REALTORS® deal with risky situations as a normal part of their job: meeting strangers, entering vacant or foreclosed homes, showing homes in remote locations, entering large commercial properties, sharing contact information publicly, holding open houses . . . all within normal expectations of being a REALTOR®.
Take precautions. Share safety tips with your customers too! It will help home buyers and sellers appreciate your safety procedures. It will also set you apart when you include safety tips in your listing presentations and customer conversations, when they realize you are helping keep them and their property safe too!
Take advantage of several resources, designed to help keep you SAFE:
PGCAR is reminding members that access to ZipForms "Online" is still a members benefit. To sign up for this PGCAR Membership Benefit, just log in at PGCAR Members Only and follow the ZipForm link. As always, links to MAR forms and to ZipForm are prominently displayed at www.pgcar.com/membersonly/forms.
Please also be reminded that access to ALL MAR forms is done through their directories at ZipForms indicated below. This would include the MAR statewide contract and necessary addendums and the listing agreements. ZipForm users should seek out these directories under the forms library:
the MDAR Directory - includes the MAR Sales Contract, addenda, disclosures and more
the NEW MDARBF (Brokerage Forms) Directory - includes the MAR listing forms and related Broker documents
At Dotloop, all MAR forms are located under the Maryland Association of REALTORS® dashboard.
When PGCAR revises, adds or discontinues forms, the new forms are available immediately in PDF format at PGCAR.com, and soon after under the PGCAR directories at ZipForms and DotLoop.
The President and CEO of MRIS, David Charron, was on hand to address the most recent happenings with the multiple listing service.
Members learned details about federal legislative issues in Washington from NAR's Deputy Chief Lobbyist, Jamie Gregory and about Maryland legislative news from MAR's Senior Vice-President of Government Relations, Bill Castelli. Overall everyone enjoyed the program and the opportunity to network with colleagues and friends.
THANK YOU to everyone who contacted or visited our U.S. Senators and Representatives to support the "Housing Opportunity Through Modernization Act."
Late Thursday, July 14, the U.S. Senate passed HR 3700 unanimously. It is now expected to be signed by President Obama into law.
This important legislation includes FHA condo finance reforms; streamlining of the Rural Housing Service loan process; reforms and streamlining of HUD housing services for needy families while increasing opportunities for families to transition into self-sufficiency; and several other reforms which will expand housing opportunities and save taxpayers money.
The Congressional Budget Office reports the reforms enacted by passage of this legislation will reduce spending by $311 million over the 2017 - 2021 period.
Below is a status report of issues followed by PGCAR and MAR during the 2016 Maryland General Assembly Session and 2016 Prince George's County Council. Representatives of PGCAR frequently traveled to Annapolis and Upper Marlboro to lobby legislators and testify on a number of these issues. This year, we are happy to report, that we ended the Annapolis Session with several "wins" for REALTORS®. Our efforts before the County Council are on-going, as their session runs through December.
2016 Prince George's County and Annapolis Delegation Issues
Dwayne Mingo, Director of Government Affairs - PGCAR
CR 13 - 2016 - Comprehensive Housing Strategy Ad Hoc Subcommittee
STATUS: ADOPTED - Effective March 8, 2016
This Council Resolution establishes a Comprehensive Housing Strategy Ad Hoc Subcommittee to develop a Comprehensive Housing Strategy for Prince George's County.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTS the concept and lobbied successfully to be named specifically in the resolution as a participant on the Comprehensive Housing Strategy Ad Hoc Subcommittee. A representative from PGCAR has been designated to serve on the subcommittee along with other members of the community and business interests.
HB 1025 - Prince George's County - Land Use - Zoning Powers and Review
STATUS: NOT PASSED
This bill would have provided for the review of certain zoning matters by the District Council in Prince George's County in a certain manner.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR MONITORED this land use bill. The legislation was centered on oversight authority regarding land development in Prince George's County. Currently we have a professional planning staff and an appointed board that judges land development applications after a review process which can include public input. MNCPPC staff advises the planning board members on a wide variety of issues and adheres to the law. For the reasons stated, the current process is supported.
HB 1083 - Prince George's County - Abandoned Property - Special Property Tax Rate
This bill would have required Prince George's County to set a special property tax rate for certain unimproved lots and certain improved real property that are deemed to be neglected. The special tax rate would be 15% higher than that imposed on other property in Prince George's County.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR OPPOSED the bill with the understanding and appreciation of the concerns relative to abandoned and neglected properties. These and vacant foreclosure properties have had a drastic effect on our overall property values. However, the precedent of establishing a "special tax class" that is specific to a certain property classification is a concern which could disproportionately burden certain property owners.
HB 1085 - Prince George's County - State and County Transfer Taxes - Exemptions
This bill would have exempted from the State and Prince George's County transfer taxes instruments of writing that transfer specified residential real property to employees of a specified federal law enforcement agency no later than 1 year after the federal law enforcement agency is issued a specified use and occupancy certificate.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTED the concept with amendments and lobbied vigorously to advance the bill. The bill was predicated upon the Federal Bureau of Investigation relocating their headquarters operation to Prince George's County. Offering a reduction in transfer taxes to benefit FBI employees would've strengthened the County's commitment to bringing them here.
HB 1198 - Prince George's County - Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission - Extraordinary Development District
STATUS: PASSED - Effective June 1, 2016
The bill authorizes the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) to enter into an agreement with Prince George's County to deposit all or a portion of M-NCPPC property taxes levied by the county on the tax increment in an "extraordinary development district" into a special fund for the extraordinary development district.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORTED the bill authorizing the MNCPPC to designate a new "redevelopment district" specifically designed to meet certain criteria relative to the location of a federal law enforcement facility. The bill provides the enabling authority of the Prince George's County Council to enact an Extraordinary Development District by Council Resolution.
Summary of 2016 Maryland General Assembly Legislative Session Maryland Association of REALTORS® Bill Castelli Vice President of Government Affairs, MAR
Affiliates are our "partners in real estate": mortgage lenders, title companies and settlement attorneys, home inspectors, home warranty companies and more. Affiliates have elected to support the real estate industry by holding membership in PGCAR, and many have chosen to sponsor our programs and events.
We encourage our REALTOR® members -- and Prince George's County home owners, buyers and sellers -- to use the Affiliates Directory when seeking real estate related service providers.