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February 8, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .
   

 
2009 Production Awards
Calling all PGCAR achievers!
Award Applications are Due THIS Friday 5 p.m.
February 12, 2010!

All you need to do is:
  1. Read the rules.
  2. Complete the Entry Form.

    Achievement Awards Application:    

    Rookie of the Year Application:        

  3. Submit the Entry Form and $40 Achievement Awards application fee
    to PGCAR by 5 p.m. SHARP this Friday, February 12th, 2010.

Details -- You can apply if you hold a broker or salesperson's license and been a Primary member of PGCAR in good standing since July 1, 2009. Also, members licensed for the first time during 2009 and a Primary Member of PGCAR in good standing since September 30, 2009 can apply.

Make sure that ALL transactions are reported in M.R.I.S. as soon as possible. If you are the selling agent and the listing does not appear in M.R.I.S., you may enter it as a comparable. If you do not know how to enter these transactions, please call M.R.I.S. at (301) 838-7160.

IF A TRANSACTION DOES NOT APPEAR ON YOUR MRIS PRINTOUT, IT WILL NOT BE COUNTED. THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS. CHECK YOUR TRANSACTIONS TODAY TO BE SURE THEY ARE ENTERED CORRECTLY.

Complete application rules & details are also at pgcar.com.

2009 Production Awards

 
 

Young Professionals Network Chapter Kick-Off Meeting
Next Tuesday, February 16
6:30 - 8 p.m.
in the PGCAR building atrium

Energize the Future of the Real Estate Industry!!

It's Official!
We are formally announcing the Prince George's Chapter of the Young Professionals Network! We are now formulating committees and determining the structure of our organization. Let your voice be heard!

FREE ~ RSVP by This Friday, February 12

Food & Beverages Served!

 
Membership Renewals Past Due

Brokers and non-paid Agents - January 31 was the deadline to pay 2010 dues or remove any unpaid agents from your office roster. All new licensed agents in your office were also required to join by January 31. Suspensions are now taking effect for offices with non-paid members.

Renew Online, or if your account has already been suspended, please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.

 
 

LEGISLATIVE ALERT
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

TAX ISSUE AFFECTING SHORT SALES
County Issues Verbal Reprieve

On January 27, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler released his opinion as to whether or not a local jurisdiction can collect transfer and recordation tax on forgiven debt in a short sale transaction. The Attorney General of Maryland has stated, "Counties do not have the authority to include debt forgiven by the seller's lender in calculating consideration on which the recordation tax will be calculated."

The Prince George's County Finance Department has not released an official written position on the opinion. However, the Finance Director, Michael Dougherty, communicated with PGCAR by phone and indicated verbally that Prince George's County is "halting" the tax (on forgiven outstanding debt) until the County can study it further. He is still suggesting that REALTORS® and title professionals who have settlements pending over the next several days contact his office to verify the taxes due. The office of Finance can be reached at 301-952-4013.

Read the January 31 Legislative Alert for full details >>

 
 
You are invited to the Motown Extravaganza

2010 RPAC Fundraiser
Wednesday, April 21
6 - 10 p.m.
@ La Fontaine Bleu

3 tickets for $100
Single tickets $35

Don't miss the best RPAC Fundraiser ever!
Be there to be part of the action and support your industry!

Buy your tickets online today >>

Sponsor or donate a door prize and receive special recognition >>

Share the flyers.
Event Tickets >>   |   Event Sponsorship >>

NOTE: Contributions are for RPAC which is not deductible for Federal Income Tax purposes, charitable or otherwise. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes to support state, local and federal candidates and are charged against your limits under 2USC441A. Nothing should be construed as solicitations of contributions.

 
 
Free Social Networking Webinar

This Wednesday, February 10
10:00 to 11:00 A.M.
Where: Your Personal Computer

Presented by the Maryland Association of REALTORS® and MAR Rookie REALTOR® Society

Web 2.0 is all about connecting with today's consumer. Learn from Amy Cherow how today's top agents are attracting clients and closing transactions with Social Media.

