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Part 7 of 7: Top 5 real estate tips for people considering becoming a realtor

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This 7 part series is accompanied by BETHvids featuring tips regarding buying, selling and the real estate industry in general.


Top 5 real estate tips for people considering becoming a realtor:

  1. Look into online real estate classes and take the plunge–enroll in an affordable course and start taking action in exploring the industry, instead of dreaming about “one day.”  Even if you don’t become an active Realtor, you’ll learn a great deal in the 60 hour course, and you’ll discover if the industry feels like a right fit for you. Moseley Real Estate School is my favorite, and the course is under $300.  I’m proud to have been the very first Realtor to ever join the Blue Ridge Association of Realtors after taking an online course back in 2002.  Before that year, most agents took the course in person–I took mine from Moseley on dial up Internet service!
  2. Make a budget and seriously consider the expenses involved in holding an active real estate license. Contact your local Association of Realtors and ask them questions about the process and investment required in starting a career in real estate.  The fees involved in joining a local board of Realtors, enrolling in the multiple listing service, charges associated with joining a brokerage, and general start up expenses will shock you.  Yes, real estate commissions look great “on paper” but be sure to fully explore the true cost (financially, emotionally and mentally) of beginning a career in real estate.  I’d suggest having 6 months or more of savings to allow time for your career to take off. For almost the entire first year I was a Realtor, I was embarrassed to attend office meetings because my business was slow to take off–patience, persistence and doing things differently than others is the key to success.
  3. Start following local top producers who have a good reputation and learn from those already successful in the industry. Sign up for free online newsletters or courses from professional Realtor trainers and get a feel for the industry from the inside before you dive in. Tom Ferry, Brian Buffini, Gary Keller and many others offer free online tips and have written books you can soak up to learn inside scoop about the industry.
  4. Begin researching available local, regional and online real estate brokerages while exploring which office seems like the best fit for you. Email or call brokers and start interviewing them.  Compare their offerings to new agents, including their willingness to invest in start-up costs. Be sure to ask about training opportunities, mentorship availability, the possibility of having “duty time” (answering the phone or working at the front desk to get leads), and company lead generating/sharing.
  5. Start a database (with email and physical addresses) of friends, family and community contacts so you’ll have people to reach out to when you launch your career. It will be important to notify your circle (and expand it) for your best chances of hitting the ground running. And even if you choose to not become a Realtor, at least you’ll have your Christmas card list ready and can get your cards out around Thanksgiving this year!

Beth Waller, Associate Broker at KW Solutions – Keller Williams Realty
Local Office: 27 Cloud Street Front Royal, VA 22630
Direct: 540-671-6145
Northern Virginia Office: 8100 Ashton Ave #103 Manassas VA 20109
Office: 703-330-2222
Licensed in VA

Beth’s websites: Bethwaller.kw.com and whatmattersw2.com

To learn more about my real estate sales or nonprofit (WHAT MATTERS), to book a time to utilize my free community meeting space (“Open House” in the Middle of Main building on Main Street), to schedule a no-cost social media video to promote your business/group or cause, or to discuss my listing your property (which makes all of my charity efforts possible), visit my website at www.whatmattersw2.com or give me a call at 540-671-6145!


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Real Estate

Residential real estate contributed nearly $52 billion to the state’s economy in 2020

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Virginia REALTORS® has published a new study conducted in partnership with George Mason University, quantifying the economic impacts of Virginia’s housing industry and demonstrating the vital role the housing sector played during the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession.

Throughout 2020, Virginia’s housing industry was incredibly resilient, even as other parts of the economy struggled. Unlike in some other states, residential real estate transactions and other housing-related activities were able to continue throughout the pandemic. REALTORS® and other real estate professionals across the state were able to pivot to adapt to changing restrictions.

As a result of the industry’s resiliency and innovation, the housing sector contributed nearly $52 billion to Virginia’s economy in 2020 and supported more than 325,000 jobs in the commonwealth. This economic impact accounts for the effects of transactions related to buying and selling homes, building new homes, refinancing mortgages, renovating and remodeling homes, and managing and maintaining residential properties in 2020.

“One of the key reasons residential real estate is so important to the economy is because it touches so many other sectors of the economy. But the housing sector is also unique because it is an important economic driver across all regions of the state,” says Virginia REALTORS® Chief Economist Lisa Sturtevant, PhD.



In addition to this impact on the economy, housing-related activities expanded state and local tax revenue by more than $2 billion in 2020. This tax revenue relates to real estate activities during the year but does not include property taxes paid on existing homes. Therefore, this number significantly understates the role housing plays in local tax revenue each year.

The full report on the impact of the housing industry on Virginia’s economy is available on the Virginia REALTORS® website.

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Real Estate

Get the power of knowledge

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In an era when it’s become increasingly easy to DIY everything from our home renovations to our taxes and even business tasks, does it make sense to do the same when it’s time to sell a home?

While a lot of things can be accomplished via YouTube videos, selling a home is one area where professional help is imperative.

How does a real estate agent help in selling a home? Here’s a sampling of ways:

*They know real estate law. Agents must be licensed and then keep up with their education to retain that license. That education includes courses on real estate law, which covers everything from discriminatory practices to disclosures and more. These aren’t always obvious to the layperson, and a misstep — even if you had the best of intentions — can land you in a lot of trouble. Best to let a professional guide you.


* They understand contracts. Similar to the trickier areas of real estate law, licensed agents understand which contracts you need as well as each section of those stacks of paperwork.

* They are bound by ethics. Real estate licensing goes beyond the letter of the law to include strict ethics codes.

* Experience in negotiations. A trained and experienced agent will be able to help you get the best price for your home.

* Market expertise. An agent will know the ins and outs of the real estate market, down to individual neighborhoods and streets. The market can be dramatically different from one area to the next, regardless of what’s happening nationally or even regionally, and agents keep on top of it.

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How many bathrooms should you have in your home?

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If you’re building a new home or want to renovate an existing property, you may be wondering how many bathrooms you should install. Here are some tips to help you make the right choice.

Know the different types
Bathrooms can be categorized as full baths, three-quarter baths, half baths, and quarter baths. Full bathrooms have a sink, toilet, shower, and bathtub. Three-quarter baths have a shower, sink, and toilet but no tub. Half baths, also known as powder rooms, only have a sink and toilet. Quarter baths have just a toilet.

Assess your family’s needs
It’s important to consider how many people are in your family as well as their accessibility requirements. For exam¬ple, a bathtub may be difficult for a person with limited mobility to step over, but it’s convenient for bathing young children. If you have teenagers, an extra full bath or three-quarter bath is probably a wise investment.

Keep the long term in mind
You should be mindful of the future when installing or re¬novating a bathroom. In addition to considering how the needs of your family members are likely to change over time, you should think about how your choices may impact the resale value of your property.



If you need advice on your renovation project, consult a building contractor in your area.

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Should I sell my rentals in a hot market?

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It has been a blazing hot real estate market lately, with a shortage of available houses for sale and new construction too pricey (think lumber prices, tariffs, and other factors) to keep up.

The demand for rentals has also skyrocketed in most places and with it, rental rates. With rental units so desirable, does that mean this is a good time to sell off some or even all the rental properties you own?

Ultimately, the answer is the same as it always is with real estate: That depends.

On one hand, you might be able to command higher rents, which would make your properties more profitable. Rentals are traditionally a long-term strategy meant to produce a (relatively) passive income, and as long as you’re turning a profit and paying down the principle, many owners like to hold off on selling.


Except when they don’t.

If you stand to make a good profit by selling — good being a subjective term based upon your unique circumstances and goals — then perhaps this is a time to cash out. Maybe you need the capital for medical expenses, tuition, or other reasons. Or maybe you’re eyeing another market.

You might want to sell and roll the money into another investment, perhaps using a 1031 exchange that allows you to defer paying capital gains taxes (consult with a professional for how to do this properly). Many an investor trades up in this manner.

A variety of factors are at play in the “When should I sell?” scenario, and above all, cool heads should prevail. Take your time and approach it analytically, not just in reaction to an up or down market.

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5 living room design tips

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Your living room is one of the most important rooms in your home. It’s where you entertain guests, read, watch movies, and more. Here are a few tips for making your living room both stylish and functional.

1. Position the couch
Since it’s likely the biggest piece of furniture in your living room, you should position your couch first. If the room is small, push it up against the wall to create more space. However, if you have an open-concept home, pull the couch into the middle of the space to create a distinct living area.

2. Set up the TV
Your television should be visible from the sitting area. However, don’t place it in front of a window, as viewing will likely be impacted by glare.

3. Add an area rug
On top of being comfortable and stylish, an area rug can help soundproof your living room. As
a rule of thumb, it should fit under all pieces of furniture in the sitting area.


4. Optimize the lighting
Since your living room is a multifunctional space, getting the lighting right can be a challenge. The best approach is to incorporate a combination of overhead, accent, and task lights. In addition, installing dimmer switches will allow you to adjust the ambiance as needed.

5. Choose complementary furniture
You should choose furniture that complements the space. For example, bulky furniture can easily make a small living room feel crowded. However, investing in a good coffee table and stylish entertainment unit is a must.

Given that you probably spend a lot of time in your living room, it’s worth making the effort to ensure it’s as comfortable as possible.

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4 things to consider when choosing a shower

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If you need to install a new shower in your bathroom, the dimensions of the area where you’ll place it are a key consideration. Here are several other things to think about when making a purchase decision.

1. Type
There are several kinds of showers to choose from, including:

• One-piece showers. They’re watertight and affordable but a little bulky.
• Modular showers. These are suitable for most bathrooms but difficult to maintain.
• Traditional shower cabins. They’re affordable and compact but utilitarian.
• Tiled showers. They’re beautiful and durable but a little pricey.
• Adapted showers. These are spacious and accessible but difficult to install.

2. Material
When it comes to materials, you can choose from:


• ABS plastic. It’s lightweight but difficult to maintain.
• Acrylic. It’s esthetically pleasing but scratches easily.
• Fiberglass. It’s affordable but prone to cracking.
• Polymer. It’s easy to install but not very durable.
• Tempered glass. It’s scratch-resistant but heavy.

It’s up to you to determine your needs and find the best value for your money.

3. Door
When it comes to shower doors, each type has its pros and cons. Options include:

• Sliding doors. They’re space-saving but difficult to clean.
• Pivoting doors. They’re versatile but prone to leaks.
• Swinging doors. They’re roomy but require more maintenance.

It’s important to decide which features are most important to you before making your choice.

4. Accessories
Faucets are available in a variety of styles and materials including chrome, stainless steel, and brushed nickel. In addition, when it comes to showerheads, you can opt for a fixed, handheld, high-pressure, rainfall, or body jet system.

If you take the time to weigh your options, you’ll be able to create a shower that meets your needs.

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Sep
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8:00 am 2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider ... @ Valley View Farm
2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider ... @ Valley View Farm
Sep 19 @ 8:00 am – Sep 20 @ 12:30 pm
2021 Gnarled Orchard Hard Cider Challenge @ Valley View Farm
Come enjoy the challenging routes at Sky Meadows State Park and Valley View Farm, home of the Gnarled Orchard. These courses are knotty, knot nice at the farm as they are a mix of cross[...]
Sep
20
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2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 20 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
23
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6:00 pm Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
Sep 23 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony @ Prospect Hill Cemetery
The Col. John S. Mosby Camp, Sons of Confederate Veterans, will lead the annual “Monument to Mosby’s Men Ceremony” commemorating the fallen of Mosby’s command at 6 pm on Thursday, September 23rd, at Front Royal’s[...]
Sep
25
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10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
10:00 am National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
National Public Lands Day @ Sky Meadows State Park
Carriage Barn in the Historic Area. A blight decimated American Chestnut trees in North America in the 1920s. One hundred years later, Sky Meadows State Park has teamed up with the Virginia Chapter of the[...]
11:00 am Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Sep 25 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Friends of Sky Meadows Farm Market @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area. Stop by the Friends of Sky Meadows Farmer’s Market for tasty preserved products, heirloom vegetables, eggs and more. Pick from seasonal vegetables grown in Sky Meadows’ authentic Kitchen Garden, July through September. Grab[...]
Sep
26
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10:00 am 3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
3rd Annual French & Indian War W... @ Abram's Delight
Sep 26 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
3rd Annual French & Indian War Weekend @ Abram's Delight
Saturday, September 25, and Sunday, September 26, from 10 am to 5 pm. 18th Century Colonial encampments with historical interpretation of British, French and Native Americans on the Western frontier of the Virginia Colony during[...]
Sep
27
Mon
2:00 pm Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
Sep 27 @ 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Trauma-Informed Training @ ONLINE
WARREN COALITION OFFERS FREE TRAUMA-INFORMED TRAINING IN SEPTEMBER Have you ever felt alone? Do you wonder why you react the way you do? Do you work with children? If you answered yes to any of[...]
Sep
28
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7:00 pm Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Sep 28 @ 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm
Community Parent Night @ Dominion Ridge Academy
Dominion Ridge Academy is proud to host this free community event for parents featuring international speaker, author, and comedian Christopher O’Shaughnessy. Come enjoy an evening of laughter and inspiration as Chris addresses the themes of[...]
Oct
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4:00 pm Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
Oct 2 @ 4:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Oktoberfest: Family Fun Day @ Wakefield Country Day School
October 2, 2021 from 4pm-8pm All are welcome to attend the 2nd Annual Oktoberfest at Wakefield Country Day School. Loosen your Leiderhosen and get ready for Oktoberfest! This year, the Edelweiss Band is coming to[...]