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August 11, 2008

 

SUMMER 2008 LEGISLATIVE NEWS
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

 
PRESIDENT SIGNS THE HOUSING AND
ECONOMIC RECOVERY PACKAGE

On Wednesday July 30 2008, President Bush signed into law the Housing And Economic Recovery Act of 2008. The bill, H.R. 3221, was supported by the Prince George's County Congressional Delegation: Representatives Steny Hoyer (D-D5), Donna Edwards (D-D4) and Chris Van Hollen (D-D8); and Maryland Senators Barbara Mikulski (D) and Ben Cardin (D).

The legislation was the centerpiece of Washington's efforts to address the nation's housing situation. Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), Chair of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs referred to the bill as "the most sweeping housing legislation since the Great Depression".

The National Association of REALTORS® strongly lobbied in support of the bill as it contains a number of key policy reforms that NAR has long advocated for: FHA and GSE Reform, Homebuyer Tax Credit, FHA Foreclosure Rescue, GSE Stabilization, National Affordable Housing Trust Fund and more. The new first-time homebuyer tax credit is effective NOW!

 
DOWNPAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROVISIONS

The bill includes many reforms that are critical to housing markets. Unfortunately the new law does eliminate (effective October 1, 2008) seller-funded downpayment assistance or assistance from someone who financially benefits from the transaction. Other forms of downpayment assistance, such as gifts from family members, government programs, charities and non-profits are still permitted (see Clarification Concerning Downpayment Assistance Provisions link below). A number of you have already expressed concern about the "seller funding" prohibition. PGCAR staff has had discussions with NAR regarding this matter. Congress is revisiting this provision and NAR is developing a position statement.

The following links provide information and in-depth summary of H.R. 3221 and NAR comments on the downpayment assistance matter:

Summary of Key Provisions of HR 3221

First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Chart

First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Q & A

Clarification Concerning Downpayment Assistance Provisions

 
 
You are Cordially Invited to the
PGCAR Anniversary Gala
and Installation of 2009 Officers & Directors

Join the festivities for this landmark celebration.
September 25th from 6 to 11 p.m.
at La Fontaine Bleu

RSVP by September 15, 2008

Click Here to Register >>

Click Here for a Printable Flyer >>

 
 
WHO WILL BE MARYLAND'S RPAC IDOL?
Find out at MAR's RPAC Shark Attack Party!
Sunday, September 7, 2008 from 7-10 pm
At Castaway's in Ocean City.

$20 per ticket
Price includes 2 drinks, appetizers, and one Idol vote.
Additional votes are $1 apiece.
Vote early and vote often for your favorite Idol !!!

Call Kimberly Amos of MAR for reservations at 800-638-6425.

Click here for a flyer to share!

 
 

Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
Now Accepting Annual Award Nominations!

Nominations for this Association's selection of the Prince George's County Affiliate of the Year and Distinguished Sales Associate of the Year are now being sought.

Hurry!  Deadline for nominations is Monday, August 25, 2008 5:00 p.m.

  • Affiliate of the Year Award application    (    )
  • Distinguished Sales Associate of the Year Award application    (    )

All Affiliate Members are eligible for consideration as Affiliate of the Year. With regard to the Distinguished Sales Associate of the Year Award, please note that any licensed sales agent or associate broker, holding REALTOR® membership is eligible for consideration. Candidates must have not held an active broker's license any time during 2008 and may not hold any percentage of ownership in the firm they represent. Managers, owners and salaried officers are not eligible to enter the DSA competition.

Please fill in details under each of the application items and submit your entry now for consideration. REMEMBER, individuals may nominate themselves. So if you think you qualify, why not nominate yourself !?

Please submit your entry and ONE (1) COLOR PHOTO (any size). The Awards Committee will make selections at their next meeting.

 
 
2009 Dues Renewals are Now Online!

Don't wait until the last minute to pay this year's dues.
Use our fast and secure Online Dues Payment!
Paying online is easy, secure, and supplies you with a receipt.

Renew as Easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Click here
  2. Log in
  3. Renew online and receive receipt !

The Board of Directors has voted to allow 2009 dues to be paid in installments. The 2009 dues are currently being invoiced and are payable no later than November 30th in order to prevent late charges. The installment payments will be due as follows:

$546
(includes voluntary RPAC contribution of $35)
$511
(does not include voluntary RPAC contribution of $35)
August 15 - $205
Sept. 15 - $114
Oct. 15 - $114
Nov. 15 - $113
August 15 - $205
Sept. 15 - $102
Oct. 15 - $102
Nov. 15 - $102

 
 
THE SENTRILOCK SYSTEM IS COMING NOV 10

The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® will begin its conversion from SUPRA to SentriLock on November 10th.

The following associations have ALREADY converted to the new SentriLock lockbox system:

Anne Arundel County Harford County
Carroll County Howard County
Frederick County Southern Maryland
Greater Baltimore

If you are showing property in any of these areas, you have two options for opening a SentriLock box
that may be on the listing:

  1. Call the listing agent to get a one-day showing code. The code is specific to the box, so if you are showing multiple properties, you will need a separate code for each box.
  2. Get a SentriLock access card from PGCAR. REALTORS® in good standing (i.e. have paid their 2008 dues) can get a SentriLock access card from PGCAR on any weekday between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
    The cost is $155 which covers the fee from now until November 2009. PGCAR cannot issue boxes at this time, so for now, SentriLock boxes will have to be acquired from the Association in the area where you have a listing.

 
 
2008 - 2009 BOARD OF DIRECTORS ELECTION SLATE ANNOUNCED

The PGCAR Credentials Committee has met and offers the following slate of Officers and Directors. Voting opens on September 1 using our secure online service and will end at 12:00 Noon on September 24. Anyone wishing to have a paper ballot should contact the Association office.

 
OFFICERS
President Linda Simpson, Weichert, REALTORS®
President-Elect Michael Cerrito, Cerrito Realty
Secretary Willie Rhone, Weichert, REALTORS®
 
DIRECTORS
Sonatta Camara Keller Williams Preferred Properties
Joanne Darling Darling Realty
Joshua Harrison GMAC Real Estate / Real Estate Service Center
Christopher Richardson RE/MAX Allegiance
Anthony Williams GMAC Real Estate / Real Estate Service Center

 
 
NEW SAFEMLS TOKEN HAS ARRIVED
Clareity Security (MRIS's token provider) and Secure Computing (the token manufacturer) have acknowledged a manufacturing issue with existing tokens that is causing a higher than expected failure rate. To provide MRIS customers with the most reliable device to protect MLS content, MRIS subscribers have been sent replacement tokens - the newest and most upgraded model - at the subscribers' home mailing addresses that MRIS has on file.

The new, smaller token clips onto keychains, purses, or belt loops, and features a clearer display. It is all numeric, eliminating confusion between letters and numbers which look similar. The new token works just like the old one - just press a button to retrieve the next password.

When you received your new token, the package included important activation instructions. Have you activated and registered your new token? If not, please take a minute to do so now. Once your new token is activated, you can dispose of the old token - there's no need to send it back. Even if your current one functions properly, still register your new token to avoid any future token failure.

Thank you for your patience and cooperation!
Any questions, please call MRIS at 301 838-7100.

 
 
IRS GAS MILEAGE ALLOWANCE INCREASES

The Internal Revenue Service, in acknowledgement of the steep price increases in gasoline in recent months, has readjusted its annual mileage rates to 58.5 cents per mile in calculating the costs of operating a vehicle for business purposes. Last November, IRS set the 2008 rate at 50.5 cents per mile. This rate is typically used by businesses for reimbursing employees who use their own cars and the new rate is effective July 1 through December 31, 2008. The IRS has increased mileage rates, also effective July 1, for medical and moving expenses from 19 cents per mile to 27 cents. The rate for charitable purposes remains at 14 cents per mile.

For more information, check www.irs.gov.

 
 
MAR CONFERENCE AND TRADE SHOW
MAR Annual Conference And Trade Show Less than One Month Away!
September 8-10 , 2008 in Ocean City, MD

Register for "One America" with Terry Watson, for Real Estate Commission Updates from Katherine Connelly (Executive Director, MD Real Estate Commission), or Negotiating in Challenging Times presented by Frank Serio.

See Tuesday's General Session at 8:30 AM with FEATURED KEYNOTE Shep Hyken and do not miss the opportunity to win $500 cash. Bring your business card for the drawing during the session. Also join the Exhibitors on Tuesday for a NEW "LIGHT" lunch in the Exhibit Hall! Brunch will be held in the Exhibit Hall on Wednesday - you will not go away hungry and even more importantly will be FULL of new ideas for your business.

Click Here for Details and Registration >>

 
 
EARN YOUR GRI
GRI 300 Starts Friday, October 3
Sign up for the entire, 30 CE Series here!

Need a few make-up classes?
Sign up for individual classes by clicking class titles below.
Earn Your GRI by taking GRI Series 100, 200 and 300 in any order!

  red arrow Module 301: Environmental / Health Issues Affecting Real Estate - Fri, Oct 3
  red arrow Module 302: Taxes - Thurs, Oct 9
  red arrow Module 303: Ethics & Mediation and Arbitration - Thurs, Oct 16
  red arrow Module 304: Legislative Update & Smart Growth and Land Planning - Wed, Oct 22
  red arrow Module 305: Real Estate Technology & Trends - Fri, Oct 24

 
 

ORLANDO NOVEMBER 7-10 2008

SAVE BIG! Register for the 2008 REALTORS® Conference & Expo
at early bird rates by this Friday, August 15!

