Earn the Maryland Short Sale Certification This Thursday
Early Bird Pricing Ends Today
This one-day program gives you the knowledge to successfully navigate short sales while staying compliant with new regulations including the MARS Act. ALL real estate licensees involved in any aspect of short sales MUST COMPLY with the Act.
How do you know if you're in compliance?
How do you protect yourself and avoid penalties of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment?
PGCAR is here to help!
Join us this Thursday, March 20
9 am - 3 pm at PGCAR
Only $195 through TODAY, March 17 / $225 after today
Register now at www.pgcar.com >
GRI 100 Series Begins April 9
Improve your industry knowledge and your income! Earn your GRI by taking the GRI 100, 200 and 300 Series in any order.
Register for the entire GRI 100 or individual classes at www.pgcar.com.
||Saturday, April 12
(RAIN OR SHINE)
||9 - 11:30 am 5K Fun Walk/Run
8 - 8:45 am Registration & Packet Pickup
||Marlboro Ridge Club House
||$25 - adults, $5 - children under 12
$30 for adult registrations after April 4
and Race Day
Give Blood and Save Lives!
PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive® on Wednesday, April 16th. Plan to join us, and tell your friends, family, and colleagues as well: all are invited to come give the gift of life!
||Wednesday, April 16th
from 9 am to 2:30 pm
9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
Largo, MD 20774
||YOU - and anyone else who wants to give the gift of life!
There's no need to make an appointment; just drop in at your convenience between 9 am and 2:30 pm.
Be a hero: blood donors save lives!
You are Invited to the
Women's Council of REALTORS®
36th Annual Prayer Breakfast
Good Friday, April 18
8:00 am Registration * 8:30 am Breakfast / Program
Marlboro Ridge Clubhouse
11401 Marlboro Ridge Road, Upper Marlboro, MD
Invite your family and friends to join us as we meet in fellowship with co-workers and associates to give thanks together on Good Friday.
EVERYONE is Welcome!
Save the Date and Spread the Word!
Senate and House Pass the Flood Insurance Affordability Act
President Obama Expected to Sign Quickly
On Tuesday, March 4, an amended Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (H.R. 3370) was passed by the House with a vote of 306 - 91. Last Thursday, March 13, the Senate also approved H.R. 3370, with a vote of 72 - 22. The Senate acted quickly to pass the bill as amended by the House to avoid the need for a conference committee to reconcile any differences. The amended bill further corrects issues with implementation of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.
Some of the changes in the House bill include:
Read more about this important issue:
- Removing FEMA's authority to increase premium rates inordinately when a property is sold or a flood map is updated.
- Limiting annual rate increases to 18% on individual policies.
- Once again grandfathering properties that are built to code.
- Refunding the excessive premium to policyholders who purchased a property before FEMA issued warnings of the rate increase.
- Balancing treatment of property owners and prospective buyers to restore real estate market stability.
Top 10 Things for REALTORS® to Know About Tax Reform Proposal
REALTORS® Oppose Plan to Limit MID
On Wednesday, February 26, House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) released his long-awaited plan to reform the federal tax system. NAR president Steve Brown expressed the association's strong opposition and extreme disappointment in a statement released shortly after the proposal was unveiled. . .
"NAR supports reforms that promote economic growth, but we strongly oppose severely altering the rules that govern ownership and investment in real estate. Real estate powers almost one-fifth of the U.S. economy, employs more than 17 million Americans, and contributes a quarter of all federal and state tax revenue and as much as 70 percent of local taxes."
NAR's Legislative Policy Team has reviewed the 2,000+ page document to evaluate the potential impact on real estate, both on residential and commercial, contained in the "discussion draft."
"We are extremely disappointed with several of the provisions contained in U.S. House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp's tax reform draft released today, namely proposed limits on the mortgage interest deduction and capital gains, and the repeal of deductions for state and local property taxes. These proposed changes to the taxation of real estate will impact every single American, either directly or indirectly."
"NAR will carefully analyze the details of the Chairman's plan so we can best educate Congress and the public about how this plan would impact the owners, consumers, and producers of both residential and commercial real estate."
Maryland Senate Unanimously Passes Bill to Overturn 2012 "Pit Bull Legislation"
The Maryland Senate unanimously passed S.B 247 that overturns the 2012 ruling that deemed pit bulls to be "inherently dangerous."
S.B. 247 passed by a 45-0 vote. On Friday, February 28, the Senate unanimously approved a bill to hold dog owners liable if their pet (regardless of breed) bites someone, unless they can prove they did not know it could happen. Similar legislation (H.B. 73, introduced by Del. Luiz Simmons, D-17) is awaiting action by the House of Delegates.
Humane Society, February 28: MD Senate Praised for Passage of Compromise Legislation for Maryland Dogs >
- My HOME / My HOME II Program
Up to 5% or $20,000 in Homebuyer Incentives!
Program offers up to 5% of sale price (through My HOME) of a primary residence anywhere in Prince George's County; up to $20,000 (through My HOME II) within targeted zip codes. Program details >
- College Park Live Smart Program
Up to $5,000 in Homebuyer Incentives!
College Park's program highlights affordability and convenient location to encourage home sales in the community, offering up to $5,000 in incentives to home buyers. 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 $3,500 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
$40,000 Maximum in Downpayment & Closing Cost Savings!
Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers or those who haven't owned within the last 3 years; 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 Initiative (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: Make the Grass Greener on YOUR Side of the Fence
Leave the Envy to Your Neighbor
If this winter's polar vortex has noticeably shocked the cortex of your grass, you'll need to take action to ensure that your lawn is lush and verdant, come summer. Ice, salt, and sub-zero temperatures can all take a toll on greenery; damage will become evident when temperatures warm, as patches you expect to turn green in spring, well... don't.
First, test to see whether the grass is dead or simply dormant by tugging on the brown areas. If they resist your tug, they're likely to revive, but if they pull up easily, you've got dead grass in (and on) your hands.
Try these tips for restoring verdancy to your winter-worn turf:
When trying to establish new grass, moisture is key, so be sure you're watering well (but not drowning the seeds). Consistent care of the new growth will help to ensure your lush carpet of green (and your neighbor's green eye) when summer arrives.
- Wait until soil temperatures reach 50-65 degrees and nighttime lows are above 35, after the chance of frost has passed.
- Use a spade to cut around the dead patches, then pull up those patches. They can go to the compost pile, if you have one.
- If you can afford sod, which is more costly than seed but easier to care for and establish, lay sod over the dead patches. Otherwise...
- Use a rake to distribute grass seed on the exposed soil.
- Keep soil moist by misting lightly with water for 15 minutes a day.
- Water deeply when you see the seed germinate; do not allow it to dry out.
- As young grass begins to grow, feed it with a high-phosphorous fertilizer.
- Begin cutting grass only after it grows to 3 inches.
For more information about caring for your lawn and landscape, please visit Houselogic.com >
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!
INCLEMENT WEATHER / SNOW POLICY:
SNOW POLICY: PGCAR classes
will be conducted as scheduled unless the Prince George's County Government offices are closed. If you are registered for a class and it is cancelled, your registration fee will be returned or transferred to a future class.
Please be safe and use your best judgment with regards to driving. If unable to attend due to weather, please e-mail Scott Miller or call Scott at 301-306-7961 and you will not be charged. If you will not be attending class, please indicate whether you would like to reschedule or if you would like a refund.
PGCAR committee meetings: If Prince George's County Public Schools are CLOSED, all PGCAR committee meetings will be cancelled. If Prince George's County Public Schools are on a delayed schedule, committee meetings will be held as scheduled.
PGCAR offices will be open unless the Prince George's County Government is closed.
Remember! Enjoy Savings on CEU at PGCAR!
PGCAR Members and REALTORS® - Enjoy steep discounts on ALL classes held at PGCAR!
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 >
Obama FY 2015 Budget Includes $100 Million for Purple Line
Proposed 16-Mile New Carrollton-to-Bethesda Light Rail Line Receives
FTA Nod of Approval
The proposed FY 2015 federal budget released March 4 by President Obama includes funding of 7 Federal Transit Administration "New Starts" projects, including $100M for the proposed Purple Line which would extend from New Carrollton in Prince George's County to Bethesda in Montgomery County.
While the proposed budget will undergo extensive review and negotiations within Congress, it shows FTA's prioritization of public transportation initiatives.
Keep up with the Purple Line project at www.purplelinemd.com.
Read more at The Washington Post.
Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Change Course Again, Edge Back Up
Last Thursday, March 13, Freddie Mac released results that showed fixed mortgage rates inching up again after last week's mild decline.
Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft, noted that mortgage rates rose ever-so-slightly amid the week's light economic reports.
"Of the few releases, the economy added 175,000 jobs [PDF] in February, which was above the market consensus forecast and followed an upward revision of 25,000 jobs for the prior two months," observed Nothaft. "Meanwhile, the unemployment rate nudged up to 6.7 percent, the first rate increase in over a year."
Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending March 13, 2014:
Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.37%, up from 4.28%.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.38%, up from 3.32%.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.09%, up from 3.03%.
- The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.48%, down from 2.52%.
Commercial Real Estate Investors Cautiously Optimistic for 2014
Commercial real estate investments are expected to produce generally solid returns in 2014, according to the authors of Expectations & Market Realities in Real Estate 2014 - The Future Unfolds, an annual forecast report released by Deloitte, NAR, and the Real Estate Research Corporation (RERC).
Research findings indicate that although uncertainties remain, the economy is expected to continue to grow slowly and improve modestly in 2014. Ample liquidity is creating investment potential. Furthermore, commercial real estate investment has expanded beyond the primary markets (big cities such as New York, DC and San Francisco) to the secondary and tertiary markets (suburban areas and inland cities).
In addition, the report carefully analyzes and offers a research-based assessment of the office, industrial, apartment, retail, and hotel property sectors. The report also provides an outlook for the three most likely economic and investment scenarios for 2014 and beyond.
Download the full report >
Read the news release >
Read a short intro >
Sales Coach: Who's Defeating You? You!
10 Things You Should Stop Saying to Yourself
Words matter. Despite what we said about sticks and stones as kids, what we hear and what we say can make a big difference to ourselves and others. Words can inspire, empower, encourage, or... they can cut us down. And it's what we say to ourselves that matters most.
There are 10 common phrases that we REALTORS® use to defeat ourselves. Take these out of your vernacular now, and see what a difference it makes:
Now that you're thinking about these 10 phrases, take time to think about what else you're saying to defeat yourself. Stop saying those things, too, and switch to empowering yourself. Naturally, you'll use words to do that.
- I'll (insert task here) when I'm not so busy.
- I'm not getting enough leads from my broker.
- My leads haven't been very good.
- Technology is too confusing.
- Marketing/an assistant/coaching just costs too much.
- I have no appointments today.
- Clients don't want to be "sold."
- My client was stolen by another agent.
- Buyers lie.
- The client listed with another agent because I wouldn't reduce my commission.
For more information about why you should avoid these, please visit Realtor.org >
Knowing or Reckless False Statements About Competitors
REALTOR® A operated a residential brokerage firm in a highly competitive market area. He frequently used information from the MLS as the basis for comparative ads and to keep close track of his listing and sales activity as well as his competition.
One day, while reviewing MLS data and comparing it to a competitor's ad, REALTOR® A noticed that REALTOR® Z had used a diagram to demonstrate his market share, contrasting it with those of several other firms. The ad showed that REALTOR® A had listed 10% of the properties in the MLS over the past three months.
REALTOR® A thought this was low. His analysis of MLS data showed his market share was 11%. REALTOR® A filed an ethics complaint against REALTOR® Z citing Article 15 of the Code of Ethics in that REALTOR® Z's "obviously understated market share claim" was a "misleading statement about competitors." REALTOR® A's complaint was considered by the Grievance Committee which determined that an ethics hearing should be held.
At the hearing, REALTOR® Z testified he had always been truthful in his advertising and that all claims were based in fact. He produced an affidavit from the Board's MLS administrator which indicated that a programming error had resulted in miscalculations and, after careful recomputation, REALTOR® A's market share over the past three months had been 10.9%. The administrator's statement noted that this was the first time that information related to REALTOR® A's listings or sales had been misstated on the system. "I relied on information from the MLS. It's always been accurate and I had no reason to even suspect it was wrong last month," said REALTOR® Z in his defense.
The Hearing Panel agreed with REALTOR® Z's logic, noting that a REALTOR® should be able to rely on generally accurate information from reliable sources. They reasoned that if, on the other hand, the MLS had shown REALTOR® A having, for example, 1% of the market, then REALTOR® Z's reliance on the information would have been "reckless" because REALTOR® A had generally had a 10-15% market share and a reasonable conclusion would have been that the information from the MLS was seriously flawed.
Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 15, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >
HANDS-ON MRIS TRAINING
FREE at PGCAR
Tomorrow, March 18 @ 9:30 am
MATRIX 301: Success with Stats
Tomorrow, March 18 @ 1:00 pm
MATRIX 102: CMA's, Present Listings with Confidence
Tomorrow, March 18 @ 3:00 pm
MRIS 301: What's New & What's Coming
MRIS reports that agents who take advantage of their FREE workshops, also tend to seldom receive complaints and fines for misuse of the MLS. Visit www.mris.com/training for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.
Leveraging Your Credit Union
Free Webinar Next Thursday, March 27 at 10 am
Join Victoria Gillespie, National Director of Business Development of REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, as she walks you through the many free products and services available to maximize your financial planning, as a licensed REALTOR®.
Just to name a few:
and so much more from a Credit Union designed to meet the unique needs of REALTORS®.
- Dues Savings Plans
- Professional Development Lines of Credit
- Debt Management Strategies
- Money Management Strategies
- Tips to Managing a Fluctuating Income
Register for the webinar here >
Join the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union here >
2015 NAR Leadership Academy
Applications Accepted Through March 31
Are you already actively involved, have a passion for the industry and a vision for the future of real estate? If this describes you, consider applying for the 2015 graduating class of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy.
Details and application >
November 2014 - May 2015 Academy Sessions >
Application deadline is Monday, March 31, 2014
Some people dream of great accomplishments, while others stay awake and do them. - Author Unknown
REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo is May 12th - 17th
||May 12 - 17
|Capitol Hill Visits:
||May 14 - 15
||May 14 - 15
The REALTOR® Party Convention & Trade Expo (renamed from NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo) will be Monday through Saturday, May 12th through 17th in Washington, DC. The Trade Expo will be open Wednesday and Thursday, 10 am to 6 pm both days.
Come together and take an active role to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. Join fellow REALTORS® for a variety of meetings and events including: special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.
Registration is still FREE to REALTOR® members.
For more information, to plan your Convention Schedule, and to register, click here.
REALTOR® Magazine Seeks Good Neighbor Nominations
Five Winners will Receive $10,000 Grants and National Publicity
REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2014 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live.
If a REALTOR® you know is putting forth the effort to make a difference in the community, help their cause by nominating them today!
Deadline for entry is Friday, May 16.
Click here for details, rules and an entry form.
PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications for 2014
New Agents? Looking for a PGCAR or Local WCR Membership Application?
Download the New 2014 PGCAR Membership Application from www.pgcar.com >
Women's Council of REALTORS® Prince George's Chapter Membership Application >
Membership Renewals Past Due
Brokers and non-paid Agents - January 31 was the deadline to pay 2013 - 2014 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.