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2016 BOD

The 2016 Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR)  leadership team was installed Thursday night at La Rinconada Country Club in Los Gatos. California Association of REALTORS® 2013 President Don Faught administered the oath of office to SILVAR’s new president, officers and board of directors. C.A.R. 2005 President Jim Hamilton served as master of ceremonies and welcomed about 180 members and guests to the special event. Alain Pinel REALTORS® Vice President/Regional Manager Jeff Barnett led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance and delivered the inspiration message.

Karen Trolan, a REALTOR®, broker and assistant manager of the Alain Pinel REALTORS® Los Gatos office, was installed as 2016 President; Denise Welsh, a REALTOR® with Alain Pinel REALTORS®, Los Altos, President-elect; and Phyllis Carmichael, a REALTOR® with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Los Altos, Treasurer.

Joining SILVAR’s lead officers as this year’s board directors are Chris Isaacson (Coldwell Banker), past president; David Tonna (Alain Pinel REALTORS®), Region 9 Chair; Brett Caviness (Coldwell Banker), Menlo Park/Atherton District Chair; Amy Sung (Pacific Union International Real Estate), Palo Alto District Chair; Katherine Frey (Alain Pinel REALTORS®), Los Altos/Mountain View District Chair; David Hunt (W.A. Krauss & Co. Property Management), Cupertino/Sunnyvale District Chair; Suzanne Yost (Alain Pinel REALTORS®), Los Gatos/Saratoga District Chair; and Directors At-large Jeff Bell (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage), Davena Gentry (Sereno Group), Eileen Giorgi (Sereno Group), Gene Lentz (Keller Williams Realty), Cassie Maas (Alain Pinel REALTORS®), Ryan Nunnally (Alain Pinel REALTORS®); and Affiliate Chair, Eric Temple (Willow Glen Organics).

Trolan is a Los Gatos resident and has been a REALTOR® and broker for 30 years. She began her real estate career with Van Vleck REALTORS® and continued on with Cornish & Carey and later Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. From top agent, Trolan moved up the ranks quickly to vice president and manager of the Cornish & Carey’s Palo Alto Midtown office, vice president/managing broker for the Los Altos office, and finally, when Coldwell Banker bought Cornish and Carey, Trolan was named senior vice president and regional manager of Silicon Valley Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Despite suffering severe injuries from a tragic airplane accident in 2009 that left her paralyzed from waist down, Trolan through sheer perseverance and hard work went back to doing most of the activities she did before the accident. In April 2011, Trolan joined the Alain Pinel REALTORS® Los Gatos office, where she is currently assistant manager, responsible for agent improvement, community involvement and other special projects.

VIEW PHOTOS AND READ MORE HERE

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SILVAR’s 2014 Installation Dinner is next week on Thursday, January 9, 6 p.m. at Villa Ragusa, 35 South 2nd Street in Campbell. At this special event, 2014 President David Tonna and the 2014 officers and Board of Directors will be officially installed.

Taking the oath of office with Tonna will be Chris Isaacson, President-elect; Phyllis Carmichael, Treasurer; Carolyn Miller, Past President; Suzanne Yost, Region 9 Chair; Lehua Greenman, Menlo Park/Atherton District Chair; Jeff Beltramo, Palo Alto District Chair; Bonnie Kehl and Joe Brown, Los Altos/Mountain View District Co-chairs; Sue Bose, Cupertino/Sunnyvale District Chair; Mark Von Kaenel, Los Gatos/Saratoga District Chair; Jeff Bell, Mark Burns, Eileen Giorgi, Bill Moody, Karen Trolan, At-large Directors; John Tripp, NAR Director; and Simon Offord, Affiliate Chair. The special awards for REALTOR® of the Year, Affiliate of the Year and Spirit of SILVAR will also be presented during the evening.

Thank you in advance to this year’s Installation Sponsors: Los Gatos/Saratoga District; Alain Pinel REALTORS® – Los Gatos, Saratoga and Almaden Valley; MLSListings Inc.; Kenneth Chan – HSBC; Sereno Group; Troy Harrison Property Inspections; Pacific Union Real Estate; and Daddario Roofing Company.

Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®, Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and San Mateo County Association of REALTORS® met with U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo.

Members of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®, Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® and San Mateo County Association of REALTORS® met with U.S. Representative Anna Eshoo.

Six SILVAR members participated in meetings on Capitol Hill as part of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Midyear Legislative Meetings on May 13-18. They included SILVAR President Carolyn Miller, President-elect David Tonna, Past President Suzanne Yost, Federal Political Coordinator Carole Feldstein, PAC Chair Barb Williams, and NAR Director John Tripp. They met with Anna Eshoo, U.S. Representative for California’s 18th congressional district, which includes parts of San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties; Jackie Speier, U.S. Representative for California’s 14th congressional district, which consists of portions of San Mateo County and San Francisco; and Mike Honda, U.S. Representative for California’s 17th congressional district, which includes portions of the East Bay, western San Jose and Silicon Valley.

Members asked their representatives in Congress to:

1. Restructure Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac and Encourage the Return of Private Capital. Members requested that the chairmen of the House Financial Services Committee and the Senate Banking Committee hold hearings that focus on restructuring the secondary mortgage market, and that the emphasis of these hearings be the crafting of comprehensive bipartisan legislation that resolves the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They stressed an efficient and adequately regulated secondary market is essential to providing affordable mortgages to consumers; that the federal government must clearly, and explicitly, offer a guarantee of some mortgage instruments; and that the government’s guarantee should ensure a wide range of safe, reliable mortgage products for creditworthy consumers.

2. Preserve homeownership tax policies. As Congress considers proposals to reform the federal tax code, SILVAR REALTORS® said lawmakers should consider the vital role that real estate tax provisions play in the nation’s housing markets and economy, as well as the financial well-being of Americans and their families. As real estate markets continue to recover, Congress must first do no harm to the following:

• Mortgage Interest Deduction: Oppose efforts to change or eliminate the mortgage interest deduction for primary and second homes.

• Property Tax Deduction: Property taxes paid are properly not considered “income” that should be subject to federal income tax. Congress should not tax “income” that doesn’t exist and oppose elimination of the deduction for property taxes.

• Capital Gains Exclusion for Sale of Principal Residence: Individuals can exclude the first $250,000 (and married couples the first $500,000) of gain from the sale of their principal residence from capital gains tax. This provision allows homeowners to build equity and save for retirement and should be maintained.

3. Preserve the Mission and Purpose of the FHA Program. SILVAR REALTORS® asked their representatives to ensure that the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) single-family
program has the tools and policies in place to meet its mission of access to safe, affordable mortgage financing to qualified borrowers nationwide. They said FHA’s single-family mortgage insurance program helps preserve private financing options for homebuyers regardless of local, regional or national economic conditions. They asked that the legislators continue support for H.R. 1145 (Waters (D-CA), Capuano (D-MA)), which provides FHA with the flexibility to make necessary changes to the program, provides taxpayer protections against lenders who make errors of material fact, and improves program oversight. They asked that Congress provide FHA with tools, but also protect FHA from any further restrictive requirements that keep more people out of the program.
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The latest California Association of REALTORS® Lender Satisfaction Survey report says lenders have made some progress in their short sale processes from a year ago.  Sixty-four percent of California REALTORS® said they still experienced difficulty in closing short sales, down from 77 percent in August 2011 and 70 percent in 2010. The percentage of REALTORS® who reported short sales as “extremely difficult,” dropped from 56 percent in 2011 to 34 percent in 2012.

C.A.R.’s Lender Performance Index (LPI), which measures REALTORS®’ lender satisfaction levels, rose to 23 in 2012, up from 17 in 2011 and 16 in 2010. The increase in the LPI is positive, but the index is still below the median of 50.

According to the C.A.R. report, communication issues continue to be the biggest stumbling block to the process:
* Lenders’ slow response time to a short sale package, cited by 67 percent of REALTORS® in 2012, up slightly from 66 percent last year;

* Poor communication with lender representatives, cited by 55 percent of REALTORS®, unchanged from 2011;

* Repeated requests for documentation, cited by 50 percent of REALTORS®, down from 51 percent a year ago.

* Eight percent of REALTORS® reported the lender foreclosed on the home before the short sale transaction could be completed, down from 15 percent in 2011.

However, overall satisfaction in working with lenders in short sales improved, with 59 percent expressing dissatisfaction, down from 75 percent in 2011. 

