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October 4, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .
   

 

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE
2011 BOARD OF DIRECTORS!

Congratulations to the 2010 - 2011 Board of Directors & Officers who were sworn in at the Installation Luncheon on Thursday, September 23rd. We also congratulate our 2009 - 2010 Directors and Committee volunteers on a successful year! Thank you to everyone who participated in voting.

President: Joanne Darling, Darling Real Estate
President-Elect: Alease Bowles, RE/MAX Specialists
Secretary: Anthony Williams, Long and Foster Real Estate
Treasurer: Kenneth Montville, RE/MAX Advantage Realty
Past President: Michael F. Cerrito, Cerrito Realty, LLC
New Directors: Cheryl Abrams, RE/MAX Specialists
Yolanda Muckle, Long and Foster Real Estate
Chris Richardson, RE/MAX Professionals
Willie Rhone, Weichert, REALTORS®

Returning Directors: Desiree Callender, Desiree Callender & Associates
Pat Dowtin, GMAC Real Estate / Real Estate Service Center
John Lesniewski, RE/MAX United Real Estate
Lorrence "Chuck" Ottley, SellState Dominion Real Estate

Our 2010 - 2011 theme: PGCAR REALTORS® politically involved in 2011 and beyond

.   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .   .  

ANNUAL ASSOCIATION AWARDS

We also presented our Annual Association Awards at the Installation. Congratulations to:

2010 REALTOR® of the Year: Michael F. Cerrito, Cerrito Realty, LLC
2010 Affiliate of the Year: Michael Oleru, BB&T Mortgage
2010 Distinguished Sales Associate Award: Veera Phillips, Keller Williams Preferred Properties
2010 Distinguished Service Award: Pat Dowtin, GMAC Real Estate / Real Estate Service Center
Susan Pruden, Century 21 Home Center

 
 
2011 Dues Renewals Were Due October 1!
Primary REALTORS®: Paying by Installment?
Third Installment is Due Sunday, October 31

Use our fast and secure Online Dues Payment!
Whether making one complete payment, or paying by installment, 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 !

2011 dues are payable no later than Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 in order to prevent late charges. Primary REALTOR® members may pay their 2011 dues in installments. Installment payments are due as follows:

Installment 3: Due October 31 $125.75
Installment 4: Due November 30 $125.75

Please note: If dues payments are not made online, they may not be reflected in your private, online History portal.

 
 

Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

NEW INFORMATION
RE: CAPITOL HEIGHTS SIGN POSTING LICENSE

We reported recently that the Town of Capitol Heights has escalated enforcement of a business license law requiring real estate licensees to pay a $250 Real Estate Services - Sign Permit.

On Monday, September 27th, representatives of PGCAR met with city officials in an effort to clarify several provisions of the law. The town, much like the rest of the county and state, is experiencing severe difficulties in attending to vacant foreclosed and abandoned property up-keep and similar problems associated with rental properties. It is their opinion that the business license concept will assist them to mitigate costs associated with servicing these properties.

During the meeting we were able to clarify several vague provisions of the law (see below). However, we were unable to obtain any official explanation in writing. At this time we have a verbal definition outlining the "intent" of the ordinance:

  • The sign permit is to be applied per "sale sign" at $250 each. This applies to each "for sale" sign posted on the for sale premises.
  • The town ordinance is silent on "for rent" signs and NO clarification was offered.
  • PGCAR verified that the $500 Rental License Fee is intended as a "one time" fee.
  • City officials declined to verify the $500 violation fee. However, several PGCAR members have advised that they were verbally warned by city officials that unless they obtained a sign permit they would be subject to a $500 fine.
  • Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the professional services license of $500.
  • Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the administrative fee of $125.
  • Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the gross receipts fees ranging from $200 to $900 annually, unless they have an office within the town limits.

PLEASE NOTE, the above clarifications are subject to change.

Attached is a copy of the town ordinance (as provided to us). Also attached is a town jurisdictional map which will assist in identifying the incorporated city limits where the license fees apply. The necessary applications to obtain a license are attached as well.

The town attorney is researching the law and is expected to provide a written interpretation within three weeks. We will continue to provide information as it comes to us. We continue to caution that you may be subject to the ordinance and license fees if you have listings within the town limits. For additional information we suggest that you contact Mr. Ware, Neighborhood Services Director, with the Town of Capitol Heights at (301) 336-0626.

