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January 29, 2008


The Prince George's County Council recently passed CB-39-2007 - NOTICE TO PURCHASERS OF REAL ESTATE IN SPECIAL TAXING DISTRICTS. This new law (effective January 22, 2008) requires disclosure when properties (improved and unimproved) are subject to a special property tax assessment as part of a Special Taxing District. Failure to disclose using specified language mandated in the bill could result in a $1,000 fine and rescission of the sale contract.

Section 10-269 of the Prince George's County Code provides authority for the County Council to create Special Taxing Districts by adoption of Council Resolution. In most cases the districts are created to defer the cost of pubic infrastructure serving the specific community. So far three special Taxing Districts have been created by Council Resolution; Woodview Village (Bowie/Largo), Greenbelt Station (Greenbelt) and Victoria Falls (Laurel). Our research has indicated that these assessments could range from $200 to almost $2,000 dollars. REALTORS® transacting business in these areas should be sensitive to this issue. This law requires effort on the part of sellers and real estate professionals to identify whether or not the property is subject to the special tax. As the professional involved in this transaction the burden of performing this research may fall on you.

Association counsel has approved the attached addendum to facilitate disclosure, new form #1333 Notice to Purchasers Regarding Special Taxing Districts.

A number of forms have been revised to reference the required disclosure. They are available in the Members Only Forms section. Click on the "Revised" column label to re-sort the list so that all of the newest forms are listed first.

Tips on researching which properties are in special Taxing Districts and subject to these special assessments are also available in Members Only.

CB 39-2007 is available for viewing on the County's Legislative Information System at


Effective today, Tuesday, January 29, you are no longer able to access the MRIS system without a token.

All login access to Matrix®, KeystoneTM and requires a User ID, a PIN, and Password from the token.

The MRIS Help Desk (301-838-7100) is standing by to assist you, with any questions and any needed assistance. They are able to issue temporary passwords for agents that have not received or lost/misplaced their token. Help Desk will continue to be available to assist all customers with any issues that come up. Call volume is expected to be extremely high during this cutover time and long hold times are likely. We hope you logged in successfully before the cutover and were able to avoid the rush. MRIS asks for your patience during this cutover time.

It is with deep sadness that we tell you of the passing of Kevin Hodge. Kevin died suddenly on January 13. Kevin is survived by his wife, Marcia, and two daughters. Funeral services were held on Saturday, January 19, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. Interment was at the Gates of Heaven Cemetery. A trust fund has been set up for his daughters' education.

Contributions may be sent to:
Hodge Children Memorial Fund,
Acacia FSB, c/o Andrew Cohen,
7600 Leesburg Pike, East Bldg/2nd Floor,
Falls Church, VA 22043.

We extend our sincere sympathy and our prayers to Kevin's family and friends.

Bill Gower — PGCAR has just learned that long-time REALTOR® Member Bill Gower passed away in late December. He was the broker of Gower Real Estate in Lanham. PGCAR extends our heart-felt sympathy and prayers to his family and many friends in the real estate community.

Tuesday, February 12
PGCAR is sponsoring and hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive® at the association office on Tuesday, February 12.

Sign up now and come give the gift of life!

We also need plenty of volunteers for the Blood Drive. Interested and available to invest some time which will benefit many that day? Please e-mail Joan Ostenso at or call Marie Burns at 301-306-7900. You may also volunteer online and we will contact you.


Come sample desserts and help RPAC
What could be better?
Wednesday, February 20th RPAC Tea and Cake-Off
1 - 4 p.m. in the PGCAR Association classroom
Join the RPAC Committee for an afternoon Tea and Cake-Off. Which one of the many delicious cakes baked by your fellow REALTORS® will be the winning dessert? YOU HELP DECIDE. The cost is $10 per person. All proceeds will go to RPAC.

Make your reservation early as space is limited >>
Office Address: 8400 Corporate Drive, Suite 225, Landover, MD


To participate in this year's awards, there is only a simple entry form to be filled in. These forms will be mailed in late January or early February to all those who qualify for an award. If you had more than $2.5 million in production and do not receive an entry form, please contact the association office. Watch for your invitation to participate. If you have any questions, please contact Joan Ostenso at


Several evening classes have been scheduled in February for the convenience of our members. They include:

Click here to register >>


The following is a statement by Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, on the rate cut made by the Federal Reserve Board on Tuesday, January 22.

"Today's 75-basis-point cut in the Fed funds rate to 3.50 percent is a very good step in the right direction to boost the economy and send a clear message to both the market and to consumers. This strong rate cut will help lower mortgage interest rates and lessen the burden of adjustable-rate loans that are resetting in the current environment. It also could help stimulate business investment in the wake of market uncertainties. We commend the Federal Reserve Board on its bold action, but at the same time we urge it to keep a close watch to see if additional action is needed."