REALTORS® believe a more standardized process may be the best way to facilitate the sale of homes that qualify. “The Federal Housing Finance Agency’s decision to align Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac short sale guidelines will allow lenders and servicers to quickly and more easily qualify eligible borrowers for a short sale,” says Richard Miller, who is chief banking officer of Ratecomb and serves as affiliate chair of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR). “We are seeing progress as all parties involved strive to maintain better communication and are proactive with solutions.”

SILVAR President Suzanne Yost adds, “Whether a struggling homeowner chooses the path of foreclosure or a short sale, the experience is both financially and emotionally difficult. We hope lenders will continue to make improvements so the process is both easier and quicker for homeowners.”

It is expensive to live in the heart of Silicon Valley, but buyer demand for homes, including million-dollar homes, continues to be strong. Real estate information service DataQuick lists the following Silicon Valley communities among the highest ranked areas for million-dollar homes sales in California in the second quarter.

  • Hillsborough topped the list with 134 sales in 2012 Q2, up from 118 in 2011 Q2, with the most expensive home purchased for $5.28 million.
  • Saratoga ranked second with 126 million-dollar homes purchased in 2012 Q2, up from 93 in 2011 Q2, with the most expensive of purchased at $5.35 million.
  • Cupertino ranked fifth (after Manhattan Beach and Newport Beach in Southern California) with 105 million-dollar homes sold in 2012 Q2, up from 88 in 2011 Q2, with the most expensive home purchased for $2.45 million.
  • Los Altos ranked sixth after Cupertino with 102 million-dollar home sales in 2012 Q2. The most expensive home was purchased for $6 million. Los Altos had 81 million-dollar home sales in 2011 Q2.
  • In Los Gatos, the most expensive home purchased cost $4.66 million. There were 67 million-dollar homes purchased in the zip code of 95032, up from 44 in 2011 Q2. In the Los Gatos zip code of 95030, 62 million-dollar homes were purchased last quarter, up from 31 in the second-quarter last year.

Despite the hype over Facebook’s IPO, Menlo Park and Palo Alto made the list, but had fewer million-dollar home sales in second-quarter 2012 than the same time last year, according to DataQuick. Menlo Park had 100 million-dollar homes sold in second-quarter 2012, down from 124 last year, with the most expensive home purchased for $4.8 million. Palo Alto had 62 million-dollar homes sold, down from 69 in 2011 Q2, with the most expensive home purchased for $3.15 million.

Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® (SILVAR) president Suzanne Yost, who is an associate broker with Alain Pinel Realtors in Los Gatos, is not surprised that many of the communities located within SILVAR’s five districts made the list. “Silicon Valley’s economy is healthy compared with other parts of the state because it is the heart of innovation, with many successful tech companies,” said Yost.

Yost added, “Our members have reported a surge of foreign buyers. They are attracted to the region’s weather, diversity, excellent schools, good mix and proximity to shopping, entertainment, the arts and services. We’re not that far from San Francisco, close to the freeways and airports. Buyers know they can’t go wrong and they are willing to pay the price for these amenities.”

SILVAR has five member districts, allowing members to work closely with their communities. They are the Menlo Park/Atherton District (including Portola Valley, Woodside and East Palo Alto), Palo Alto District, Los Altos/Mountain View District (including Los Altos Hills), Cupertino/Sunnyvale District and the Los Gatos/Saratoga District (including Monte Sereno).

SILVAR President Suzanne Yost (far right) and SCCAOR President Barbara Lymberis (second from left) are pictured with NHORA Directors Hilda Ramirez and Richard Gonzales.

SILVAR President Suzanne Yost and Barbara Lymberis, president of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS® (SCCAOR), spoke at the National Hispanic Organization of Real Estate Associates (NHORA) Santa Clara County luncheon meeting on Wednesday. The theme of the meeting was “Viva Las Mujeres! A Celebration of Women in Leadership.”

NHORA is a national organization that promotes Hispanic leadership within the context of community building, commerce, and transparency in the advancement of sustainable home ownership. The organization also serves as a resource of tools and cultural awareness for anyone seeking to serve the Latino market.

