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November 11, 2015


    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
 
Events & Industry Insider Info
  • November Holidays - Veterans Day and Thanksgiving
  • Legislative Breakfast - December 3
  • 7th Annual PGCAR Holiday Charity Event - December 9
  • 2015 / 2016 Membership Renewals were Due October 1
  • Call to Action: Support New Amendment Removing Use of Mortgage Fees to Fund Transportation
  • What Impact Does Your RPAC Contribution Make Locally?
  • Congratulations to our Newly Elected 2015 / 2016 PGCAR Officers & Directors, Award Winners and Leadership
  • MD and DC CEU at PGCAR
  • Maryland State Contract and Several Other Form Revisions - Now in Effect
  • ALERT: Real Estate Transactions are Being Targeted by Wire and Email Fraudsters
        Here's Some Security Warnings and Tips
  • Making Home Affordable (MHA) - Free Training Webinars
  • Membership Applications, Including PGCAR's NEW Affiliate Membership Program!


  • Consumer's Corner
  • Average 30-Year Fixed Mortgage Rates Rise, Still Below 4%
  • News You Should Know
  • October Home Contracts Rise, Settlements Decline from September; 2015 Sales Well Above 2014


  • NOVEMBER HOLIDAYS

    November 11 is Veterans Day - PGCAR offices are closed today, November 11, in observance of Veterans Day. Please join us in saluting our Veterans, those serving now, and our Military Families. We appreciate your service and your many sacrifices!

    Thanksgiving Holiday - November is the month to show our gratitude. PGCAR will also be closed on Thursday, November 26 and Friday, November 27 to celebrate Thanksgiving.


    8 am
    8:30 am
    9 am
      Coffee and Registration
    Breakfast Starts
    Program Promptly Begins

    One small yet powerful way we can all make a difference, is being involved politically. In many cases, it is as simple as showing up and being informed. Please rally your office to attend the Annual Legislative Breakfast on Thursday, December 3.

    Every day, our legislators make decisions impacting OUR business,
    and the economy of our County and State. Attend, become more informed about today's issues, meet and discuss important matters affecting our County, and show the strength of the PGCAR Community.

    TO HAVE INFLUENCE, BE INTERESTED AND INVOLVED.

    Just $20 per person ~ including a complete breakfast.
    Please register by midnight Friday, November 20 >
    PGCAR Prince George's County Government Guide

    Do you know who your Prince George's County legislators are?
    Be in the know with our recently updated County Government leadership guide >

    There's been recent changes in our County Government Leadership, with Elizabeth G. (Susie) Proctor succeeding her late husband James Proctor, Jr. as a Maryland General Assembly Delegate for District 27A, and Carlo Sanchez being appointed to replace former Delegate Will Campos as a Maryland General Assembly Delegate for District 47B.
    7th Annual PGCAR Holiday Charity Event
    Help raise funds to feed Prince George's County families who are in need!
    Net proceeds raised from this event will be donated to the Public Safety Assistance Program of Prince George's County. Our donations will provide much needed food items for local families. As a thank you, you will receive an evening of Networking, Fun, Food, Entertainment and Dancing at La Fontaine Bleue.

    Purchase tickets, or click here to be recognized as a sponsor.

    SPONSORS - You must sign up by November 25 (the day before Thanksgiving), so you can be recognized in the program and other print materials at the event.
    Thank you for your help and participation!
    Gold Sponsors:
    Silver Sponsor:
    Bronze Sponsors:
    Band / DJ Sponsored by
    Open Bar Sponsored by
    Photographer Sponsored by
    Tickets/Programs Sponsored by
    Cash Sponsors:
    Decorative Balloon Columns Sponsored by


    Skip the late fee. Renew by November 30
    Dues were due and payable as of October 1, 2015.
    A $75 late fee will be charged after midnight Monday, November 30.
    Dues are online and easy to pay at www.pgcar.com/dues.

    Skip the late fee. Renew by November 30 Renew at www.pgcar.com as Easy as 1-2-3:
    1. Click here
    2. Log in
    3. Renew online and receive receipt!
    Visit pgcar.com to renew now.
    Renew online to receive an itemized receipt, and
    show dues payment on your PGCAR Order History.

    Thank you for being a part of PGCAR!





    Last week, the House of Representatives voted 354 to 72, to amend the highway bill and remove the use of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac's credit risk guarantee fees (g-fees) to fund transportation.

