About SCAOR

The Sussex County Association of REALTORS® is one of four professional REALTOR® trade associations in Delaware for individuals involved in the real estate industry, allied industries and firms. It is composed of a REALTOR® membership which averages between 1,180 and 1,240 REALTORS® who practice in one of the more than 100 real estate offices in Sussex County and the surrounding areas.

The local association's bylaws, rules, regulations and policies are in full compliance with the National Association of REALTORS®, mirroring the beliefs of the real estate profession as seen on a national level.

The Sussex County Association of REALTORS® received their charter from the National Association of REALTORS® in 1950. Since 1950, SCAOR has prided itself on being an Association that serves the REALTORS® of Sussex County and provides products, programs and services that suit their membership.

Sussex County Association of REALTORS®

23407 Park Avenue
Georgetown, DE 19947
302.855.2300 (Phone)
302.855.2319 (Fax)

Second quarter sales data released recently by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) shows strong real estate sales for the first half of 2014, particularly in Sussex County’s single family housing market.

This continues an upward trend in the last several years of a strengthening southern Delaware real estate market, now years removed from a crippling recession that saw home values throughout the United States plummet.

“We continue to be buoyed by these strong numbers. Real estate continues to move here in Sussex County, especially on the eastern half of the county, as is indicated by this recent data,” says Brad Riedle, 2014 president of SCAOR. “We always try to stay cautiously optimistic when it comes to the future, but the data continues to be strong and we look forward to a strong second half of 2014 and beyond.”

Single-family home sales for the months of April-June rose more than 14 percent over the same quarter a year ago, with the average three-bedroom home in the county selling for a median price of $271,239. While the number of homes sold in the second quarter is identical to last year, the average sales price has increased by 12 percent over the same period a year ago.

The amount of housing inventory available in Sussex County remains steady at 60 weeks, up slightly from last year but still much lower than in years past. Housing inventory is defined by the industry as the amount of time it would take to sell all current listings at the current sales pace if no new listings became available. This is a key indicator of a market’s strength and 60 weeks is well within acceptable limits.

“We’re certainly not at the levels we were at back at the height of the real estate boom, but quite honestly we may never see that type of housing activity in our area again. It’s certainly not going to happen in the foreseeable future,” says Riedle. “But what we are seeing is a market that is showing continuous and sustained growth, and that’s what we’re looking for in this new economic environment. We’re feeling more confident with each passing quarter that we are on a good long-term path.”

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At a formal gathering of many of its members on Thursday, June 19, the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) took the rare step of naming two of its members to its most prestigious annual honor.

Both Seaford Realtor Trina Joyner and Rehoboth Beach Realtor Bob McVey were named co-Realtors of the Year for 2014, as voted on by a select committee of SCAOR members. Both award recipients are also former presidents of the Association.

“We had two top notch candidates this year and there was just no way the committee could decide on one over the other,” says Brad Riedle, 2014 president of SCAOR. “Bob and Trina have both accomplished so much during their careers, and have given so much to our Association, that it was really impossible to differentiate between the two of them. So we decided to send them both on to the state competition.”

Both Joyner and McVey are now eligible for the title of Delaware Realtor of the Year, which will be announced by the Delaware Association of Realtors during a ceremony at Dover Downs on Thursday, Oct. 23.

Both recipients had been nominated for the local award in past years, but were ineligible due to their status on SCAOR’s board of directors.

“I feel that everyone should commit a small amount of their time to volunteer efforts, including service to our local Realtor Association,” says McVey, SCAOR’s 2013 president. “It’s a very rewarding experience and very fulfilling to know that my fellow SCAOR members thought enough of me to honor me with this award.”

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During its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 3, the five member Sussex County Council unanimously declared June as “Home Ownership Month” in Delaware’s southernmost county.

The announcement is the local portion of a nationwide movement, designed to call attention to the American Dream of home ownership. Throughout the country, the month is marked with celebrations, community service projects and housing initiatives, all designed to advance this key segment of the economy.