Moderator Hilda Ramirez asked both Association of REALTORS® presidents to discuss what leadership means to them personally and professionally. Yost and Lymberis both emphasized the importance of members getting involved in their respective associations. There are many ways to get involved in an association, not just as an officer, they said.

Yost said every man or woman owes it to give a part of themselves to the association or organization they belong. She recommended participating in the association’s various committees, joining BARLA (Bay Area REALTOR® Leadership Academy), RSVP (REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program, contributing to the REALTOR® Action Fund, as just some of many ways to get involved in the association.

“You get back so much more than you give. Find something that interests you and get involved in it,” she suggested.

Lymberis said she values the opportunity of sharing her professionalism with others, and she encouraged everyone to do the same. “It’s been a tremendous growth experience for me. You become a better agent, a better broker to the benefit of your clients,” said Lymberis.

Yost, who has been in real estate and involved with different AORs for 32 years, noted being involved has given her the opportunity to make tremendous friends and she considers friends in real estate as family.

“If all of us could step up in various ways, if we each can find something to do in our association, it would be amazing how much more we would be able to accomplish,” said Yost.

Yost and Lymberis are among 12 women AOR presidents out of 17 AORs in the Bay Area.

On April 17, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced a new directive as part of FHFA’s continued servicing alignment initiative that directs Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to align their guidelines for servicing delinquent mortgages they own or guarantee.

The new directive requires that servicers of Fannie and Freddie loans:
• Review and respond to borrower requests for short sales within 30 days after receipt of a short sale offer and a complete borrower request.
• If the review is still under way after 30 days, give the borrower weekly status updates. (This allows more time where necessary, such as where subordinate lenders and/or mortgage insurance is involved.)
• Advise the borrower of the final decision within 60 days after receipt of a short sale offer and a complete borrower request.

The new timelines apply both to HAFA loans and to other short sales approved by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Additional enhancements are planned by the end of 2012 addressing borrower eligibility, simplifying documentation, valuing property, payments to subordinate lien holders, and mortgage insurance.

REALTOR® officials at the national, state and local level applaud the move by FHFA to streamline the short sale process. Faster response times will help thousands of distressed homeowners, according to Suzanne Yost, president of the Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS®.

“Short sale transactions are more complicated than regular transactions and they have taken so much time that many prospective buyers have walked away from short sales,” said Yost. “The FHFA’s move to streamline the short sale process is a critical step toward a full housing market recovery.”

FHFA Announcement
Freddie Mac Bulletin

SILVAR congratulates the 2012 officers and board directors of the Filipino American Real Estate Professional Association (FAREPA) – Santa Clara County Chapter. The association also celebrates 10 years as a real estate organization in the South Bay.

At their installation luncheon on March 9, SILVAR Region 9 Chair Jeff Bell administered the oath of office to 2012 FAREPA President Richard Martinez, a financial advisor with Transamerica Financial Advisors; Barbara Kuang (Farmers Insurance), vice president; Jerry Quintos (Abbot, Stringham & Lynch CPA), treasurer; Paul Stewart (San Mateo County Association of Realtors), immediate past president; and Fe Casem (IBIS Universal Corporation), Evelyn Greenleaf (Consultant), Marlo Ibon (Intero Real Estate Services), Richard Miller (RateComb.com), directors.

SILVAR President Suzanne Yost, a guest speaker at the event, congratulated FAREPA’s new leadership team for its commitment. “It takes courage to step into leadership positions. SILVAR values its partnership with groups like FAREPA,” said Yost. “Partnerships are key to success and all real estate professionals should treat each other with care and nurture these relationships every chance they get.”

On behalf of FAREPA, Past President Stewart presented special honorary Filipino awards to Yost, Bell, and Barbara Lymberis, president of the Santa Clara County Association of REALTORS®. SILVAR Public Affairs Director Rose Meily was presented the Member for Life award. Stewart referred to the REALTOR® associations as flagships of FAREPA and other ethnic real estate groups, and thanked them for their support.

SILVAR Region 9 Chair Jeff Bell (far right) administers the oath of office to FAREPA's 2012 officers and board directors (left to right) Treasurer Jerry Quintos, Directors Richard Miller, Fe Casem, Evelyn Greenleaf and Marlo Ibon, Vice President Barbara Kuang, FAREPA President Richard Martinez, Immediate Past President Paul Stewart.

