Print     Email a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

January 11, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .

PGCAR Office Hours - Martin Luther King Day

The PGCAR Office will be closed next Monday, January 18th in observance of the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

Please consider volunteering for community service to celebrate the birthday and life of MLK.

30 UNDER 30 - Nominations Due January 31

REALTOR® Magazine will soon showcase 30 young real estate professionals who demonstrate innovation and leadership in the community and profession. Do you have stand-outs in your office who should be nominated? Speak out and have them or their broker submit a nomination.

To our under 30 members - nominate yourselves!
REALTOR® members under age 30 as of May 31, 2010 are eligible.

HURRY - Make your nomination by January 31.

Prince George's Has a Lot to Offer - and Homebuyers are Noticing!
  Down Payment Aid Boosts Home Sales
Prince George's NSP plan has county officials now working 10 loans daily

The Neighborhood Stabilization Program, started in July 2009, made its 200th loan on December 17.

In the county, 709 units sold in October 2009, compared with 408 in October 2008. That's a 73.8 percent increase and the largest increase in the state. Maryland, on the whole, saw a 39.5 percent increase in October from a year earlier.

"It's really astonishing to see that type of recovery in a county that size," said Anirban Basu of the Sage Policy Group, an economic and policy consulting firm in Baltimore. He called the increase in home sales a "massive recovery."

Full Article >>

  Housing Outlook Improves; County Policies Help "Turn Around" Foreclosures

Home sales are picking up in the county. And even the "problem" of vacant, foreclosed homes is being worked by REALTORS® and the County Government.

The number of houses going under contract in the county has improved significantly, prices are leveling out, buyers have more buying power, inventory is decreasing at a steady rate, multiple contracts are being seen, appreciation rates are still inching upward and interest rates are at a historic low, PGCAR President Cerrito shared during a press conference in December.

Home sales have been improving in Prince George's in part due to the county's Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The Down Payment on Your Dream Program, part of the NSP, earmarks $20,000 in down payment and closing costs on a foreclosed property for first-time homebuyers. To be eligible for the program, applicants must have a household income at, or below, 120 percent of the area median income, and purchase the property in an eligible ZIP code, said Nicole Garrett, of the Prince George's Department of Housing.

Prince George's is also working to curb the neglect of vacant property, which everyone knows can become an eyesore and bring down property values in any neighborhood. County Executive Johnson and members of the county council approved and signed a bill last summer that calls for the registration of foreclosed homes and establishes a penalty for failure to register properties. There is no charge to register vacant/foreclosed property.

This legislation requires the person authorized to make the sale of the property to notify the director of DER within five days after filing an order to docket or a complaint to foreclose a mortgage or deed of trust on residential property, Garrett said. If the person who is authorized to make the sale of the property does not register a foreclosed property, he or she will be fined $50 for each day the notice is not filed. "As the author and sponsor of this legislation, it was my goal to create a registration system for foreclosed properties that would help identify these properties before they become eyesores in the community," Councilmember Will Campos said.

Full 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 December 2009 Home Sales Statistics are now online at

Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance
Neighborhood Stabilization Plan
6 Million Still Available for County Home Buyers

Required Forms and Program Details in Members Only
A Down Payment on Your Dream printable marketing brochure for potential home buyers is available at as well as:
  • REALTORS® Guidance and Instructions
  • 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

NSP Sales Planning Action Items:

Help your clients take advantage of this great opportunity.

Membership Renewals are PAST DUE!
(They were due November 30.)

Brokers and non-paid Agents - Brokers will receive an itemized invoice by this Friday, 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.

Haven't renewed yet? Save the loss of lockbox, MRIS discounts and other REALTOR® Membership benefits. Renewing online is as easy as 1-2-3.

     1 - Click here
     2 - Log in
     3 - Renew online and receive your
           itemized receipt immediately !

Thank You for Making PGCAR One of the
BEST professional associations!

CRS 111: Short Sales and Foreclosures: Protecting Your Clients' Interests

At MAR on Tuesday, January 26
8:00 AM - 4:30 PM (Class starts promptly at 8:30)

Working with buyers and sellers of distressed properties can be frustrating and time consuming, but also rewarding. The Short Sales and Foreclosures course provides REALTORS® with practical approaches to the pre-foreclosure and foreclosure processes that will result in the successful disposition of these properties. The course explains the intricacies of the short sale and foreclosure processes, as well as the roles of lenders, sellers, buyers, and cooperating agents involved. Dialogues and systems for working with financial institutions and other owners of REO properties are also provided.

Upon the successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Give competent advice and counsel to homeowners who are in danger of losing their home through foreclosure.
  • Negotiate successfully with financial institutions and other owners of REO properties.
  • Sell and list REO and short sale properties.
  • Help clients maintain possession of their homes by creating "short sales" on qualified properties that will lead to the successful sale of those properties.

Gee Dunsten, CRS - A prolific author and speaker, Gee's hands-on approach to real estate training with leading edge ideas and systems has made him a popular speaker at the NAR conventions and numerous state and local association seminars. He has taught in 49 states and in countries as far away as Australia and New Zealand. With all of his career accomplishments, Gee views his greatest success as the building of his family.

$ 99 for Members of MD/DC CRS Chapter
$130 for Non-Members of MD/DC CRS Chapter
Mail or Fax the attached Registration Form >>

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.

C H A R I T Y   E V E N T   S P O N S O R S
Grand Sponsor
MetLife Home Loans
Platinum Sponsors
(Provided Holiday Meals for at least 25 Families)
Home First Title Keller Williams Preferred Properties
Gold Sponsors
(Provided Holiday Meals for at least 15 Families)
Century 21/Home Center
Cerrito Realty
Edmond F. Kogan, Appraiser
EXIT Powerhouse
Integrity Title & Escrow Co.
Millennium Title & Abstract
RE/MAX United
SunTrust Mortgage
Silver Sponsors
(Provided Holiday Meals for at least 10 Families)
1st Mariner Mortgage
AmericaHomeKey, Inc
Clinton Borland
CyberVillage Networkers
Direct Title Inc
Dorothy Proctor
EMS Enterprise
EXIT Realty
Express Homebuyers
Gateway Title, Inc.
Home First Mortgage
Ken Montville
Michael Patrick
Old Line Bank
Preferred Title & Escrow
SettlementOne Title & Escrow LLC
Susan Pruden
Tenacity Settlements, LLC
Village Settlements


Help walk your clients through every step of the real estate process. Use free handouts on hot topics from preparing for homeownership to simple tips for better home showings in your marketing materials, Web site, and other communications with customers.

Just download and distribute >>

New RESPA Rules Now in Effect

The following components of the new Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) Rule went in effect on 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.

The Special Information Booklet which mortgage brokers and/or lenders must give borrowers when applying for a mortgage loan has also been updated. This booklet contains consumer information regarding various real estate settlement services, and is required for purchase transactions only.

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

New Year's Resolution to Earn Your Required CE Early?
Sign up for classes at Please note this Tuesday evening's required DC course. Only $35 for REALTOR® members!

Why not also earn ALL of your required MD CEU this month? You can, here at PGCAR.

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

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

Next 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

Friday, February 12
MD Legislative Update
3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
3 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, February 15
MD Code of Ethics
3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 6:00 pm - 9:00 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 >>


In Case of Bad Weather, is Class Being Held?


PGCAR classes will be conducted unless the Prince George's County Government is closed. If you are registered for a class and cannot attend because of inclement weather, your registration fee will be returned or transferred to a future class. Please email Scott Miller and let him know whether you will be attending class. If you will not be attending class, please indicate whether you would like to reschedule or if you would like a refund.

Committee Meetings

If Prince George's County Public Schools are CLOSED, all PGCAR Committee Meetings will be cancelled. If Prince George's County Public Schools are on a delayed schedule, Committee Meetings will be held as scheduled.

PGCAR offices will be open unless the Prince George's County Government is closed.

The above inclement weather policy is also on the Calendar of Events.

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
These usually sell out early!


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 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)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Tuesday, February 2, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 1 (4 Hours)
Thursday, February 4, 2010 5:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Part 2 (4 Hours)

See the full schedule for class dates through June 2010.


The 2010 REALTORS® Code of Ethics
Did you know that the REALTORS® Code of Ethics was first adopted in 1913? To keep it current with today's business practices, existing Standards of Practice are modified and new Standards of Practice are adopted on an annual basis as needed. Several modifications were approved at the 2009 Annual Convention and are effective as of January 1, 2010.

2010 changes to the Code of Ethics include:

Revised Standard of Practice 3-2
To be effective, any change in compensation offered for cooperative services must be communicated to the other REALTOR® prior to the time that REALTOR® submits an offer to purchase/lease the property. (Amended 1/10)

New Standard of Practice 3-9
REALTORS® shall not provide access to listed property on terms other than those established by the owner or the listing broker. (Adopted 1/10)

Revised Standard of Practice 12-5
REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTOR®'s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/10)

New Standard of Practice 15-3
The obligation to refrain from making false or misleading statements about competitors, competitors' businesses, and competitors' business practices includes the duty to publish a clarification about or to remove statements made by others on electronic media the REALTOR® controls once the REALTOR® knows the statement is false or misleading. (Adopted 1/10)

Full list of changes >>
The 2010 Code of Ethics >>


PGCAR is offering GRI Series 100, 200, and 300.
Sign up now!

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  :  :  ©2010, PGCAR

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive