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February 28, 2006   




ARE YOU BREAKING LAW, CODE OF ETHICS
WITH PROPERTY ADS?
Brokers may not advertise property for sale without the consent of the owners or, if the property is listed with another broker, the consent of the listing broker, according to Al Monshower in a REALTOR® Magazine Online article. Click here to read more.

WE NEED YOUR HELP:
PGCAR REALTOR® VOLUNTEER RECOGNITION
The Community Service Committee of the PGCAR will once again honor REALTORS® for their volunteer efforts in the community. A reception will be held in June 2006 to honor all volunteers. Please fill in the form by clicking here so that you will be included in this REALTOR® recognition ceremony. Please return by fax to (301) 306-8273 or mail to PGCAR. Photos of your activities may be sent to the association office or electronically to jostenso@pgcar.com
 
 
1. What PGCAR events will you attend this year?
(check all that apply)
 Awards Luncheon
 RPAC Fundraiser
 Volunteer Recognition Luncheon
 Installation
 Holiday Party

PGCAR wishes to announce with great sadness the passing of one of our REALTOR® members, Jean Johnson.

Jean was an agent with Long & Foster of Camp Springs and had been a REALTOR® for over 20 years. She died Saturday after a long illness. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jean's family and friends.

Her viewing will be on March 3rd at 10 a.m., followed by the service at 11 a.m. at Ebenezer AME Church, 7707 Allentown Road, Ft. Washington, MD 20744.
BE IN THE SPOTLIGHT. REACH OVER 150,000 HOMES AND BUSINESSES!

The Official Homes Section of The Prince George's Association of REALTORS® — brought to you by The Gazette. A special full COLOR pull-out supplement reaching over 150,000 homes and businesses in Prince George's County!   For distribution and rates >>

Space Deadline TODAY,
Feb. 28
  Ad Copy Deadline TODAY,
Feb. 28
  Publication Date Thursday,
Mar. 16

Interested in a FREE 3/4 page ad highlighting your office and their
community involvement, or in submitting an article? Details here >>

Contact Heidi LaMere for Advertising & Submissions
240-888-7509 direct   301-731-2134 desk   hlamere@gazette.net


BUY YOUR ANNUAL AWARDS LUNCHEON TICKETS NOW!
Coming March 16; Early Bird Pricing Til March 10

The Annual PGCAR Awards Luncheon will be held March 16
at La Fontaine Bleu, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

  Ticket Pricing Through March 10: $25 for PGCAR Members/$40 for Non-members
After March 10: $50 for PGCAR Members/$65 for Non-members


ANNUAL RPAC FUNDRAISER
RPAC Randy is helping us wrangle up RPAC donations in 2006. RPAC is insurance for your livelihood. All money is used to support officials, candidates and issues that make Prince George's County and Maryland more conducive for real estate business. By donating to RPAC, you're sending public officials the message that REALTORS® are politically active, have a strong united voice and mean business.


ANNUAL RPAC FUNDRAISER
The Annual RPAC Fundraiser will be held at La Fontaine Bleu on April 19. The Fundraiser will have a country/western theme and there will be something for everyone. The committee is hard at work securing items for the silent auction, which always features wonderful items to bid on. Brought back by popular demand is the Texas Hold'em Poker competition. This year we will have a beginners table-no need to be shy if you're not an experienced player.
Click here for an Outlook reminder for the RPAC Fundraiser

Attend the Fundraiser! Sponsor this Fundraiser!

VOTER REGISTRATION
Make your voice heard-Register to vote! Read the instructions and download an application (formulario y instrucciones disponibles también en Español). Register by August 22 to vote in the Gubernatorial primary election to be held on September 12.

FORECLOSURE RATE JUMPS DRASTICALLY
RealtyTrac®, an online foreclosure marketplace, reports that there were 103,540 U.S. properties in some stage of foreclosure last month, a 45 percent increase from January 2005. Read more by clicking here. ALSO: Broker/Agent News suggests boning up on your foreclosure skills, including them as part of your menu of past transactions. "The marketing approach is to appeal to your prospect's desire to find a bargain so they will contact you first. From there you can help ensure they find the best value for their needs, whether a foreclosure or not."

NAR MIDYEAR MEETINGS: REGISTRATION OPEN!
Register and make hotel reservations for the REALTORS® Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo, May 15-20, in Washington, DC, online now. Hurry--reservations for hotels near the conference sell out quickly. To view preliminary schedule, click here. Remember: Registration is FREE for all REALTORS®.

GOOD NEIGHBOR AWARD DONATIONS INCREASED TO $10,000
Make sure all REALTORS® in your office know that the Good Neighbor Award nomination cycle has begun. Please feel free to nominate any REALTOR® members who should be recognized for their volunteer work, or pass this information along to them. This year, the five winners will receive grants of $10,000 for their community cause, as well as travel expenses to attend the REALTORS® Conference & Expo in New Orleans, where the awards will be presented. Entries must be received by May 26. For more information and an entry form, click here.

2006 PUBLIC AWARENESS CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED . . . NAR radio ads, which began airing February 6, stress the REALTORS® Code of Ethics and difficulties of unrepresented selling. The spots are running on local radio (including ABC & CBS networks and ESPN Radio Major League Baseball), and on XM Satellite Radio's Public Radio Channel on the show of award-winning journalist Bob Edwards. TV ads will run starting March 7. Read more...

TOOLS FOR YOU:

REALTOR® EXPO AND TRADE SHOW . . . Join us on May 4 at the Equestrian Center in Upper Marlboro for PGCAR's Annual REALTOR® Expo and Trade Show. In addition to over 50 exhibits, those attending will be able to earn 6 hours of continuing education. Mark your calendar now and plan to attend.

REALTOR® STORE FEATURED ITEM
— REALTOR® Mini Optical Mouse —

While supplies last, buy a REALTOR® Mini Optical Mouse for only $20.00 each!
Through March 1 in the PGCAR REALTOR® Store. Don't delay — buy today!

TAX TIPS
For individual tax information and forms for Maryland, click here.

Deductions

The non-deductible portion for your PGCAR local dues,
state dues and national dues are:
The non-deductible portion of: is estimated to be:
NAR $14
MAR $25
PGCAR $10

Getting Prepared For Your 2005 Tax Returns
As tax time approaches you may be wondering what documents to watch for in the mail and how you can get ready for your 2005 tax preparation. Whether you use a paid tax preparer or you prepare your own returns, using some of the following tips will make your prep process much less painful:

  • Watch the mail for your 1099 MISC detailing how much you have made with your respective broker. If you or your spouse was employed, also watch the mail for your W-2 forms. If you have bank accounts or income producing stock sales you need to look for your 1099 INT, 1099 DIV, and 1099 B forms. If you are a home owner, gather up your 1098 form detailing how much you paid in mortgage interest on your primary or secondary residence.
  • You can begin adding up your expenses from 2005 to help reduce some of your self employment income. The more organized you are when you sit down to prepare the returns, the less likely you will be to miss deductions and end up paying more in taxes then you should.

If you are interested in learning more about getting organized for your 2005 returns or would like a copy of a handy tax organizer for REALTORS®, please contact Linda de Marlor, President of Tax-Masters, Inc. at 301.230.0200 x303 -- linda@tax-masters.com or Mike Fine, Director of Operations for Tax-Masters, Inc at 301-230-0200 x319 - mike@tax-masters.com

Note: Since April 15 is a Saturday, and Monday, April 17, is Patriot's Day (a holiday in Massachusetts where Maryland's tax returns will be processed) tax returns for Marylanders are due on Tuesday, April 18, this year!

 
UPCOMING CONTINUING EDUCATION CLASSES . . .
There is still space available in the following classes:

Date Course Title Instructor   Time   Hours
March GRI IV Series Various 8:30 am -
4:00 pm
30
Mar 23 MD Legislative Update - Association Office Don Martin 9:30 am -
12:30 pm
3
MD & DC
MD Fair Housing - Association Office Don Martin 1:30 pm -
3:00 pm
1.5
MD & DC
Mar 24 Taxes — Save Money if You're a REALTOR® - Association Office Linda de Marlor 10:00 am -
11:30 am
1.5
MD Only
Contracts - Association Office Al Monshower 1:00 pm -
4:00 pm
3
MD & DC
Mar 29 MD Real Estate Ethics* - Association Office Don Martin 9:30 am -
12:30 pm
3
MD & DC

Registration fee for REALTORS® is $25 for 3 hours of credit and $15 for 1.5 hours of credit. All classes at the Association offices are limited to the first 45 registrants. For reservations made less than 3 days prior to a class, please add $15 to the Tuition Fee. ABSOLUTELY NO WALK-INS. For more information call Scott Miller, Education Director, at the association office 301-306-7961 or visit our website at www.pgcar.com for a full schedule.

* PLEASE NOTE: This class meets the Ethics 3 hour licensing requirement, which is now required for all Maryland real estate license renewals (in effect since 10/02/05).

Code of Ethics Case Study
Case #1-23: Claims of Guaranteed Savings

In response to REALTOR® A's advertisement, "Guaranteed Savings! Don't purchase without representation," Mr. and Mrs. B signed an exclusive buyer representation contract with REALTOR® A. After viewing several homes accompanied by REALTOR® A, Mr. and Mrs. B decided to make an offer on 1234 Hickory. The seller did not accept the offer. The listing broker explained to REALTOR® A that the sellers were well-situated, spent much of their time at their vacation home, and had determined not to accept anything other than the listed price. REALTOR® A, in turn, explained that to Mr. and Mrs. B. In response to their questions, he indicated that there appeared to be little point in making anything other than a full price offer but that he would be happy to continue to show them other properties. Mr. and Mrs. B responded that they were not interested in other properties and had decided to make a full price offer on the Hickory Street residence. They did and their offer was accepted.

Following closing, and after discussing their transaction with friends, they wrote a letter to the Board of REALTORS® indicating that while they were pleased with the service provided by REALTOR® A, they thought that his claim of "guaranteed savings" was an exaggeration. After obtaining and reviewing a copy of the Code of Ethics, they filed a formal complaint alleging that Article 1, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 1-4, had been violated.

At the hearing, REALTOR® A defended his advertisement on the basis that as a buyer's agent he was able to aggressively negotiate purchase agreements on behalf of his clients whereas the listing broker or subagents, with their loyalty to the seller, could not. He also indicated that, in many instances, his buyer clients paid less, often substantially less, than buyers dealing through listing brokers, subagents, or even through other buyer agents. However, in response to questioning by Mr. B's attorney, REALTOR® A acknowledged that, while savings were particularly difficult in cases where the seller was determined to receive full price. "But I offered to show them other properties and, if we looked long enough, I am sure I could have found them a bargain," offered REALTOR® A in his defense.

The Hearing Panel disagreed with REALTOR® A's reasoning, concluding that while savings might be possible, REALTOR® A had been unable to demonstrate them in every instance and that this guarantee of savings was misleading. Consequently, his advertisement was in violation of Article 1.

Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
8400 Corporate Drive  :  Suite 225 : Landover MD 20785
Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  www.pgcar.com  :  ©2005, PGCAR

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