On Thursday, SILVAR President Suzanne Yost updated members of the Cupertino/Sunnyvale District on the state of the Association. Yost announced the Association is financially secure (SILVAR hasn’t raised dues since 2002) and stressed that SILVAR highly values its membership.

SILVAR offers many valuable member benefits, including PRDS Forms, a complete line of paper and online forms for residential purchase and sales transactions. PRDS Forms were developed specifically for Silicon Valley’s REALTORS® by Silicon Valley REALTORS® who saw the need. These forms are highly acclaimed and available online free of charge as a SILVAR member benefit.

Yost assured members their dues dollars are very well spent, especially on government affairs. She highly credited SILVAR Government Affairs Director Adam Montgomery for his work in successfully warding off many point of sale and transfer tax proposals that could have hurt homeowners had they passed. A recent example is proposed regulations that would have included sewer lateral inspection and compliance mandates at the transfer of property for homeowners in southern San Mateo County. She added since it is a large association with a strong government affairs staff and many accomplishments, “SILVAR has a footprint” at the local, state and national REALTOR® level.

Yost noted SILVAR’s District Council system is an especially good model that emerged upon the merger of the five boards in 1995. This model provides another level of opportunities for leadership. Having more people “with ears close to the ground” helps ensure that the Association meets the needs of agents working in all five districts.

Members are very lucky to be doing business in Silicon Valley, said Yost. Recent speaking engagements before the New York State Association of REALTORS® and the Michigan State Association of REALTORS® brought home this fact, she said. While REALTORS® everywhere have had to face tough markets during the past three years, Silicon Valley’s housing market is improving due to its location and strong tech and other innovative industries.

SILVAR’s president encourages members to take part in the Association. Join your District Council, get involved in activities at the District and Association level, volunteer for RSVP (REALTOR® Service Volunteer Program) and help others in your community, Yost urged.

“We always want to develop new leaders and give you the opportunity to become leaders,” she stressed.

Yost is excited about a couple of new Association components this year. There is SILVAR’s Young Professional Network (YPN), which welcomes all members – the young, as well as the seasoned professionals. SILVAR is also developing a Global Business Council, an initiative which will have a strong education component to help REALTORS® learn how to effectively work with international buyers. She added that SILVAR highly values its Affiliate members and a group is currently working on written policies and guidelines for Affiliates.

Last, but not least, Yost urged members to continue to stay positive. “The numbers are getting better,” said Yost. “2012 is the year we’ll come out of this. 2012 will be better.”

SILVAR 2012 President Suzanne Yost stressed the importance, value and benefits of being a SILVAR member at the association’s Menlo Park/District  meeting this week. She reminded everyone of SILVAR’s mission statement:

“The Silicon Valley Association of REALTORS® is dedicated to being a leader in the real estate industry by promoting the highest ethical standards of real estate practice, representing the interests of property owners, and providing exceptional service to its membership.”

Membership at SILVAR, the California Association of REALTORS® and National Association of REALTORS® allows REALTORS® to have great opportunities at the local, state and national level. The associations’ lobbying efforts allow members to stay on top of what’s happening at the local, state and national level even before others know about it, said Yost.
Yost said SILVAR has been successful largely due to its district council model, which enables each district to retain its individuality, serve members’ needs and their respective communities.

SILVAR is financially secure, with 4,000 primary members. Thanks to sound fiscal management, the Association has not had to increase dues since 2002, and continues to provide important benefits to members. Some of the many benefits include PRDS Forms, education courses, tour sheets, political advocacy, the weekly newsletter and monthly newspaper, lockbox and keys.

Yost encouraged members to take advantage of volunteer opportunities by participating in district events and programs. “One of the values of being a SILVAR member is getting involved,” said Yost. “We get more out of it than we give.”

She also stressed the importance of each member abiding by the Code of Ethics, which is what differentiates REALTORS® from real estate agents. SILVAR takes the grievance process seriously, she said. Complaints are professionally handled by SILVAR’s Grievance and Professional Standards committees.

It’s a good time to be a REALTOR® and a SILVAR member. Yost has good feelings about 2012. “I feel we’re coming out of a tunnel, and things will be better. It truly is a year of possibilities,” said Yost.

 

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