    What is a Guarantee Fee (G-Fee)?  GSE guarantee fees are charged by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae to lenders for bundling, selling, and guaranteeing the payment of principal and interest on their Mortgage Backed Securities. These fees are passed on to mortgage seekers by the lender and add to the cost of obtaining a mortgage. NAR strongly believes that adding new taxes to g-fees would also prevent Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac from effectively managing their risk.

    What Impact Does Your RPAC Contribution Make Locally?
    2015 (So far)
    • Defeated the $.15 countywide property tax increase.
    • Defeated a proposal to implement a six-month moratorium on foreclosures in Prince George's County.
    • Corrected legislation that would have prohibited "open house" signs in public rights-of-way.
    2014
    • Passed legislation to reduce the interest rate on rental security deposits and streamline the handling of deposit returns.
    • Endorsed and supported REALTOR® friendly candidates in the 2014 elections, winning 10 out of 11 local Primary races.
    • Defeated rent density restrictions that would prohibit the issuance of rental licenses for single-family units less than 800 feet apart in certain "overlay" zones.
    • Partnered with landlords to overturn rent control in College Park.
    • Stopped efforts to apply transfer and recordation taxes to front foot benefit declarations.
    • Defeated a proposal to implement a six-month moratorium on foreclosures in Prince George's County.
    • Passed legislation that will lead to the creation of a records management system to track and identify front foot benefit fees for all properties.
    2013
    • Defeated efforts to mandate energy usage audits at property transfer.
    Congratulations to our Newly Elected 2015 / 2016 PGCAR Officers & Directors, Award Winners and Leadership

    PGCAR Awards & Leadership Recognition

    AT A GLANCE: NEXT-UP CEU AT PGCAR

    PGCAR members save BIG!
    Early bird registration is only $18 for 3 CEU classes and $11 for 1.5 CEU classes.
    Thursday, November 12
    Short Sales - 3 MD Elective CEU
    Monday, November 16
    MREC Agency - Residential - 3 MD Required CEU; Required Every 2-year Renewal Cycle as of October 1, 2015
    Wednesday, November 18
    MD Legislative Update - 3 MD Required & DC Elective CEU
    MD Fair Housing - 1.5 MD Required & DC Elective CEU
    Thursday, November 19
    MD Code of Ethics - 3 MD Required & DC Elective CEU
    Thursday, December 1
    MREC Required Supervision - 3 MD Required or Elective CEU; Required Every 2-year Renewal Cycle for Brokers, Office Managers and Team Leads as of October 1, 2015
    See the complete schedule and register at www.pgcar.com >
    FORM REVISIONS AND A FORM ADDITION - NOW IN EFFECT
    Maryland State Contract and Several Other Forms Have Changed

    To access the listed MAR form revisions and ALL MAR forms, ZipForm users should seek out these directories under the forms library:
    • the MDAR Directory - includes the MAR Sales Contract, addendums, disclosures and more
    • the NEW MDARBF (Brokerage Forms) Directory - includes the MAR listing forms and related broker documents

    At Dotloop, all MAR forms are located under the Maryland Association of REALTORS® dashboard.

    Additionally, PGCAR is pleased to advise that we will continue to offer ZipForms to our members as a benefit of membership. To sign up for this PGCAR Membership Benefit, just log in at PGCAR Members Only and follow the ZipForm link. As always, links to MAR forms and to ZipForm are prominently displayed at www.pgcar.com/membersonly/forms.

    Revised and New Forms for October 2015
    Summary of Changes and Practice Tips

    The listed MAR forms have been modified or added as indicated below.
    All Changes are Reflected in the Forms Dated October 2015.


    MAR Contracts
    1. MAR Residential Contract of Sale

      Paragraph 9 (Financing) - A check box was added for the new USDA Financing Addendum.
      Practice Tip: The language contained in the new USDA Financing Addendum mirrors the language contained in both the VA and FHA addenda. There are different fees such as the Rural Housing Guarantee Fee. To obtain additional information about USDA loan programs, you may go to: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services.

      Paragraph 10 (Financing Application and Commitment) - A technical correction was made to line 2 of this provision.

      Paragraph 17 (Addenda / Disclosures) - A technical correction was made to the title of the Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Program Disclosure.

