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April 18, 2011

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
 
Events
  • Visit PGCAR's New Office!
  • Blood Drive - This Thursday
  • Annual Prayer Breakfast - This Friday
  • Christmas in April - April 30
  • Public Forum: Transit-Oriented Development
  • MAR Diversity Day
  • MAR Breakfast of Champions
  • Midyear Meetings and Trade Show
  • Political Survival Initiative Session - At Midyears
  • MAR Annual Conference & Tradeshow
    Homeownership Matters
  • RPAC Victories
  • Defend MID; 1099 Requirement Repeal
  • April is Fair Housing Month!
  • 2011 Housing Fair - FREE Legal Consultations
  • My HOME Program
  • American Dream Downpayment Initiative
  • $7.5k FHLB First-Time Homebuyer Funds
  • Fannie Mae "First Look"
  •  
    The Industry Insider
  • Market Sen$e: Rates & Home Sales Stats
  • First Access to Sales Stats
  • Save Cash & Time with Your Virtual Bank
  • MRIS Updates
  • Call for MAR & NAR Committee Volunteers
  • Good Neighbor Nominations
  • DC and MD CEU Schedule
  • Earn Your GRI in 2011
  • Code of Ethics: Case #2-9
  • Membership Renewals Past Due
  • DC Broker and Property Manager Licenses
  •  
     

    Visit PGCAR's New Office!

    Our new location is conveniently located off I-495, Exit 17A (Route 202 / Landover Road):

    9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
    Largo, MD 20774
    mapquest Google maps

    Please visit our new office and REALTOR® store for signs, information boxes, and all your other REALTOR® needs.

    Classes - Remember to come to our NEW location in Largo for all CE classes.

     
     
    GIVE BLOOD — SAVE LIVES
    This Thursday, April 21
    9 am to 3 pm at the new PGCAR Office

    Come give the gift of life!

    The tradition continues at our new offices. Come see the new place, while doing a good deed. Invite family and friends . . . challenge the entire office to come!

    Thank you to all Donors and Volunteers!
    See you there!

     
     
    You are Invited to the
    Women's Council of REALTORS®
    33rd Annual Prayer Breakfast
    on Good Friday, April 22


    8:00 a.m. Registration   ·   8:30 a.m. Breakfast/Program
    Lake Presidential Golf Club
    3151 Presidential Golf Drive
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

    WCR invites everyone for an inspiring message and delicious breakfast this Friday (Good Friday) at the Lake Presidential Golf Club in Upper Marlboro. Family, friends and business associates are all welcome.

    Please register in advance at pgcar.com >

    For sponsorship opportunities contact Kelli Baxter at kbaxter@viptitlegroup.com.

     
     

    Christmas in April

    Please join us on Saturday, April 30 to help a Prince George's family. No skills required.
    Thanks to everyone who has already volunteered!

    Please Volunteer to Help >

    CARE Award - Another easy way to pitch in is to help PGCAR win up to $10,000 for a County charity. It's simple! Just complete this online form for any local charities you donated time or money to since June 2010.

     
     

    Public Forum: Transit-Oriented Development

    The Prince George's County Planning Department and
    Envision Prince George's invite you to learn more about

    Transit-Oriented Development

    • What it is
    • Why it is important to you
    • How it can benefit your community

    Next Wednesday, April 27, 6:45 - 9 p.m.
    St. Margaret of Scotland Catholic Church
    410 Addison Road South, Seat Pleasant, MD

    For more information, contact Tanya Hedgepeth, Subregion 4 TOD Implementation Project Manager, 301-952-4225.

     
     
    MAR Diversity Day - Thursday, May 5

    at Maryland Association of REALTORS®
    200 Harry S Truman Parkway
    Annapolis, Maryland 21401

    Sponsored by: Equal Opportunity/Cultural Diversity Committee

    9:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee
    10:00 a.m. - 12 noon Panel Discussion: Real Estate Issues in Diverse Communities
    2 hrs. CE for Professional Enhancement
    $5 sponsorship contribution for the 2011 MAR Fair Housing Calendar

    Panelists will identify information and home buying resources for consumers representing emerging populations and culturally diverse communities. They will discuss real estate issues, obstacles and concerns that they face in helping distinctive cultural communities with home buying and selling, especially in this difficult economic climate.

    12 noon - 1:00 p.m. FREE Festive Networking Lunch
    (open to both morning and/or afternoon attendees)
    Special guest - Kyle Lambert London, NAR
    Coordinator, At Home with Diversity program
    1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Special Issues in Fair Housing
    1.5 hrs. CE for Fair Housing
    $5 sponsorship contribution for the 2011 MAR Fair Housing Calendar
    Instructor: Glendora Hughes, Esq., General Counsel
    Maryland Human Relations Commission

    To register: Contact Kara Ardison at kara.ardison@mdrealtor.org or 800-638-6425.
    SEATING IS LIMITED.

    You may attend the morning, afternoon or both programs.
    Registration for each program is a $5 sponsorship contribution for the 2012 MAR Fair Housing Calendar.
    If you fail to attend WITHOUT giving 48 hrs notice in advance, you will be charged $25.

     
     

    MAR Breakfast of Champions - Sales Boot Camp Next Week

    "Get in the Green Zone!"
    Don't miss this fun, fast-paced and idea-packed 90-minute learning experience!

    • How to plan (and actually have) a productive, profitable day . . . every day!
    • The four "green zones" that have the greatest affect on your career success
    • Breaking down the barriers to open new doors to new business opportunities
    • Big steps and bold moves other real estate professionals are making right now
    • How to keep from becoming a "victim" of this market
    • Ideas and actions for moving forward through 2011 with the drive and energy to succeed!

    Only $15 for program and breakfast.

    Next Tuesday, April 26 in Edgewood   •   Next Thursday, April 28 in Pikesville

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

     
     

    Register Online for 2011 Midyear Meetings and Trade Show

    NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo This year's Midyear Meetings will take place
    May 9 - 14 in Washington, DC.
    The Trade Expo will be held May 11 - 13.

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

    REALTOR® PARTY POLITICAL SURVIVAL INITIATIVE
    Special May 11 Session at Midyears

    Find out more about the Political Survival Initiative at this interactive session, before it comes before NAR's Board of Directors on May 14 for a vote. In the meantime, get the latest information about the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative online at realtor.org and let NAR know what you think.

     
     
    A Message From 2011 RPAC Chair, John Lesniewski
    RPAC VICTORIES . . .
    for Prince George's County,
    Maryland and our Country


    PGCAR and RPAC played a valuable role in the 2010 elections. Through the Association's Political Tracking Task Force, candidates for County Executive and the Prince George's County Council were interviewed. The interviews concentrated on our public policy agenda, promoting homeownership and protection of private property rights, as well as other issues that have an impact on real estate and the real estate practitioner.

    After careful deliberation, the Task Force recommended RPAC support for a number of incumbents and candidates. I am pleased to report that PGCAR did well in this endeavor, supporting the winning candidate in the County Executive race, Rushern Baker, and winning six of the seven County Council races where we supported a candidate.

    RPAC supports local, state and national candidates who support REALTOR® Issues. These are our legislator friends who comprise the "REALTOR® Party." The need to invest in electing members of the "REALTOR® Party" to our County Council, our General Assembly, and Congress is essential.

    Our influence can only be as strong as the relationships we build with our elected officials. These relationships pave the road to our political success. RPAC provides the opportunity to enhance our relationships with existing politicians (our REALTOR® Party Friends) and a chance to build relationships with newly elected officials, hopefully securing their membership in the "REALTOR® Party."
    Through RPAC, REALTORS® have seen solid victories in recent years:   
    • Passed legislation (NSP & My HOME) creating down payment and closing cost assistance
    • Halted collection of tax on forgiven debt in a short sale transaction
    • Opposed a decrease in the homestead property tax exemption
    • Expanded the posting times for open house directional signs
    • Passed the $8,000 federal tax credit for first time homebuyers
    • Defeated legislation that would have taxed your commissions


    RPAC does NOT BUY VOTES. RPAC supports positions, NOT parties. RPAC is bipartisan, supporting political candidates who value protecting real estate transactions, homeownership and property rights. Your voluntary contribution... $10, $35, $99, or more helps in this necessary endeavor.
    And remember, if real estate is your profession, politics is your business!
    Thank You.
    John Lesniewski
    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.

     
     

    PRESERVE, PROTECT AND DEFEND MID - Take Action

    call for action Send a letter to your Representative on Capitol Hill to protect the Mortgage Interest Deduction. The warning signs and messages from Capitol Hill about removing or reducing the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) have not abated. Homeowners have taken big hits the past few years. We cannot have Congress adding to the injury. While a new homeowner is contributing so much to the economy by buying, renovating and maintaining a home and paying so much in interest fees. . . how many can also afford to pay taxes on those interest fees?

    Send your letter asking your Representative to cosponsor H.Res 25,
    a bipartisan House resolution affirming the value and importance of the MID.

    REALTORS® need to direct Congress to Preserve, Protect and Defend the MID. No economic recovery is possible without a vibrant housing market. Please Take Action today.

    1099 Reporting Requirement for Businesses and Landlords - REPEALED!
    The provision requiring businesses and landlords to file a 1099 Form for purchases of ALL goods and services exceeding $600 a year, was repealed last week. Thank you to everyone who supported NAR and MAR opposition to this burdensome measure. Reuters article >

     
     

    April is Fair Housing Month!

    Fair Housing tips Invite everyone to the June 11 Housing Fair, and start posting links and flyers on Facebook, your website and local bulletin boards to help spread the word. Check out the NAR Store for Fair Housing brochures, handbooks and more, and learn from the resources below.

    • How well do you know federal fair housing law? Test Your Fair Housing IQ >
    • Educate yourself, and your sellers about fair housing laws. Remember, you don't want to discriminate, but the law is about actions and not just good intentions. Discriminating in any way, even at the request of a seller, is illegal. If a seller wants you to discriminate, walk away from the transaction. Read 8 Tips for Fair Housing Compliance >

     
     
    News to Share with Your Customers and Contacts
    Free Housing Fair   |   Homebuyer Savings
    FREE! Annual Housing Fair
    & Homeowner Legal Consultations

    Saturday, June 11 at the Sports and Learning Center
    Share the Flyer!

    Help spread the news. The County's Annual Housing Fair is FREE, and open to everyone in the industry and the public. Free workshops will be held to give homeowners, sellers and buyers practical information on Credit Rebuilding / Finances, Short Sales, Senior Programs / Reverse Mortgages, First-time Homebuyer Programs and Rental Information.

    Free legal consultations on Foreclosure Prevention and Loan Modification will also be provided. Advance registration and preparation are required for the consultations. Online registration will open soon; required forms and information are now available at www.pgcar.com.

    2011 Housing Fair details are online at pgcar.com. Email the Link and Share the Flyer.

    Sponsorship Opportunities >
    Exhibitor Registration >       Sponsors / Exhibitors Guide >

    Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance

    My HOME Program
    Up to 5% of Home Sale Price Offered to County Homebuyers
    $1 Million, Limited Time Program

    The My HOME program is an amazing opportunity, worth up to 5% of a home's sale price to buy in Prince George's County. This program is open to homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. It is in the form of a no-interest loan which is applied towards the down payment and closing costs, of which none has to be paid back if the homebuyer remains the resident owner of that home for 10 years.

    My HOME Program

    See complete My HOME Details at pgcar.com and the following links:

    Over $1 million is dedicated to down payment and closing cost assistance through the My HOME program. It is estimated this will translate into over 100 loans. Help your clients become homeowners with this amazing opportunity.

    American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI)
    Up to $10,000 to Buy a Home in Prince George's County

    ADDI provides downpayment and closing cost assistance to purchase a home in Prince George's County. Eligible families earn a maximum 80% of the area median income, are first-time homebuyers (or have not owned a home in the last 3 years), and will use the home as their principal residence. Assistance is in the form of a 5-year forgivable loan at 0% interest of up to $10,000 for downpayment and/or closing costs.

    FHLB First-Time Homebuyer Down Payment Funds
    Up to $7,500 for DC, MD or VA Homebuyers

    Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta) will provide up to $7,500 in matching funds to eligible first-time homebuyers for down payment and closing costs. Funds are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Potential homebuyers must request the funds from a participating member institution of FHLB Atlanta.

    Program details to share >

    Fannie Mae "First Look" Gives 15 Day Preference
    to Owner Occupants

    Fannie Mae FirstLookHave you checked HomePath.com lately for affordable real estate owned (REO) properties? If so, you'll notice the "First Look" logo on several Fannie Mae property listings.

    Fannie Mae's innovative First Look period contributes to neighborhood stabilization by encouraging home ownership. During the First Look period, typically the first 15 days a property is listed on HomePath.com, offers will only be accepted from owner occupants and public entities. No investor offers.

    Did you also know that the earnest money requirement is only $500, for buyers of Fannie Mae homes using public funds (e.g., ADDI and NSP program funds)?

     
     

    Market Sen$e: County Sales Increase Yet Another Month

    Average mortgage rates increased again, still below the 5% mark for 30-year fixed-rates. Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending April 14, 2011:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.91 percent, up from 4.87 percent a week ago.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.13 percent, up from 4.10 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.78 percent, up from 3.72 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.25 percent, up from 3.22 percent.

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

     
    Prince George's Continues to Attract Homebuyers

    March Home Sales statistics are at www.pgcar.com/stats and the numbers are great! Contracts and settlements, for single family homes and condos, have ALL increased from Feb 2011 to March 2011.

    In the condo market, year-to-date contracts and settlements show a dramatic improvement from 2010 to 2011, 26.9% and 57% respectively. In the single family market, year-to-date contracts and settlements show only a slight decline, -2.4% and -0.6% respectively. Most economic forecasts warned of a large decrease for early 2011, in comparison to early 2010 when homebuyers were signing contracts before the April 2010 Homebuyer Tax Credit contract deadline.

    Prince George's County definitely beat those predictions!

     
     

    My HOME Program First Access to Statistics Reports

    Like us on Facebook to know when monthly statistics have been posted online. March statistics were posted at www.pgcar.com/stats with a short synopsis at www.facebook.com/pgcar last Tuesday. March 2011 home sales improved yet again from the previous month.

     
     

    Save Cash and Time with YOUR 24 / 7 Virtual Branch Bank

    Enjoy better rates on loans and savings accounts, scan and deposit checks from your home or office, pay your bills online, transfer funds online, and call a customer support person anytime of day or night!

    Visit REALTORSFCU.ORG to join the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union today.
    Share the link and flyer.

     
     

    MRIS Updates

    Photo Upload Upgrade - The current Keystone Photo Upload will be upgraded soon with a much better application, Media Connect. Adobe Flash Player 10 or above will be required for Media Connect. Be prepared in advance by installing the latest version of Adobe Flash Player now by visiting http://get.adobe.com/flashplayer/. More launch details to come!

    Password Sharing Punishable by Fines and Loss of Access - As a valued member of our association, we want you to be aware that MRIS does monitor customer logins to their applications. If MRIS notifies you that password sharing has been detected, you will need to follow the steps on the notification to stop the sharing of your login credentials. If the password sharing continues, MRIS will begin issuing fines and revoking access. Personal and administrative assistants must have their own MRIS subscriptions so they receive a separate User ID, PIN and Password for access to the system.

    We recommend you change your password immediately if you believe that your login credentials may be compromised. Protect your User ID, PIN, and Password and DO NOT SHARE it with anyone else.

     
     

    WANTED: COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS - At State and National Levels

    MAR Committee descriptions and a volunteer form are now online at www.mdrealtor.org. Committee selections are prioritized by qualifications and date received. Current MAR committee members must re-apply for 2011 - 2012 MAR Committee memberships.
    MAR applications are due Wednesday, May 11.

    The NAR Committee Recommendation Database for 2012 is also open. Submit committee recommendations for yourself or other members at www.realtor.org.
    NAR recommendations are due Wednesday, May 25.

     
     

    REALTOR® Magazine Seeks Good Neighbor Nominations

    Five winners will receive $10,000 grants and national publicity.

    REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2011 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live.

    Deadline for entry is Friday, May 20, 2011, 6 pm EST.
    Apply at www.Realtor.org/gna.

     
     

    MD and DC CEU at PGCAR

    Reminder! All classes are now being held at our NEW offices, just off the Route 202 / Landover Road exit of I-495. Find us at 9200 Basil Court, Suite 400, Largo, MD 20774. There's plenty of parking.

    Brokers, Office Managers and Team Leaders - Next Wednesday's MREC Required Supervision Course is for you! It fulfills a new 3 CE requirement for any Maryland Real Estate licensees who fall under the category of Broker, Office Manager or Team Leader and have a license expiration date of 1/1/2012 or after. If your current 2-year license cycle ends during 2011 you may still take this class as an elective. For your next renewal cycle it will be required.


    This Wednesday, April 20
    Contracts
    3 MD Elective CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    This Friday, April 22
    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
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Wednesday, April 27
    MREC Required Supervision Course
    3.0 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, May 11
    Financing Issues / Update
    3.0 DC Required Financing Issues;
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Thursday, May 12
    Real Estate Tax Issues
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Linda de Marlor 10:00 am - 11:30 am

    Full CEU Schedule >>

     

    Earn Your GRI in 2011

    Whether you're taking your first GRI course ever, or just need a few more classes, you can earn your GRI designation this year at PGCAR. All three of the required 5-day series are offered.

     

    Maryland Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference & Tradeshow

    September 12th - 14th
    Ocean City, Maryland

    EARLY BIRD RATE!
    Register by June 1 for $195.
    Saves $80 on full 3-day conference price.

    • Up to 15 hours of premier Continuing Education (CE)
    • Monday Keynote & light lunch with Steve Harney, Keeping Current Matters
    • FREE Conference Gift - ABS flashlight with auto tool kit
    • Rookies (up to 4 years since licensed) receive $50 off 3-day registration
    • YPN event ($10), more "Learning Labs", more grand prize winners!

    More value–National Speakers–Networking–Exciting Tradeshow

    Conference Homepage      Hotel Information      Schedule (PDF)

     

    Case #3-8:
    REALTOR®'s Obligation to Disclose Dual Commission Arrangements

    REALTORS® A and B were members of the same Board and Participants in the Multiple Listing Service. REALTOR® A, cooperating with REALTOR® B on REALTOR® B's listing, presented an offer to purchase signed by buyers offering the listed price, and a check for earnest money. The only contingency was a mortgage contingency, and REALTOR® A shared with REALTOR® B qualifying information about the buyers indicating there should be no problem securing a mortgage. The following day, REALTOR® B returned the offer to REALTOR® A with "REJECTED" written on it and initialed by the seller, and explained that the seller had accepted another offer secured by one of REALTOR® B's sales associates. REALTOR® A inquired about the seller's reason for rejecting the full price offer with only a mortgage contingency, and what had caused the seller to accept the other offer. REALTOR® B responded that he did not know, but with equal offers, he supposed the seller would favor the offer secured by the listing broker.

    Later, REALTOR® A met the seller at a social event. The seller thanked him for his efforts in connection with the recent sale of the seller's home. The seller hoped REALTOR® A understood there was nothing personal in his decision, adding that the money he saved through his "special agreement" with REALTOR® B had been the deciding factor. When REALTOR® A asked about the "special agreement," the seller explained he had signed a listing agreement for the sale of his property which authorized the submission of the listing to the Multiple Listing Service and specified a certain amount of compensation. However, the seller stated that he had also signed an addendum to the listing agreement specifying that if REALTOR® B sold the listing through his own office, a percentage of the agreed compensation would be discounted to the seller's credit, resulting in a lower commission payable by the seller.

    REALTOR® A filed a written complaint with the Board of REALTORS® against REALTOR® B, alleging a violation of Article 3 . After its review of the complaint, the Grievance Committee requested that an ethics hearing be arranged.

    REALTOR® A, in restating his complaint to the Hearing Panel, said that REALTOR® B's failure to disclose the actual terms and conditions of the compensation offered through the Board MLS resulted in concealment and misrepresentation of pertinent facts to REALTOR® A and to the prospective buyers served by REALTOR® A who had, in good faith, offered to purchase the property at the listed price with only a mortgage contingency. REALTOR® A told the Hearing Panel that if he had known the facts which were not disclosed by REALTOR® B, he could have fully and accurately informed the buyers who could have taken those facts into consideration when making their offer. As it was, said REALTOR® A, the buyers acting in good faith were deceived by facts unknown to them because they were unknown to REALTOR® A. Further, REALTOR® A said that REALTOR® B's failure to fully disclose the true terms and conditions relating to compensation made it impossible to have a responsible relationship with REALTOR® B and make proper value judgments as to accepting the offer of compensation.

    REALTOR® B stated that it was his business what he charged and the Board or MLS could not regulate his charges for his services. If he wished to establish a dual commission charge by agreement with his client, that was his right, and there was no need or right of the Board or MLS to interfere.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 3, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

    Find out here >>

     

    Membership Renewals Past Due

    Brokers and non-paid Agents - January 31 was the deadline to pay 2010-2011 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.

    Renew Online, or please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.

     
     

    DC Broker and Property Manager Licenses

    Last Date to Renew Expired License is April 30, 2011.

    Renew Your DC Broker or Property Manager License Online >

    Practicing real estate within DC without a current DC real estate license is punishable by fines, loss of your license and other disciplinary actions. For more information on license renewals from the DC Real Estate Commission, click here. The 60-day grace period to renew your expired license with a late fee of $50 ends April 30. After this period, you must reinstate your license.


    Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
    9200 Basil Court :  Suite 400 : Largo, MD 20774
    Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  www.pgcar.com  :  ©2011 PGCAR

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