of Realtors®

Tom Stevens Coldwell Banker

Jerry M. Bartlett

Charles W. Bengel, Sr.

Bob Blount

Michael K. Bosley

Jobin Realty

RE/MAX Allegiance

RE/MAX Allegiance

RE/MAX Allegiance

Lilian Jorgenson

Sita Kapur

Pat Kline

Luis A. Lama

Long & Foster

Arlington Premier Realty

Avery Hess

Long & Foster

Shane S. McCullar

Vinh Nguyen

Susan Oh

Tracy Pless

Keller Williams

Westgate Realty

New Star Realty

Long & Foster

Trudy Severa

Trish Szego

Christine M. Todd

Long & Foster

ERA-Elite Group


NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  

Please visit the Government Affairs page of for a complete list of 2009 investors. NV/RPAC thanks investors at every level for their continued support.     


mris quiz

Test Your Knowledge

MRIS Compliance Quick Tips Choosing the Appropriate ‘Status’ Are you using the appropriate status on listings? Take our short quiz to test your knowledge of listing statuses.


Which listing status indicates that a property is available with no contingencies, contracts, or applications registered against it?


An ACTIVE listing indicates that a property is available with no contingencies, contracts, or applications registered against it.


Which status is used to indicate that the property is for sale but not available for showing or when the seller is not accepting additional offers?


TEMPORARILY OFF MARKET (TEMP OFF) is used to indicate that the property is for sale but not available for showing or when the seller is not accepting additional offers. Temp Off status is usually available for 14 days

or less. If there are ongoing circumstances (such as repair work or a bank review), please contact the MRIS Compliance Department to request an extension of the TEMP OFF time frame.


Which status should be used to indicate that a property has one or more issues pending resolution that may or may not contain a Kick-Out (KO) clause, as specified in the sales contract?


A CONTINGENCY status should be used to indicate that a property has one or more issues pending resolution that may or may not contain a Kick-Out (KO) clause, as specified in the sales contract. A Kick-Out clause allows the seller to give the current purchaser a certain amount of time (as specified in the contract) in which to remove the contingency or decide not to purchase a property. A Kick-Out clause is most commonly used with a home sale contingency. Third-party approval is a type of contingency that usually does not have a Kick-Out clause. 

NVAR Buy-A-Brick Campaign Help Lay the Groundwork Today for NVAR’s Future Tomorrow! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to leave your mark on NVAR for future generations! For a limited time, NVAR is offering its members the chance to purchase an engraved brick that will be placed on an entry pathway to our new Fairfax headquarters building.

Bricks are available for purchase for $250 each, from now through October 1, 2009. This is a limited time offer!

For more information or to purchase a brick, visit or call 703.207.3200. 36


    October 2009


green task force

NVAR Task Force Garners NAR Support SmartGrowth Grant Funds Awarded to Association’s Green Group By Ann Gutkin, NVAR Public & Government Affairs Specialist


ne of Susan Mekenney’s first acts as 2009 NVAR Chairman of the Board was to establish a Green Task Force. She charged the group with educating members about environmental matters affecting the real estate industry and encouraging the adoption of eco-friendly measures consistent with NVAR Jobin_HalfPage Ads:Layout 1 9/4/08 11:00 policy and practices.

To advance this mission, Task Force Chairman and NVAR Board Member Andy Norton spearheaded a campaign to provide NVAR members with access to a booklet developed for Realtors® by the U.S. Department of Energy, in hopes that agents would also offer it to their clients. The Task Force applied for, and received, a $5,000 SmartGrowth grant from NAR to purchase copies of the booklet, entitled Energy Savers – Tips on Saving Energy & Money at Home. These booklets, which offer a multitude of voluntary measures PMthat Page 3 homeowners can take to make their homes more energy-efficient,

will be distributed for free to NVAR members at the 2009 Annual Convention and Trade Show on Tues., October 13. A PDF version is also available as a free download from the Green Resources page of or from Additional copies of the booklet are available for purchase through There is ample space on the back cover to personalize the booklet with your own message. Be sure to collect your free copy of the helpful Energy Savers booklet at the NVAR Convention and begin sharing this instructive material with colleagues and clients. ❈

Bigger Commission Checks Some of the best commission schedules in the industry! How does an 80/20 split sound? Or keep 100% for just $495 a month. At Jobin Realty, we let you decide. Call today to schedule your confidential interview 703-272-1000. 4th Largest Real Estate Company MD/DC/VA Washington Business Journal “Book of List’s” 2007 edition.

