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December 28, 2009

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .

Membership renewals were due Monday, November 30th, 2009.

Note to Brokers and non-paid Agents - All agents must pay their dues no later than this Thursday, December 31st. Brokers will receive an itemized invoice no later than January 15th and they will have until January 31st to pay the dues or remove the unpaid agents from their roster. If dues remain unpaid on February 1st, the entire office will be suspended.

Please encourage any agents who have not renewed to do so now at Members Only.

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 December 31st to prevent loss of SentriLock key privileges, your MRIS discount, ZipForms and other REALTOR® membership benefits .



We wish you and your family a Happy New Year!

The PGCAR Office will be closing at 3 p.m. this Thursday, December 31st for New Year's Eve and will be closed for New Year's Day this Friday, January 1st.

We look forward to our work together in 2010: To a prosperous future!


Federal Legislative News


The following components of the new RESPA Rule will be go into effect
this Friday, January 1, 2010:

  • Good Faith Estimate: The new three page GFE, including disclosure of yield spread premiums and the tolerance restrictions, must be used.
  • HUD-1: The new HUD-1 Settlement Statement has been expanded to three pages. It has been redesigned to look like GFE with additional cross references and a "cross-walk" chart comparing charges in the GFE with the final charges.
  • 30-Day Cure Period: Loan originators will have 30 days from the date of settlement to reimburse the borrower for tolerance violations.
  • Tolerance limitations on settlement charges: Certain services packaged by lenders will be granted a 10% change tolerance.
  • Application Process: Lenders will have a one-stage application process with greater flexibility on selecting underwriting criteria.

For more information, please see HUD's website or contact the MAR Legal Affairs Department at 1-800-638-6425.


The US Senate passed its version of Health Reform legislation on Christmas Eve morning, December 24. Efforts have already begun to reconcile the bills passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate. The final bill will need to be approved by the House and the Senate before being sent to the President, upon which time it would become effective. Please read details at >>

A summary of each of the bills and their provisions is now available on the NAR healthcare page on It includes a side-by-side comparison chart as well as the cost budget analysis from the Congressional Budget Office:


On November 30, The U.S. Treasury Department released guidelines and forms for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), which is part of the Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP). HAFA will provide incentive in connection with a short sale or a deed in lieu of foreclosure used to avoid foreclosure on a loan eligible for modification under the HAMP program. HAFA applies only to loans NOT owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac as they will be issuing their own version of this program in a few weeks.

NAR staff has reviewed the aspects of the program and prepared a brief on the intricacies in hopes to make it more understandable. To view more information about HAFA, visit the REALTOR® Action Center at, and the short sales page on

New Year's Resolution to Earn Your Required CE Early? We Made it Easy
Sign up for classes at

Next Thursday, January 7
203K Purchase Rehab
3 MD Elective CEU
Michael Chelst 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Tuesday, January 12
DC Fair Housing
3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
Prabhjit Singh 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Thursday, January 21
3 MD Elective CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Stu Stern 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Friday, January 22
MD Code of Ethics
3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
MD Legislative Update
3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Monday, January 25
Advertising Obligations
3.0 MD Elective CEU;
3.0 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Stigmatized Properties
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
MD Fair Housing
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 3:15 pm - 4:45 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 >>

Market $ense - November Pending Home Sales Increase 7.4 %

Market $ense Another Big Gain in Existing-Home Sales as Buyers Respond to Tax Credit - Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the rise was expected. "This clearly is a rush of first-time buyers not wanting to miss out on the tax credit, but there are many more potential buyers who can enter the market in the months ahead," he said. "We expect a temporary sales drop while buying activity ramps up for another surge in the spring when buyers take advantage of the expanded tax credit, which hopefully will take us into a self-sustaining market in the second half of 2010. In all, 4.4 million households are expected to claim the tax credit before it expires and balance should be restored to the housing sector with inventories continuing to decline."

Complete article >>

2009 Prince George's County Year in Review / 2010 Preview - PGCAR held its Annual Press Conference on December 15, 2009 in cooperation with GCAAR, GWCAR, NVAR and the GMU Center for Regional Analysis.

Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation >>

Prince George's County November Home Sales Statistics are online at

A huge, heartfelt THANK YOU to all sponsors, volunteers and attendees of the December 16th Charity Event at the Half Note, and to all the volunteers who packed and distributed food baskets at Share Food on December 17th for 684 very appreciative families!

What a beautiful way to say thank you to the Prince George's County community and to demonstrate the power of a caring group working as a team. YOU made a difference for six hundred eighty-four families this holiday season.

End of Year Contracts Review

Did you know that 12 contract forms and addendums were updated or added in 2009? Please make sure your ZipForms is updated. You may also find updated contract forms and details about the legislative requirements behind them at Members Only.

  1. Log in at Members Only.
  2. Click on the Downloadable Forms graphic.
  3. To display latest revisions, click the  document revised date  column header.