“We as Realtors know full well the impact that the real estate market has on the overall health of any area’s economy,” says Brad Riedle, 2014 president of the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR). “It’s important for us to publicly recognize this key economic component, even if it’s only for one month out of every year. We thank all five members of the County Council for realizing how important the contributions of our industry are to the big picture.”

Despite some rough times in past years, first quarter numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show that America’s homeownership rate is at an all-time high of 68.6 percent. Nearly 73 million American families now live in a home of their own.

Economically speaking, there is no questioning the impact an area’s housing market has on the economy. According to the National Association of Realtors, the sale of a home priced at $173,000 generates $58,529 in economic activity, including fees for real estate agents and title companies. But that figure also includes components like furniture, services like landscaping and countless other items.

New home sales contribute even more to the local economy, including construction materials and jobs.

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Nearly two dozen commercial Realtors, along with lenders, engineers and Delaware Economic Development Office (DEDO) Director Melody Booker, participated in a first of its kind bus tour of Sussex County on Thursday, May 29.

Beginning at Dogfish Head Brewery in Milton and winding through the towns of Harrington, Greenwood, Bridgeville, Seaford, Selbyville, Millsboro and Georgetown, the industrial bus tour was meant to showcase commercial property in the southernmost regions of the First State.

It was developed and hosted by the Peninsula Commercial Alliance (PCA), a group of commercial real estate professionals affiliated with the Sussex County Association of Realtors, with members serving the entire peninsula.

“We felt many of us who deal with commercial real estate on a regular basis could really benefit from this type of tour, and I think the results and the amount of participation speaks for itself,” said 2014 PCA President John McClellan. “We had an enthusiastic group that really seemed to get a lot out of the day, and the reception for doing it again next year has been extremely positive.”

To address the special needs and interests of commercial Realtors and other industry professionals on the Delmarva Peninsula, the Sussex County Association of Realtors founded the Peninsula Commercial Alliance in 2011. To date, the PCA has been a successful resource for Realtors specializing in Delmarva's commercial real estate market.

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While Realtors from across the country convened in Washington, D.C., on May 14, to attend the Realtor Party Convention & Trade Expo, members from the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) met with U.S. Senators and congressional staff on Capitol Hill to advocate policies that protect and advance real estate and that are critical to buyers, sellers and investors in southern Delaware.

“Attending the Realtor Party Convention & Trade Expo is an excellent opportunity for Realtors to influence the public policy decisions that will directly affect consumers’ ability to buy, sell and own real estate,” said Brad Riedle, 2014 president of SCAOR. “In hundreds of meetings with elected officials and staff this month, Realtors demonstrated the strength of the Realtor Party and encouraged support for issues crucial to their business, clients, community and the future of the real estate industry.”

            The meetings between SCAOR members and Delaware Senators Thomas Carper and Chris Coons, as well as senior staff from Rep. John Carney’s office, focused on important issues impacting the real estate market in Delaware, including the recently passed flood insurance bill, preserving the mission and accessibility of Federal Housing Administration and Veterans Affairs home loan programs, protecting real estate-related tax policies and reforming the secondary mortgage market.

Realtors also urged the state’s congressional delegation to reinstate an expired tax provision that provides relief to individuals following a loan modification, short sale or foreclosure.

“The Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act expired at the end of 2013, and assured individuals would not have to pay income tax on forgiven mortgage debt,” said Riedle. “Distressed homeowners who’ve suffered through the loss of their home should not be further burdened with additional income taxes. It’s not only unfair, but it also harms families, neighborhoods and communities. We urge Congress to act quickly on this issue.

Building on the momentum established at the national event, the Delaware Association of Realtors (DAR) is hosting a “Legislative Action Day” on Tuesday, June 17, at Legislative Hall in Dover. This gathering will afford local real estate professionals an opportunity to meet with their state lawmakers and talk to them about issues that affect the industry in the First State.

About two dozen members of SCAOR attended the expo and Capitol Hill event, representing all areas of Sussex County. The yearly gathering is organized by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

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Members of the Sussex County Council joined with representatives from the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) recently to formally observe and acknowledge the anniversary of the landmark 1968 Fair Housing Act.

Declared “Fair Housing Month” in Sussex County by the five-member council during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, April 8, the proclamation marks the 46-year anniversary of the legislation, also known as Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act.

“The passing of this law marked one of the most important moments in the history of our industry, and that’s why we devote ourselves every April to its remembrance,” says Brad Riedle, 2014 president of SCAOR. “To ensure that every American, regardless of his or her status in life, has the same opportunities when it comes to home ownership is really what this country is all about.

“Owning your own home is part of the so-called ‘American Dream’ and this legislation made that dream more attainable for all Americans.”

Former President Lyndon Johnson signed the Fair Housing Act into law on April 11, 1968, at the height of America’s civil rights movement. The breakthrough piece of legislation has allowed for significant advancements in fair housing practices and created federal enforcement guidelines regarding discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin.

Many states, including Delaware, have drafted similar laws in recent years that have expanded those protections to include sexual orientation.

“All of us on the council believe that every person in this country deserves the same opportunities when it comes to fair housing, and it’s our pleasure to join with the Sussex County Association of Realtors in observing the anniversary of this historic piece of legislation,” said Sussex County Council President Michael Vincent.

When enacted in the United States more than four-and-a-half decades ago, the Fair Housing Act of 1968 outlawed many things, including:

• Refusing to sell or rent a dwelling to any person because of race, color, religion or national origin.

• Discriminating based on race, color, religion or national origin in the terms, conditions or privilege of the sale or rental of a dwelling.

• Advertising the sale or rental of a dwelling indicating preference of discrimination based on race, color, religion or national origin.

• Coercing, threatening, intimidating or interfering with a person’s housing rights based on discriminatory reasons or retaliating against a person or organization that aids or encourages fair housing rights.

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The Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) welcomed nearly all of Sussex County’s state legislators to its Georgetown area headquarters on Friday, March 7, for breakfast and a chance to discuss important issues facing Delaware’s southernmost county in 2014 and beyond.

As real estate is a driving force in any local economy, SCAOR holds a meeting each year with state lawmakers. This allows for an important dialogue between the state legislature in Dover and a core group of constituents in the real estate industry.

It is, as many legislators mentioned during their remarks on March 7, the “Delaware Way.”

“As Realtors, we were very happy to welcome our legislators to our facility, not only to discuss important issues with them, but also to thank them for all the hard work they do on behalf of all of us in Sussex County,” says Brad Riedle, 2014 president of SCAOR. “We are fortunate to live in an area where we can have these kinds of relationships with our lawmakers, and vice versa.”

Topics discussed at the gathering ran the gamut, but included the state’s Realty Transfer Tax, new septic and storm water regulations, a possible new gas tax, new home buyer programs, small business fees and the proposed Allen-Harim poultry facility in Millsboro.

The latter is a project largely supported by the state’s Realtor community, as well as by local chambers of commerce and other organizations.

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For the third consecutive year, the number of home sales in Sussex County has increased by double digit percentages, indicating the real estate recovery in Delaware’s southernmost county is continuing to gain momentum, now more than four years removed from the nation’s largest economic downtown since the Great Depression.

Year-end data compiled and released by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) this month show just how strong this recovery has been in the local area, with more than $1.3 billion worth of real estate changing hands in 2013. This resulted in an impressive 13 percent jump from the year before.

“I think what we’re seeing now is that people who were looking for and waiting on positive signs in regards to the economy have decided it’s now time to jump into the market and purchase a new home for themselves and for their families,” says Brad Riedle, 2014 president of SCAOR. “They want to do so now before prices and interest rates climb any higher. We expect continued growth and momentum in the local markets throughout the rest of the year and beyond.”

Single-family home sales for the 2013 calendar year rose more than 12 percent over the year before, with the average three-bedroom home in the county selling for a median price of $346,284.

In total, 2,585 single-family homes were sold in Sussex County in 2013, with the days on the market decreasing from 198 at the beginning of the year to only 168 by the end of December. Also, due to the strength of the residential market in southern Delaware, the supply of existing homes for sale fell to just 44 weeks of inventory at the end of 2013, a number calculated by dividing the total value of the present inventory on hand by the average weekly sales.

This inventory level is the lowest it’s been in Sussex County in more than two years, another positive sign for the long-term strength of the real estate market in southern Delaware.

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Delaware Economic Development Director Alan Levin painted a bright economic future for the upcoming year on Friday, Dec. 20, during a gathering of commercial Realtors at the new Abbott’s on Broad Creek in Laurel.

“Delaware has weathered the worst of it, with unemployment levels now at the lowest they’ve been since 2008,” said Levin, former owner of the Happy Harry’s drug store chain, who added, to the delight of his southern Delaware constituents, that “Sussex County is still my favorite county in the state.”

Levin was the featured speaker during the 2013 general membership meeting and installation of officers for the Peninsula Commercial Alliance (PCA), a group of commercial real estate professionals with ties to the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR).

To address the special needs and interests of commercial Realtors in southern Delaware, SCAOR founded the PCA in 2011. To date, the PCA has been a successful resource for that sector of Sussex County’s real estate market.

“The PCA is definitely getting stronger, both in numbers and in the issues we are able to spearhead and be involved in,” says Rodney Joyner, a commercial Realtor with Coldwell Banker and 2013 PCA president. “Our sector took a little longer to come back than did the residential markets, but we are seeing sustained growth now on the commercial side of things and we look forward to a bright year in 2014.”

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Members of the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) recently announced their new board of directors for the 2014 calendar year. The incoming directors of the long-time association were named during the organization’s annual banquet on Friday, Dec. 6, this year held at the Boardwalk Plaza Hotel in Rehoboth Beach.

Taking the reigns of Sussex County’s real estate trade association for the upcoming year is Brad Riedle, a long-time Realtor with Coldwell Banker Resort Realty in Rehoboth Beach.

“I feel many emotions about becoming president of SCAOR for 2014, a mixture of pride in this achievement, humility that my peers selected and supported me and nervousness about what unknowns lie ahead,” said Riedle, in remarks to members on Dec. 6. “But I feel I am prepared to accept this responsibility and I am looking forward to the new year with great anticipation.”

Riedle takes over the leadership position in SCAOR from Bob McVey, a coastal Realtor/broker who saw the organization through a year that featured continued and sustained growth in southern Delaware’s real estate markets.

Sales were up significantly in each of the first three quarters of 2013 from the year prior, just as they were the previous year, and are expected to be up in the fourth quarter as well when data is released by SCAOR in the next few weeks.

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With the recent resurgence in the American economy and the renewed strength of real estate markets nationwide, there has been an influx of prospective new homeowners entering the market.

Whether you are buying or selling a home these days, one of the first things you should do is find a competent and reliable REALTOR®. There are scores to choose from, and finding the right one for you really comes down to using your best judgment.

There are, however, a few things to keep in mind and we will go over some of those things right now.

What follows are a few basic suggestions from the National Association of REALTORS (NAR)®, things to keep in mind when choosing an agent to work with on your next home purchase or sale.

  • Find a REALTOR®. Not every real estate professional is a REALTOR®. This is a designation that identifies the agent as a member of NAR® and someone who subscribes to NAR’s Code of Ethics.
  • Check an agent’s license. Check with your state’s governing agency to ensure that any agent you plan on doing business with has a current and active real estate license in good standing.
  • Make sure the agent belongs to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS). A cooperative information network for REALTORS®, an MLS provides descriptions of most houses for sale in a particular region. Using a REALTOR® who belongs to the MLS will give you access to the greatest number of homes.
  • Check an agent’s designations. You can also accomplish this by checking with your state’s governing agency.
  • Is real estate their full-time career? This may or may not be an issue for you, but it is information that you should have available.