 
 
Now Effective - New Laws Regarding Teams and Groups

...and Updated Maryland Residential Sales Contract and Contract Addenda

New Required Procedures for Teams and their Brokerages - Have you prepared the required documentation and implemented the new procedures required of real estate teams and brokerages? Please revisit the July 16 Legislative Alert to help comply with these new regulations. This new law enacted by the Maryland General Assembly is effective as of last Friday, October 1, 2010.

In addition, the Maryland Statewide Residential Contract of Sale has been updated along with 9 addenda. Please visit mdrealtor.org to download the latest forms.

These are the forms updated and effective as of last Friday, October 1, 2010:

  • MAR Residential Sales Contract
  • As Is Addendum
  • Condominium Unit Resale Acknowledgment
  • Property Inspections Addendum
  • Lead-Based Paint Federal Disclosure - Sale or Lease
  • Maryland HOA Act Disclosures to Buyer and Transmittal of Documents
    - Resale (all) or initial sale (12 or fewer lots)
  • Short Sale Addendum
  • Third Party Approval Addendum
  • Unilateral Notice of Termination Under Contract of Sale / Mutual Release of Deposit Agreement
  • Water Quality Addendum

Click here for a brief explanation of contract and addenda updates.

 
 
GRI 300 STARTING
WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 3

Who wants to learn more and earn more? Earning the GRI designation pays off in both ways!
The GRI 300 is 5 full days of real estate business training for $325. Attendees will also earn 25.5 MD CEU (this includes required Legislative Update hours). GRI 300 classes and training dates are:

  red arrow Module 301: Environmental / Health Issues Affecting Real Estate - Wed, Nov 3
  red arrow Module 302: Taxes - Fri, Nov 5
  red arrow Module 303: Ethics & Mediation and Arbitration - Thurs, Nov 11
  red arrow Module 304: Legislative Update & Smart Growth and Land Planning - Fri, Nov 12
  red arrow Module 305: Real Estate Technology & Trends - Wed, Nov 17
Register here for the entire series >>

Register for individual GRI classes here >>

 
 
Bravo! Several PGCAR REALTORS® Win in Primary

Several members of your association have won in the Primary Election:

  • Beverly Ball, Democratic Central Committee District 47
  • Del. Aisha Braveboy, House of Delegates District 25
  • Del. Marvin Holmes, House of Delegates District 23B
  • Del. Jolene Ivey, House of Delegates District 47
  • Toni Jarboe Duley, House of Delegates District 27A
  • Casey Lewis, Democratic Central Committee District 23B
  • George Mitchell, Board of Education District 9

Again, we urge all members to make every effort to exercise your right to vote in the General Election on November 2nd.

(Please note: PGCAR does not endorse candidates)

 
 
Are You Registered to Vote?
You have a voice! Depending upon where you live, vote for your next Maryland County Executive and State Governor, or DC Mayor, in the General Election on Tuesday, November 2. Have you moved since voting? Save time and possible delays on voting day — Please update your registration in advance.

Customer Reminder - Why not send a friendly email or letter to your recent homebuyers, letting them know how to register to vote in their new place of residence? What a great way to keep in touch!

Monday, October 4 DC Voter Mail-in Registration Deadline to vote in the General Election
Click here for a DC Voter Registration Form
Tuesday, October 12 MD Voter Registration Deadline to vote in the General Election
Click here for a MD Voter Registration Form
Tuesday, November 2 General Election
Maryland Voters: Find your polling place here >>
DC Voters: Find your polling place here >>

 
 
RPAC Supported Candidates are Victorious in Primary Elections

We reported recently that PGCAR put together a Political Tracking Task Force to survey and interview candidates for the County Council and County Executive. The questionnaires and interviews concentrated on real estate and property rights related issues as well as other issues that have an impact on real estate.

The Task Force interviewed 20 candidates running for the Prince George's County Council and all of the candidates (5) who ran for Prince George's County Executive. All of the candidates who were interviewed offered a wide range of personal and career experience. However, elective office is limited to one, so difficult choices had to be made.

After thorough debate and careful deliberation, the Task Force recommended RPAC support for a number of candidates (listed). These candidates demonstrated that they understood the issues of concern to the real estate community, homebuyers, sellers and property owners in Prince George's County.

The 2010 Primary elections were held on Tuesday, September 14. Seven of the eight RPAC supported candidates won the primary. Only Council Member Ingrid Turner (D4) has a general election challenger. Here is the list of how PGCAR RPAC supported candidates did at the polls as of September 24, 2010.

PGCAR RPAC SUPPORTED CANDIDATES:
Prince George's County Executive: Rushern Baker - WON
County Council District 1: No Recommendation
County Council District 2: Will Campos - WON
County Council District 3: Eric Olson - WON
County Council District 4: Ingrid Turner - WON
County Council District 5: Andrea Harrison - WON
County Council District 6: Leslie Johnson - WON
County Council District 7: Karen Toles - WON
County Council District 8: Unable to Reach Consensus
County Council District 9: Sydney Harrison (Placed 3rd out of 10 candidates)

Candidate Mary Lehman won the District 1 Council Primary Election and Mel Franklin won the Council seat in District 9.

PGCAR looks forward to working with our newly elected officials on all matters concerning real estate and private property rights.

For complete election results Click Here.

 
 
Early Voting and Absentee Voting

Some of you may be in New Orleans on General Election Day, November 2nd, just prior to the 2010 National Association of REALTORS® Conference. If so, please take advantage of the opportunity for early voting or absentee voting.

For the general election, early voting centers will be open from 10:00 am to 8:00 pm on Friday, October 22, 2010 through Thursday, October 28, 2010, except for Sunday, October 24 when early voting centers are closed.

Please refer to the listed links for complete election information, including specific details on early and absentee voting.

Maryland State Board of Elections:
http://www.elections.state.md.us/voting/early_voting.html

Prince George's Locations - Early Voting Centers:
http://www.elections.state.md.us/voting/early_voting_sites.html#princegeorges

How to obtain an absentee ballot:
http://www.elections.state.md.us/voting/absentee.html

Download a voter registration form here:
http://elections.state.md.us/voter_registration/index.html

 
 
REALTORS® Dental Insurance: Smile Today, Sell Tomorrow

National Association of REALTORS® and REALTORS® Benefits® Program is pleased to introduce REALTORS® Dental Insurance (RDI), an affordable and valuable benefit for NAR members nationwide. RDI offers dental plans designed exclusively for NAR members and their families. Unique benefits include: orthodontia, professional whitening, dental rewards, and more.

 
 
Market Sen$e: Pending Sales Improve, Homebuyers Enjoy Low Rates

Record lows were either matched or set in 30-year fixed, 15-year fixed and 5-year ARMs for the week ending September 30. Fixed rates have been consistently under 5% since May 6, 2010. According to Freddie Mac:

  • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.32 percent, down from 4.37 percent a week ago.
  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.75 percent, down from 3.82 percent.
  • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.52 percent, down from 3.54 percent.
  • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.48 percent, up from 3.46 percent.

2010 Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

August local market statistics are now online at pgcar.com REALTOR® Resources >>. Increases were seen from July to August in Condo/Cooperative settlements and Single Family contracts. Condo/Cooperative contracts held steady from July to August. 2010 year-to-date County home (single-family and condo/co-op) contracts and settlements still show significant improvement from 2009 levels.

Pending home sales have increased for the second consecutive month, according to statistics released today by the National Association of Realtors®. The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 4.3 percent to 82.3 based on contracts signed in August. The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months. Realtor.org article >>

 

It's Back to School !
SUPPLIES FOR COUNTY CHILDREN

Give a little. Help a lot!  Invest in a child's future by helping the PGCAR Community Service Committee collect school supplies for Prince George's County students. If you are able to supply some of the items, you can bring them to the Association office. Some of the most needed items are:

Washable Marker Sets
Composition Books
Zip Pouch Pencil Case
Crayons
Pencils
Pencil-Top Erasers
Tissues
Hand Sanitizer
Hand Soap

We also have one school with students in need of uniform shirts. The shirts are the three button polo-style in black and/or white ranging in sizes from 6-20. The shirts can be purchased online at www.frenchtoast.com or at Kids for Less.

Kids for Less has two locations in Maryland:
3737 Branch Ave., Ste 1,
Hillcrest Heights, MD 20748,
Phone: 301-899-6061
or 8661 Colesville Rd.,
Level 4 - City Place Mall,
Silver Spring, MD 20910,
Phone: 301-589-8805

 
 
A Family in Need

One of our REALTOR® Members has told us about a needy family in Hyattsville. The mother is disabled and is limited as to how much work she can do. She has 6 children ranging from 1st grade to 10th grade. Her family member who was her safety net died recently and she is in a very dire position. The REALTOR® has been assisting this family, but they need your additional help.

If you are in a position to help, please make a contribution online at www.pgcar.com.

You may also contribute by writing a check to PGCAR with "Help a Needy Family" in the Memo Field. Please deliver or send check contributions to:

PGCAR
8400 Corporate Drive, Suite 225
Landover MD 20785

We appreciate any assistance you can provide. Thank you.

 
 
Habitat for Humanity Completing Home in Capitol Heights

Help Prince George's County Habitat for Humanity complete their current home being built for a family in Capitol Heights.

Please click here to contribute online - OR - you may mail a check payable to Habitat for Humanity to:

PGCAR
8400 Corporate Drive, Suite 225
Landover MD 20785

Thank you for your generosity!

 
 
REQUIRED TOPICS CEU AND MORE!

Earn ALL of your required Continuing Education hours for Maryland and DC license renewals -- and the SFR and GRI designations -- here at PGCAR.


This Wednesday, October 6
MD Legislative Update
3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
3.0 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

Next Tuesday, October 12
Commercial SBA Loan Programs
3.0 MD Elective CEU
John Throne 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Next Thursday, October 14
Real Estate Tax Issues
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Linda de Marlor 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Monday, October 18
MD Code of Ethics
3.0 MD Required Ethics CEU; 3.0 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Tuesday, October 19
Financing Issues / Update
3.0 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
3.0 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
Prabhjit Singh 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Friday, October 22
DC Legislative Update
3.0 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Wednesday, October 27
Home Inspection & Environmental Issues
3.0 MD Elective CEU;
3.0 DC Elective CEU
Vimal Kapoor 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

GRI 300 Series Begins November 3
GRI 300 Full Series
13.5 MD Required Legislative Update and 12 MD Elective CEU
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>

 

Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #12-7:
Use of Deceptive Domain Name / URL ("Uniform Resource Locator")

REALTOR® X, a principal broker in the firm XYZ, was technologically savvy and constantly looking for ways to use the Internet to promote his firm and drive additional traffic to his Web site.

Being an early adapter to the Internet, he had registered, but not used, domain names that incorporated or played on the names of many of his competitors and their firms, including ABC, REALTORS®.

REALTOR® X and his information technology staff concluded that one way to drive traffic to the firm's Web site would be to take advantage of the search engines commonly used by potential buyers and sellers. They realized that when potential buyers or sellers searched on key words like "real estate" or "REALTORS®" or on similar words, lists of domain names would appear, and that when consumers searched the Internet for ABC, REALTORS®, one of the domain names that might appear would be REALTOR® X's domain name, abcREALTORS.com.

REALTOR® X decided to take advantage of the domain names that he had previously registered, and pointed several that used, in various ways, the names of his competitors, including "abcREALTORS.com," to his site.

In a matter of days, REALTOR® X learned that he had been charged with a violation of Article 12 of the Code of Ethics by REALTOR® A, the owner of ABC, REALTORS® , alleging that his (REALTOR® X's) use of the domain name "abcREALTORS.com" presented a false picture to potential buyers and sellers and others on the Internet.

At the hearing, REALTOR® X defended himself indicating that, in his opinion, use of a domain name was not advertising or a "representation" to the public but simply a convenient way for Internet users to find relevant Web sites. Moreover, "When web surfers reach my home page, there is no question that it is my site since I clearly show XYZ's name and our status as REALTORS®," he continued. "These complaints are just a lot of sour grapes from dinosaurs who aren't keeping up and who don't realize that on the Internet it's 'every man for himself.'"

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 12, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>

 
 
Knowledge is power - and during uncertain economic times, it's the difference between success and muddling through.

So don't just sit and wait for change to come to you this fall - come make it happen for yourself. Let the good times roll for your business at the 2010 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.

For best lodging rates, reserve your hotel room when you register for the Conference & Expo.
Click here for hotels, rates, and a map!

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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