Don't risk a settlement or cause a delay due to outdated forms. Do a forms check today!

Multiple Homebuyer Assistance Plans Add Up to Huge Savings

$35,000 in Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance

Several national, county and Prince George's township programs which SAVE HOMEBUYERS MONEY are listed on, in the Homebuyer Savings section.

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!!

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.

Thank you to everyone who contributed!
Just imagine, $15 per member would build a home!


MAR Breakfast of Champions

Market $ense The Maryland Association of REALTORS® invites you to attend...
"Rising to the Top!"
A powerful learning event you will not want to miss!

The Breakfast of Champions is a special event designed to strengthen your business and help you succeed in 2010. Come learn how to rejuvenate your business by listening to our guest speaker, Doug Smith.

Only $10 for program and breakfast.

February 17, 2010 in Annapolis

March 17, 2010 in Baltimore

April 21, 2010 in Frederick

Register today 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 next 3 homebuyer training sessions. Call 301-567-3330 to register your customers.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Thursday, January 7, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, January 19, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Thursday, January 21, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Saturday, January 30, 2010 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)

See the full schedule for class dates through June 2010.

Is your New Year resolution to learn more or earn more in 2010? Earn Your GRI
You can plan ahead and even pay ahead if you wish. All three required GRI Series are 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.



Questions on how Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) staff will communicate with lenders and REALTORS® regarding NSP loans in process? Full details in the November 11 Legislative Alert. PGCAR encourages you to cooperate with their time-saving tips in order to sustain the success of this vital program. Thank you!! Let's keep the momentum going.

Down Payment on Your Dream Loan Programs is compatible with FHA, VA, and Conventional mortgages, as well as 203K, CDA, Housekeys 4Employees, and Smartkeys programs.

Learn the details of 203K loan programs and earn 3 CEU at the 203K Purchase Rehab class next Thursday, January 7. Register here >>

Click here for the most recent PowerPoint which details all provisions of the program and will answer most questions. Also visit for more info and all necessary forms and guidelines. These details are also available on the "Members Only" section.

THANK YOU FOR UPDATING YOUR PROFILES is being advertised by the County as the resource to find a REALTOR® to assist in a homebuyer's foreclosed properties search. Update your member profile at "Members Only" to take advantage of this marketing opportunity. Also, we see daily evidence of consumers visiting Homebuyers are clicking through on REALTOR® profiles as well as using the "Email to a Friend" function in their search for homebuying savings. Are you updating your profile and sending information to those on your interested contact list?

The "Email to a Friend" function is found on the upper left-hand corner, just below the navigation bar, of information pages. This page is the most popular.

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 #12-20: Misleading Use of "MLS" in URL

REALTOR® A, a residential broker in a major metropolitan city, spent several weeks each year in his cabin in the north woods where he planned to retire one day. Even while at home in the city, REALTOR® A stayed abreast of local news, events, and especially the local real estate market by subscribing to the print and on-line editions of the local newspaper. He also bookmarked a number of north woods brokers' websites to stay current with the market and to watch for potential investment opportunities.

One evening while surfing the Internet, he came across a URL he was unfamiliar REALTOR® A was pleased to see the MLS serving the area where he vacationed for so many years had created a publicly-accessible website. Clicking on the link, he was surprised to find that the website he was connected with was not an MLS's website but instead was REALTOR® Z's company website. Having had prior dealings with REALTOR® Z, REALTOR® A spent some time carefully scrutinizing the website. He noted, among other things, that the name of REALTOR® Z's firm did not include the letters MLS.

REALTOR® A sent an e-mail to the association's executive officer asking whether REALTOR® Z had been authorized by the association to use the URL and whether the association felt it presented a true picture as required by Article 12 of the Code of Ethics. The association executive responded that their association did not assign, review, or approve URLs used by their members, but added that if REALTOR® A felt a possible violation of the Code of Ethics had occurred, the appropriate step was to file an ethics complaint. REALTOR® A did just that, alleging in his complaint that when he clicked on what appeared to be a real estate-related URL that included the letters "MLS" he expected to be connected with a website operated by a multiple listing service. He stated he felt that REALTOR® Z's URL was deceptive and did not meet Article 12's true picture test.

At the hearing, REALTOR® Z defended his URL on a number of grounds including the fact that he was a participant in good standing in the MLS and that he was authorized under the MLS's rules to display other participants' listings on his website. "If I used "MLS" in the name of my firm, I could see how that might be perceived as something less than a true picture," he argued, "but by simply using MLS in my URL I am telling consumers that they can get MLS-provided information about properties in the north woods from me. What could be truer than that?"

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.

Holiday Schedule

Ads and Articles Due
Thursday, December 31
  Publication Date
Thursday, January 7

If you are interested in writing an article or placing an ad, please contact
Matt Lafranchise at 240-473-7589 or

Save the Date!
ON JANUARY 27, 2010

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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