There are plenty of criteria you should consider when choosing a REALTOR®, someone who is going to assist you in either making the biggest purchase of your life, or in selling what was, at one time, the biggest purchase of your life.

Learn more here on our website, or by vising the website of the National Association of REALTORS®.

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Data released last week by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) continues to indicate a strong local real estate market in southern Delaware. These positive sales figures, compiled by the trade association for the first three quarters of 2013, show sustained growth across all segments of the market in the state’s southernmost and largest geographic county.

The data is the latest in a string of positive reports for SCAOR, which has now reported more than two years of strong data pertaining to Sussex County’s real estate industry.

“This is more great news for all of us, not only as Sussex County real estate professionals, but also as local residents,” says Bob McVey, 2013 president of SCAOR. “As the real estate market goes, so goes the local economy. I think we’re getting that message perfectly clear right now here in Sussex County.”

Single-family home sales for the months of July, August and September rose more than 21 percent over the same quarter last year (following a 22 percent increase from 2011 to 2012), with the average three-bedroom home in the county selling for a median price of $248,008.

Nearly 2,900 homes were sold in Sussex County through the end of September, selling at a 14 percent higher clip than during the third quarter of 2012. And more good news – the final selling price for all three categories of single family homes are trending higher in 2013.

Final sales figures for two bedroom homes have increased 12 percent, three bedroom homes 4 percent and four bedroom homes 7 percent during the first three quarters of the year.

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A contingent from the 1,300 member strong Sussex County Association of Realtors spent several days in the San Francisco area recently, participating in the annual convention of the National Association of Realtors.

SCAOR 2013 President Bob McVey, President-Elect Brad Riedle and former President Sandy Greene were in the San Francisco Bay area from Nov. 8-11, undergoing intensive training and enjoying programs and discussions of importance to Realtors from throughout the United States.

Classes and sessions were held on a variety of topics, including new home construction, employer-assisted housing, property management, real estate investing and technology.

“This annual gathering is a great opportunity for the Realtor community to come together, compare notes and further our education about the industry in a group setting,” says McVey, whose term will conclude at the end of the calendar year. “It’s also important that Sussex County is represented on a national level. We have a unique market here in southern Delaware, a market that many Realtors from around the country find an interesting study.”

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Title 25, Chapter 81, of the Delaware Code addresses the "Delaware Uniform Common Interest Ownership Act" and its many components.

A recent question received by us here at SCAOR® involved whether or not a property owner in a planned community needs to obtain the disclosure forms if he or she is buying another piece of property in the same community.

The answer is a definite yes as there is absolutely no exception in the provision for disclosure. Therefore, DUCIOA is required in all cases.

As a reminder: you should continuously review the provisions of this chapter since it may change. Keep in mind the following: if not fully funded as of Oct. 1, 2009, then:

  • Less than 25 percent, have until Sept. 30, 2017
  • Between 25 and 50 percent, have until Sept. 30, 2015
  • Between 50 and 70 percent, have until Sept. 30, 2014

 

Additional information can be found by searching for "DUCIOA" at www.state.de.us.

 

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Following on the heels of yet another positive quarterly sales report, the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) is pleased to announce the latest piece of upbeat economic news for the local and national housing markets.

In late July, the Chicago-based National Association of Realtors (NAR), of which SCAOR is a long-time member, released the results of its annual “Housing Pulse Survey.” The report again shows a stronger environment for home sales and home ownership throughout the United States.

The survey mirrors positive data released in the last several quarters by SCAOR, southern Delaware’s only trade association for individuals involved in the real estate industry.

“After suffering through the recession a few years ago, we definitely needed some good news, and it seems we have had nothing but positive reports to talk about over the course of the last two years or so,” says Bob McVey, 2013 president of SCAOR. “This latest data from NAR is just more of the same, which we are all, understandably, very excited about.”

NAR’s 10th annual survey measures consumers’ attitudes and concerns about affordable housing issues. The principal takeaway – the majority of respondents continue to feel that buying a home is a good financial decision.

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United States Sen. Thomas R. Carper, and his wife Martha, paid a visit to the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR) office in Georgetown on Tuesday, Aug. 22, to talk about the general state of Delaware’s real estate industry and to discuss ways that the government can aid in its continued recovery.

The First State’s senior U.S. senator met with members of SCAOR’s public policy committee, a diverse group of Realtors from throughout Sussex County. Topics for the round table discussion varied from pending legislation to financing concerns, insurance issues and the overall state of the real estate market.

“Each August, I use my state work period to meet with groups up and down Delaware to find out how business is going,” said Carper, who was first elected to the senate in 2000, after stints in both the governor’s office and the U.S. House of Representatives. “The meeting with the Sussex County Association of Realtors gave me insight into the industry’s successes and challenges at the moment, and how Washington can better help this industry thrive.”

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In a recent survey of its members conducted by the Sussex County Association of Realtors (SCAOR), respondents indicated in overwhelming numbers that their own personal real estate transactions were either somewhat or significantly higher than a year ago.

The anonymous survey, conducted in early August, was distributed by SCAOR to Realtors from throughout Sussex County. Those receiving the survey were asked to honestly gauge the current status of their personal real estate transactions.

The results further reinforce the positive data compiled by the Association over the last several quarters, data which shows the local real estate markets in a continued and sustained period of growth.

“I know my business is personally up significantly over the last 12 months, as are the transactions for other members I talk to on a regular basis,” says Bob McVey, 2013 president of SCAOR. “It’s nice to hear and see that most other members here in Sussex are experiencing the same kind of activity. It’s a good time to be in the real estate profession here in southern Delaware.”

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When preparing to sell your home, you may be tempted to do so without the expert services that only a REALTOR can provide. Think of all the money you can save by going it alone, and what you can actually do with all that extra cash!

Yes, it definitely may seem enticing, but attempting to sell a piece of property without the guidance of a seasoned real estate professional is anything but a good idea. Here are a few reasons why:

  • Inexperience. Unless you’re a former real estate agent with years of experience, it’s doubtful you have the training necessary to qualify buyers and guide them through this often difficult and confusing process.
  • Lack of Advertising. Advertising your own home can not only be very expensive, but it is also not likely to achieve very good results. You also won’t have access to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which essentially advertises your property to every other REALTOR in Sussex County.
  • Under Pricing. Due to unfamiliarity with always changing market conditions, you may very well price your home for less than you should. As a result, you will net considerably less than if you handled the sale of your home through a qualified REALTOR.
  • Difficulty Negotiating. Not being a real estate professional by trade, there is no way you can adequately prepare for issues that will arise during the negotiation process. But a REALTOR is uniquely qualified to handle any and all of these issues.
  • Owner Expenses. Selling a home by yourself, you will incur many expenses that you may not be aware of. These can include newspaper advertising, legal fees, cost of signage, etc. When these fees are added up, along with a lower sale price, you will likely have less left over than if you sold your home through a REALTOR.

 

These are just a few of the reasons to sell your home with the assistance of a qualified member of the National Association of REALTORSÒ. SCAORÒ has been a member of this national association since 1949 and continues to advocate for property rights for all of Sussex County.

If you would like more information on the topic of real estate, please post a question and/or comment here on our blog and we will be happy to discuss any issue with you further

Make it a great day!

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SCAOR Calendar

Wednesday, September 3
8:30 am - 9:30 am
Tuesday, September 9
9:00 am - 2:00 pm
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Click here to view full calendar of events.

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