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May 26, 2014

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
 
Events
  • Memorial Day Today
  • Education Day
        - Earn 6 CEU June 19
  • County Zoning Rewrite Forums
  • FREE MRIS Training Tomorrow at PGCAR
  • Community Service Surveys Due June 4
  • Save Lives - Donate Blood - Tuesday, June 17
  • MD and DC CEU Class Schedule
  • MD Primary Voting Starts June 12

    Homeownership Matters
  • Veterans and Military Homebuyer Savings
        - Homebuyer Applications Due Friday
  • Flood Insurance Program and Rate
        Improvements are Effective Immediately
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: How to Keep Fido
        Out of Your Flowerbed
  •  
    The Industry Insider
  • PGCAR Announces Local Office Primary
        Election Endorsements
  • Contract Alert - Single Family Lease Revision
  • 2014 Real Estate Legislation
  • County Settlements Experienced
        15.3% and 26.2% Increases in April
  • FREE Health Resources to Share
  • REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals
        - NEW Resource!
  • Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Decline,
        Helping Spring Buyers
  • Sales Coach: Make Facebook a Friend
  • Code of Ethics: Case #3-9
  • Call For Entries: Artwork For Juried Art Show     and Silent Auction Due May 30
  • Open a Money Market Savings Account
  • PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications
  •  

    The PGCAR Office is closed today in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. Please remember and honor those who protect our freedom.
    Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day!
      Memorial Day Salute

     
    THURSDAY, JUNE 19
    at La Fontaine Bleue
    Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC Continuing Education
     
    MORNING:
    • MREC Agency - Residential
      3.0 CE, MD Required "H" hours
      Instructor: Fredericka Lloyd
    • DC Fair Housing
      & Predatory Lending

      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Jackie Talpa
    • Financing Issues
      3.0 CE, DC Required & MD Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst
    • Risk Management
      3.0 CE, MD Elective hours
      Instructor: Don Martin
    AFTERNOON:
    • MD Code of Ethics
      3.0 CE, MD Required "D" & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Don Martin
    • DC Legislative Update / Exam Prep
      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Jackie Talpa
    • Contracts
      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Al Monshower
    • Current Mortgage Guidelines
      Made Easy

      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst

    Terrific Courses & Instructors

    Choose One Morning and
    One Afternoon Class

    Breakfast, Lunch and
    Our Famous
    Top-it-as-you-like-it
    Ice Cream Social

    All for Only
    $75 REALTORS® or PGCAR Members
    $100 Non-REALTORS® / Non-Members

    CLICK HERE
    TO REGISTER AND
    TO SELECT YOUR
    CLASSES NOW !

    Click here for a printable flyer.


     
    The Association has been hard at work interviewing candidates in anticipation of the 2014 Primary Election on Tuesday, June 24th. All of the candidates who were interviewed and who responded to our candidate questionnaire offer a wide range of personal and career experience. Unfortunately, elective office is limited to one, so difficult choices had to be made.

    With such strong candidates, there were many issues to consider during our discussions. However, after thorough debate and careful deliberation, PGCAR believes that the candidates listed below best share the REALTOR® vision, and that they possess a deep knowledge of the issues facing our members and the real estate industry. These candidates demonstrated that they understand the issues of concern to the real estate community, homebuyers, sellers and property owners in Prince George's County. Each of these candidates shares a strong commitment to ensure an excellent quality of life in Prince George's County.

    PGCAR is pleased to endorse the listed candidates for local office: Whether in Upper Marlboro, Annapolis, or on Capitol Hill, PGCAR is advocating for you and your clients. We encourage your support of these PGCAR REALTOR® Party endorsed candidates beginning with early voting from June 12th through June 19th, or the official primary election on June 24th.


     

    Additional Savings for Military and Veteran Homebuyers
    Applications Must be Received by This Friday, May 30


    Maryland Homefront provides veterans and active duty military personnel with a special interest rate of 3.50% for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, and up to $5,000 in down payment and closing costs assistance. This Maryland Mortgage Program is scheduled to end THIS Friday, May 30, 2014.

    See program details and important links at www.pgcar.com and the Maryland Homefront website.

     
     

    Prince George's County Zoning Rewrites
    Attend a County Forum to Learn More


    Prince George's County desires to rewrite county zoning regulations to make development regulations easier to understand and more user friendly, to help further increase support of quality development in the county. Attend at least one County Listening Session. There are three dates and locations to choose from: Event Flyer >
    Prince George's County Planning Department website >

     
     

    NEW FORM REVISIONS
    Single Family Lease Revised May 22
    Addendum of Clauses Revised May 12

    The Single Family Lease for Prince George's County, Form 1105, was revised last Thursday, May 22. The updated lease complies with recent changes in County and State legislation.