      Paragraph 37 (Property Owner's Title Insurance) - This paragraph was inserted in response to the new RESPA / TILA regulations effective October 3, 2015. Here, buyer and seller expressly agree that cost estimates for owner's title insurance be based on enhanced coverage rates. The provision reiterates that buyer is not obligated to purchase either standard or enhanced coverage.
      Practice Tip: As stated above, buyers of residential property have the option of purchasing standard or enhanced title insurance. It has long been the custom and practice of lenders and most title companies to base cost estimates on enhanced coverage for residential transactions. The CFPB recently indicated that the practice of basing cost estimates using enhanced coverage will no longer be allowed unless the contract of sale specifically states that cost estimates be based on enhanced coverage rates.

      Paragraph 46 (Wetlands Notice) - This provision was revised to more accurately reflect the Army Corps of Engineers' and the state's jurisdiction and permitting requirements.

      Page 10 (Information Provided for Reference only) - In response to the new RESPA / TILA regulations referenced above, this section was modified to include the listing and selling brokers' license numbers. Additionally, several check boxes were removed.
    2. Unimproved Land Contract of Sale

      Paragraph 45 (Wetlands Notice) - This provision was revised to more accurately reflect the Army Corps of Engineers' and the state's jurisdiction and permitting requirements.

      Page 9 (Information Provided for Reference only) - This section was modified to include the listing and selling brokers' license numbers. Additionally, several check boxes were removed.

    MAR Contract Addenda
    1. MAR As Is Addendum (Paragraph 1) – The sentence stating that Buyer understands and agrees that Seller shall have no obligation to make repairs was deleted from the Addendum.
      Practice Tip: The MAR As Is Addendum stipulates that the Property is sold in "As Is" condition as of the Date of Contract Acceptance. This means that if there is any damage to the property that occurs between the time the contract is formed and settlement, Seller is obligated to repair that damage.
    2. Conventional Financing Addendum (Paragraph 7 - Appraisal Contingency) – The words "by Buyer" were removed from the third sentence of Paragraph 7.
      Practice Tip: The words "by Buyer" were removed as the lender orders the appraisal.
    3. Resale of Condominium Unit Acknowledgment – The seller initial lines were removed from the bottom of page 1.
    4. Property Inspections Notice – The buyer & seller initial lines were removed from the bottom of page 1.

    New Form
    1. USDA Financing Addendum
      Practice Tip: The loan details are specified in Paragraph 1. Much of the remaining language in the Addendum mirrors the language contained in the VA and FHA addenda. To obtain additional information about USDA loan programs, you may go to: http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services.

    MAR Brokerage Forms
    1. Exclusive Buyer / Tenant Representation Agreement (Paragraph 5 - Buyer Responsibilities) – This paragraph was modified to include a provision discussing the "Coming Soon" status in MRIS.
      Practice Tip: MRIS added a "Coming Soon" listing status that can be used for listings that are being prepared for showing. If an owner selects this status, the listing agent must enter an expected on-market date in MRIS that can be no later than 21 days from when the listing was submitted to MRIS. The "Coming Soon" status will automatically update to active on the expected on-market date if not made active sooner. Listings in "Coming Soon" status are not displayed on public websites. For additional information regarding the "Coming Soon" status, you may go to: http://mrisblog.com/blog/coming-soon-listing-status-is-coming-soon/.
    2. Exclusive Right to Lease Residential Brokerage Agreement (Paragraph 7 - Marketing, MLS, Internet Advertisement) – This paragraph was modified to include a provision discussing the "Coming Soon" status in MRIS.
    3. Exclusive Right to Sell Residential Brokerage Agreement (Paragraph 7 - Marketing, MLS, Internet Advertisement) – This paragraph was modified to include a provision discussing the "Coming Soon" status in MRIS.
    4. Exclusive Right to Sell Unimproved Land Brokerage Agreement (Paragraph 7 - Marketing, MLS, Internet Advertisement) – This paragraph was modified to include a provision discussing the "Coming Soon" status in MRIS.

    General Residential Dwelling Lease Template
    1. Paragraph 33B (Maryland Lead Poisoning Prevention Program) – A technical correction was made to line 2 of this provision.
    2. Page 11 (Information Provided for Reference only) – Several check boxes were removed.
    ALERT: REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS ARE BEING TARGETED BY WIRE FRAUD

    Important Email SCAM ALERT from MRIS:
    MRIS has learned that email scammers have copied recent MRIS fraud alert messages, and added their own text to the bottom of the message asking MRIS customers to click on a link and log in to scan their computers for viruses. THIS IS A SCAM. MRIS will never ask you to click on any link to scan your computer. MRIS will also never ask you to log in by clicking on a link contained within an email message. Read more >

    Fraud Alert - Wire Fraudsters Targeting Real Estate Transactions Real estate professionals have reported an upswing in email scam in recent months. A hacker will break into a licensee's email account to obtain information about upcoming real estate transactions. After monitoring the account to determine the likely timing of a close, the hacker will send an email to the buyer, posing either as the title company representative or as the licensee. The fraudulent email will contain new wiring instructions or routing information, and will request that the buyer send transaction-related funds accordingly. Since the hacker may already have detailed and accurate information pertaining to the real estate transaction, the request for funds may contain legitimate information and look authentic. Unfortunately, some buyers have fallen for this scheme, and have lost money.

    This particular scheme is only one of many forms of online fraud. In protecting yourself, your clients and all parties to a real estate transaction from cybercrime, please consider the following guidance:
    1. Never send wire transfer information via email. For that matter, never send any sensitive information via email, including banking information, routing numbers, PINS, or any other financial information.
    2. Inform clients from day one about your email and communication practices, and alert them to the possibility of fraudulent activity. Explain that you will never send, or request that they send, sensitive information via email.
    3. If you have no choice but to send information about a transaction via email, make sure to use encrypted email. Many people falsely believe email is secure. Email is NOT SECURE unless encrypted.
    4. If you receive a suspicious email, do not open it. If you have already opened it, do not click on any links contained in the email. Do not open any attachments. Do not call any numbers listed in the email. Do not reply to the email.
    Prevention
    • Never send wire transfer information via email. For that matter, never send any sensitive information via email, including banking information, routing numbers, PINS, or any other financial information.
    • Inform clients from day one about your email and communication practices, and alert them to the possibility of fraudulent activity. Explain that you will never send, or request that they send, sensitive information via email.
    • Prior to wiring any funds, the wirer should contact the intended recipient via a verified telephone number and confirm that the wiring information is accurate. Do not rely on telephone numbers or website addresses provided within an unverified email, as fraudsters often provide their own contact information and set up convincing fake websites in furtherance of their schemes.
    • If a situation arises in which you have no choice but to send information about a transaction via email, make sure to use encrypted email. Many people falsely believe email is secure. Email is NOT SECURE unless encrypted.
    • If you receive a suspicious email, do not open it. If you have already opened it, do not click on any links contained in the email. Do not open any attachments. Do not call any numbers listed in the email. Do not reply to the email.
    • More prevention tips in complete article >
    Damage Control
    If you believe your email or any other account has been hacked, you should take the following steps:
    • Immediately change all usernames and passwords associated with any account that you believe may have been compromised or otherwise made vulnerable by the attack.
    • Contact any clients or other parties who may have been exposed during the attack so that they take appropriate action. Remind them not to comply with any requests from an unverified source.
    • Report any fraudulent activity to the Federal Bureau of Investigations via their Internet Crime Complaint Center. More information can be found here >
    • Brokers should report any fraudulent activity to their state or local REALTOR® association so that the associations can send out alerts or take other appropriate action, including contacting NAR.

    Arm yourself with several great tips on fraud prevention and recovery.
    Read the complete, tips-filled article >
    MAKING HOME AFFORDABLE (MHA) PROGRAM WEBINARS

    There are sessions for MHA Trusted Advisors and MHA Servicers. Click here to see all scheduled classes. Click on Event Center tab if not immediately directed to webinar listing.

    Upcoming sessions:

    Thursday, November 12, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    HAMP Standard and Alternative
    This live webinar examines the process of evaluating a mortgage loan for HAMP, including Tier 1 and Tier 2, using the Standard Modification Waterfall and the Alternative Modification Waterfall. The participant will learn when and how to use the Waterfalls, the information requirements needed from the borrower to run the waterfalls, and how to accurately evaluate and understand results. The presenter will review components of the evaluation process using practical scenarios. Recommended: prior HAMP Part 1 and HAMP Part 2 training session completion.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
    Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program for Trusted Advisors
    This updated live webinar is designed for trusted advisors to discuss the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) program. As part of MHA, HAFA provides homeowners with additional options to avoid costly foreclosures, and offers incentives to those parties who utilize a short sale or deed-in-lieu (DIL) alternative. This webinar outlines the HAFA program, as well as the process that borrowers and servicers must follow to ensure that every borrower is evaluated accurately, timely, and appropriately.

