Don't miss this Thursday's annual celebration!
2012 PGCAR Officer and Director Candidates
Exercise your right to vote! Please review the list of candidates for the 2011 - 2012 PGCAR Board of Directors. Read each candidate's bio by clicking on the links below, or clicking here
, then vote online at www.pgcar.com >
|The 2011 / 2012 Candidates
||Alease Bowles, RE/MAX Specialists
||Anthony Williams, Long & Foster Real Estate
||John Lesniewski, RE/MAX United Real Estate
(4 to be elected)
John Allen, SellState Dominion Realty
Patricia Dowtin, Long & Foster Real Estate
Arthur F. Greene, Long & Foster Real Estate
J. C. Hooker, Inkscale Realty
Fredericka A. Lloyd, Lloyd & Associates
Kevin L. McAfee, Meinc Realty
George Mitchell, Real Estate Around America
Lorence "Chuck" Ottley, SellState Dominion Realty
Veera Phillips, Keller Williams Preferred Properties
Howard M. Phoebus, Century 21 Trademark Realty, Inc.
Eugene N. Wright, Century 21 Trademark Realty, Inc.
All active Primary and Secondary REALTOR®
members are eligible to vote. Voting closes at 12 midnight tomorrow, September 20. If you do not wish to or are unable to vote online, please contact Joan Ostenso at the Association office at 301-306-7900 Extension 223 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
today to have a paper ballot faxed to you. All paper ballots must be received at the PGCAR office no later than 12 noon tomorrow, September 20.
Thousands of home owners and business owners, many REALTORS® among them, were devastated by recent flooding in New England and the Mid-Atlantic. Hurricane Irene highlighted the fact that flooding hits every corner of America. The unique weather pattern of this storm created more flooding in the mountains than it did along the coast. Even small towns as far inland as Vermont were deluged, turning small creeks into raging rivers that devastated communities and took the life of a REALTOR® in Ludlow, Vermont.
As fellow REALTOR® Kevin Sears reminds us in his video message, the only way that a home owner can acquire a federally backed mortgage in over 21,000 communities is through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). There is virtually no private insurance market and standard home owner policies do not cover flood damage. Housing markets in many areas will come to a complete standstill unless this program gets reauthorized. Also, existing home owners whose mortgage requires them to have flood insurance may find themselves in default if the program lapses and they are unable to renew their policies before the 30-day grace period ends. Banks will not lend without a policy in place and the program cannot issue a flood policy without renewing the Congressional authority. This is why we need you to send a letter to Congress urging them to reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program.
Without this insurance program more of the burden for the cleanup from a flood falls to tax payers in the form of federal post-disaster assistance. More hurricanes are already on the horizon and forecasts predict this to continue to be a busy storm season. Combined with record rainfall and snow melt, flood disasters have also been declared all across the Midwest. We can expect to see more of the same just about everywhere. This program must be in place to help keep already fragile markets moving on the eastern seaboard and beyond.
Now that Congress has returned it is not certain if they will take up this important bill before the program authority to issue flood insurance expires on September 30th. Congress needs to act sooner rather than later, so it is with urgency that we ask you to send a letter to your Senators today asking that they reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program quickly.
FHA / GSE Loan Limits
Status: Also Expires Next Friday, September 30
Unless Congress acts, FHA and GSE loan limits will drop from the current limit of $729,750 to $625,500 in Prince George's County. The impact to other counties where loan limits are lower will be more severe, with several contracts already canceled due to banks holding new applications to the lowered limits.
As of October 1, mortgage costs could rise so much that they impact the ability of your buyers to purchase their home to be. Your clients could find themselves in a position where lending is even more tight, and they no longer have access to affordable mortgage financing.
Most homebuyers don't realize how much the decisions of Congress can impact their opportunity to buy a home, but you do! Please contact Congress today and communicate clearly that a housing recovery depends on keeping mortgages affordable for well-qualified buyers. Congress needs to prevent these higher loan limits from taking effect.
Urge Congress to take action to extend FHA / GSE Loan Limits >
Mortgage Interest Deduction
Status: Elimination or Reduction Still Under Consideration
Any changes to the mortgage interest deduction now or in the future could threaten recent progress toward stabilizing the housing market, critically erode home prices and values, destroy middle-class wealth accumulation and hurt economic growth, according to NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. Yun challenged recent proposals calling for changes to the tax code, stating that it's a misplaced argument to say the MID was a cause of the housing market bubble and is suddenly part of the deficit problem, when it's been part of the federal tax code for more than 100 years.
Furthermore, reducing or eliminating the MID is a de facto tax increase on homeowners, who already pay 80 to 90 percent of U.S. federal income tax. Yun said the share could rise to 95 percent if the MID is eliminated.
Read more >
With the Mortgage Interest Deduction still hanging in the balance for elimination or reduction, and FHA Loan Limits and the NFIP both expiring next Friday, we must act now. Visit the links above to urge Congress to protect these 3 critical programs. Thousands of contracts are at risk, and homeowners with good credit records are at risk of not having access to affordable mortgages and flood insurance.
|There's good news! Many REALTOR® supplies
are on sale, now through September 30.
|OPEN HOUSE BROCHURE STANDS
|ALL GROUND SIGNS
|SIGN RIDERS 6 X 24
|SIGN RIDERS 5 X 17
||$4 per 12 pack
|Come visit us at:
9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
Largo MD 20774
September is REALTOR® Safety Month
Every day REALTORS®
and many of our Affiliate members too, are put at risk while fulfilling the requirements of their jobs. To help protect yourself and your family members, please visit and share the wealth of safety information and tips at www.realtor.org/safety
. You will find invaluable tips for safety on the road, at home, at the office and when hosting open houses.
Feeling Threatened? How to Use Your Smartphone as a Weapon
A number of mobile apps can turn the smartphone most agents already carry into a safety device. These easily installed apps can allow you to take a photo of a suspicious person without them knowing it, can discretely alert your emergency contacts that you might be in danger, or alert a security firm with the push of a button.
Details about smartphone safety apps, pricing and where to get them >
|EARN YOUR GRI
GRI 300 Starts Wednesday, November 2
|Sign up for the entire, 25.5 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!
2011 NAR Conference & Expo
November 11 - 14 in Anaheim, California
Seize the Day
Choose from 100 education sessions, visit 400 industry vendors, and network with 18,000 members and guests from the U.S. and around the globe. You'll also enjoy the Entrepreneurial Excellence Sessions and special events such as the Diana Ross concert, a 5K run/walk, and more. Oh yes, and the beautiful sunny weather of Anaheim too!
Details and Registration >
New Buy Suitland Initiative
Program Open to Household Incomes up to 120% AMI
Up to 5% of Home Purchase Price to First-Time Homebuyers
Up to 7% for Local Civic Employees
Suitland is home to the Suitland Federal Center employing over 12,000 and a Metro station, is slated for a 22-acre mixed-use development project, and now has its own First-Time Homebuyers Program. The Buy Suitland Initiative will award 0% interest grants to households who have not owned a home within the last 3 years, and are buying a home as their principal residence.
Homebuyers can receive these 0% grants for buying:
Additional Homebuyer Qualifications:
- Foreclosure and Short Sale properties
- In 7 Census Tracks: 8018.02, 8019.02, 8020.01, 8020.02, 8021.05, 8024.05, 8024.06
- Where Appraisal vs Contract Price = 1% Discount
Similar to the first NSP Program, the sale price of property under contract must be at a 1% discount of the most recent appraised value.
Buy Suitland Grant Amounts:
- Qualifying Households May Earn Up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
- Borrower's Minimum Cash Contribution
|Purchaser's Income Level
(as % Area Median Income)
Required Cash Contribution
|At or below 80%
||$1,000 or 50% of liquid assets over $3,000 whichever is greater.
|80% - 120%
||$1,500 or 50% of liquid assets over $3,000 whichever is greater.
|Maximum 0% Interest Grant Amount
|5% of the purchase price of home
||An applicant with household income between 80 - 120% of the area median income.
|7% of the purchase price of home
||An applicant currently employed at the Suitland Federal Center, Police Office, Firefighter, Nurse or Teacher.
|35% of the purchase price of home or $40,000
Whichever is greater, as needed, to meet the
45% Debt-to-income requirements
|An applicant with a combined household income of 50% or below the area median income.
The County's Department of Housing and Community Development will soon have a website dedicated to the Buy Suitland Initiative. When it is released public, we will link to it from facebook.com/pgcar and pgcar.com.
More details are at www.pgcar.com >
Maryland Mortgage Program Interest Rates Lowered to 3.5 Percent As State
Moves to Stimulate Housing Market
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond Skinner announced that interest rates are dropping to the lowest level in the history of the Maryland Mortgage Program. Click here for the press release >
Demand for the state's premeire initiative for promoting homeownership for eligible families had already been growing. Maryland Mortgage Program loan reservations more than doubled during the first half of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010, thanks in part to competitive interest rates and generous downpayment and settlement cost assistance for eligible homebuyers.
The Maryland Mortgage Program offers a variety of low-interest, fixed-rate mortgage loan options with downpayment and closing cost assistance primarily targeted to first-time homebuyers, and purchasers of foreclosed homes and homes involved in eligible short sale transactions. Loans are administered by a network of more than 35 private lending institutions across the state. Potential homebuyers who participate in the program also are eligible for an assortment of downpayment and closing cost assistance programs such as the Downpayment and Settlement Expense Loan Program, which offers up to $5,000 in assistance in the form of a zero percent deferred loan.
Visit www.pgcar.com and www.mmprogram.org for more information about the Maryland Mortgage Program and DHCD's newest loan products, the Acquisition/Rehabilitation Mortgage Program and Homeward Bound. The interest rate on those products was lowered to 3 percent, Secretary Skinner announced.
Learn how to successfully utilize all MMP products for your customers at a FREE 3 CEU CDA workshop. The next training session is before this Thursday's Installation, September 22 at 8:30 a.m. It will be offered again Wednesday, October 12 at 8:30 am.
- Freddie Mac 3.5% + Agent Bonus Ends Next Friday - Freddie Mac is offering 3.5% toward closing and a $1,200 selling agent bonus on www.HomeSteps.com primary residence home purchases, but escrow must close by September 30, 2011. Complete details >
- Fannie Mae 3.5% + Agent Bonus Ends October 31 - homebuyers purchasing a www.Homepath.com property as their primary residence can also receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance. Eligible sales must close by October 31, 2011. A $1,200 selling agent bonus is also available! Complete details >
- Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta) - 2 new programs - The first offers up to $15,000 towards a foreclosure purchase. The second offers up to $7,500 to homebuyers earning up to 80% AMI and buying within NSP targeted areas in MD or DC. These two programs do NOT require you to be a first-time homebuyer.
Consumer information page > Details & webinars for REALTORS® >
- My HOME Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance - up to 5% of Home Sale Price Offered to County Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. $2.2 million in total funds is now available.
Consumer information page > Details (in Members Only, updated July 21) >
- American Dream Downpayment Assistance (ADDI) - up to $10,000 to County Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. Details >
- The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) offered through the state's Community Development Administration (CDA) has announced 2 loan products for distressed properties. All MMP products have low, fixed interest rates and some offer matching funds. These 2 new products will assist in revitalizing communities burdened with foreclosed and rundown properties.
The Acquisition / Rehabilitation Mortgage Program helps purchase a single-family home as a primary residence and obtain funds for needed repairs and renovations.
The Homeward Bound Program offers eligible buyers of foreclosed or short sale property a lower rate mortgage.
Program Details > Training Details >
Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at pgcar.com. Sales agents - please study up and stay familiar with current homebuyer incentives, and send links to your contacts from these public information pages. For more My HOME program details, members can login to pgcar.com Members Only.
|2012 Dues Renewals
Choose Installments - Second Monthly Payment is
Due September 30
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 Online as Easy as 1-2-3:
- Click here
- Log in
- Renew online and receive receipt !
2012 dues are in the amount of $625. The due date is October 1, 2011. They must be paid no later than November 30, 2011 in order to prevent late charges.
|Prince George's County Dues
|Maryland Association Dues
|National Association Dues
|Voluntary 2012 RPAC Contribution
|Voluntary Scholarship Fund Contribution
Pay by Installment - Members may also choose to pay 2012 dues in 4 installments of $156.25 each, with the remaining installments due by September 30, October 31, and November 30, 2011. Members using the installment plan can make their second payment anytime this month. The due date is Friday, September 30, 2011. If you wish, you may also make voluntary RPAC and Scholarship contributions during any installment. It's your choice!
Please note: If dues payments are not made online, they may not be reflected on the website.
Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Fall to Historic Lows
Interest rate averages have fallen to another all-time low for 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate and 1-year adjustable rate mortgages. Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending September 15, 2011:
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.09 percent, down from 4.12 percent a week ago.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.30 percent, down from 3.33 percent.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.99 percent, up from 2.96 percent.
- The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.81 percent, down from 2.84 percent.
Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>
August Home Sales Shows Large Improvement from 2010, Yet Mixed Message
There's amazing improvements from August 2010 to August 2011, decreases from July to August 2011, yet not above the expected monthly swings. The overall trend is good yet the monthly decrease raises a question - How many potential homebuyers are "on the fence" waiting credit approvals or Federal government decisions?
Single family sales snapshot for August 2011:
Condo sales snapshot for August 2011:
- 964 new contracts, -4.7% from July, +10.7% from Aug 2010, first time under 1000 new contracts within a month since February 2011.
- 647 new settlements, -2.4% from July, +20.9% from Aug 2010.
- 120 new contracts, +8.1% from July, +42.9% from Aug 2010.
- 72 new settlements, -6.5% from July, +30.5% Year-to-Date over 2010.
for detailed statistics.
Like us on www.facebook.com/pgcar to see future home sales statistics when they are released.
By: Alvin C. Monshower, Jr., Esq.
Monshower, Miller & Magrogan, LLP
General Legal Counsel for the Maryland Association of REALTORS®
URGENT: Changes in Earnest Money Deposit Management
In August 2010, the Maryland Real Estate Commission announced a new advisory regarding the return of earnest money deposits by real estate brokers in residential real estate transactions where the property is located in a Homeowners Association or is a condominium.
Specifically, the Commission advised that a real estate broker may return the earnest money deposit to the buyer without a written release of deposit agreement signed by the seller and the buyer in those instances where a buyer timely rescinds the Contract of Sale, in writing, based upon the receipt of the required disclosures from the seller and/or the condominium or Homeowners Association ("HOA").
The advisory by the Maryland Real Estate Commission, at the time, was appropriate, given the fact that current Maryland law clearly provides that a buyer who timely rescinds a contract of sale based upon their receipt of the required HOA and/or condominium disclosure documents, is entitled, for no stated reason, to rescind the Contract of Sale, provided such rescission is in writing, and to the return of any earnest money deposits made by the buyer with respect to the contract of sale - subject to the right of the seller to retain from any such deposit the cost of reproducing the HOA documents or the amount of $100, whichever is less, as stated above. The current MAR Residential Contract of Sale dated 10/2010 correctly reflects this.
However, with the enactment of House Bill 1109 during the 2011 Session of the Maryland Legislature, this will now change effective October 1, 2011.
Pursuant to House Bill 1109, the Maryland Legislature amended the Condominium Act with respect to the initial and resale of condominium units as well as the Disclosure/Disclaimer Act and the Maryland Homeowners Association Act to provide that any earnest money deposits held by a licensed real estate broker shall comply with the requirements of Section 17-505 of the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act. In other words, in a residential transaction where the property being conveyed is located within a condominium, or within a homeowners association, or is subject to the Maryland Residential Property Disclosure/Disclaimer Act, a broker may not distribute the earnest money deposit in the absence of proper written instructions from the seller and the buyer directing the disposition of the deposit monies or the broker, in the broker's good faith, intends to disburse the deposit monies to the seller or the buyer, by written notice to both parties, pursuant to the requirements of Section 17-505(b)(1) of the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act.
Accordingly, the provisions of House Bill 1109 supercede the informal interpretation of the Maryland Real Estate Commission as communicated in 2010.
Accordingly, please ensure that this information is shared with all other agents in your office, in order to ensure that deposit monies are not distributed without written instructions from the seller and buyer as required by the new law, effective immediately as of October 1, 2011.
PGCAR Committees Kick Off a New Year
For most of the PGCAR committees, it's not too late to join for the new membership year beginning October 1. We encourage ALL members to volunteer for a committee best fitting their interests. Click here to sign up >
Sales Coach: Opportunity in Everyday Encounters
Have you ever stood in line at your local coffee shop and thought about striking up a conversation with the person in front of you, but then decided against it? Who knows? This person might be considering buying or selling a house. You may learn a valuable life tip from them.
Learn to love meeting new people. People today are starved for connection with others - not just online, but in the physical world.
Read tips on "random networking" and turning everyday encounters into real business leads >
Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR
All classes are held at PGCAR offices, just off the Route 202 / Landover Road exit of I-495. Find our NEW association office at 9200 Basil Court, Suite 400, Largo, MD 20774. There's plenty of parking.
Refusal to Disclose Nature and Expiration Date of Listing
REALTOR® A, on his way to his office, noticed the deteriorated condition of a "For Sale" sign posted on an unimproved site bearing the name of REALTOR® B. He remembered that REALTOR® B's "For Sale" sign had been on that site for a considerable period of time. REALTOR® A decided to call REALTOR® B to determine the status of the property. In response to several questions, one of which was, "Do you have an exclusive listing on that property?" REALTOR® B replied that he was not obligated to disclose the nature, status, or the type of listing. After considerable conversation, REALTOR® A stated his intention to contact the property owners for this information, citing Standard of Practice 16-4 as the basis for his action. REALTOR® B warned REALTOR® A not to "cross his sign" and refused to discuss the matter further. A few days later, REALTOR® B had a telephone conversation with the property owners and learned of their decision to list their property with REALTOR® A when their current listing with REALTOR® B expired the following week. REALTOR® B filed a complaint against REALTOR® A with the Board, stating that REALTOR® A's actions in contacting his client had been inconsistent with REALTOR® B's agency.
The Grievance Committee reviewed the complaint and the response to the complaint filed by REALTOR® B. The case was referred to the Secretary to schedule a hearing by a Hearing Panel of the Board's Professional Standards Committee.
During the hearing, REALTOR® B repeated his complaint and his conversation with REALTOR® A. He also advised the Hearing Panel of his telephone conversation with the property owners and of their decision, as a result of REALTOR® A's direct contact, not to relist the property with him, REALTOR® B. "Not only did REALTOR® A fail to respect my agency with the property owners by contacting them directly," said REALTOR® B, "but he violated Article 16 by taking the opportunity to relist the property away from me!"
REALTOR® A defended his actions by stating that he had requested information on the nature and status of the listing from REALTOR® B, as required by Article 16, and that REALTOR® B had refused to divulge the information; and that he had contacted the property owners only after this refusal, citing as his authority the principle established in Standard of Practice 16-4. "The sellers were happy to discuss listing their property with me, once I described the services my firm could offer," said REALTOR® A. "They said they hadn't had an interested customer since the first week of their listing with REALTOR® B."
Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 16, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?
Find out here >>
Save BIG with REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
Are you, or someone in your family, paying too much interest on your car or home loan? REALTORS®
FCU offers auto loan rates and 30-year fixed rate mortgages, both currently at 4.25%.
- Home Mortgages - Fixed and adjustable rate mortgages of various terms are all offered at competitive rates, and with zero points!
- Auto Loans - Refer a friend or family member, or close on an auto loan yourself, between now and October 31, 2011 (includes refinance loans) and receive an extra $50 cash.
Apply for home
loans online at REALTORSFCU.org
Did You Know?
You Can Attend Free MRIS Hand-On Training at PGCAR
PGCAR hosts free MRIS hands-on training sessions each month. The next four sessions are:
Next Tuesday, September 27, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
What's New with MRIS and Matrix
Next Tuesday, September 27, 1:30 am - 4:30 pm
Success with Stats
Tuesday, October 18, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS
Tuesday, October 18, 1:30 am - 4:30 pm
Matrix Tips and Tricks
Visit www.mris.com/training for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.
HUGE SENTRILOCK LOCKBOX SALE
Extended through December 31, 2011
PGCAR is pleased to announce a special sale on SentriLock Lockboxes for PGCAR Members.
Between NOW and DECEMBER 31, 2011, lockboxes will be sold as follows:
|1 - 9 Lockboxes
10 - 19 Lockboxes
20 - 29 Lockboxes
30 Lockboxes or more
||$65 each + tax
$60 each + tax
$55 each + tax
$50 each + tax
DC Salesperson Licenses - Expired August 31
Please remember that it is unlawful to practice real estate in the District of Columbia without a current DC real estate license. If you missed the August 31 deadline, you may still renew with a late fee; however, you may NOT conduct real estate activities in DC until doing so. Click here
for the DCREC license renewal website.