Free Social Networking Webinar In this hour-long Webinar, Amy will demonstrate 7 social media products and review which ones YOU need to be using to meet the demands of today's consumer. You'll learn about:

  • Blogs
  • Social networks
  • Video
  • Photos
  • Real estate search engines
  • Mapping and podcasts.

Reserve your Webinar seat now!-- Space is limited
CLICK HERE TO REGISTER!

Questions? Contact 800-638-6425 or email Jermaine.hawkins@mdrealtor.org

 
 
Free REALTOR® Safety Webinar

Safety Webinar Safety Webinar First Meetings - How to Lay the Groundwork for Safety
Next Thursday, February 18
11 a.m. - 12 noon

Find out what you should do when meeting clients for the first time and the danger signs to look for in this free webinar. The one-hour session will include time for Q&A.

FREE ~ Advance registration is required.
Details and registration at www.REALTOR.org/SafetyWebinar.

 
 
Veterans Homeownship
Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Secretary Raymond A. Skinner announced the launch of a special initiative to help veterans purchase previously foreclosed property within designated areas in Prince George's County.

This new program will provide up to all closing costs plus a 20% down payment in the form of a zero percent deferred loan to qualified Veterans. The state DHCD will use $2.175 million of federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds for this initiative.

  • Targeted especially to veterans' families at or below 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Requires a minimal cash outlay of $1,000 by the homebuyer.
  • Provides up to all closing costs plus the 20% down payment in the form of a zero percent deferred loan to ensure that monthly mortgage payments are affordable to the targeted families.
  • Offers the homebuyers additional funding on a case-by-case basis if repairs are needed, to help ensure the home meets at least minimum property standards.
  • In addition to NSP/DHCD funds covering the settlement and downpayment, DHCD will be able to leverage another $7 million of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bond funds as part of this initiative in the form of an 4.875% MMP first mortgage loan with a 40 year term and no mortgage insurance requirement.

Program details >>
MDHousing.org press release >>

As additional details become available, they will be added to the www.pgcar.com Homebuyers Savings section.

 

2 PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY DOWN PAYMENT
ON YOUR DREAM (NSP) PROGRAM UPDATES
Down Payment on your Dream

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19
APPLICATION DEADLINE

Due to the popularity of the NSP program, the County's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has set an application deadline of NEXT FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010. Funding will be awarded on a first come first completed basis, until all funds are depleted. Lenders must make sure they have followed the lenders checklist when submitting their files. No accommodations will be made for missing items. All incomplete files will be returned.

Thank you for making this program such a huge success. More than 475 new homeowners have been assisted and we're still adding more!

SPECIAL FUNDING WITH INCREASED TIME LINE
AND LOAN LIMIT OF UP TO $60,000 FOR HOUSEHOLDS
AT OR BELOW 50% OF THE AREA MEDIAN INCOME LEVELS

On the same day DHCD announced the February 19 application deadline (January 19, 2010), the County Council passed CR 3 which extends and expands the program for applicants at or below 50% of area medium income levels.

To increase housing affordability for applicants at or below 50% of the area median income levels, a new NSP loan limit of up to $60,000 is now available for down payment and closing costs assistance to purchase foreclosures in all 33 NSP eligible zip codes. The new guidelines are already in effect and will apply until funds earmarked for this population are depleted.

Program Requirements and Assistance Details available in the January 20 Legislative Alert >>

If you have any questions please contact:

Rosalyn B. Clemens
NSP Program Manager
301-883-3288
  Yetta Stokes
NSP Senior Loan Processor
301-883-7409

MEMBERSHIP ACTION ITEMS

  1. Sign up any interested homebuyer for the required 8-hour course at 301.567.3330 NOW, so they can meet the February 19 deadline.
  2. Assist any homebuyers already in the process with the information they need to take advantage of NSP Down Payment on Your Dream assistance of up to $20,000 for incomes above the 50% area median, or up to $60,000 for incomes at or below the 50% area median.
  3. Checklists, required forms, and instructional details are at pgcar.com Members Only.