Email: NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009     


virginia housing development authority

Home at Last: Virginia Housing Development Authority Offers Financing Plus Much More By Jill M. Landsman, NVAR Communications & Media Relations Director


fter stints as a nurse and a cattle farmer, Aileen Baker was seeking a new career in 2007. Switching jobs and communities in her early 50s was certainly hard. But she was determined. “I went back to school to be a teacher,” she said. “I had to start at the bottom.” That was only one of her challenges. She also had to find a home. “I could not afford a house around here,” Baker said. Baker was fortunate to benefit from the changing Northern Virginia real estate landscape, which had foreclosures and short sales in great supply. Her biggest support system came from the Virginia Housing Development Authority. She signed up for VHDA’s first-time home buyers class, which helped her understand the intricacies of obtaining an appropriate home loan. Working with a patient, value-seeking Realtor® helped, too. In November 2008, Baker located the right townhouse – a foreclosure – in Chantilly, her home today. Helping The First-Time Buyer Fulfill That Dream Each year, VHDA helps thousands of home buyers throughout the Commonwealth just like Baker. The organization devotes itself to providing the tools and knowledge needed for low- and moderate-

income Virginia residents to earn—and keep—their slice of the American dream. “We like to get the word out because we have a good story to tell,” noted Susan Dewey, VHDA’s executive director for the past decade. “Not everyone is familiar with us.” Providing important consumer education has a ripple effect throughout the local economy and ultimately makes communities more secure. “We think the first-time home buyer is the key to market recovery,” Dewey explained. The Role Model for Housing Finance Agencies Also serving as the President of the National Council of State Housing Agencies, Dewey currently leads the nation’s association for all state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) and related businesses. NCSHA is a non-profit that focuses on federal advocacy efforts for affordable housing and provides programs for its members. No question that VHDA is the nation’s role model among all HFAs. “We are one of the top nationally by every measurement,” noted Dewey, “our earnings, production, assets, and our Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s bond ratings.” First-Time Home Buyer Education Is A Priority NCSHA members can learn from VHDA’s best practices. “First-time

home buyer education is the hallmark of what we do,” said Dewey. The free, bilingual VHDA home owner education classes are offered online or in classrooms. Attendees learn the basics about balancing a budget, plus everything from learning about finance to FICO scores, lenders to loans, escrow to appraisals, closing documents to deposits, pre-approvals to pre-qualifications. It’s all about understanding the home buying experience, and its alphabet soup of acronyms. A state-chartered organization, VHDA formed in 1972 to implement the Commonwealth’s affordable housing programs. Operating independently, with a board appointed by the Governor, it raises money by selling bonds to private investors and uses no state funding. Realtor® Kit Hale from Roanoke serves on the current board. As a result of the recent mortgage market overhaul, “we have moved to Ginnie Mae as a securitization vehicle,” Dewey explained. “We don’t get any state tax payer money. Most of our financing now is through the FHA program. FHA grandfathered governmental entities, which allows us to continue to provide down payment and closing cost assistance with a second mortgage to qualified loan applicants.” Homebuyer Tax Credit Plus

Just launched this past June is the Homebuyer Tax Credit Plus loan, which lets borrowers finance the down payment and closing costs. “FirstThe Virginia Housing Development Authority currently writes 32 percent of its loan time home buyers can have products to home buyers in the Northern Tier, which encompasses a region that includes a vehicle for their down Greater Northern Virginia. In 2005, that loan volume was only 15 percent. To access payment and closing costs information about the first-time home buyer education and other affordable housing from the second trust,” VHDA programs, go to ❈ Dewey explained. The first

