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February 22, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .
   

 
Workforce Housing Certification
Three Classes in One Day!

Friday, March 26
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at PGCAR

Workforce Housing Certification

Registration includes the following three classes toward WHC certification:

Bridging the Gap From Availability to Affordability
(2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), gives practical information about financial products and eligibility standards that may help challenged or first-time homebuyers.

State and Local Programs
(2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), provides fundamentals about state and local programs available for low/no downpayment, closing cost grants, extended term mortgages, as well as other tax credits, plus local government resources for homeownership education and counseling. ALSO includes training on how to best utilize the www.MDhomeprograms.com website.

Federal Programs and National Initiatives
(2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), includes information on programs and new regulations for HUD/FHA, Veteran's Administration, Rural Housing, as well as national private sector loan/guaranty programs.

Required for WHC certification
6 MD Elective CEU

Only $25 for REALTORS® ~ $50 for non-REALTORS®

Hurry! Register while seating remains at www.pgcar.com >>

 
 
2011 NAR Leadership Academy

2011 NAR Leadership Academy To our many members already actively involved, with a passion for the industry and a vision for the future of real estate - application for the 2011 graduating class of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy is open.

Benefits: Gain NAR institutional knowledge and achieve higher levels of personal effectiveness and leadership. The next Academy begins August 4-7, 2010 at the NAR Leadership Summit in Chicago and you will graduate on May 9, 2011 at the Midyears in Washington, DC.

Full Details & Application >>

Information Flyer >>

Application deadline is March 31, 2010.

 
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.

 
 
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.

 
 
Midyear Registration Now Open

Save the date for this year's Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo. The meetings will take place
May 10 - 15 in Washington, DC. The Trade Expo will be on May 12 - 14.

Registration and schedules are now online at realtor.org.
Midyears are FREE, as always, to REALTOR® members.

 
 
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 >>

Details are also available in the www.pgcar.com Homebuyers Savings section. Email the link to veterans who may be eligible.

 


Down Payment on your Dream

PRINCE GEORGE'S COUNTY NSP:
NEW PROGRAMS AND EXPIRED PROGRAMS

Due to the popularity of the NSP program, all available funding for households with incomes above 50% of the area median were depleted as of LAST WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2010. Applications received February 18 and 19 are on a waiting list. Please note that placement on a waiting list does not guarantee funding.

Thank you for making this program such a huge success. More than 500 new homeowners have been assisted and we're still adding more!

EXPANDED NSP PROGRAM STILL OPEN

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

The Prince George's County Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) office will continue to accept applications until funding reserved for the below income brackets is depleted.

Maximum Income Level
for NSP Extension -
1-Person Household$35,950
2-Persons Household$41,100
3-Persons Household$46,200
4-Persons Household$51,350
5-Persons Household$55,450
6-Persons Household$59,550
7-Persons Household$63,650
8-Persons Household$67,800

The NSP loan limit for this extension and expansion of the County program is $60,000 and 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.

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 take advantage of this offer while it lasts and learn important tips about homeownership.
  2. Checklists, required forms, and instructional details are at pgcar.com Members Only.

 
 

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 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 contact his office at 301-952-4013 to verify the taxes due.

Read the January 31 Legislative Alert for full details >>

 
 
Home Sales, Loan & 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.

Mortgage Rates Hit Near Record Lows
Mortgage borrowing costs fell for the week ending February 19 for the second week in a row, reports Freddie Mac. Rates on 30-year, fixed loans averaged 4.93 percent, down from 4.97 percent last week and not far off the record low of 4.71 percent. Interest on 15-year fixed loans slipped to 4.33 percent. Adjustable-rate mortgages also declined, with the five-year ARM dropping to 4.12 percent and the one-year ARM moving to 4.23 percent. Full article >>

Keep alert of the many incentives available to Prince George's home buyers (online and in the following article) during these winter months.

 
$35,000 in Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance

  1. 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 until April 30, 2010.

  2. NEW! Veterans Homeownership Initiative - State pilots assistance program for veterans to affordably buy vacant properties in Prince George's County.

    Forward this pgcar.com link to eligible veterans >>

  3. $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 >>

  4. 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 >>

  5. 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 >>

  6. 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 >>

  7. $60,000 County-wide Down Payment on Your Dream Program - Buying a foreclosure in Prince George's County? Don't forget assistance of up to $60,000 is still available for targeted income brackets through NSP.

    Details >>

Visit www.pgcar.com for national, state, county and township programs which SAVE HOMEBUYERS MONEY.

Low mortgage rates and unbelievable home buyer incentives -
The news is out, "It's a great time to buy in Prince George's!"

