Printable Version      Email to a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

August 24, 2009

LEGISLATIVE ALERT - August 24, 2009
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs



Representatives of the Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development recently updated REALTORS® on the status of the County's NSP program entitled "Down Payment on Your Dream."

It was reported that approximately ten properties have settled under the program since its inception on July 1st and another forty are in the pipeline. DHCD has hired experienced underwriters, processors and title people who are specifically dedicated to closing NSP transactions. As such they are pleased to announce that they are often times closing these transactions in less than ten days. There is still $9 million in reserves dedicated for the program. This adds up to approximately 700 down payment assistance loans (scroll down for complete program details).

"Down Payment on Your Dream" is compatible with FHA, VA, and Conventional mortgages as well as 203K programs. Other programs such as CDA, Housekeys 4Employess, and Smartkeys are also eligible.

The County is doing a great job of promoting the program to the public via radio and print advertising. The program has received a lot of positive reports in the local press including the Gazette, Prince George's Post, and Sentinel as well as all major television stations including WUSA Channel 9, WRC Channel 4 and WJLA Channel 7. In fact, PGCAR Past President, Don Frederick recently spoke to Fox 5 News about the advantages of the program for first time buyers.

All of the County's advertising drives consumers to as the resource to find a REALTOR® to assist in the search for foreclosed properties. Members are encouraged to go to the "members only" section to update their member profile to take advantage of this marketing opportunity.

Click here for the most recent PowerPoint which details all provisions of the program and answers most questions. Also visit for more info and all necessary forms and guidelines. These details are also available in the "members only" section.


In June 2009, the County Council passed CB 11-2009 requiring registration of vacant or unoccupied foreclosed property. Please take note, this law affects VACANT FORECLOSED PROPERTY ONLY. The new law does NOT affect a vacant rental unit or vacant "for sale" property unless the properties are in foreclosure.

Effective as of August 21, 2009, the bill specifically requires that the "person authorized to make the sale" must register the property with the Prince George's County Department of Environmental Resources (DER) within five days of filing the docket to foreclose.

It has been interpreted that the "person authorized" in most cases will be the attorney representing the bank who is in charge of filing the foreclosure docket. This would most likely NOT be a real estate professional. However, the law does allow the "person authorized" to designate another as a person of record to manage and maintain the residential property prior to the sale. Potentially this individual could be the REO agent or other real estate professional in a listing arrangement.

Failure to file the registration with the DER will result in a civil penalty of $50 for each day that the property goes unregistered. There is no charge to register a vacant foreclosed property.

It is no secret that the County is already experiencing an abundant inventory of foreclosed property. DER is NOT REQUIRING that this inventory be registered. DER will enforce the civil penalty ($50 per day) on foreclosure dockets filed after Friday August 21, 2009 if they are not registered within five calendar days.

The required Foreclosure Registration Form may be downloaded from the county's website by clicking here or by going to and clicking on Foreclosure Registration Form under the heading Foreclosed Residential Property Registration. The registration form can also be obtained by contacting DER's Foreclosure Registration Unit at (301) 883-6100.

For more information please contact
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs, PGCAR, 301-306-7900.


no later than 5 p.m. this Friday, August 28th.

2009 Distinguished Sales Associate of the Year

Nominations for selection of Prince George's County's 2009 Distinguished Sales Associate of the Year are due THIS FRIDAY.

Any licensed sales agent or associate broker holding REALTOR® membership is eligible for consideration. Candidates must have not held an active broker's license any time during 2009 and may not hold any percentage of ownership in the firm they represent. Also, managers, owners and salaried officers are not eligible to enter this competition.

There are four standards used in the selection process.

Please fill in details under each of the four standards and submit your entry along with ONE (1) COLOR PHOTO (any size) now for consideration. REMEMBER, individuals may nominate themselves. To encourage participation you may submit your entry unsigned or anonymously, so if you think you qualify, why not nominate yourself!?