 
 
Monthly Home Sales & Market Statistics

The January 2010 market statistics are now online at www.pgcar.com/stats and show the expected remarkable increase from one year ago. Although many economists have predicted a three-month lull between December 2009 and April 2010, contracts in Prince George's also show an uptick from December 2009 to January 2010.

Keep alert of the many incentives available to Prince George's home buyers (in Home Buyer Savings article below) during these winter months. The news is out, "It is a great time to buy in Prince George's!"

Market statistics are available on a monthly basis at www.pgcar.com/stats, typically on the 6th or the first business day following the 6th.

 
 
Legal Alerts: Changes in RESPA and FHA Now Effective

NEW REAL ESTATE SETTLEMENT PROCEDURES ACT ("RESPA") RULES
The purpose of the reform, according to HUD, is to improve the disclosure of the key loan terms and closing costs consumers pay when they buy or refinance their home. Every settlement service provider is affected by the reform, including the mortgage industry, the title insurance industry, real estate brokers and agents, and homebuilders. Required use of the new Good Faith Estimate and the new HUD-1, along with several other new requirements, became effective January 1, 2010.

Details in archived REALTOR® Connection >>
More resources at realtor.org >>

QUESTIONS ABOUT NEW FHA RULES?
On January 20, FHA announced changes affecting both buyers and sellers. On February 1, FHA restrictions on 90 day resales were changed.

Details of both changes in January 20 Legislative Alert >>

 
 
Earn Your Required CE Early
You can earn all of your required MD CEU at PGCAR during February. Also learn how a homebuyer can affordably finance a fixer-up through the popular 203K Purchase Rehab financing program. 203K is also compatible with NSP programs. This Thursday, February 11 at PGCAR >>

Sign up for classes at pgcar.com.


Thursday, February 11
203K Purchase Rehab
3 MD Elective CEU
Michael Chelst 9:00 am - 12:30 pm
Home Inspection & Environmental Issues
3 MD Elective CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Walter Clews 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Friday, February 12
MD Legislative Update
3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
MD Fair Housing
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Monday, February 15
MD Code of Ethics
3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Wednesday, February 17
Reverse Mortgages
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Bruce Winstead 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Thursday, March 11
Contracts
3 MD Elective CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Wednesday, May 5
GRI 100 Series - Full Series of 5 Classes Begins
30 MD CEU - covering 1.5 hrs Fair Housing,
3 hrs Ethics, and
25.5 hrs Elective CE
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
GRI 100 Series - Module 101:
Building a Real Estate Business

6 Elective CEU, MD
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Friday, May 7
GRI 100 Series - Module 102:
Prospecting & Listing Techniques

6 Elective CEU, MD
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>

 
Snowing?
PGCAR's Inclement Weather Policy can be found on our Events calendar, at pgcar.com/calendar.htm.

 
 
New 3.5% Closing Cost Assistance and Appliance Incentive

Fannie Mae is offering a 3.5% incentive for buyers who purchase and close on a Fannie Mae-owned home between January 28 and April 30, 2010. Buyers purchasing properties listed on HomePath.com that are closed within this period may receive up to 3.5% of the final sales price for:

  • Closing costs;
  • The purchase of new Whirlpool® appliances by Fannie Mae; or
  • A mix of closing costs and appliances, at the buyer's discretion, up to the maximum 3.5%.

To be eligible for this incentive:

  • Offers must be accepted on or after January 28, 2010;
  • Property sales must close before May 1, 2010; and
  • Buyers must be owner-occupants (investors are excluded).

For more information about this incentive, visit www.HomePath.com and fanniemae.com.

 
 
Multiple Homebuyer Assistance Plans Add Up to Huge Savings

$35,000 in Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance

Several national, county and Prince George's township programs which SAVE HOMEBUYERS MONEY are listed on www.pgcar.com, in the Homebuyer Savings section.

  • NEW! 3.5% Fannie Mae Closing Cost Assistance - Fannie Mae is offering a 3.5% incentive for buyers who purchase and close on properties listed on HomePath.com between January 28 and April 30, 2010. Details >>
  • NEW! Veterans Homeownership Initiative - State pilots assistance program for veterans to affordably buy vacant properties in Prince George's County.

