2013 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo
Taking Place NOW Through Saturday in DC!
Are YOU participating in the REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo? This is our chance to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. Don't miss out on the special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.
||Today, May 13 - Saturday, May 18
|Capitol Hill Visits:
||Wednesday, May 15 - Thursday, May 16
||Wednesday, May 15 - Thursday, May 16, open 10 am to 6 pm
Midyears are FREE, as always, to REALTOR® members.
Click here to plan your Midyear Schedule, and to register.
Carpool, drive or take Metro to the 2013 Midyear Meetings. The majority of meetings and the Trade Expo are at Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008.
Metro Directions: From New Carrollton, take the Orange Line (towards Vienna) to Metro Center. At Metro Center, transfer to the Red Line (towards Grosvenor / Shady Grove) and ride to the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro Station. The Marriott Wardman Park trade show location (2660 Woodley Road NW) is a 0.06 mile walk from the station.
|Congratulations to the 2013 Winners of the
David Maclin Memorial Scholarship!
of Parkdale High School
plans to attend
George Mason University
in Fairfax, VA
of Friendly High School
plans to attend
Delaware State University
|Travis Latchman of
Charles H. Flowers High School
plans to attend
the University of Maryland,
We are grateful to all of you who participated and
supported this fun and philanthropic event.
Thanks to you, Babila, Amber, Travis, and future scholarship winners
can reach for their dreams as they further their education.
A most sincere THANK YOU also goes to our generous sponsors for the Fun Walk/Run:
Who shall be named Prince George's
REALTOR® OF THE YEAR?
It could be you, or someone you know who
exemplifies leadership and service.
But you first have to submit a nomination!
- Entries must be submitted on PGCAR's official form. MAR will disqualify anyone not using these same questions and format for responses.
- Nominees must sign the application to verify that it is accurate and complete.
- Nominees must be REALTOR® members who provide continuous, dedicated service to the industry to enhance the quality of the profession.
- Supporting information or documentation may be included as an attachment to the entry form.
- Pictures and supportive information are not encouraged.
- Entries that do not follow this format will be disqualified.
- ONE (1) COLOR PHOTO (any size) must be submitted in digital format, as a jpeg or .tif file, to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ROTY and your name.
One ROTY application will be submitted by PGCAR to be entered in the MAR competition. The winner of the State Award will be sent to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for consideration in the national award. Could we see a Prince George's REALTOR® honored in Ocean City or San Francisco this year?
Award Nominations MUST be received by
5 pm on Wednesday, June 5, 2013
via email sent to email@example.com or at the PGCAR office.
POSITIVELY NO LATE SUBMISSIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED!
SentriLock Lockbox sale expires soon! Get yours today!
Pay only $65 each (plus tax) for up to 9 lockboxes; order larger numbers and enjoy even
greater discounts! Power paddles are also discounted to $55 for a limited time. To take
advantage of these great prices, please contact Shirley at the Association office.
GIVE BLOOD - SAVE LIVES
|PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®
Thursday, June 13
9 am to 3 pm
9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
Largo, MD 20774
ALL ARE INVITED
FRIENDS ~ FAMILIES ~ MEMBERS
COME GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE!
New College Park Program Offers up to $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives!
College Park has launched a new promotional program called Live Smart to encourage home sales in the community. The ads tout College Park's affordability and convenient location and the program offers up to $5,000 in incentives to home buyers; additional information is available at collegeparkmd.gov/LiveSmart.
Buy Suitland Program Offers up to $40,000 in Assistance!
Don't keep this a secret: share the Buy Suitland Flyer with clients. This exciting program offers the opportunity to purchase a home in the Suitland Neighborhood Stabilization target area, which includes parts of Suitland, Capital Heights, District Heights, Morningside and Temple Hills.
Through the Buy Suitland Program, income eligible, credit worthy, first time home buyers can receive up to $40,000 in down payment and closing costs assistance to purchase a foreclosure or short sale property.
Review the chart below to see who can qualify for this unique program:
Qualifying Households May Earn Up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI)
|Prince George's County AMI
||1 Person Household
||2 Person Household
||3 Person Household
||4 Person Household
||5 Person Household
||6 Person Household
||7 Person Household
||8 Person Household
For more information on the Buy Suitland program, visit www.pgcar.com – and don't forget to print the Buy Suitland Flyer to share with clients.
- Maryland Homefront - Expires June 30, or When Funds Run Out!
Historically low, reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) and increased payment assistance for qualified current and former military members. Program Details >
- Homebuyer Savings for City of Laurel
Buyers of foreclosed homes receive tax credits. The program offers a five-year descending City tax credit of up to $3500 for buyers purchasing their primary residence within Laurel City limits.
Program Details >
- $30 Million Targeted Areas Initiative for All Homebuyers
First-Time Homebuyers Can Gain Same Benefits in ANY Prince George's County Area
Reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) for qualified homebuyers purchasing a new primary residence. Program Details >
- Buy Suitland Initiative - Savings in 11 Census Tracts!
Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details > Revised Buy Suitland Flyer >
- Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta)
Up to $15,000 toward a foreclosure purchase; Up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a property located in area approved for NSP funds.
Program Details >
- American Dream Downpayment Assistance (ADDI)
Up to $10,000 to County homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years.
Program Details >
- Freddie Mac HomeSteps SmartBuySM
Offers up to $500 for purchase of a home warranty.
Home listings and incentive details > Sign up for homesteps.com buyer leads >
Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at pgcar.com.
Consumer Tip: Mary, Mary, Where do Your Tomatoes Grow?
Vegetables Need Not Be Relegated to Your Back Yard
When we think of vegetable gardens, by and large, our thoughts take us around to the back of a house: the veggies' domain is in the back yard, right?
Not so! Edible plants are now staking their claim in flower gardens, too. Sometimes, a back yard is too small, too dark, or too well-traveled to permit a full vegetable garden, so interspersing your vegetables (and/or fruits) with ornamental plants is an innovative way to grow your own delicious produce while perking up the landscape with surprise. Just think of the range of colors that vegetables will add to your flower beds! And an added benefit: pollinators like butterflies and bees love flowers, and attracting them nearer the vegetables helps to maintain the health of your plants.
Two notes of caution: you must still be mindful of the soil, sun, and care conditions of your veggie plants - be sure to mix them with ornamentals that have similar needs. And do keep aesthetics in mind. If you're regulated by a home owners association - or even if you're not - be sure that what you plant looks attractive from the curb.
For more on edible elements among your echeveria, read this article on Houselogic.com >
2013 REAL ESTATE LEGISLATION
Below is a status report of issues followed by PGCAR and MAR during the 2013 Maryland General Assembly. Representatives of PGCAR frequently traveled to Annapolis to lobby legislators and testify on a number of these issues.
2013 Prince George's County Annapolis Delegation Issues
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs - PGCAR
HB 634 - WSSC - Water Efficiency Tariffed On-Bill Financing Program
STATUS: Failed in Committee
This Bill would have authorized the WSSC to establish a loan program intended to fund a property owner's voluntary installation of water conservation systems. Under the proposal the WSSC would develop a loan program that would have been re-paid by the property owner through their quarterly water bills.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR initially OPPOSED this effort. During debate on the bill the sponsor offered amendments that addressed our concern relative to notification to future property buyers. Following the addition of the amendment PGCAR withdrew opposition and took NO POSITION on the bill.
HB 1285 - Public School Construction Fee and Fund - Authority to Establish and Administer
STATUS: Failed in Committee
This bill would have allowed the Prince George's County Council to establish and collect a tax dedicated to public school construction on certain business establishments.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR initially OPPOSED the bill as it would have had a highly negative effect on small business. After negotiating an amendment to clearly specify that the tax would only apply to large business corporations of 500 or more employees, PGCAR withdrew opposition and took NO POSITION on the bill.
HB 1073 - Financial Literacy Curriculum
STATUS: PASSED, Effective July 1, 2013
This bill authorizes the Board of Education to develop curriculum content for financial literacy education to be offered to all County school students enrolled in the eighth grade.
PGCAR ACTION - SUPPORT. After the housing bubble, REALTORS® quickly realized that many consumers have poor financial literacy skills. As such, REALTORS® nationwide support these efforts.
HB 1433 - School Facility Surcharge
STATUS: PASSED, Effective October 1, 2013
This bill lessens the school facility impact fee by 50% on residential multifamily development within an approved Transit District Overlay Zone (TDO), or within one mile of a Metro Station. It eliminates the fee altogether for studio or efficiency apartments built within a TDO Zone.
PGCAR ACTION - The Association SUPPORTS legislative concepts that incentivize development interest in Prince George's County.
HB 1432 - Public Safety Surcharge
STATUS: PASSED, Effective October 1, 2013
This bill runs in concert with HB 1433 in that it lessens the Public Safety Surcharge applied to development at Metro Stations.
PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR SUPPORT.
SUMMARY OF 2013
STATEWIDE REAL ESTATE LEGISLATION
Maryland Association of REALTORS®
Bill Castelli, Vice President of Government Affairs - MAR
The 2013 Maryland General Assembly considered legislation
impacting real estate in the following areas:
Affordable Housing & Tax Issues : Real Estate Brokerage & Contracts
Common Ownership Communities : Land-use, Property Rights, & the Environment
Property Management : Commercial : Miscellaneous
Click Here for a Complete Summary of
2013 County and State Real Estate Legislation >
Check Out PGCAR's New Grassroots Action Center
At the bottom left of www.pgcar.com, you'll now see a flashing "Take Action" button, which links directly to our new Grassroots Action Center.
This page allows you to quickly and easily respond to PGCAR Calls-to-Action on vital legislative issues and learn more about legislative topics affecting Prince George's County REALTORS®. All you have to do is add your name and address to take action. The Convio system we are using does the rest. It knows your legislative districts and elected officials - allowing you to support and protect your business with ease at those critical moments when we need to make our voices heard.
Click here for more details and to check out the page >
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 association office at 9200 Basil Court, Suite 400, Largo, MD 20774. There's plenty of parking.
Sale on All PGCAR Classes
Hurry! Sale Ends June 28th!
PGCAR Members and REALTORS® - Register NOW, Before Discounts Expire!
Register for ANY 3 CE class for $18 early bird, $33 regular.
Register for ANY 1.5 CE class for $11 early bird, $26 regular.
Hurry to www.pgcar.com/real-estate-ceu today >
Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Reverse Recent Downward Trend
Last Thursday, May 9, results showed fixed-mortgage rates inching higher for the first time in six weeks. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist, noted that April's better-than-expected employment report helped to reverse the recent trend of declining mortgage rates.
"The economy gained 165,000 new jobs on net last month, more than the market consensus forecast and the largest monthly increase this year," said Nothaft, "On top of that, revisions added 114,000 more jobs to February and March as well. All of these factors allowed the unemployment rate to fall to 7.5 percent in April, the lowest since December 2008."
Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 9, 2013:
Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.42%, up from 3.35%.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.61%, up from 2.56%.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.58%, up from 2.56%.
- The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.53%, down from 2.56%.
Sales Coach: Don't Make the Mistake of Not Listening
Let's face it: we ALL have a lot going on, and there are a multitude of distractions around us: in addition to the noise inside our heads, there's the phone, the texts, the tweets, the construction cacophony in the street, the neighbor who keeps tapping his pencil... It can be maddening! But it's not as maddening as losing a client because you just didn't listen effectively.
To help you become a pro at hearing what clients (and others) have to say, practice these tips:
It does take effort to listen well, but it's effort well spent. Your relationship with clients is key to your success, and listening - truly listening - is essential to your client relationships. And it may just delight your family and friends, too! Pay attention to the old quote, "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."
- Give all of your attention to your client.
- Pay attention to the content, context, and subtext of the conversation.
- Finish listening before you think about your response.
- Listen actively - restate what you're hearing.
Read this article for more information on effective listening skills.
Case #10-3: Equal Professional Services by the REALTOR®
REALTOR® A was contacted by Prospect C, a female head of household, concerning a home for sale which was advertised during the previous week in the newspaper's classified real estate section. When informed by REALTOR® A that the home in question had already been sold, Prospect C asked to be shown homes in the $80,000 to $90,000 price range with three bedrooms and located near schools and playgrounds. REALTOR® A proceeded to show Prospect C a number of homes which met her stated criteria for price range, size, and location, but Prospect C was interested in none of them.
Shortly thereafter, Prospect C filed a complaint with the Board of REALTORS® against REALTOR® A, complaining that he had violated Article 10 of the Code of Ethics by failing to offer equal professional service to her because she was a woman. Prospect C contended that she did not receive the same professional service from REALTOR® A that would have been afforded to a male head of household and home seeker with the same criteria for price range, size, and location.
The complaint was referred to the Grievance Committee and after its preliminary review and evaluation, the Grievance Committee referred to its Secretary and directed that a hearing be arranged before a Hearing Panel of the Professional Standards Committee. The Secretary made the necessary arrangements and provided the proper notices and opportunity for response by REALTOR® A.
At the hearing, Prospect C expressed her complaint and concluded by saying, "It was obvious to me that REALTOR® A discriminated against me because I am a woman. In my opinion, he showed little interest in helping me find a home."
REALTOR® A responded that he was sorry Prospect C had that opinion, but that certainly he held no such attitude as charged. REALTOR® A advised the Hearing Panel that he routinely utilized a contact report for each prospect which includes identification information on the clients, provides data on price range, type of house and location preferred by the prospect, and records the homes shown to the prospect with the information on the price, type, and location of each home shown. REALTOR® A presented several such reports from his files including the report pertaining to Prospect C. Prospect C's report showed that several homes shown to her met the data supplied by her.
Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 10, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >
REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
Personal and Professional Lines of Credit
Whether you're consolidating higher interest debt, investing in home or business improvements, spreading tuition or annual dues payments, or simply opening a line of credit "just in case", you can cover it with a REALTORS® Federal Credit Union line of credit or personal loan.
Apply for personal or professional loans and find out more about great offers here >
Sign Regulations and Other Great REALTOR® Resources
Need information? You might want to try looking in the links section of our REALTOR® Resources page. You'll find links to relevant news outlets, government associations, and frequently requested information like Do's and Don'ts for Unlicensed Assistants and Real Estate Sign Posting Regulations.
REALTOR® Resources >
Good Neighbor Nominations Due NEXT Monday, May 20!
Five Winners will Receive $10,000 Grants and National Publicity
Time is running out to nominate your peers for the 2013 Good Neighbor Awards, which recognize REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make local communities better places to live.
If a REALTOR® you know is making a difference in the community, show your support by nominating them today!
Deadline for entry is NEXT Monday, May 20.
Click here for more details. Click here for rules and an entry form.
WANTED: NAR Committee Volunteers
Applications Due By Next Friday, May 24
Be sure to nominate a worthy colleague - or yourself! - for a NAR committee in 2014. Login is required for nomination.
NAR Committee Details and Nomination Form >