Access VHDA Now



    October 2009


mortgage can be for the maximum FHA mortgage, and the second mortgage can be up to 5 percent of the sales price with no cash back. There is no interest on the second mortgage for the first year to allow home buyers to take advantage of the federal $8,000 firsttime home buyer tax credit as long as the loan’s close date is no later than November 30, 2009. If the borrower elects not to use the federal credit to Susan Dewey, repay the second VHDA Executive Director trust, the amount is simply amortized over the remaining term of the mortgage. While many banks have loss mitigation departments that are overworked with short sale and foreclosure cases, VHDA has a much lower foreclosure rate. However, market realities in the past two years have made keeping a perfect score for solvent loans nearly impossible, primarily because of unemployment. “You can’t always do it,” Dewey admitted. Taking On the Right Level of Risk Still, VHDA did not put itself out on a limb with risky mortgages the way some other lending institutions had. “We were pressured quite a bit… when [the real estate market] was hot about how we are able to serve our clients in Northern Virginia. We have our advisory board, and we wrestled with [offering ARMs].” Leveraging greater debt with risky loan types was not part of VHDA’s plans, which turned out to be fortuitous. “We basically said that [such risk] does not feel like it is right for first-time home buyers,” Dewey explained. “It meant giving up production, but we did stick it out, and we are glad now.” It is a stretch to say that the state organization does not have an eye toward profit. But profit is not its raison d’etre, since profits ultimately go back into its programs. VHDA’s top priority is to serve home-seeking clients by guiding them into secure loans that stick. “Our mission is what drives us,” beams Dewey. “Getting people in homes and keeping them in homes.” ❈

Home Buyer Education Graduate Shares Her House Hunting Story:

‘VHDA: The Best Program I Know About’

By Aileen Baker, VHDA Home Buyer Education Graduate

Having lost a job, and everything else – my car, my apartment, etc. – at age 50, and being unable to find another job at that age, I decided to go back to school to be a teacher. I took a position up here in Northern Virginia and moved to an apartment in Tyson’s Corner. As the rent increased every year, I wanted so badly to own my own home. As a new teacher, I could not afford anything, and checked out programs that might help me become a home owner. VHDA has a wonderful program to help low and middle income families achieve the “American Dream.” I signed up for the classes, and learned about homeownership. Then I looked on their list for a lender who dealt with VHDA loans, and found Richard Donohoe at Suntrust. He was knowledgeable, friendly, and really cared about helping people. He looked at my credit reports, and noted issues I had from years ago that were still a problem. He told me to clean them up, even [if it meant] taking out a loan to settle or pay up old accounts, and come back in a few months. He figured out what I could afford on my income. He helped me to qualify for the VHDA program with really sound financial figuring and advice. He explained things I needed as far as debt/income ratios, and what I needed to save for a closing. He explained the VHDA mortgage and the VHDA Plus second mortgage. I belong to the credit union, so I logged online to ‘C/U Realty’ to sign up for their rebate program. And I found the most wonderful caring Realtor ®, Patricia Butler at RE/MAX. She cared about finding me the “right home.” She sent me listings to see in my area and price range. She is knowledgeable about housing, areas of Northern Virginia, and the ‘who, what, when, and where’ of requirements for buying a home. If I saw something that I thought I might want to see, I called her and she took the time to make arrangements for me to see that house. She spent time with me and even showed me homes in surrounding counties that I could afford. Then when the economy changed, and there were foreclosures, she showed me homes in Fairfax that I could afford. When we found the perfect home, she helped me make an offer and negotiate a price and she was there with me for the inspection, etc. Even with a foreclosure, she was able to negotiate things that I would not have thought about with a foreclosure. And she made sure that I got the home warranty at closing which has proved to be a lifesaver. As a broker who participates in the C/U Realty program, part of her commission also helped with my closing costs. I am now the proud owner of my own home, and I constantly tell others about the program and the people who helped me to get where I am. I have referred many others, including my daughter and son-in-law, to the VHDA classes and the broker and loan officer who helped me. Without the VHDA program, and Richard, my loan officer, and Pat, my broker, I would still be renting someone else’s dream. And my rent would be increasing each year. My mortgage payments are actually $300 less per month than my rent was, and I have all the advantages of homeownership. It is the best program that I know about. ❈

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



forum spotlight

Spotlight on the . . . NVAR Property Management & Leasing Forum Keeping Property Managers Informed in a Growth Sector By Michele Steele, NVAR Business Specialties Coordinator


he majority of NVAR Realtor® members do business in residential sales, therefore the phrase “property management and leasing” isn’t often heard in the hallways of NVAR. However, there is a focused group that meets regularly to keep abreast of changing regulations that affect their niche of the real estate industry. “I always learn something new; I always learn something relevant and I get information that is ahead of the curve,” says Laura Yi of PremiereMetro Realty. The Property Management and Leasing Forum began in 2008 and is currently chaired by Robert Gering, a long-standing veteran in property management. “I want this forum to be a source of valuable information

to help property managers operate at their full potential,” says Gering. He is constantly reaching out to his extensive network to find influential speakers to discuss hot topics for local property managers. This year’s guest list has included: Chip Dicks, Legislative Council for the Virginia Association of Realtors®; the Honorable Donald Haddock, Jr., General District Court of Alexandria; and Robert J. Duffett, Baskin, Jackson and Duffett, P.C. Duffett, an attorney who specializes in landlord-tenant disputes as well as residential and commercial leases states, “The Property Management and Leasing Forum helps managers and landlords stay on top of changes in the law and is a great place to share new ideas and approaches for effective management.” Jerome Friedlander of Friedlander, Friedlander and Earman P.C. and an NVAR instructor says, “The Virginia General Assembly has

made landlord-tenant law very complicated, and this forum is a network of skill and knowledge which is a very powerful tool to help property managers stay on top of their game.” There are forum meetings scheduled for the remainder of 2009, and 2010 promises to offer an excellent agenda. With many changes and continued growth on the horizon for property managers, the NVAR Property Management and Leasing Forum will continue to provide top-notch speakers and valuable information to members. Check and read NVAR News emails for information about upcoming Property Management and Leasing Forums. To receive the latest information about upcoming events, contact Michele Steele at and join the forum mailing list. ❈


1. A sold-out session of the Property Management and Leasing Forum offers property managers an update on the latest in landlord-tenant legislation at the August 18 meeting. 2. Attorney and Property Management expert, Rob Duffet, answers member questions after his August 18 presentation to the Property Management and Leasing Forum at NVAR’s Fairfax Headquarters.

2 40


    October 2009



4:37 PM

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Designations & Specialty Courses Principles of Real Estate Course Do you know someone who is ready to begin a career in real estate, but he or she doesn’t know where to start? The 60-hour Principles of Real Estate course developed by experienced real estate agents goes beyond the basic Virginia license requirements and truly prepares the student for the next stage with career path opportunities and exclusive access to industry leaders. Day and evening courses are available. Seats are limited and will fill fast! Our next session is Mon., November 30!

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CRS 210: Building an Exceptional Customer Service Referral Business This two-day course, to take place on Wed., November 4, and Thurs., November 5, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at NVAR Herndon Service Center, will cover attracting a higher caliber client, meeting expectations of the “new” customer, dialogues and strategies for building a referral business and much more! Cost for NVAR members is $395; cost for non-members is $425.

Congratulations ABR Graduates Scott Q. Dukes Paul H. Orphanides Michael Labrash Nanci Sale Valencia Lawrence Christine Varner Kenneth J. McCann

GRI 402: Financing Alternatives This one-day course will cover financing options available for real estate transactions, and provide you with the knowledge you need to handle more difficult deals. It takes place on Thurs., October 8 at the NVAR Herndon Service Center from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Cost for VAR members is $90; cost for non-members is $140.

Continuing Education Fairfax Headquarters DATE




CED: 8 hr Mandated Course

8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.


CED: Real Estate Investments


CED: Tax Strategies

1 - 4:45 p.m.


16 hr CED - Evening (part 1A)

6 - 9:30 p.m.


16 hr CED - Evening (part 1B)

6 - 9:30 p.m.


Broker CE Part II Brokerage Risk and Liability

8:45 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.


Broker CE Part I Productive Agents and Offices

1 - 4:45 p.m.


16 hr CED - Evening (part 2A)

6 - 9:30 p.m.


CED: The New Rules of Real Estate Finance

1 - 4:45 p.m.


16 hr CED - Evening (part 2B)

6 - 9:30 p.m.





16 hr CED - Day 1

8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.


16 hr CED - Day 2

8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.


CED: 8 hr Mandated Course

8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m.


CED: Green Building Course

8:45 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.


CED: Financing Options for the Home Purchase and the Self-Employed

1 - 4:45 p.m.


Bank of America and NVAR are proud to bring you the best in continuing education!



8:45 a.m. - 12:25 p.m.

    October 2009


class schedule

To register for a course listed or to view a class description, visit The Green Designation and Green Residential Elective Courses The Green Designation Core Course - This twoday course gives students a broad understanding of green real estate principles—from the concepts of sustainability, New Urbanism, and smart growth to the application of industry ratings and evaluation standards in real estate. This two-day course takes place on Mon., November 2, and Tues., November 3, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the NVAR Fairfax Headquarters.

The Green Residential Elective Course - This oneday elective course will provide Realtors® with the knowledge of green building principles as applied to residential. Learn how to help buyers in purchasing and retrofitting homes as well as help sellers by listing and marketing green properties, plus much more! This course will take place on Wed., November 4, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the NVAR Fairfax Headquarters. Fall for the GREEN Designation at a Special Combo Price of $369 for all three days!

DC Continuing Education

Featured Offerings

Fairfax Headquarters

Fairfax Headquarters








DC Fair Housing and DC Legislative Update

9 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.


Conquering Contracts I

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Broker Law - Day 3

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Conquering Contracts II

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Negotiation - the Courts

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Broker Law - Day 4

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Conquering Contracts III

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.



9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Broker Law - Day 5

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Post Licensing


Broker Law - Day 6

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Fairfax Headquarters


Green Designation Core Course 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Day 1


Green Designation Core Course 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Day 2


Green Residential Elective Course

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Principles of Real Estate Fairfax Headquarters DATE




Principles Exam Prep Course

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Principles of Real Estate: Day Series 1 - 9

9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Principles Exam Prep Course

9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

11/30 - 12/15 12/19





New Member Orientation

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.

Herndon DATE




Post Licensing (Day 1) Agency Law, Ethics

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.





New Member Orientation

9 a.m. - 1 p.m.


GRI 402: Financing Alternatives

8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Post Licensing (Day 2) Fair Housing, Real Estate Law

9 a.m. - 4 p.m.


8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Post Licensing (Day 3) Listing Process, Selling Process

CRS 210: Building an Exceptional Customer Service Referral Business (Day 1)

8:45 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.

CRS 210: Building an Exceptional Customer Service Referral Business (Day 2)

8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Post Licensing (Day 4) Business Planning, Finance, Technology

11/5 11/5

GRI 403: Personal Promotion

8 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Post Licensing (Day 5) - Contracts

9 a.m. - noon


NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



RGS MapAd-NVAR:Layout 1 8/12/09 1:03 PM Page 1

Wherever Your Business May Take You…


25 locations throughout Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

More than 300,000 residential settlements performed!

Over 20 years of service to metropolitan area Realtors®!

Free Homebuyers Guide available!

Attorney-conducted closings!

24-hour Realtor® Hotline: (877) 660-5150!

Visit our unique Web site at for comprehensive explanations of procedures, office directions and online fee quotes 24 hours a day, seven days a week! More awards for outstanding customer service than any other local title company!


he most trusted name in residential settlements for over twenty years.



Lake Ridge



(703) 519-7600 (703) 519-9471 FAX

(703) 239-9600 (703) 239-0605 FAX

(703) 491-9600 (703) 492-7494 FAX

(703) 242-9600 (703) 242-0725 FAX

(540) 288-1747 (540) 288-1797 FAX






(703) 642-6100 (703) 642-6142 FAX

(703) 818-8600 (703) 803-2867 FAX

(703) 495-9600 (703) 493-9302 FAX

(703) 421-3300 (703) 421-6353 FAX

(540) 341-7700 (540) 341-8574 FAX






(703) 351-0300 (703) 351-9978 FAX

(540) 372-4100 (540) 372-4114 FAX

(703) 396-8838 (703) 396-8809 FAX

(703) 742-9600 (703) 742-9698 FAX

(540) 723-0662 (540) 723-0664 FAX





Realtor® Hotline

(703) 726-9222 (703) 726-9368 FAX

(571) 248-8777 (571) 248-8788 FAX

(703) 903-9600 (703) 903-9606 FAX

(703) 451-6600 (703) 451-1181 FAX

(877) 660-5150


(301) 654-9800 (301) 654-8598 FAX


(240) 683-4850 (240) 683-6676 FAX


301-570-3600 301-570-4541 FAX


(301) 230-0070 (301) 230-2536 FAX

Silver Spring*

(301) 680-0200 (301) 680-2043 FAX

*English & Spanish

Washington, DC

(202) 966-0550 (202) 966-5250 FAX

**English, Spanish & Italian

august statistics






























































































































Sales Change




















Lists Change




































For the most recent statistics, go to and click on Market Statistics.















Brought to you by:









Northern Virginia


Fairfax County


Overall Average Sale Price for August 2008: $473,183 Overall Average Sale Price for August 2009: $458,172 (-3.17%) Total Number of New Listings for August 2008: 2,499 Total Number of New Listings for August 2009: 2,223

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



appraiser & affiliate directories

Appraisers A+ Appraisals AAA Appraisals Advantage Appraisal Advantage Realty Services Alan Lord and Associates Apex Appraisal Group Atlantic Appraisal Pros B. H. Potter Barnesville Associates Bentley Appraisal Group BFM Bishop Real Estate Service Bruce W. Reyle and Company Cambyse Goodarzi Appraiser Capitol Appraisal Service Cardinal Management Group Chevy Chase Bank Chevy Chase Bank, FSB Classic Appraisals Cooper Residential Svcs. Dale D. Barr, Jr. Dan W. Mori DCO Appraisal Services Dennis J O’Brien Diane Beachy Dickman & Associates Distinctive Homes Realty Dittmar Realty Group Donald R. Drake, Jr. Elite Appraisal Service F & F Appraisals Forte Appraisal Service Front Rowe G. Miller Real Estate Appraiser Gee Appraisers Glenn B. Staples & Associates Gordy Appraisals H K Bentley Appraisers Harry Graef Harry H. Arikan Hartmann Group Hendershott Appraisal Services Home Appraisers Homestar Real Estate Services Hundley and Associates Hundley and Associates IK Hwan Kim & Associates Inman Appraisal Services Integra Appraisal Services James W. Mumaw Co. JDC Appraisals John Halacy Appraisals John L. Brady, Jr. JR Witt & Assoc. Karas Lawrence Mc Guire 46


703-765-7579 703-865-5303 703-817-1127 703-866-5050 703-768-1954 703-919-3942 703-622-5555 703-848-2470 301-972-7518 703-478-0666 703-670-2586 703-978-9322 703-273-7375 703-744-6849 703-691-8800 703-569-5797 301-907-5850 703-648-9796 703-675-2265 540-939-4057 703-730-2272 703-339-6136 301-855-3886 703-850-8445 703-732-8058 703-938-6633 540-338-4606 703-893-0900 571-237-9430 571-331-6374 703-963-1743 703-433-2205 571-213-6489 571-261-5355 703-451-9020 410-224-5524 703-582-5018 800-575-7513 571-213-7249 703-216-5147 703-406-7621 703-280-1637 703-709-5695 571-261-3367 703-212-9080 703-212-9080 443-739-9867 703-644-9877 703-758-7750 540-659-8586 301-438-3300 571-214-3865 571-237-7430 703-266-9312 703-753-5635 703-123-4567

Leah Powell CRA Lesley Omega Appraisers LSA Appraisal Marcia Ellen Cunningham Marquee Properties McGraw Appraisals Metro Appraisal Services Michael S. Mc Mahon Monir Moshashaie Nancy M. Pruett New Dominion Appraisal Services Newlevel Appraisal Group Nikki Li Upton NOVA Home Appraisals NoVaStar Appraisals NVA Appraisal Omni Appraisal Services P & C Appraisals Parker Appraisal Service Philip Arnold Appraisal Co. Premier Home Appraisals Preston Hummer Real Estate Appraisals 4 You Rebecca Gerstle Renner, Hansborough & Reese Residential Appraisal Group Residential Appraisal Services Residential Valuation Services Residential Value Services Ryan Appraisal Services Sandra A. Le Blanc Silvey Appraisals SML Appraisal Service Square Feet Appraisals Stewart Jarrett R E Appr & Cons Suburban Appraisers & Consultants Survey Appraisal Group Susan Vanderzyl T. L. Hoover Appraisal Service The Appraisal Center The Benjamin Group The Mid-Atlantic Group of Virginia VA-MD Appraisal Group Washington Appraisal Group William E. Culbertson R. E. William Patten & Associates Woodbridge Appraisal Service World Mortgage WTH & Associates

703-304-6552 703-403-2024 703-222-3300 703-391-0514 703-754-7945 703-963-3988 703-644-7772 703-476-9472 703-255-6451 571-277-1671 703-280-1554 301-252-3253 240-476-4380 703-585-7357 540-786-8220 703-477-3178 703-591-4001 540-548-8625 703-762-2549 703-250-2132 703-865-7622 703-929-0857 703-794-9118 703-441-9147 301-258-8181 304-724-6041 703-338-0961 703-815-4407 540-347-4570 301-694-6500 703-629-6842 703-577-1946 703-636-2938 703-519-1790 703-671-3662 703-591-4200 703-289-9910 703-969-3822 703-354-8981 703-204-4410 703-836-2554 703-442-4780 571-438-0604 703-813-8160 703-322-1200 703-642-8224 703-978-3444 703-934-5502 443-280-3276

Affiliates Applicant Screening National Tenant Network Carpet Cleaning ACS Ayoub Carpet Service Chem-Dry of Prince William

    October 2009

866-387-6320 703-255-6000 703-680-1212

Commission Advance Commission Express 703-560-5500 Construction Services HCC Remodeling Group of NoVA 540-253-5788 Sun Design 540-751-1360 Education Courses & Seminars Center For The Arts at GMU 703-993-8641 Moseley Real Estate School 866-667-5595 Starker Services 800-332-1031 Environmental Services Keystone Home & Environmental 571-261-3192 Pollard Environmental 804-377-8383 Soils & Environmental Services 703-856-8638 Financial Services Acacia Federal Saving Bank 703-506-8148 Aurora Financial 703-734-7704 Bank Of America 703-319-5647 Bank of America - Annandale 703-750-4056 Bank Of America - Oakton 703-319-5647 BB&T Mortgage - Arlington 703-855-7403 BB&T Mortgage - Bethesda 301-493-8386 BB&T Mortgage - Woodbridge 703-492-5936 BF Saul Mortgage 703-787-4835 CitiStar Funding Group 301-468-7063 CitiStar Funding Group Reverse 301-367-4213 Countrywide Home Loans 703-803-0198 Franklin American Mortgage Co. 703-956-3544 George Mason Mortgage 703-407-2385 Greenpoint Mortgage 703-750-0080 Hutt Financial Group 301-571-6153 HSBC Mortgage 202-496-8956 HSBC Mortgage Corporation (USA) 202-496-8956 HST Mortgage 703-766-4636 Intercoastal Mortgage 703-449-6828 Into Homes Mortgage Services 703-425-8100 JP Morgan Chase Bank 703-641-6296 MetLife Home Loans 703-631-0098 National City Mortgage 703-658-0613 Navy Federal Credit Union 703-255-8480 Prospect Mortgage 571-536-8584 Prosperity Mortgage 703-222-1800 SunTrust Bank 202-624-1245 Suntrust Mortgage 703-623-9703 SunTrust Mortgage 703-279-6073 The Hutt Financial Group 301-571-6153 Union Mortgage Group 703-941-0711 United Investors Group 877-844-2488 VHDA 804-782-1986 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage 703-803-3500 Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Reverse 703-587-4363 Government Services Fairfax County 703-324-4804 Graphic Design Simpatico Design Studio 703-837-0584 Gutter Repair Gagnon’s Gutterworks 703-523-6225


appraiser & affiliate directories Home Appliances Sears Commercial Home Cleaning Services Maid Brigade Home Inspection Alban Home Inspection Svcs. All American Home Solutions All Pro Services American Home Inspections Best Home Inspections Building Specs Clingenpeel Properties Commonwealth Home Inspection Consumer Resources Home Pro Services Hurlbert home Inspection LuxRE Inspections Nappers Home Inspection Old Dominion Home Inspection Pillar To Post U.S. Inspect Home Repair Services Finco Construction Co. G’s Remodeling Handyman Connection Mid-Atlantic Waterproofing Mr. Sandless Home Staging Services Antique & Contemporary Leasing Callidora Associates Decor Decorum Home Staged Designs Feng Shui Eyes Preferred Staging Staged Interior Staged With Style Home Warranty 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty American Home Shield HMS Home Warranty of America Old Republic Home Warranty Insurance Services TASC INVESTMENT PLANNING R.E. Investor Solutions Junk Removal 1-800-GOT-JUNK College Hunks Hauling Junk Legal Services Brincefield Hartnett, P.C. Compliance Counsel, PC EquiTitle/Tate, Bywater & Fuller Joseph A. Cerroni, Esq. Keegan & Associates, PLC Kidwell, Kent & Curran Peterson, Noll & Goodman, PLC

800-717-1787 703-823-1726 301-662-6565 202-329-7054 703-385-1347 703-239-2175 703-753-1176 800-859-7037 703-409-5292 703-533-8212 703-690-8484 703-560-4663 703-830-2229 703-716-1100 571-292-4557 703-242-2520 703-352-1333 703-293-1400 703-359-2555 240-388-4250 703-351-6595 301-206-9500 703-794-9663 703-548-2050 703-273-7896 703-655-4789 703-209-7009 703-893-4702 703-851-2690 703-261-7026 703-517-2336 703-587-6735 540-250-2064 800-843-4663 703-595-8965 800-445-6999 800-422-4661 703-999-9842 703-934-4678 800-586-5872 703-836-2880 703-261-7097 703-938-5100 703-941-3000 703-691-1700 703-764-0600 703-442-3890

Sykes, Bourdon, Ahern & Levy Marketing/Media Cox Communications Cox Media Lands and Home of Northern VA PropertyMinder Raggo Advertising Products The Washington Post Mold Services MoldAid Real Estate Rescue Moving & Storage Able Moving & Storage Ace Movers & Rentals Busy Buddies JK Moving & Storage Quality Service Moving Relocation Systems/North American Van Lines Town & Country Movers Victory Van Corporation New Home Builder Brambleton Group Dominion Valley Country Club Painting Blue Door Painters MDB Painting Personnel Services Personnel One Pest Control Services Alexandria Pest Services Asian Pest Services Connor's Pest Control Country Termite & Pest Control JK Pest & Termite Patriot Termite Perma Treat Pest Control PMSI ProTech Pest Control Suburban Pest Service Plumbing Plumbing Express PrinTers Mc Clung Companies Stephenson Printing Inc. Real Estate Photography Bert Goulait Photography BTW Images Real Estate Signs Realty Sign Post Co. Retirement Planning Entrust Mid Atlantic Roofing DryHome Roofing & Siding Townhouse Roofing & Siding Settlement Services Absolute Title & Escrow

703-517-7910 703-378-3953 703-953-3521 703-673-8475 800-743-5820 540-341-7844 202-334-7680 877-932-7177 540-303-0355 703-330-3772 703-707-9400 703-422-0797 703-280-4282 703-495-8900 703-925-2028 703-560-8600 703-751-5200 703-542-2925 703-753-6688 703-504-2000 703-724-0263 202-623-3204 703-923-0925 703-752-1634 703-321-0400 540-338-7821 703-622-2450 703-330-9170 703-777-7050 703-723-2899 703-440-8000 703-335-6030 703-461-0345 240-475-5547 703-642-9000 703-945-0194 703-340-6383 202-256-0107

Central Title & Escrow 703-658-1300 Dominion Title Corporation 703-757-9500 Ekko Title 703-537-0800 Evergreen Title Company 703-354-7060 First Guardian Title & Escrow 703-494-4000 JDR Title 703-821-0099 Key Title - Annandale 703-354-0561 Key Title - Reston 703-437-4600 MBH Settlement Group - Alexandria 703-739-0100 MBH Settlement Group - Annandale 703-852-3000 MBH Settlement Group - Arlington 703-237-1100 MBH Settlement Group - Burke 703-913-8080 MBH Settlement Group - Fair Oaks 703-279-1500 MBH Settlement Group - Kingstowne 703-417-5000 MBH Settlement Group - McLean 703-734-8900 MBH Settlement Group - Oakton 703-277-6800 MBH Settlement Group - Reston 703-813-9333 MBH Settlement Group - Vienna 703-242-2860 Mid-Atlantic Settlement Svcs 410-252-1208 Monarch Title - Alexandria 703-852-7700 Monarch Title - Herndon 703-890-0820 Monarch Title - McLean 703-852-1730 NVT&E 703-938-3200 Paragon Title & Escrow Co. 301-986-1114 Realty Title Services 703-917-4100 RGS Title - Alexandria 703-519-7600 RGS Title - Annandale 703-597-3209 RGS Title - Arlington 703-351-0300 RGS Title - Burke 703-128-9600 RGS Title - Centreville 703-818-8600 RGS Title - McLean 703-903-9600 RGS Title - Oakton 703-242-9600 RGS Title - Reston 703-742-9600 Signature & Stewart Settlement 703-709-0600 Smart Choice Settlements 703-658-2299 Stewart Title And Escrow 703-352-2900 The Settlement Group 703-933-3090 The Title Group 703-273-9600 Tuscarora Title Corporation 703-777-4261 Universal Title 703-658-1369 Structural Engineer SQ Consultants 703-759-4901 TECHNOLOGY Services Listingbook 540-662-1718 Realty Empowerment Systems 866-213-3709 Virtual Tours Real Estate Shows 703-876-4929 RealBiz360 240-687-1008 Web site Development Impact Design Solutions 703-216-3737

301-360-9510 703-230-7663 703-467-0206 703-842-7525

Bold signifies NVAR Partners (Last updated September 10, 2009) Do you have a correction to this list? Please e-mail changes to Tracy Reynolds at

NVAR Realtor® UPDATE      October 2009  



October 2009 Update  

October 2009 Update Magazine

October 2009 Update  

October 2009 Update Magazine