Recharge for success and refuel with new ideas at the 2008 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

  • 4 days of intensive training with Lance Armstrong, Joe Theismann & other top achievers who will share their success stories with you!
  • Broker, sales agent, commercial, IT, International, entrepreneurial excellence,
    customer service, property management - 200 programs to fit your needs!
  • Over 700 exhibitors so you can shop, compare and save on the best fit for you.
  • Sunday night at Universal Studios, with Kool & The Gang.
  • Six hotels priced at $99 or less.

Details and registration now online at www.realtor.org!

 
 
PGCAR AFFILIATES - ADVERTISE AT 10% DISCOUNT
Which website had between 27,500 and 47,300 visitors PER MONTH over the last year?
www.PGCAR.com!

And now you may advertise your company on the PGCAR.com website.
Please click here for advertising details and contract >>

Advertising is not for real estate companies or agents
- it is for those who offer services of benefit to our real estate members and other website guests.

 
SALES COACH: THE PERFECT SHOWING

Working with buyers means showing homes, and lots of them.

Ideally, at one of these showings, your client will fall in love with the property and start thinking hard about making an offer. What can you do to help them reach that stage?

Here are 10 tips for making sure that the home-showing process moves along smoothly and efficiently (and safely, of course) as possible.

 

 
CONTINUING EDUCATION

Earn ALL of your required Continuing Education hours for Maryland and DC license renewals -- and your GRI -- here at PGCAR. In relevant topics which are kept current for TODAY's Real Estate Market. Don't miss this summer's special offerings!

Did you know? The quadrennial requirement to complete an Ethics training course approved by the National Association of REALTORS® is coming due December 31, 2008. The MD Code of Ethics course taught at PGCAR fulfills this NAR requirement.


This Wednesday, August 13
MD Legislative Update
3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Next Tuesday, August 19
Pre-Qualifying Home Buyers
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Kenneth Bossard 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Next Wednesday, August 20
Commercial Property
3 MD Elective CEU
Paul Bellegarde 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Next Thursday, August 21
Auction Method of Marketing
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Instructor TBA 9:30 am - 11:00 am

Wednesday, August 27
MD Code of Ethics
3 MD Required Ethics CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
MD Fair Housing Update
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU; 1.5 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

. . . And Beginning Friday, October 3
GRI Series III - FULL SERIES of 5 Classes
30 MD Elective CEU
8:30 am - 4:00 pm

 

Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #16-14:
Dealings Initiated by Another Broker's Client

REALTOR® X, a residential broker, had recently listed a home. REALTOR® X's marketing campaign included "open houses" on several consecutive weekends.

One Sunday afternoon Buyer B came to the open house. REALTOR® X introduced herself to Buyer B and asked whether Buyer B was working with another broker. Buyer B responded that he was, in fact, exclusively represented but went on to add that he was quite familiar with the property as it had been previously owned by a close personal friend. REALTOR® X told Buyer B that she would be happy to show Buyer B through the home and answer any questions he might have, but added that she represented the seller and not Buyer B.

After viewing the home, Buyer B indicated that he was seriously interested in the property and intended to discuss a possible purchase offer with his buyer representative. REALTOR® X responded that there were several other buyers interested in the property and that it would likely sell quickly. "I can't tell you what to do, but if it were me, I would make an offer today," REALTOR® X told Buyer B, "You can go back and discuss this with your broker if you like or I can help you write a purchase contract. It's your choice." With REALTOR® X's words in mind, Buyer B decided to make an offer. REALTOR® X assisted Buyer B in filling out a standard form purchase contract which was accepted by the seller later that day.

REALTOR® X was subsequently charged with violating Article 16 for dealing and negotiating with a party who had an exclusive relationship with another REALTOR®.

At the hearing, REALTOR® X defended her actions noting that she had told Buyer B that she was the seller's exclusive agent and, as such, would not and could not represent Buyer B's interests. She pointed out that Buyer B had asked for her help in writing a purchase offer and had not sought the counsel and assistance of his exclusive representative. She concluded her defense noting that Standard of Practice 16-13 authorizes dealings with the client of another broker when those dealings are initiated by the client.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 16, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>

SPOTLIGHT SPECIAL

BE IN THE SPOTLIGHT FOR FREE!

That's right. Write an article that would be of interest to real estate consumers and submit it to Karey Major for a chance to be published in the Official Homes Section of The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®, brought to you by The Gazette. This is a special pullout FULL COLOR supplement reaching over 127,000 homes and businesses in Prince George's County.

Ad Copy
Deadline
This Tuesday,
August 12
  Publication
Date
Thursday,
August 28

If you are interested in writing an article or placing an ad, please contact
Karey Major at 240-473-7588 or kmajor@gazette.net.

 

 

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  :  ©2008, PGCAR

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