    Thursday, November 19, 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm
    Second Lien Modification Program (2MP)
    Learn how this core MHA program provides assistance to homeowners in a first lien permanent modification who have an eligible second lien on the same property with a participating 2MP servicer. This session includes policy updates from the recently published Supplemental Directive and describes how the Second Lien Modification Program coordinates with first lien mortgage modification programs to lower payments, or offer a full or partial extinguishment solution for second liens.
    MEMBERSHIP APPLICATIONS
    Including PGCAR's NEW Affiliate Membership Program!

    As your Association, we strive to be a productive resource for you. As such, we are pleased to offer a new and exciting opportunity to expand your brand and profile among PGCAR's 2800 REALTOR® members. Our new Affiliate Membership program includes affordable sponsorship opportunities on an on-going basis.

    Affiliate Member Packages were created as a way for our valued Affiliate members to pay one discounted price and reap the benefits of numerous advertising possibilities all year long. There are three separate packages - each designed to fit within your marketing needs and budget, giving you the option to choose the package that most appeals to you.

    Advertise your brand to a broad and captive audience. Envision your logo scrolling on the PGCAR webpage! On a banner at PGCAR events! Hear your name mentioned to large REALTOR® audiences! And more!

    The best way to get your name in front of REALTORS® and industry decision makers is to get involved and sponsor PGCAR activities. We hope you will consider this valuable opportunity to support your Association and build new business relationships.
    Join PGCAR now!
    There's great benefits for our REALTOR® and Affiliate members!

    Prince George's County REALTOR membership application for real estate agents Prince George's County REALTOR membership application for real estate agents  REALTOR® Membership Application
    Prince George's County affiliate membership application for real estate industry partners Prince George's County affiliate membership application for real estate industry partners   Affiliate Membership Application
    Prince George's County affiliate membership levels and benefits for real estate industry partners Affiliate Membership Levels and Benefits


    Another great opportunity for Affiliates is to join the Women's Council of REALTORS® Prince George's Chapter.
    Here is the Affiliate Application >
    A WEALTH OF INFORMATION - 24 X 7! - Find important industry information, as well as details and registration for PGCAR Events and Classes - all at the PGCAR.com Events Calendar.

    - - - CONSUMER'S CORNER - - -
    Great reasons to stay in touch! Share these with your customers.


    FIXED MORTGAGE RATES REMAIN BELOW FOUR PERCENT

    Average fixed mortgage rates rose last week, amid market expectations of a possible rate increase by the Federal Reserve.

    "Treasury yields climbed nearly 20 basis points over the past week, capturing the market movement following last week's FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting," said Sean Becketti, Freddie Mac's chief economist. "In response, the 30-year mortgage rate experienced its largest increase since June, up 11 basis points to 3.87 percent. Recent commentary suggests interest rates may rise in the near future. Janet Yellen referred to a December rate hike as a 'live possibility' if incoming information supports it. The October jobs report to be released this Friday will be one crucial factor influencing the FOMC's decision."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending November 5, 2015:

    The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.87%, up from 3.76% ~ Last year: 4.02%
    The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.09%, up from 2.98% ~ Last year: 3.21%
    The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.96%, up from 2.54% ~ Last year: 2.97%
    The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62%, up from 2.54% ~ Last year: 2.45%

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    Like PGCAR at www.facebook.com/pgcar to see monthly home sales statistics and weekly mortgage rate reports as soon as they are released!
    NEWS YOU SHOULD KNOW

    National Market News:

    Trending Topics & Tips:
    PRINCE GEORGE'S HOME SALES CONTRACTS RISE IN OCTOBER
    All Numbers Up Over 2014


    October 2015 Year-to-date (YTD) single family settlements are now 16.6% above October 2014 YTD volume. Average single family sales price has also increased, to $260,834.

    October 2015 Year-to-date (YTD) condo / coop settlements are 6.5% above October 2014 YTD volume. Average condo / coop sales price has also increased, to $132,365.

    Year-to-date in Prince George's County:
    • Single family contracts are up 13.8% over 2014
    • Single family listings are up 7.7% over 2014
    • Condo/coop contracts are up 5.9% over 2014
    • Condo/coop listings are up 21.9% over 2014


    Visit www.pgcar.com/stats for more details. And don't forget to like PGCAR on Facebook to see monthly statistics first!


    SHARE HOMEBUYER SAVINGS FROM PGCAR.COM

    First-time homebuyers, homeowners buying again, Military homebuyers, teachers... There are real estate deals for everyone in Prince George's County. It's easy to find the right information and send links from www.pgcar.com >


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