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November 30, 2009

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .

Membership Renewals are Due TODAY
November 30, 2009 at Midnight

The PGCAR office will be open until 6 p.m. today to
accept dues payments
- OR - Use our easy and secure
Online Dues Payment at anytime!

Renewing is as Easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Click here
  2. Log in
  3. Pay and receive an itemized receipt for your
    2010 PGCAR, MAR and NAR membership renewals.

Please pay your 2010 dues by midnight TODAY to prevent late charges and loss of your lockbox privileges, MRIS discount and other membership benefits.
Thank you!


LET'S DO IT AGAIN - Let's pack the Charity Event like last year, and enjoy the holidays helping feed 800 to 1,000 families. It only takes $25 to provide food to a family.

$25 will provide a family with the following: Whole chicken, ground turkey, tilapia fish fillets, elbow macaroni, stuffing mix, frozen pie, sweet potatoes, potatoes, onions, apples, oranges
and other produce items. In addition to feeding a needy family, your $25 will provide you with. . .

an evening of fun, food, music and networking at
The Half Note in Bowie
December 16th from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
as a thank you for your contribution.

Each $25 Ticket Feeds a Family
$500 Platinum Sponsorship (20 tickets) - Feeds 25 Families
$300 Gold Sponsorship (12 tickets) - Feeds 15 Families
$200 Silver Sponsorship (8 tickets) - Feeds 10 Families

Buy Your Tickets or Sponsorships Online at >>

Or send check payments in with the flyer.

As a sponsor, you will receive tickets to the event that you can, in turn,
give to friends, business associates, etc.

  We are also seeking volunteers to help fill and distribute the boxes of food Thursday, December 17
at the Share Food Network
at 5170 Lawrence Place in Hyattsville.

Click here if you would like to help pack the baskets of food >>
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. estimated

Click here if you would like to help distribute baskets of food >>
2 - 6 p.m. estimated

Click here for flyer >>

For more information, please contact Joan Ostenso at We'll keep all volunteers updated with times and details as the date gets closer and the food is ordered.

Thank you for your help and participation!

Wednesday, December 9 - PGCAR Office Hours

The PGCAR offices will be closed next Wednesday, December 9th from 12 noon until 2 pm. Please plan accordingly. Thank you!

New Open House / Directional Sign Posting Hours

New Open House Directional Sign Posting Hours

5pm Friday to 5pm Sunday - Now in Effect

The Prince George's County Council recently overhauled portions of the County's sign ordinance.

Allowed posting hours for temporary real estate directional signs (commonly referred to as "open house" signs) have changed FROM noon Saturday to noon Monday, TO 5:00pm Friday to 5:00pm Sunday. Also, there are new rules limiting the number of directional signs to 25 for new housing subdivisions.

The new posting hours of 5pm Friday - 5pm Sunday
are in effect as of Friday, November 13th.

Most signage in Prince George's County requires sign permits; however, temporary real estate directional signs measuring 1.5 square feet and real estate identification or "for sale" signs (limited to six square feet posted on premises) are exempt from sign permit requirements.

The entire bill is very comprehensive covering sign permit applications, revocation of permits, illegal/unsafe signs, violations and civil penalties. Read the Legislative Alert for those portions which affect most residential real estate practitioners. Brokers who specialize in commercial sales and use signs requiring permits may wish to study the entire bill.

Read full details in the November 10 Legislative Alert.

Multiple Homebuyer Assistance Plans Add Up to Huge Savings

$35,000 in Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance

HOMEBUYER SAVINGS EXIST FOR POLICE and TEACHERS, COLLEGE PARK & BOWIE BUYERS, AND MORE!   Several national, county and Prince George's township programs which SAVE HOMEBUYERS MONEY are listed on

Here's a few highlights and links:

  • College Park $35,000 Program - Homebuyers who buy their home and work in College Park may apply to receive up to $35,000 in closing cost and down payment assistance through the WORK & LIVE COLLEGE PARK program.

    College Park Details >>

  • Bowie $2,000 Program - Police officers, teachers and Bowie City employees can apply for a $2,000 grant when buying a primary residence in Bowie.

    Bowie Program Details >>

  • County-wide Incentives for Sheriffs and Police - Deputy Sheriffs, and County and Municipal Police Officers Save on Transfer Taxes When Buying a Home in Prince George's County.

    Details >>

  • $20,000 County-wide Down Payment on Your Dream Program - Buying a foreclosure in Prince George's County? Don't forget savings up to $20,000 are available through NSP.

    Details >>

Information on these and other homebuyer savings are added to as they become available.

Low mortgage rates and unbelievable home buyer incentives -
It truly is a great time to buy in Prince George's County!!

