The Southside Virginia Association of REALTORS® is a professional organization dedicated to promoting excellence in real estate business practices and advocating on behalf of the interests of private property owners.
Our mission is to be the voice for real estate in Southside Virginia and enhance our members' ability to be respected professionals. Through our educational and informational endeavors we foster career advancement, real estate best practices, and enforcement of the Code of Ethics promulgated by the National Association of REALTORS®.
Safety alert: Female agents from both SVAR and RAR are being contacted by a man (with his caller ID marked as "private") who is very persistent about being shown properties late at night. He refuses to meet during the day or in a public location or office. This week he called SVAR female agents multiple times within a few hours, requesting they show him homes not in their areas or in unfamiliar areas. These members offered to connect him with agents representing those areas, but he refused and said he wanted to work only with the particular agent he was calling. He also asked one agent to "show me anything you can this evening," and said he wanted to discuss "the steps to becoming a homeowner." Fortunately, with several red flags waved, these members who were contacted trusted their instincts and refused. Please use caution and trust your instincts. Now's a good time to review REALTOR® safety tips.
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Southside Virginia Association of REALTORS® members played Santa on Dec. 12, delivering bushels of new toys and winter woolens they had collected to the Fort Lee-based Holiday Helpers Association. SVAR members also had the opportunity to meet Gov. Terry McAuliffe, who was visiting the base's charity program at the time. "Increased outreach is among SVAR's goals for the 2015, including establishment of our association's new Community Service Committee. What better way to start than by spreading holiday cheer to those who serve our country – our local military personnel and their families?" said John W. Brockwell of Weichert Realty, Brockwell & Portwood, immediate past president of the association, who was among those delivering the donations. Joining him were SVAR's Hank Duarte, 2013 president, and Meg Duarte, REALTORS® Professional Network chairman, both with Century 21 Colonial Realty, and Carmen Martin of Ford Agency Inc., SVAR Board of Directors member. The donations will go to military families in need. Accepting on behalf of the Holiday Helpers Association were President Wayne Hall and Vice President Carlton Branch. The nonprofit Holiday Helper Association allows wounded warriors and nominated military families facing tough times to shop at the association's Fort Lee "toy store" for free. It also offers military families vouchers to assist with holiday meals and a live tree, if needed, as well as stocking stuffers, books, puzzles and homemade infant blankets.
SVAR looked to the past while preparing for the future Dec. 4 during its installation of 2015 officers and directors at the Union Train Station in Old Towne Petersburg. David Patsel, a broker with Napier REALTORS® ERA, was installed as president of the association, which is dedicated to promoting excellence in real estate business practices and advocating on behalf of the interests of private property owners. In his acceptance speech, the Colonial Heights resident outlined his goals for SVAR for the year, including improved communication through technology; more educational offerings and coursework; better public awareness of the value of a REALTOR®; and, with the association's newly established Community Service Committee, increased community outreach. Patsel, who launched his real-estate career 10 years ago after working in the restaurant business for more than two decades, also explained his selection of the historic train depot for the SVAR ceremony. The landmark, he said, was the site of a "shoulder-to-shoulder" property auction – the first industry event that he attended after earning his license auction – and helped inspire his "fever" for real estate. "This building is a part of Olde Towne Petersburg that we want to preserve and carry on for generations to come. That is how I see our association, which was founded in 1951," Patsel added. "The future looks bright for SVAR. The market is improving, and SVAR is again growing." Patsel was sworn in by 1997 SVAR president and mentor Libby Gatewood, also of Napier REALTORS® ERA, and pinned by wife Monica Patsel before the ceremonial passing of the gavel. Gatewood also installed the rest of SVAR's 2015 board: immediate past president, John W. Brockwell, Weichert Realty, Brockwell & Portwood; president-elect, Ron Hardy, 1st Choice Realty Group; treasurer, Johana Story, RE/MAX Commonwealth; and directors Brett Harris of Harris & Associates, Larry Lewis of Napier REALTORS® ERA, Steve Overgard of RE/MAX Commonwealth, Carmen Martin of Ford Agency Inc. and Doug Compton of Tennek Realty. Congrats, all!