Attacking the heart of Rappahannock County

By Martin Woodard

In the past year and a half, Page Glennie has criticized and disparaged real estate agents on social media. He claims realtors are protecting some sort of sweetheart deal. On March 8, 2018 he wrote real estate agents are trying to control the county government, blames realtors for local political discord and suggests realtors are being enriched at the expense of people who are “the heart of Rappahannock County.”

In his March 8 post, he erroneously writes that the real estate industry is by far the largest industry in Rappahannock County with sales of $77,000,000. Actually in 2017 sales handled by realtors were $48,909,505 according to the multiple listing service: Mr. Glennie does not cite a source for his claim so it is impossible to understand the discrepancy.

Mr. Glennie apparently does not have a good understanding of the local real estate industry. Of the approximately $49M of real estate sales, at least 94 percent of the money goes directly to the owners who are selling their property. Realtors never see any of that money.

In 2017, there were over 80 individual realtors who sold properties in Rappahannock County and total commissions of about $2,940,000 were paid to realtors. The average income per Realtor selling property in Rappahannock County is about $36,750. No one is getting rich off of selling Rappahannock County real estate.

Some realtors make much less and some agents do considerably better. I have been fortunate enough to be one of the leading real estate agents in the county.

Local realtors understand the importance of preserving Rappahannock County and maintaining its special qualities. After all that is why people want to live here. I think it is important for Mr. Glennie and the entire community to understand how realtors have contributed to preserving Rappahannock County and making it a special place.

Some of the early real estate agents in the county set excellent examples. Newbill Miller, who was instrumental in drafting and enacting our zoning ordinance, was a realtor and a farmer. Mitzi Young was an ardent conservationist who placed hundreds of acres in conservation easement. Eileen Day was a strong supporter of the Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP) and conservation. Ray Cannon was a farmer and his wife ran the Castleton Post Office for years. His son ran the Farmers Coop when it was still in Sperryville and now his grandson is the manager and his granddaughter is a realtor. These folks and many more helped shape Rappahannock County with their vision, love of the land and support for the community.

Here are a few examples of what some folks are doing now. Rick and Kaye Kohler, who have lived here for about 40 years, have been the force behind RLEP for years. They have been instrumental in the dark skies movement as well as alternative energy. They are also very active in many other facets of the community. Jan Makela, whose family has been here many generations, was a whirlwind of energy as the volunteer coordinator in the school system. Now she is also an active conservationist and leader of the business community. Alan Zuschlag has been in the forefront of the conservation movement and served on the board of directors of the Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance for years. As a landowner, attorney and realtor Sharon Luke has been responsible for protecting many hundreds of acres. Amy Timbers’ husband is a farmer and her parents are avid rappnet users so you know she is supportive of keeping Rappahannock the way it is. Denise Chandler is a stalwart supporter of many community activities.

There are local folks like Sam Snead, Skippy Giles, Judy Burke and Bev Atkins, who have spent their entire lives supporting the community, their churches and volunteer activities. Bev Atkins has been a driving force behind the 4-H Camp Fantastic and the Benevolent Fund.

For over 40 years my wife Cheri and I have donated our time and money to support almost every local organization from Little League and the 4-H to the Castleton Festival and the Rappahannock Library. We have served in government, participated in athletics, chaired committees, sponsored Sperryville Volunteer Fire Department fireworks, mentored children, given scholarships and put our money where our mouth is by placing our farm in conservation easement. Cheri served on the board and as chair of the Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance when thousands of acres were put in conservation easement.

Mr. Glennie hasn’t lived here very long. I’m sure when he has time to meet more people in the community, he will realize some of Rappahannock’s most stalwart citizens are realtors. Hopefully he will acknowledge our contributions instead of complaining about us.

Woodard, principal broker at Cheri Woodard Realty, lives near Sperryville

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