Plan to join us on Wednesday, March 5, for the Education Expo at La Fontaine Bleu. Take up to 6 hours of MD and DC continuing education credits. The registration fee is $75.00 for members and includes a continental breakfast, lunch and an afternoon ice cream social. And don't forget... lots of networking!




Mark your calendar for Tuesday, April 22 for the RPAC Annual Fundraiser at La Fontaine Bleu. There will be a REALTOR® Idol Contest, Casino Games, Texas Hold’em Poker and a Silent Auction.


At this time of year, so many of our members help others, so please let us know by completing a simple online form in the Community Service section or download and print the application. Whether it was adopting a family, collecting "Toys for Tots," donations to charitable organizations, or donated time at your child's school or at church, we want to know about it. This year we would like to collect receive a C.A.R.E. award at the MAR Convention. With your help we can do that. We just need to know:

  • Who it benefited?
  • Dollar amount collected?
  • How many manhours you volunteered?


How is YOUR CEU Inventory?  You can earn ALL of Your Continuing Education requirements for both the Maryland and DC license renewals right here at PGCAR!

Sign up for multiple classes here!

Next Wednesday, February 6
Environmental Issues
3.0 Elective CEU, MD and DC
Vimal Kapoor 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Risk Management
3.0 Elective CEU, MD and DC
Vimal Kapoor 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Next Friday, February 8
Credit Smart
Required for WHC certification - No CEUs
9:30 am - 3:30 pm

Tuesday, February 12
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU; no MD CEU
Prabhjit Singh 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Wednesday, February 13
DC License Exam Preparation
no CEU
Prabhjit Singh 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Friday, February 15
Workforce Housing Certification
Three Classes in One Day!

Required for WHC certification - 6.0 MD Elective CEU
9:30 am - 4:30 pm

The Board of Directors has extended the deadline for 2008 dues payment until THIS Thursday, January 31.

Pay your dues before January 31 and we'll waive the $100 reinstatement fee. After January 31, if dues remain unpaid, a $100 reinstatement fee will be charged and all member services, including SupraKey privileges, will be suspended on February 1.

Save the reinstatement charge! Renew now!
Click here and log in to view, print, and pay your dues online!
Click here for easy 1-2-3 instructions on renewing online!


Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #5-1:
Contemplated Interest in Property Appraised
Seller A and Buyer B were negotiating the sale of an apartment building, but couldn't agree on the price. Finally, they agreed that each would engage an appraiser and they would accept the average of the two appraisals as a fair price. Seller A engaged REALTOR® C as his appraiser, and Buyer B engaged REALTOR® D. Both REALTORS® were informed of the agreement of the principals. The two appraisal reports were submitted. The principals averaged the two valuations and made the transaction at the price determined.

Six months later, it came to the attention of Seller A that REALTOR® C was managing the building that he had appraised. Upon making further inquiries he learned that REALTOR® C for several years had managed five other buildings owned by Buyer B, and that he had been Buyer B's property manager at the time he accepted the appraisal assignment from Seller A.

At this point Seller A engaged REALTOR® E to make an appraisal of the building he had sold to Buyer B. REALTOR® E's valuation was approximately 30% higher than that arrived at six months earlier by REALTOR® C.

These facts were set out in a complaint against REALTOR® C made by Seller A to the local Board of REALTORS®. The complaint charged that since REALTOR® C was an agent of Buyer B; since he managed all of Buyer B's properties; since he had become manager of the property he had appraised for Seller A in connection with a sale to Buyer B; and since he had not disclosed his relationship to Buyer B, he had acted unethically, and in the interest of his major client had placed an excessively low valuation on the property he had appraised for Seller A.

At the hearing, Seller A also brought in a witness who stated that he had heard Buyer B say that he had made a good buy in purchasing Seller A's building because Seller A's appraiser was his (Buyer B's) property manager.

Buyer B, appearing as a witness for REALTOR® C, disputed this and protested that he had paid a fair price. He substantiated REALTOR® C's statement that management of the building formerly owned by Seller A was never discussed between them until after it had been purchased by Buyer B.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 5, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>



Starting in February, you can write an article that would be of interest to real estate consumers and have it published in the Official Homes Section of The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® brought to you by The Gazette. This is a special pullout FULL COLOR supplement reaching over 127,000 homes and businesses in Prince George's County.

Article Deadline Monday, Feb. 11   Ad Copy Deadline Tuesday, Feb. 12   Publication Date Thursday, Feb. 28

If you are interested in writing an article or placing an ad, please contact
Karey Major at 240-473-7588 or

Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
8400 Corporate Drive  :  Suite 225 : Landover MD 20785
Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2008, PGCAR

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