 
 
FREE Webinars from NAR

Right Tools, Right Now FREE Energy Efficiency Webinar This Wednesday
Learn what buyers want in energy efficient homes in a FREE webinar this Wednesday, February 24 at 2 p.m Registration >>

Affordable Staging Tips for Any Listing
Playback this webinar to learn simple, inexpensive staging ideas to spruce up your listings; how to bring life to your vacant REO properties; and home makeover ideas to ensure your listings don't suffer from the winter blues. Playback or download here >>

 
 
Federal and State Legislative News

ANNAPOLIS UPDATE: Lawmakers Consider Grant Covering Required Septic Updates
Click here to view a video update from Friday, February 19 on Maryland legislation now being considered which affects homeownership and the real estate industry.

QUESTIONS ABOUT THE NEW SHORT SALES RULES?
In early 2009, NAR urged the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to improve the short sales process. On May 14, 2009, the Obama Administration announced a program outline to provide incentives and uniform procedures for short sales and deeds-in-lieu (DIL) of foreclosure under the Making Home Affordable Program. On November 30, 2009, the Obama Administration released guidelines and uniform forms for its Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program.

The new HAFA provisions become effective on or before April 5, 2010.

HAFA Consumer Information Brochure >>
Short Sales Resources at realtor.org/shortsales >>
February 19 Press Release >>

 
 
Earn Your Required CE at PGCAR

You can earn all of your required MD CEU at PGCAR during March, and learn some peace of mind over taxes from Linda de Marlor on April 7.

Sign up for classes at pgcar.com.


Wednesday, March 10
Contracts
3 MD Elective CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Friday, March 12
MD Legislative Update
3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
3.0 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
MD Fair Housing Update
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Tuesday, March 16
Reverse Mortgages
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Bruce Winstead 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Wednesday, March 24
MD Code of Ethics
3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 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:

  • 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.

 
 
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!

  • Why are some agents doing really well right now, while others are failing?
  • What simple practices and approaches are creating opportunities in this market?
  • What are the "Five Cs" to success in real estate sales?
  • Where do most successful agents get most of their leads and referrals?
  • Is motivation really the answer to success. . .or is it something more?

Only $10 for program and breakfast.

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

Learn tips to keep your attitude up and your business strong!
Register today at mdrealtor.org.

 
 

 
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.

 
Saturday, March 6, 2010 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, March 9, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Thursday, March 11, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, March 23, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Thursday, March 25, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)

More details at pgcar.com.

 
 
Free Webinar: Top Tax Write-Offs for the Self-Employed

This Friday, February 26
10:00 to 11:00 A.M.
Where: Your Personal Computer

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

Join former Senior IRS agent and Senior CRS Instructor Chris Bird as he leads you through an information-packed hour on the critical changes this new year brings and how they affect YOU.

Free Social Networking Webinar Attend this webinar and learn:

  • The top seven REALTOR® tax write-offs (Are you taking full advantage?
  • )
  • How the new tax law changes will affect YOU and your retirement
  • How the new Healthcare initiative will affect you (you may be shocked!)
  • Three things to ask your accountant
  • Critical retirement planning strategies you need to adjust to legally keep more of your hard earned money
  • And much more!

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

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

 
 

Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #15-2:
Intentional Misrepresentation of a Competitor's Business Practice

Following a round of golf early one morning, Homeowner A approached REALTOR® X. "We've outgrown our home and I want to list it with you," said Homeowner A. "I'm sorry," said REALTOR® X, "but I represent buyers exclusively." "Then how about REALTOR® Z?" asked Homeowner A, "I've heard good things about him." "I don't know if I would do that," said REALTOR® X, "while he does represent sellers, he doesn't cooperate with buyer brokers and, as a result, sellers don't get adequate market exposure for their properties."

Later that day, Homeowner A repeated REALTOR® X's remarks to his wife who happened to be a close friend of REALTOR® Z's wife. Within hours, REALTOR® Z had been made aware of REALTOR® X's remarks to Homeowner A earlier in the day. REALTOR® Z filed a complaint against REALTOR® X charging him with making false and misleading statements. REALTOR® Z's complaint was considered by the Grievance Committee, which determined that an ethics hearing should be held.

At the hearing REALTOR® Z stated, "I have no idea what REALTOR® X was thinking about when he made his comments to Homeowner A. I always cooperate with other REALTORS®." REALTOR® X replied, "That's not so. Last year you had a listing in the Multiple Listing Service and when I called to make an appointment to show the property to the buyer, you refused to agree to pay me." REALTOR® Z responded that he had made a formal offer of subagency through the MLS with respect to that property but had chosen not to offer compensation to buyer agents through the MLS. He noted, however, that the fact that he had not made a blanket offer of compensation to buyer agents should not be construed as a refusal to cooperate and that he had, in fact, cooperated with REALTOR® X in the sale of that very property.

In response to REALTOR® Z's questions, REALTOR® X acknowledged that he had shown his buyer-client REALTOR® Z's listing and that the buyer had purchased the property. Moreover, REALTOR® X said, upon questioning by the panel members, he had no personal knowledge of any instance in which REALTOR® Z had refused to cooperate with any other broker but had simply assumed that REALTOR® Z's refusal to pay the compensation REALTOR® X had asked for was representative of a general practice on the part of REALTOR® Z.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 15, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>

 
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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