Envision Prince George's - Public Meetings This Week


Envision Prince George's is a new initiative launched by Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), to engage thousands of us--those who live, work, play, serve, and more--in creating an exciting vision for the direction of our county's future. This is the most comprehensive effort in the history of the county to engage the public in setting long-term priorities for the future. It will take place on a much larger scale than any previous attempts to include the public in decision making, and will encompass issues faced in every area of life and every corner of the county.

Attend a Community Forum this Tuesday, December 1 in Oxon Hill or Thursday, December 3 in Landover >>

Visit Envision Prince George's website >>

'Tis the Season of Giving

Have any gently used coats in the family which are hanging in the closet or stored away, never to be worn again? Make good use of those, and gain a charitable deduction, by donating them to our Annual Coat and Food drive. Collect them in your offices, then bring to the Association office by December 16th. You may also bring them to next Tuesday's Christmas party.

Why not take a picture too, of the coats and food your office collects? Please email your photos now for possible use in PGCAR promotions, and later too, when PGCAR applies for the annual MAR CARE Award.

Information flyer >>

Prince George's County Habitat for Humanity Home

Prince George's County Habitat for Humanity is in need of $50,000 to finish the house they are building in Prince George's County. Checks can be made payable to Habitat for Humanity or credit cards can be used online.

Just imagine, $15 per member would build a home!


Market $ense - Best Sales Numbers Since February 2007

Market $ense Existing-Home Sales Show Another Big Gain - Driven by home buyer tax credits, existing-home sales show another big gain in October and inventories are continuing to shrink. Sales activity is at the highest pace since February 2007.

Complete article >>

PGCAR October Home Sales Statistics are online at Settlements of single family and condo/co-op homes both improved from September 2009 to October 2009.

Yun: 2010 Sales to Rise 15 Percent: NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun predicts home sales will increase 15% and REALTOR® incomes will increase 20% in 2010. Entire article >>

NAR Initiatives - National Property Database and Other Member Benefits

REALTORS Property ResourceTM - NAR's Second Century Initiatives include the creation of the REALTORS® Property ResourceTM (RPR), an online real estate library/archive that will provide REALTORS® with exclusive access to data on every property in the United States. It will include in-depth, trusted information on every parcel of real property including public record information, details of prior transactions, MLS-provided information, zoning information, transfer tax information, and other relevant information.

The initiative will be based on the collaborative efforts of REALTORS® and the real estate community, including MLSs, and will increase the breadth, depth, immediacy and power of real estate information available to REALTORS®.

Read more at >>


Offer a Class that Helps Buyers Qualify for Government Funds for a Downpayment on Dream Home

PGCAR is continuing to partner with HIP and HOPE to offer the NSP-required 8-hour HUD approved class. The classes on our regular schedule led by HOPE, now have a fee, a reduced charge of $50 for the entire 8-hour class.

Below are the December homebuyer training sessions. Call 301-567-3330 to register your customers.

Saturday, December 5, 2009 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, December 8, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Thursday, December 10, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Saturday, December 12, 2009 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, December 15, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Thursday, December 17, 2009 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)

See the full schedule for class dates through June 2010.

Plan Ahead to Earn Your GRI
All three required GRI Series will be offered at PGCAR in 2010.
  red arrow May 2010 GRI 100 Series Details & Registration >>  
  red arrow August 2010 GRI 200 Series Details & Registration >>  
  red arrow November 2010 GRI 300 Series Details & Registration >>  

Mark your calendars now, to earn the designation shown to
improve your industry knowledge and your income.

New Year's Resolution to Earn Your Required CE Early? We Made it Easy

Earn all 7.5 hours of Maryland required category CEU next Friday, December 11 and on Monday, December 14.
Sign up for classes at

Next Friday, December 11
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

Monday, December 14
MD Code of Ethics
3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Wednesday, May 5, 2010
GRI 100 Series - Full Series of 5 Classes Begins
30 MD CEU - covering 1.5 hrs Fair Housing,
3 hrs Ethics, and
25.5 hrs Elective CE
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer Meets with PGCAR Representatives

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer Meets with PGCAR Representatives

Representatives of the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®, including PGCAR President Mike Cerrito, Past President and Maryland Real Estate Commissioner, Nick D'Ambrosia, Past President Boyd Campbell, and REALTOR® Susan Pruden, recently met with House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD5) to discuss the $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit, HVCC, and extending FHA loan limits.

Pictured are Representative Hoyer (L) and PGCAR President Mike Cerrito (R).


Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance
Neighborhood Stabilization Plan Update

Staff at the Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has put out the attached notice. It appears that the "Down Payment On Your Dream" program has gained great momentum and staff is somewhat backlogged in processing. DHCD has hired qualified staff to process the application and loan documents. They are asking that REALTORS® and Lenders refrain from inundating them with phone calls and certain emailed submissions. DHCD will communicate with you via email upon receipt of the application materials and again when the loan is approved. DHCD is striving to maintain the 21 day approval mandate.

This program is experiencing great success. DHCD just closed its 100th down payment loan. PGCAR encourages you to cooperate with their request in order to sustain the success of this vital program.

Thank you for your cooperation.


Be informed of new benefits under the Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit, which took effect on Saturday, November 7:

  • Single buyers with incomes up to $125,000 and married couples with incomes up to $225,000 may receive the maximum tax credit
    (income limits are increased from the 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit limits).
  • Current home owners who buy homes can now also apply, for a maximum credit of $6,500.
  • NAR Issue Brief: Homebuyer Tax Credit Comparison Chart >>
  • New! Please note special provisions for members of the military, intelligence and foreign services. Details at >>

If you or your client purchased a home between January 1, 2009 and November 6, 2009, please visit 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit at for new homebuyer tax credit details. For those purchasing between November 7, 2009 and April 10, 2010, please visit The Basics: Extended Home Buyer Tax Credit 2009/2010 at These helpful resources and the comparison chart can be used when working with buyers to take advantage of the credit in the months ahead.

Missed these important news items? You can still read the details online:

Complete November 11 Legislative Alert >>

Please contact Mike Graziano, PGCAR Director of Government Affairs, at 301-306-7900 x227, or email me at with any questions or concerns.


Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #12-19: Remove Information
about Listings from Websites Once Authority to Advertise Ends

REALTOR® A, a residential specialist in a major metropolitan area, spent several weeks each year in a cabin in the north woods he had inherited from a distant relative. Always on the lookout for investment opportunities, he paid careful attention to "for sale" signs, newspaper ads, and local brokerage websites in the area. Returning from the golf course one afternoon, REALTOR® A spotted a dilapidated "for sale" sign on an otherwise-attractive wooded lot. Getting out of his car, he was able to discern REALTOR® Z's name. Returning to his cabin, he used the Internet to locate REALTOR® Z and REALTOR® Z's company website. Visiting REALTOR® Z's website, he found detailed information about the lot he'd seen that afternoon. Using REALTOR® Z's e-mail address function, he asked for information about the lot, including its dimensions and asking price. Several days later REALTOR® Z responded, advising simply, "That listing expired."

The following day REALTOR® A, hoping to learn whether the lot was still available, contacted REALTOR® X, another area real estate broker. "As it turns out, we have an exclusive listing on the property you're interested in," said REALTOR® X. In response to REALTOR® A's questions, REALTOR® X advised that he had an exclusive listing on the property for almost six months. "That's funny," responded REALTOR® A, "REALTOR® Z has a 'for sale' sign on the property and information about it on her website. Looking at her website, I got the clear impression that she still had that property listed."

While the wooded lot proved to be out of REALTOR® A's price range, REALTOR® Z's "for sale" sign and website were still on his mind when he returned home. Ultimately, he contacted the local association of REALTORS® and filed an ethics complaint alleging that REALTOR® Z's "for sale" sign, coupled with her offering information on her website made it appear as if the wooded parcel was still listed with her firm, when that had not been the case for over six months. REALTOR® A noted that this conduct, in his opinion, violated Article 12 since REALTOR® Z was not presenting a "true picture" in her public representations and was, in fact, advertising without authority, a practice prohibited by Article 12, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 12-4.

At the hearing, REALTOR® Z claimed that failure to remove the "for sale" sign was simply an oversight, and if anyone was to blame, it was her personal assistant who was responsible for removing signs and lockboxes from expired and sold listings. "If you want to blame anyone, blame my assistant since he's supposed to bring back our "for sale" and "sold" signs." Turning to the stale listing information on her website, REALTOR® Z acknowledged that information about her former listing had continued to appear for more than six months after the listing had expired. REALTOR® Z analogized the continued presence of that information to an old newspaper advertisement. "It's possible someone might come across a six month old newspaper with my listings in it. Those ads were true when I ran them but how could I ever control when and where someone will come across them, possibly months or even years later?" she asked. "Besides," she added, "REALTORS® have better things to do than constantly inspect their websites to make sure everything is absolutely, positively up-to-the-minute." "If we did that, none of us would have time to list or sell," she concluded.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 12, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>



Get YOUR properties in front of over 127,000 homes and businesses in Prince George's County by advertising in The Gazette Paper!


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.

December 7
  Ad Copy
December 9
December 17

If you are interested in writing an article or placing an ad, please contact
Heidi Lamere 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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