    Details in above article >>
    Forward this pgcar.com link to eligible veterans >>

  • $6,500 / $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit - Available for buyers entering a binding contract for a new or replacement principal residence by April 30, 2010, and closing on the home by June 30, 2010. Did you know that replacement homebuyers do NOT have to sell their current principal residence to qualify for the $6,500 credit as long as other requirements are met?

    Homebuyer Tax Credit IRS Q & A >>
    Homebuyer Tax Credit Basics >>
    FREE Homebuyer Tax Credit Marketing Brochures >>

  • College Park $35,000 Program - Homebuyers who buy their home and work in College Park may apply to receive up to $35,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance through the WORK & LIVE COLLEGE PARK program.

    College Park Details >>

  • Bowie $2,000 Program - Police officers, teachers and Bowie City employees can apply for a $2,000 grant when buying a primary residence in Bowie.

    Bowie Program Details >>

  • County-wide Incentives for Sheriffs and Police - Deputy Sheriffs, and County and Municipal Police Officers Save on Transfer Taxes When Buying a Home in Prince George's County.

    Details >>

  • $20,000 County-wide Down Payment on Your Dream Program - Buying a foreclosure in Prince George's County? Don't forget savings up to $20,000 are available through NSP.

    Details >>

Information on these and other homebuyer savings are added to www.pgcar.com as they become available.

Low mortgage rates and unbelievable home buyer incentives -
It truly is a great time to buy in Prince George's County!!

 
 
MAR Breakfast of Champions

Market $ense The Maryland Association of REALTORS® invites you to attend...
"Rising to the Top!"
A powerful learning event you will not want to miss!

The Breakfast of Champions is a special event designed to strengthen your business and help you succeed in 2010. Come learn how to rejuvenate your business by listening to our guest speaker, Doug Smith.

Only $10 for program and breakfast.

February 17, 2010 in Annapolis   •   March 17, 2010 in Baltimore   •   April 21, 2010 in Frederick

Register today at mdrealtor.org –– These usually sell out early!

 
 

 
HOMEBUYER EDUCATION CLASSES
Offer a Class that Helps Buyers Qualify for Government Funds for a Downpayment on Dream Home

PGCAR is continuing to partner with HIP and HOPE to offer the NSP-required 8-hour HUD approved class. The classes on our regular schedule led by HOPE, charge a reduced fee of $50 for the entire 8-hour class.

Below are the next 3 homebuyer training sessions. Call 301-567-3330 to register your customers PROMPTLY, so they can meet the February 19 deadline.

 
Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, February 16, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Thursday, February 18, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)

More details at pgcar.com.

 
 

Code of Ethics Case Study:
Case #14-2: Refusal to Submit Pertinent Facts

When REALTOR® A was charged with a violation of the Code of Ethics, he was notified of the charge and directed to attend a hearing before a panel of the Professional Standards Committee of the Board.

At the hearing, the complainant formally presented the charge and a considerable body of evidence to support it. Members of the panel questioned REALTOR® A on specific points. To each question he responded that he was not guilty of the charge, but that specific answers to the questions put to him could conceivably do him an injustice, and that he felt that he should not be required to answer questions in a situation that was unfair to him.

Further attempts to question REALTOR® A met with similar responses.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 14, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>

 
PGCAR Offices will be closed next Monday, February 15th in observance of Presidents' Day.

 
GAZETTE WEEKLY HOME ADS FOR $49 PER LISTING

The Gazette is offering full color display home ads for $49 in their weekly publication, with Thursday delivery of over 162,000 papers to homes and businesses in Prince George's County. Instead of publishing a monthly Homes Spotlight, the Gazette now plans to emphasize current home listings more prominently on a weekly basis. Contact Matt Lafranchise of the Gazette at mlafranchise@gazette.net or 240-473-7589 for information or to advertise.
Home Ads Details >>

 

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  :  ©2010, PGCAR

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