    PG Form #1301 Addendum of Clauses was revised on Monday, May 12, 2014. This revision corrected a few paragraph cross-references within the document. Do not use the 4/14 revision; update to PG Form #1301 dated 5/14.

    During April, PGCAR revised five other forms, assigned PG Form #1366 to a MAR disclosure form, and deleted a form. Some of the form changes were necessary as a result of County legislation creating a special tax district in Riverdale Park. PLEASE DISCONTINUE USING ANY OLD VERSIONS OF REVISED FORMS. Using outdated forms could result in violations of law.

    Please visit PGCAR Members Only to download the latest forms and see the Summary of Form Changes. These forms have also been updated on ZipForm, a FREE benefit to PGCAR REALTOR® members. Not signed up yet? Login to PGCAR Members Only and sign up today!




     
     


    LEGISLATIVE VICTORY!
    Improvements to National Flood Insurance Program Rules
    and Insurance Premiums Became Effective May 1, 2014


    Thank you for making your voices heard and helping to protect the recovery of Maryland's housing and financial markets!

    Effective May 1, 2014, all buyers of older properties (pre-FIRM*) will see a premium rate reduction under the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. Instead of jumping to "full cost" for flood insurance, buyers will assume the seller's October 2013 rate for a pre-FIRM property.

    NAR prevailed upon FEMA to implement this provision seven months early. FEMA also extended the rate relief so all pre-FIRM properties (including second homes and businesses) will begin paying October 2013 rates when they purchase or renew their flood insurance after May 1, including:
    • ALL buyers of a pre-FIRM property, not just those whose seller has an existing policy
    • ALL recent owners who apply for a new flood insurance policy on a pre-FIRM property
    • ALL recent owners who reinstate an old pre-FIRM policy that previously lapsed for any reason
    • ALL recent owners who renew a policy on a pre-FIRM property bought or newly insured after the 2012 Biggert-Waters law
    While expediting the rate relief, FEMA must still issue refunds to all those who paid more than their October 2013 rate. NAR will continue working with FEMA and Congress to quickly issue these refunds to anyone overcharged for flood insurance under Biggert-Waters.

    Flood Insurance Resources on the Web * Pre-FIRM Building - a building for which construction or substantial improvement occurred on or before December 31, 1974, or before the effective date of an initial Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM).


    2014 REAL ESTATE LEGISLATION
    County and State Legislation
    That Affects Homeowners and YOU


    During the 2014 Maryland General Assembly, PGCAR and MAR followed a number of legislative issues that impact the real estate industry, homeownership, property rights, the environment, and rental properties. To view a full status report, please see www.pgcar.com (login required).

     

    HANDS-ON MRIS TRAINING
    Tomorrow at PGCAR


    Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 27 @ 10:00 am
    MRIS 201: Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS

    Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 27 @ 1:30 pm
    Matrix 201: Customize Matrix to Fit Your Business

    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.

     
     

    Your Volunteer Work Can Help Win $10,000 for Charity
    Help Win Dollars for Charity - Complete the Survey by June 4


    With everything PGCAR members do for the community, PGCAR could win the MAR CARE Award and $10,000 to use for charity! $10,000 could fund FOUR $2,500 scholarships to our graduating students; feed hundreds of families through a food bank; or help numerous other charities - the possibilities are endless. But we can't win if you don't let us know what you're doing!

    Please take a few minutes to tell us how you help your community!
    Forms are due to PGCAR by next Wednesday, June 4.

    Click Here to let us know about YOUR community service >



     
    Save Lives - Donate Blood
    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    When:   Tuesday, June 17
    from 9 am to 2:30 pm
    Where:   PGCAR Office
    9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
    Largo, MD 20774

    Invite friends, family, colleagues - all are welcome!
    You could make all the difference in someone's life!

     

    COUNTY SETTLEMENTS FOR APRIL SEE DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASES

    facebook logo April home sales in Prince George's County showed mixed results, with large increases in the most important category - settlements - and a small decrease in the number of new contracts from March to April.

    In single family homes, new settlements increased an amazing 15.3% from March to April, and new contracts decreased only 1.8% in the same period. In condos and co-ops, new settlements increased from the March figure of 65 to 82 in April - an increase of 26.2% - while new contracts decreased 8.3% in the same period.

    Inventory is holding steady in Prince George's condos and co-ops, while single family homes inventory is increasing. The inventory for single family homes increased 13.6% from March 2014 to April 2014, and increased 14.5% from April 2013 to April 2014.

    See the detailed Prince George's County sales statistics for April at www.pgcar.com/stats.

    Also see these national stories from NAR:
    Mortgage Giant Tweaks 5 Projections for Housing in 2014
    Mortgage Applications Rise 0.9% in Latest Week
    Home Values Expected to Appreciate 4.4% Through End of 2014
    NAR Member Survey Shows Rise in REALTOR® Income and Sales Volume
    April Existing-Home Sales Show Modest Improvement Behind Gaining Inventory


     
    1. 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 >
    2. 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 >
    3. 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 >
    4. $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 >
    5. 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 >
    6. 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 >
    7. 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 >
    8. 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: How to Keep Fido Out of Your Flowerbed
    Tips to Maintain Harmony Between Dog and Garden


    Your dog may be your best friend, but that doesn't mean he won't lose favor when he tramples your tomatoes or digs up your daisies. So how do you keep harmony when Rover wants to roam the great outdoors? There's no need to keep him on a leash if you employ some strategy.

    Try these tricks to deter the dog from dancing on your dahlias:
    • Use white vinegar or apple bitter to spray plants: dogs dislike the pungent aroma.
       
    • Marigolds planted among or around the garden are a natural repellent to dogs as well as a number of insect pests.
       
    • Powdered mustard or red pepper flakes sprinkled around will convince the dog that the plants are distasteful.
       
    • Border your garden with 16-inch-high fencing to keep smaller dogs out.
       
    • Large dogs (or jumpers) can be kept out of the veggie patch with a cage of chicken wire enclosed at the top.
       
    • As an alternative to caging the plants, build Fido a fenced area in which he can play freely.
       
    • When you prune prickly branches like roses or holly, lay them around areas you want protected.
       
    • If your dog tramples the plants, but isn't inclined to gnaw on them, she may just need a path or area of her own. Your solution could be as simple as leaving some space in the garden for her to wander through.
       
    For more information and helpful ideas on protecting plants, please visit visit Houselogic.com.


     

    Share These FREE Health Resources and Tips
    Be Part of the Healthy Revolution!


    Find free resources at the Prince George's County Health Department Healthy Revolution site. Please check out the healthy living, exercise, and eating tips and tools available -- and pass along favorites to your contacts!

     
     

    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR


    All classes are held at PGCAR offices unless otherwise noted.

    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.


    This Wednesday, May 28
    Contracts
    3 MD Elective CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Rachel Jefferies 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.

    This Thursday, May 29
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Bruce Winstead 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.

    Tuesday, June 10 in Upper Marlboro. PGCAR-hosted discounts apply
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Lunch provided at noon
    Larry Hudson 9:00 a.m. - 12 noon

    Wednesday, June 11
    Workforce Housing Certification:
    Three Classes in One Day!

    Required for Workforce Housing Certification
    6 MD Elective CEU
    Fern Dannis 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

    Thursday, June 19 at La Fontaine Bleue
    Education Day / Expo
    Up to 6 hours of
    MD and DC Continuing Education
    various 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Complete CEU Schedule >


    PGCAR Store


     

    REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals
    Resource Booklet Now Available to PGCAR Members


    PGCAR has released the REALTORS® Introductory Guide to Rentals. Whether you manage one rental, specialize in rental property management, or are considering rentals, the Guide includes information useful to you. Here are just a few of the topics covered:

    • Advertising Rental Properties
    • Landlord Tenant Law - Legal Requirements
    • The Rental Application Process
    • Fair Housing Requirements and Resources
    • Treatment of Pets Versus Service Animals
    • Security Deposits
    • Evictions
    • 2014 Legislative Changes Affecting Rentals
    • Resource Links
    • . . . and Much, Much More!
    Download the Rentals Guide at www.pgcar.com Members Only >

    Please note: Minor edits were made on May 7 to clarify "Multiple Applications / Property Status" on page 7.

     
     

    Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Continue Helpful Downward Trend


    Freddie Mac released results last Thursday, May 22, showing downward movement in fixed mortgage rates for a fourth consecutive week, bringing rates near a seven-month low.

    "Mortgage rates continued to decline this week as industrial production [PDF] slipped by 0.6 percent in April, below the market consensus forecast," noted Frank Nothaft, Vice President and Chief Economist of Freddie Mac. "Meanwhile, housing starts [PDF] jumped 13 percent in April to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,072,000 units, well above expectations. Permits rose to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,080,000 in April, also above expectations."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 22, 2014:
    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.14%, down from 4.20%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.25%, down from 3.29%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.96%,down from 3.01%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.43%, same as last week.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    Like us on Facebook to see monthly Prince George's County home sales and weekly mortgage reports as soon as they are released!

     
     

    Sales Coach: Make Facebook a Friend
    What To Do - and Not To Do - on Facebook


    Home Sales Coach REALTORS® need to make and maintain connections consistently. Facebook is a valuable tool to help you connect, but as with other resources, it can be a double-edged sword if not used wisely. When you incorporate Facebook in your marketing, consider the following dos and don'ts:

    Do:
    • Be personal, but not mundane. TMI is, well... TMI*.
    • "Like" pages and posts from clients and friends.
    • Be yourself: show the true you.
    • Allow public access to at least half of your items.
    • Use group lists such as "Locals" and "Clients" to easily communicate with specific types of contacts.
    Don't:
    • Use your personal page to post virtual tours.
    • Allow third parties to auto-post on your page.
    • Promote yourself.
    • Be negative in your comments.
    • Be lax about logging in: check Facebook daily.
    Mindful marketing is what you're going for. Let people know who you are without beating them over the head with your business. For more information about marketing yourself on Facebook, please visit Realtormag.org.

    * Too much information.

     
     

    Case #3-9:
    REALTOR®'s Obligation to Disclose True Nature of Listing Agreement

    REALTOR® A listed the home of Seller X and filed the listing with the Board's MLS categorizing it as an exclusive right to sell listing. REALTOR® A did not disclose that there was a dual rate commission arrangement on this listing, even though the listing contract provided that, should the seller be the procuring cause of sale, the listing broker would receive a commission of $500.00, an amount intended to compensate REALTOR® A for his marketing costs.

    REALTOR® B, a cooperating broker, showed the property several times. Eventually, REALTOR® B brought a signed purchase agreement to REALTOR® A. REALTOR® A returned the purchase agreement the next day, informing REALTOR® B that the seller had rejected the offer. Several weeks later, REALTOR® B learned that the property had been sold, and that the buyer was Seller X's nephew.

    Several months later, REALTOR® B met Seller X at a fund-raising event. Seller X thanked her for her efforts, and told her that, under "normal circumstances," he might have seriously considered the offer she had produced. When asked why the circumstances surrounding this transaction were "unusual," Seller X responded telling her of his agreement "with REALTOR® A to pay a $500.00 commission if Seller X found the buyer. And when my nephew decided to buy the house, I jumped at the chance to save some money."

    When REALTOR® B learned of this arrangement, she filed a complaint with the Board of REALTORS® alleging that REALTOR® A had violated Article 3 of the Code of Ethics. The Executive Officer of the Board referred the complaint to the Grievance Committee, and, after its review, the Grievance Committee referred the complaint back to the Executive Officer indicating that an ethics hearing should be scheduled.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® B, in stating her complaint to the Hearing Panel, said that REALTOR® A's failure to disclose the actual terms and conditions of his listing with Seller X was a misrepresentation. She explained that, had she been aware of this arrangement, she might have decided not to accept REALTOR® A's offer of cooperation, since it might put potential purchasers she would produce in a possibly unfair position.

    REALTOR® A, speaking in his own defense, stated no commission differential would have resulted if the buyer had been procured by either the listing broker or a cooperating broker so whatever other arrangements he had with Seller X were personal and, as listing broker, it was his right to establish the terms and conditions of his relationship with his client.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 3, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >

     
     

    Call For Entries: Artwork For Juried Art Show and Silent Auction
    Submission Deadline is This Friday, May 30


    The Partnership for Housing Foundation (PHF) will hold a juried art show and online art auction to benefit MARYLAND HOME MAKEOVER® and the PHF Endowment Fund. The theme of "Maryland, My Maryland" has been selected and all artwork must portray something about Maryland, featuring any of the following concepts: Urban, Rural, Bay or Shoreline Scenes; Architectural Landmarks / Prominent Buildings; Portraits of a Community; or "Home".

    All artists must be Maryland REALTORS®, REALTOR® staff, or sponsored by a REALTOR® member of the Maryland Association of REALTORS®.

    Art entries must be submitted by this Friday, May 30. The opening reception and live art show will be held on June 27 at the Annapolis Yacht Club.
    Details and artist entry form >


     

    Exercise Your Right - and Your Privilege - to Vote!
    Make Your Voice Heard: Please VOTE!


    Early voting for Maryland's Primary Election will take place Thursday, June 12 through Thursday, June 19, 10 am until 8 pm. Please be sure to cast your vote and make your voice heard.

    If you don't know whether you're registered or need to update your address, check here >

    Important voting dates for the primary and general elections are on the PGCAR Events Calendar, along with links to early voting centers, voting registration forms, and polling locations.

     
     

    Open a Money Market Savings Account
    A REALTORS® FCU Membership Benefit


    This savings account offers a premium rate to members who carry higher savings balances and for whom earning a greater return on their savings is a priority. With three flexible tiers to help you save and rates to reward your higher balance, the FCU's competitive rates beat some of the top banks! Open an account today; just log in to online banking and click on "Open New Account" in the "Accounts" tab.

     
     

    PGCAR and WCR Membership Applications for 2014
    New Agents? Looking for a PGCAR or Local WCR Membership Application?


    Download the 2014 PGCAR Membership Application from www.pgcar.com >
    Women's Council of REALTORS® Prince George's Chapter Membership Application >
    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  :  ©2013 PGCAR

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