Distinguished Sales Associate Nomination      

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

2009 Affiliate of the Year

Nominations are also due this Friday for the 2009 PGCAR Affiliate of the Year. Which one of our many distinguished affiliates will be named the 2009 Affiliate of the Year? Please nominate yourself or one of our many active Affiliate members. We appreciate you and your contributions to PGCAR!

Affiliate of the Year Nomination      

FROM: Linda Simpson, President

In accordance with the applicable provisions of the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® Bylaws governing the election procedure, listed below are the candidates for Officers and Directors for 2009 / 2010. This year PGCAR Members will have the opportunity to vote online. From September 1st to 12 Noon on September 23rd, you are encouraged to go to the PGCAR website at to VOTE ONLINE. If you do not wish to or are unable to vote online, you may contact Joan Ostenso at the Association office at 301-306-7900 Extension 223 or email her at to have a paper ballot mailed to you.

The 2009 / 2010 Candidates are as follows:
President Michael Cerrito, Cerrito Realty, LLC
President-Elect Joanne Darling, Darling Real Estate
Secretary Willie Rhone, Weichert, REALTORS®
Directors (4 to be elected):
Desiree Callender, Desiree Callender & Associates
Charmayne Clark, Clark & Associates Real Estate
Pat Dowtin, GMAC Real Estate / Real Estate Service Center
James Haskins, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage
John Lesniewski, RE/MAX United Real Estate
Lorrence "Chuck" Ottley, SellState Dominion Real Estate

Voting opens next Tuesday, September 1st

All ballots must be cast online OR delivered to the Association office via mail or in person
no later than 12 Noon on September 23rd

Please contact Joan Ostenso at 301-306-7900 Extension 223 with any questions.


$20,000 NSP Down Payment Assistance,
$8,000 Tax Credit, Low Interest Rates . . . and More!


Fox 5 interviewed PGCAR REALTOR® Don Frederick on the many advantages and cost savings available for Prince George's County home buyers.
See the video and article here >>

This news coverage emphasizes the FREE money available to new homebuyers seeking homes in Prince George's County, and shows one of the many higher-end homes which can be bought under the "Down Payment on Your Dream" Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP). This foreclosed home was snapped up by a new homebuyer for 50% of its appraised value.
View the video here >>
WUSA 9 details how NSP (Down Payment on Your Dream) is reducing inventories and driving home sales. Five new homeowners settled on their new homes on the report date of August 4 alone, due to the "Down Payment on Your Dream" program.
View the video here >>

This is the best time to buy for any homebuyer in Prince George's County. Qualified buyers who want to buy a foreclosed home have an even better deal, up to $20,000 available towards the downpayment and closing costs, which doesn't have to be paid back if living in the home for 10 years.

NSP REALTOR® Resources

A Down Payment on Your Dream printable marketing brochure for potential home buyers as well as all required forms and details are available at Members Only:

  • NSP Program Details PowerPoint Briefing - New!
  • Down Payment & Closing Costs Assistance Guidelines
  • Loan Application Checklist
  • Required Forms and Paperwork
    • NSP Contract Addendum and Notice to Seller
    • Buyer's Affidavit
    • Seller's Affidavit
  • Who Qualifies, including Qualifying Income Limits for Homebuyers
  • What Properties Qualify
  • Participating Lenders List with Contact Information
  • NSP DPCCA Loan Amounts

There's a limited supply of professionally printed NSP Down Payment on Your Dream brochures at the PGCAR office. Brokers and office managers may pick up a supply for display in your offices while supplies last.

 YOUR Action Items:
  1. Search MRIS and create an inventory of foreclosed properties
  2. Login to Members Only for program documentation, guidelines, required forms and other helpful details.
  3. While in Members Only, update your Member profile to help consumers find you.
  4. Pre-Qualify buyers under the parameters of the income limits.
  5. Email your buyers the video links or mail them the brochure, and encourage them to attend the required 8 hour HUD approved housing counseling and financial literacy class prior to NSP application. Help them learn more about the benefits of the NSP "Down Payment on Your Dream" program for themselves.

Help your clients take advantage of this great opportunity.


