How to Get a VA Real Estate License

How to get a VA real estate license.

As the managing broker of Keller Williams Reston Herndon I am often asked by people how to get a VA real estate license or how to get started in the Real Estate industry. The answer to the first question is pretty straightforward. All potential Real Estate Agents must meet the requirements of the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulations (DPOR) and the Real Estate Board. To become qualified to take the exam you must meet the following requirements as required by Virginia code.

You must have a good reputation for honesty, truthfulness, and fair dealing, and be competent to transact the business of a real estate broker or a real estate salesperson in such a manner as to safeguard the interests of the public.

You will need to meet the current educational requirements by achieving a passing grade in all required courses, currently 60 credit hours.

You will need be in good standing as a licensed real estate broker or salesperson in every jurisdiction where licensed and not have had a license as a real estate broker or real estate salesperson which was suspended, revoked or surrendered in connection with a disciplinary action or which has been the subject of discipline in any jurisdiction prior to applying for licensure in Virginia.

In accordance with §54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia, each applicant shall disclose the following information:

  1. All misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude, sexual offense, drug distribution or physical injury within five years of the date of the application; and
  2. All felony convictions during his/her lifetime. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for purposes of this subsection. The record of a conviction received from a court shall be accepted as prima facie evidence of a conviction or finding of guilt. The board, in its discretion, may deny licensure to any applicant in accordance with §54.1-204 of the Code of Virginia.

The applicant shall be at least 18 years old.

The applicant shall have a high school diploma or its equivalent.

The applicant, within 12 months prior to making complete application for a license, shall have passed a written examination provided by the board or by testing service acting on behalf of the board.

In short, if you meet all of the requirements you will first successfully complete a 60 credit hour pre-licensing course, take and pass the Virginia Real Estate Salesperson licensing exam, complete fingerprinting and submit to the state to complete a background check. After this you can apply to DPOR for you Real Estate Salesperson license.

Now you have a license What’s Next?

The process on obtaining a VA real estate license is just the beginning of the journey to a career in real estate. After you successfully complete your real estate training and passed the state exam you will need to find a brokerage to work for. This is where it can become overwhelming and to be honest at times confusing. Not all companies are created equal and as a new real estate agent you will need a lot of support if you are going to be successful. According to the National Association of Realtors less than 20% of new agents last 2 years. According to Gary Keller, founder of Keller Williams, at Keller Williams offices nearly 50% survive for the first 2 years.

The most important decision you will make when you first become a VA real estate agent is the brokerage you will affiliate with to start your career. Here are twenty questions that you should be asking any potential broker before you join their office.

What makes the difference?

Keller Williams is not just a real estate company but a training company first and is recognized as the number 2 training company by Training Magazine. By providing world-class training programs for real estate agents such as Ignite, Bold, and a philosophy of mentorship and coaching new agents with Keller Williams see a much higher success rate.

20 Questions to Ask Your Brokerage.

It is critical that what ever brokerage you join as a new agent the it has well established formal training and mentorship programs to help you get started in a real estate career.

NAR’s article on “Do New Sales Associates Fail” attributes this to one of four factors.

  1. They don’t belong in the real estate sales business in the first place.
  2. They belong in real estate sales but don’t understand what the real estate business is about.
  3. They start their career with the wrong broker or company.
  4. They simply don’t work hard enough.

Lets look at these individually:

Some people just do not belong in the real estate business. The public impression of what it takes is not very close to the reality. Real estate is sales and it is about building relationships. If you do not want to work with people you should probably look elsewhere. Another misconception is that real estate is easy it is not. It is a business and if you do not run it like a business your will not last. Some will get their real estate license with the misconception that they will have great flexibility with their time. Successful agents work long hard hours building their business and servicing their clients. If you are not willing to work some evening and weekends then again you should look else ware.

They belong in the business but fail to understand that it is a business. New real estate agents especially do not understand that they are running a business. They must set goals, develop budgets put into action specific strategies to obtain their business goal. They also need to understand that they must actively go out and seek business. With out leads you never will close a real estate transaction.

They join the wrong company. What real estate brokerage you join is probably your most important decision you will make. The company you join needs to have support systems in place to train and mentor new agents. The company should also be a leaders in your local market. Most of the knowledge you need to learn after obtaining your real estate license will be the how to of generating leads, contracts, managing transactions and on and on. It is best to be affiliated with a leader in you market that has formal mentor and training programs available to you.

They do not work hard enough. Unfortunately many real estate agents have entered the business with the misconception that they do not have to work hard. Like any business or job the performers are the hardest workers. They arrive early and often work late. They continually work to improve their skills and are rewarded for their efforts. Many real estate agents have the reputation or late arrivals and early dismissal the top producing, most successful agents work very hard.

If you would like more information on starting a career in Real Estate CLICK HERE.

Twenty Questions to Ask a Brokerage Before You Join

Who you are in business with matters – how they treat you is critical to your success. Here are 20 important questions to ask about the real estate company or franchise system you are currently with, or considering joining:

  1. Does the company allow you to build your own agent brand? Can you put your own logo, name, phone number and website on yard signs and in your ads? Can it be larger than or as prominent as the company’s?
  1. Does the company allow you to directly receive the sign calls or inquiries on your own listings without going through the up-desk or office switchboard?
  1. When a person is seeking you on the company’s local or national website, can they quickly (within two or three clicks) get directly to you, your own website and your own business phone number?
  1. Can you do agent-to-agent referrals without going through the company’s relocation division and paying them a portion of your referral fee?
  1. If you decide to leave the company do they let you take your listings with you? Do they still pay you the same commissions you were owed on your pending transactions without any penalties or reduction in splits?
  1. Does the company seek your input and advice on important financial and policy decisions? Do you have a say in what goes on?
  1. If you are a top producing agent do you get to serve on a council that discusses and votes on company changes in policy and fees?
  1. Does the company open its books and allow you to see and review monthly financial records – such as Profit & Loss statements?
  1. Does the company offer you an opportunity to share in its profits? Is the profit sharing amount greater than 30% of the company’s net income?
  1. Do you have the opportunity to earn residual income from the company that will continue even after you leave the company or retire?
  1. Does the company cap the money you pay it on an annual basis (Company Dollar), so that you do not have to keep paying them on all your production?
  1. If you are affiliated with a National Franchise, do they cap your royalties (or service fees) annually, so that you don’t have to keep paying them a portion of all your commissions?
  1. Does the company allow you to earn 100% commissions without having to pay monthly fees even when you don’t have closings?
  1. Does the company provide a way for you to actually earn more than 100% – to be paid more by the company than it costs you to be with them?
  1. Does the company provide all levels of sales and business training – from the fundamentals of real estate sales all the way up to hiring staff, building a team, managing your expenses and creating a business?
  1. Does the company provide wealth-building information and training? Do they give you good advice and consulting on how to gain financial independence?
  1. Do the leaders of the company take the time and make the effort to share with you research, strategies and systems that you can use to improve your business and your career?
  1. Have the leaders of the company written best selling books that are used and respected in the real estate industry? Do they speak with knowledge and authority on the issues that matter to the agents?
  1. Does the company have a set of written beliefs and values that it shares and sincerely seeks to live by? Does the company have a spirit and culture of teamwork and positive energy?
  1. Is the company clearly agent-centered? Does it understand that the consumer selects the agent, not the company? Does that awareness show up in the way the company does business?

The answers to these questions may help you understand which company you want to be with – which one will provide the most support for achieving your own personal and professional goals.

The interesting thing is this: at Keller Williams Realty the answer to everyone one of these 20 questions is YES!

Current Lansdowne on the Potomac Town Homes for Sale

If you are currently looking for a Town Home at Lansdowne on the Potomac take a look. You will find all the current listings right here. If you would like more information about any of the listing please give us a call. Lansdowne is one of the most sought after communities in Loudon County. The are offers home owner many option for shopping, dining and entertainment and is a short commute to the local business centers of Ashburn, Dulles and Reston.

Lansdowne on the Potomac Homes for Sale

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Leesburg Home for Sale 304 Lester Court

Leesburg Home for Sale

Beautiful Leesburg Home for Sale

304 Lester Court Leesburg VA 20176

Loudon County Living has listed this fantastic Leesburg home for sale located at 304 Lester Court Leesburg VA 20176. The home is located in the Exeter neighborhood and is a beautifully maintained split level home that had a two story addition added. The property is four bedrooms and three full baths and has been wonderfully maintained. With approximately 2400 square feet of finished living space the home features ceramic tile on all baths, a jetted tub in the master bathroom and a very private deck in the rear that overlooks open space.

 Find More Leesburg Homes for Sale Right Here

The home is located very close to Leesburg shopping and schools. In fact, the local elementary school is within walking distance, the Leesburg Premium Outlets are just a few miles down the street and Ida Lee Recreation Center is just a couple of miles away. Leesburg Virginia is located in central Loudoun County and is also the county government seat. If you are looking for home for sale in Leesburg you will find a wonderful community with a classic old town feel combined with all of the modern conveniences. Leesburg has a wonderful culturally rich historic district that offers award winning dining and shopping in many boutique style shops. Loudoun County and the Leesburg area is also considered Virginia Wine Country and is home to many local wineries and vineyards. In addition to all of the old time charm and modern conveniences Loudoun County also has one of the very best school systems on the United States, for more information follow the link below.

Leesburg School Information

If you are interested in see other Leesburg homes for sale or would like more information on this home please visit us at www.loudouncountylivingllc.com.

 

 

Brambleton Homes for Sale/October Report

Brambleton Homes for Sale October Report

The Month of October saw sales of single family home and townhomes remain fairly flat when compared to the month of September. Brambleton homes sales for September saw a total of 7 re sale unit’s compared to October’s number of 9 re sale homes. These number do not reflect any of the new construction homes that were listed or sold in the month. The Ashburn area in general saw activity slow during the month as inventory levels remain low. Ashburn Market Statistics.

Single Family Brambleton Homes for Sale

Current Listings Remain Flat, Sellers’ Market ContinuesBrambleton Homes for Sale

There are currently a total of 6 listings for re sale homes active of those they are split evenly between townhomes and single family homes. The month of September saw 12 new listing for sale come on the market, 4 single family homes and 8 townhomes compared to October which saw 6 new listings, 1 townhome for sale and 5 single family homes for sale. These inventory levels continue to create a sellers’ market in the Brambleton area which is currently seeing an average days on market of under 45 days for both townhomes and single-family homes.

Brambleton Town Homes for Sale

Brambleton is one of the best new communities in Loudoun County

Brambleton is one of the newer communities located in the Ashburn area of Loudoun County. The community is a mixed use development that offers many options and price points for homeowners. The community is centered round the Brambleton Town Center which offers resident nearby shopping and entertainment options. The center offers a Harris Teeter, Regal Cinema, A Sport and Health Club and many other dining and shopping options. Northern Virginia Regional Parks also operates a beautiful golf course at the Brambleton Regional Park.Brambleton Homes for Sale

New Construction for Sale in Brambleton

Many Brambleton homes for sale are located in new developments of townhomes and single family homes that are offered by some of the best home builders in Loudoun County. Miller and Smith, Winchester Homes, Beazer Homes and Van Meter Homes and all offers new single family homes for sale. Pulte, Winchester Homes and Miller and Smith are currently offering new town homes for sale. The price points for new single family homes for sale range from $500,000 to the mid $700,000 and the townhomes start in the $400,000 range. For more information on new homes for sale in Brambleton and the Brambleton community click here.

Brambleton Schools

Loudoun County and the Ashburn community of Brambleton offers some of the finest schools in the area. For more information on local schools in the Brambleton area places visit Loudoun County Schools web site.

Price of a Home in Ashburn

Price of a Home in Ashburn 20147 for April

The price of a home in Ashburn for the zip code 20147 increased 1.04% from the month of March for a total year over year increase of 12.6% when compared to April 2012. We are continuing to see very low inventory levels in the area and with continued buyer demand this trend is expect to continue upward as we move forward through the spring selling season. There is currently just over one month’s supply of inventory on the market which by definition makes this a very strong sellers market.

Follow the link to see current average prices in Ashburn and More.

Lack of Inventory Driving the Price Up

Inventory levels continue to remain very low for the Ashburn area and Loudoun County over all. There wereAverage Price of a Home a total of 136 active listing on the market to begin the month of May which is down 25% from the same time last year. There were 130 new listing that came on the market in April which was and increase of 31% from last year. This is evidence of the strong buyer demand that the market is seeing. Agents in the area continue to report multiple offers and the average days on market have dropped 36.84% to an average of 24 days for all property types. Town Homes and entry level properties continue to be the most competitive segment of the market. There is currently less than one month’s supply of town homes for sale and the average price of a home in this segment is up over 10% from last year. If this continues the price of a home in Ashburn will continue to increase.

Average Sales Price Compared to List Price Continues to Improve

With the lack of available inventory and continued buyer demand we are also seeing the actual sales price of a home in Ashburn at closing when compared to the original list price improve as well. With homes staying on theAverage Price of a Home in Ashburn market for just 24 days and the competition from buyers for available homes, sellers are getting what they are asking for. This trend should also continue as long as the inventory levels remain low. With the average price of a home in Ashburn, 20147 being $452,516 compared to the average last April of $401,882, many sellers who were not able to sell last year without bringing money to the table at closing are finally able to make a move.

Loudoun County Homes for Sale

As the spring market continues to heat up and we approach summer the real estate market should continue to improve as far as the average price of a home in Ashburn and other communities is concerned. The lack of inventory will continue certainly force buyers to pay more and accept less form sellers. The laws of supply and demand should continue to force the price of a home in Ashburn, and other communities in Loudoun County, higher.

If you are considering selling a home in Ashburn and would like more information on home prices and much more market information, follow this link, The Average Price of a Home in Ashburn and Loudoun County.

 

 

Free Home Buying Seminar in Leesburg, VA

Free Home Buying Seminar in Loudoun County.

Have you considered buying a home but just thought you didn’t make enough money?  Do you think you need a large downpayment to own a home?  Are you considering making a move but just don’t know where you want to go?  If so, you should attend Loudoun County Living’s home buying seminar on May 9th to find out how you could own a home of your own within just a few months.

Loudoun County offers 3 unique home buying programs.

  1. The Public Employee Homeownership Grant Program (PEG) offers grants (as part of a secured loan) to help cover down payments for full or part-time county employees, teaches, law enforcement and firefighters. Loans are forgivable at 20% of the loan amount annually over a five-year period providing the employee does not leave employment, sell the home, or no longer occupies the residence.   Grant amounts include $5,000 for the purchase of a home located within Loudoun County; $15,000 for the purchase of a foreclosed property (no short sales); or $25,000 for the purchase of a property in Loudoun County’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP).
  2. The Affordable Dwelling Unit (ADU) Program helps households whose income falls below the county’s medium income levels, to buy a new construction home or resale properties – prices typically range from approximately $120,000 to $180,000 for condos or townhomes in the program.
  3. The Down Payment Closing Cost Assistance Program helps both PEG program participants and ADU buyers pay for their closing costs and down payment on a home.  First-time homebuyers purchasing a home either through the Affordable Dwelling Unit program or purchasing an existing market rate home can borrow up to 10% of the sales price or $25,000, whichever is less, at 5% interest. This loan is in the form of a second trust, payable over a 30 year period with the first three years of payments deferred and interest free.

If you think you fall into one of these categories, or if you’re just investigating your home-buying options, attend this free seminar:

Loudoun County Living’s 

Home Buying Seminar 

Tuesday, May 9th from 5:00-7:00pm 

at the Tuscarora Mill Wine Cellar in downtown Leesburg.

At this event, you will learn more about each of these programs, speak directly to an experienced Realtor who can help you in your home search, talk to a mortgage lender to see how much you might qualify for and find out how you can buy a home or townhome in Asburn, Leesburg, Sterling or Chantilly.

Space is limited, so please RSVP by May 1st to Theresa Pomata at admin@loudoun-county-living.com or call 703-407-5159.

Click here to search current homes on the market in Loudoun County.

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Average Price of a Home in Loudoun County

Average Price of a Home in Loudoun County

The average price of a home in Loudoun County jumped 14% year over year for the month of March. This is following the month of February 2013 where we saw the average price of a home in Loudoun County rise 10% when compared to February 2012. The average price of a home for March 2013 is $445,134 with is up from February 2013’s average home price of $433,927. This trend should continue and is expected to continue as inventory levels are currently lagging behind demand from buyers.  We have seen the numbers for New Listings and New Pending Sales increase month to month, however these numbers continue to be down significantly when compared to last year at this time. The numbers of closed sales have increased when compared to yearly and monthly numbers.Average Price of a Home

Loudoun County Homes for Sale

Current Inventory Pushes the Price of a Home Up

Current inventory levels in Loudoun County are down over 11% when compared to March 2012. This is certainly having an effect on the average price of a home in Loudoun County as supply and demand is the most important factor effecting home sales. The downward trend for inventory has continued for some time now. With the approach of the spring market inventory levels should increase seasonally as expected however levels are still significantly off the mark from where inventory was a year ago.  There is currently approximately 2.5 months of supply currently listed for sale. Given that 6 months supply is considered a balanced market and anything less is a buyer’s market you have to conclude that the upward trend for the average price of a home in Loudoun County will continue. Many in the industry are beginning to wonder if we are set up for another run up in prices and a potential bubble. There is significant competition in the market with agents and buyers reporting many multiple offer situations and the return of escalation clauses. As would be expected the Average Days on Market has decreased about 12% to 56 days compared to 64 days in March of 2012.Relocating to Loudoun County Moving Truck

Spring Market Heats Up

As the spring market continues to heat up the average price of a home in Loudoun County should continue to improve. This trend should encourage homeowners who have been reluctant to test the market and list their homes. The current inventory levels are still low and sellers should expect to see prices continue to improve however it may still be some time for some homeowners in Loudoun County to recover lost value, there we areas that saw 30%-40% declines in their home value for the height of the market in 2005-06. For more information on homes for sale in Loudoun County or your neighborhood visit www.loudouncountylivingllc.com/sell

Belmont Country Club Townhomes for Sale

images-1Townhomes in Belmont Country Club

I remember playing in a Loudoun County Golf Tournament about ten years ago.  As I road through the course, I enjoyed seeing the beautiful single family homes along the perimeter of the course with beautiful decks, houses and landscaping.

Now, ten years later, Belmont Country Club is a popular neighborhood for both golfers and non-golfers alike.  Homes in Belmont Country Club include luxury single family homes, townhomes and even condos spread throughout the neighborhood.

The Belmont Country Club community stretches alongside Rt. 7 and Belmont Ridge Road in Ashburn, VA.  The neighborhood is full of amenities including pools, W&OD Trail, 18-hole championship Arnold Palmer Signature Golf Course, recreation center and much more.

There are several different style townhomes in Belmont Country Club.  Garage townhomes in Belmont are priced from the $400s.  For a full list of active townhomes for sale in Belmont Country Club, click here.

Schools in Belmont Country Club Neighborhood

Loudoun County Public Schools are some of the best in the state of Virginia.  Recent re-districting in Ashburn may affect the specific school your child may attend but there is no doubt that all of the schools will be a good choice for your children.  In addition, there area a variety of private schools available in Loudoun County.  For descriptions and statistics about schools in Ashburn, click here.

Why Live in Belmont Country Club?

Just ask a resident from Belmont.  Residents love the security of the gated community as well as the amenities and friendly neighbors.  The neighborhood is highly sought-after and homes don’t stay on the market long.

If you currently own a home in Belmont Country Club and are considering putting it on the market, contact me today to find a buyer who will love it as much as you do.

Loudoun County Living LLC is one of the top teams at Keller Williams in Leesburg and has averages over 60 home sale every year.  For a free home value estimate or if you are looking to buy a home in Virginia, call 703-831-7653 or visit www.loudouncountylivingllc.com 

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Sell Your Home Fast!

Sell Your Home Fast

What’s the best way to sell your home fast?  Put it on the market now.  Traditionally, the Spring is the best time of year to sell your house and 2013 will be no different.  Why is spring a great time to sell?  There are many reasons including:

sell your home in virginia

How to Sell Your House in Virginia

  • Homes show better in the spring when the grass is greener, flowers and trees start to bloom and buyers can picture themselves spending time outdoors.
  • Families with children prefer to move when the kids get out of school and want to be settled before the new school year starts
  • There’s more daylight.  With daylight savings time, buyers have more daylight hours to get out and see homes
  • Buyers will spend more time looking at property when the weather allows them to comfortably walk around outdoors and in.

Ready to list your home? Call Barry Harlowe at 703-881-6051 or email today.

How much is your home worth?

The good news for Northern Virginia sellers is that inventory is low causing prices to rise. In February 2012, there were 5840 active listings on the market.  In February 2013, that number dropped by 28% to 4185.  That’s great news for sellers!

The average price of a home sold in Northern Virginia in February 2013 was $436,433 which is 10% increase over 2012 when sold prices were $396,107.

Selling Your Home Fast in Northern Virginia

Houses sold in February 2013 sold 20% faster than 2012, on average, within 57 days.  This number is expected to drop significantly in March 2013.

Want to know what your home is worth?  Call Allison Metzger at 703-963-0923 or email today.

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Buying a Home in Virginia

If you currently rent and are looking to buy this spring, you can still take advantage of the hot spring market with low interest rates and motivated sellers.  Think about your must-haves and narrow down the location that works best for you.

Be sure to find a licensed real estate agent who can keep you abreast of all the latest statistics, listings and support you in your individual needs.