 HERE is the Money:

 $8,000 TAX CREDIT - Time is Running Out

The $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer tax credit is available for single buyers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 . . . but only until December 1. This tax credit in combination with currently low interest rates and the NSP funding available for buying a foreclosed home in Prince George's adds up to a very affordable time to buy.

FREE Webinar September 8 ~ Register here >>
2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Facts at >>
IRS Form 5405: Claiming the First-Time Homebuyer Credit >>
IRS Guidelines >>

 INCENTIVES FOR TEACHERS, POLICE, NURSES, FIREFIGHTERS & THOSE MOVING CLOSE TO WORK - "Down Payment on Your Dream" stimulus dollars are available to more than first-time home buyers. Teachers, police officers, nurses, firefighters, and anyone moving to within 3 miles of their employment can qualify for up to 7% of the sale price or $20,000, whichever is less. Did you know that Deputy Sheriffs and municipal police officers also save on transfer taxes when buying a home in Prince George's County?

 BEING A HOMEBUYER BUILDS WEALTH - Check out these statistics showing the change in home prices over the last ten years in the top 100 U.S. metros. Even in the midst of a recession, home values show strong growth over time.


Only ONE WEEK to meet CEU hour requirements and renew licenses through the DC Real Estate Commission. Please visit the DCREC license renewal website today to understand the new "Mass License Renewal" process. There are tutorials for Brokers and for Salespersons.

Last chance for DC required CE hours.
Register for these classes being held THIS Wednesday.

3 CE DC Fair Housing Wed, August 26 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
3 CE DC Ethics Wed, August 26 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Register here >

PGCAR classes marked DC Elective CEU on the
Education calendar are available to meet your 6 required Elective hours.

See your full continuing education requirements for DC license renewal here >>

Register for classes here >>



Offer a Class to Learn and to Earn Government Funds for a Downpayment on Dream Home

Homebuyers wishing to take advantage of Neighborhood Stabilization Plan (NSP) funds are required to complete eight hours of FHA/HUD approved housing counseling. You can offer these classes FREE to the home buying public through your membership with PGCAR. After completion of the required eight hour course, attendees will be provided with the documentation necessary to qualify them for NSP down payment assistance. All classes will be held at the PGCAR offices.

Visit the Events Calendar for entire class listing >>
Only $50 for the full 8-hour required class.
Call 301-567-3330 to register your customers.

Monday, August 24, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Wednesday, August 26, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, September 8, 2009 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Thursday, September 10, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Saturday, September 12, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)

PLEASE NOTE - During the coming months, PGCAR will continue to partner with HIP and HOPE to offer the NSP-required 8-hour HUD approved class for prospective homebuyers.

These classes are being offered at PGCAR for your prospective homebuyers. These classes are NOT for REALTORS® and are NOT for the purpose of soliciting customers. The students attending these classes should already be working with a REALTOR® and a mortgage company. Thank you for your cooperation.

to Learn More and Earn More!

GRI 100 Starts Wednesday, October 7
Sign up for the entire, 30 CE Series here!
(1.5 Fair Housing, 3 Ethics, and 25.5 Elective CE hours)
  red arrow Module 101: Building a Real Estate Business - Wed, October 7
  red arrow Module 102: Prospecting & Listing Techniques - Fri, October 9
  red arrow Module 103: Fair Housing & Cultural Issues; and MD Law Ethics, Flipping & Predatory Lending - Wed, Oct 14
  red arrow Module 104: Basic Residential Financing - Wed, Oct 21
  red arrow Module 105: Marketing Methods - Thur, Oct 22
Just need a few make-up classes, or want to learn in-depth knowledge of specific topics?
Sign up for individual classes by clicking class titles above.


Earn ALL of Your Continuing Education requirements for Maryland and DC license renewal at PGCAR!
DC licensing for real estate salespersons must be renewed by next Monday, August 31!

Sign up for YOUR choice of classes here!

This Wednesday, August 26
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
3.0 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
Thomas Lynch 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
DC Ethics
3.0 DC Required Ethics CEU
Thomas Lynch 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

This Thursday, August 27
MD Legislative Update
3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
3.0 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
MD Fair Housing
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Friday, September 11
Broker & Manager Supervision
3.0 MD Elective CEU
Al Monshower 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Agency Law
3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU
Al Monshower 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Friday, September 17
MD Code of Ethics
3.0 MD Required Ethics CEU;
3.0 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Friday, September 25
MD Legislative Update
3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
3.0 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
MD Fair Housing
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Starting Wednesday, October 7
GRI Series I
- Full Series of 5 Classes Begins

30 MD CEU - covering 1.5 hrs Fair Housing,
3 hrs Ethics, and 25.5 hrs Elective CE
  8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>

MAR Annual Conference And Trade Show The Future is GREEN
September 14 - 16, 2009 in Ocean City, MD

This year's annual conference features

  • Up to 15 hours of CE, including GREEN-themed courses each day of the Conference
  • REALTORS® trade show, including an opening Cocktail Party, Tuesday Happy Hour and Wednesday Brunch!
  • NAR's GREEN Designation Core and Elective course with Terry Watson (additional fees apply)

Click Here for Details and Registration >>
Online Registration closes next Tuesday, August 31.


30-year mortgage rates dropped to an average of 5.12% last week, the lowest since May. Full article >>

View Lawrence Yun's, NAR chief economist, insights into the rest of 2009. More >>

For Prince George's County, the number of July settlements increased from June 2009 in both the single-family and condo residential markets. Prince George's County market reports >>


Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #4-2:
Indirect Interest in Buyer

REALTOR® A had taken two offers to buy a commercial property listed with him to the owner, Client B. Both offers had been considerably below the listed price, and at REALTOR® A's advice, Client B had rejected both. REALTOR® C came to REALTOR® A seeking a cooperative arrangement on REALTOR® A's listing, which was agreeable to REALTOR® A. REALTOR® C brought a contract to REALTOR® A from a prospective buyer, a bank, offering more than the previous proposals, but still 10 percent less than the list price. REALTOR® A took the offer to Client B and again advised him not to accept an offer less than the full listed price. Again, the client acted on REALTOR® A's advice. The bank revised its offer, proposing to pay the listed price. This offer was accepted by Client B, the owner.

About a month after the closing, the Board of REALTORS® received a letter from a director of the bank that had purchased Client B's property, charging REALTOR® A and REALTOR® C with unethical conduct and duplicity which had resulted in the bank's paying an excessive price for the property. The complaint stated that REALTOR® C was a stockholder in the corporation, one of whose officers was a director of the bank; that REALTOR® C, in a transaction that was handled through REALTOR® A, had evidently used his connection with the bank to induce the bank to buy at a price higher than the market; and that neither of the two REALTORS® had disclosed to the other officers of the bank the connection that existed between them and one officer of the bank.

At the hearing, REALTOR® A defended his actions by stating that he knew nothing of any business relationship between REALTOR® C, the cooperating broker and the buyer; that he had acted wholly in accordance with the best interests of his client, the seller. REALTOR® C demonstrated that he had negotiated solely with the president of the bank; that the director of the bank who happened to be an officer of a corporation in which he, REALTOR® C, held stock was at no time contacted during the negotiations; that the matter had never been discussed with that individual.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 4, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>


2010 Association dues bills will be mailed on September 1st. All dues must be paid by November 30th, 2009 in order to prevent late charges.



The market is starting to turn around! Get your properties in front of over 127,000 homes and businesses in Prince George's County by advertising in The Gazette Paper!

Internet Specials - For $20/mo. advertise your information and website to the people who visit our site monthly, ask me how!


That's right, FREE! 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 Association of REALTORS® - brought to you by The Gazette.

September 14
  Ad Copy
September 16
September 24

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

Why Miss a Lead? Update your REALTOR® profile today.

Home buyers and home sellers are using the Find a REALTOR® Directory to find PGCAR members, the experts in Prince George's real estate.

Click here and log in to Members Only to edit YOUR Membership profile.

We wish you a happy and safe
Labor Day weekend!

PGCAR will be closed on Monday, September 7,
in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

Happy Labor Day

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

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive