Print     Email a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

January 25, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .

Membership Renewals are now Past Due

Brokers and non-paid Agents - Sunday, January 31st is the deadline to pay 2010 dues or remove any unpaid agents from your office roster. All new licensed agents in your office must also join by Sunday, January 31st. If dues remain unpaid as of next Monday, February 1st, the entire office will be suspended.

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

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



Down Payment on your Dream Due to the popularity of the NSP program, the County's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has set an application deadline of FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010. Funding will be awarded on a first come first completed basis, until all funds are depleted. Lenders must make sure they have followed the lenders checklist when submitting their files. No accommodations will be made for missing items. All incomplete files will be returned.

Please note that funding has been earmarked for all applications submitted to NSP to date. 475 new homeowners have been assisted and we're still adding more!


On the same day DHCD announced the February 19 application deadline (last Tuesday, January 19), the County Council passed CR 3 which extends and expands the program for applicants at or below 50% of area medium income levels.

To increase housing affordability for applicants at or below 50% of the area median income levels, a new NSP loan limit of up to $60,000 is now available for down payment and closing costs assistance to purchase foreclosures in all 33 NSP eligible zip codes. The following new guidelines are effective immediately and will apply until the February 19, 2010 NSP Application deadline or until funds earmarked for this population are depleted.

Income Levels
Very Low Income
1-Person Household$35,950
2-Persons Household$41,100
3-Persons Household$46,200
4-Persons Household$51,350
5-Persons Household$55,450
6-Persons Household$59,550
7-Persons Household$63,650
8-Persons Household$67,800


  1. Up to $60,000 per household (note that $60,000 is not automatic). The amount approved is what will be needed to achieve requirements for back end ratio, and minimum LTV for 1st Trust.
  2. Maximum back end ratio 45% - no exceptions, no compensating factors
  3. Minimum LTV for the 1st Trust loan is 65%.
  4. Maximum of 2 points, including loan origination
  5. Additional points up to a total of 4, including loan origination, approved only if buy down of rate is documented.
  6. Minimum applicant contribution of $1,000
  7. 15 year primary residency requirement
  8. 15 year loan term
  9. 0% interest, deferred payment


Length of Time Purchaser Retains Home
as Primary Residence
Balance Due
(As % of Total DPCCA Loan Received)
Less than 5 years100%
At Least 5 years but less than 15 years70%
15 or more years50%

If you have any questions please contact:

Rosalyn B. Clemens
NSP Program Manager
  Yetta Stokes
NSP Senior Loan Processor


  1. Sign up any interested homebuyer for the required 8-hour course at 301.567.3330 NOW, so they can meet the February 19 deadline.
  2. Assist any homebuyers already in the process with the information they need to take advantage of NSP Down Payment on Your Dream assistance of up to $20,000 for incomes above the 50% area median, or up to $60,000 for incomes at or below the 50% area median.
  3. Checklists, required forms, and instructional details are at Members Only.


LEGISLATIVE ALERT - January 22, 2010
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

Urgent Tax Issue Affecting SHORT SALE Transactions

On Thursday January 21, it was brought to the attention of PGCAR that the Prince George's County Department of Finance has taken the position (similar to Montgomery County and Anne Arundel County) on short sale transactions to impose recordation and transfer taxes on the total dollar amount of outstanding debt. This is contrary to the customary practice of applying these taxes to the consideration paid or contract price.

The Industry has taken the position that this interpretation conflicts with Maryland law which states that taxes, such as these, are applied to the amount of "consideration paid" or contract price.

As this is an interpretation of Maryland state law PGCAR, GCAAR, and AACAR are working with the Maryland Association of REALTORS® (MAR) to resolve the issue. PGCAR has shared with our representatives locally how this will put a halt to short sale transactions throughout the county. MAR is speaking with state legislators to request legislative clarification and with the Maryland Attorney General to seek an official opinion of the current law.

In the mean time PGCAR has consulted with legal counsel to adopt necessary form language to address this issue. The PGCAR Jurisdictional Addendum to MAR Short Sale Addendum, Form #1339 is attached, and added to Members Only. The intent is to assist buyer agents and protect buyer clients. Unfortunately the form does NOT assist those already under contract.

Example of tax difference: Seller has $400,000 in outstanding mortgages owed. Seller and Sellers Lender accept a short sale offer with a contract price of $250,000. In this example the Sellers Lender is accepting $150,000 less than what is owed on the property. If the Sellers Lender does not pursue further collection of this $150,000 shortfall, Prince George's County wants to charge transfer and recordation taxes on $400,000, not the $250,000 agreed contract price (consideration).

If the buyer and seller have entered into a contract where transfer taxes are split 50/50, County Transfer taxes on $250,000 would be $3,500 ($1,750 for the buyer and $1,750 for the seller). County Recordation tax would be $1,250 ($625 for the buyer and $625 for the seller). So the total County Transfer and Recordation tax for the buyer would be $2,375 and the same for the seller.

If the County instead charges County Transfer and Recordation taxes on $400,000, then the County Transfer tax would be $5,600 ($2,800 for the buyer and $2,800 for the seller). The County Recordation tax would be $2,000 ($1,000 for the buyer and $1,000 for the seller). So the total County Transfer and Recordation tax for the buyer would be $3,800 and the same for the seller.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact Mike Graziano, PGCAR Director of Government Affairs at 301-306-7900 x227, or

Read the January 22 Legislative Alert for full details >>

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

LEGISLATIVE ALERT - January 20, 2010
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

FHA Announces New Underwriting Criteria

On January 20, 2010, FHA announced major changes to ensure its long-term financial soundness. FHA is trying to balance three fundamental objectives:

  1. Financial soundness of the FHA insurance fund - ensuring that its capital ratio returns above 2 percent,
  2. Fulfilling its mission of serving borrowers not adequately served by the private sector and
  3. Facilitating the recovery of the housing industry and the over-all economy.

FHA announced changes in the following areas:

  • The upfront mortgage insurance premium (UFMIP) will increase to 2.25 percent up from 1.75 percent. Contrary to reports, FHA will continue to allow the financing of the UFMIP.
  • Borrowers with a credit score below 580 will be required to have at least a 10 percent down payment. The minimum down payment will remain at 3.5 percent for all other borrowers.
  • FHA will seek legislative authority to increase the annual premium (currently capped at .55 percent). Over time, increasing the annual premium may allow FHA to reduce the up-front premium.
  • Seller concessions will be reduced to 3 percent from 6 percent.

FHA will make the following lender enforcement changes:

  • FHA will implement credit watch terminations at lender underwriting.
  • Public reporting of lender performance through scorecard system will be implemented.
  • FHA will implement, through notice and comment, indemnification against lenders.
  • Indemnification will be expanded beyond fraud and misrepresentation.
  • FHA will seek legislative authority to enforce indemnifications against direct endorsed (DE) lenders.
  • FHA will seek legislative authority to sanction lenders nationwide based on performance of local branch.

Proposed FHA Underwriting Changes:
FHA Announces Policy Changes to Address Risk and Strengthen Finances >>
Washington Post article >>

FHA Announces Waiver of 90 Day Resale Restriction

Effective February 1, 2010, HUD is temporarily lifting the "90 day resale restriction" rule which prohibits FHA mortgage insurance for a subsequent resale within 90 days of original purchase. The waiver is effective for one year. To protect consumers from potential "flipping" scams, the waiver is limited to sales meeting specific conditions. Click below for specific details.

FHA Waiver of 90 Day Resale Rule:
HUD Takes Action to Speed Resale of Foreclosed Properties, Press Release >>
Waiver of Requirements of 24 CFR 203.37a(b)(2) >>

New RESPA Rules

On November 17, 2008, HUD published a new final rule "To Simplify and Improve the Process of Obtaining Mortgages and Reduce Consumer Settlement Costs." The rule mandates use of a new Good Faith Estimate (GFE) and HUD-1 which went into effect on January 1, 2010. Click below to view the latest NAR RESPA details.

NAR RESPA Information:

Read the January 22 Legislative Alert for full details >>

2009 Production Awards
Calling all PGCAR achievers!

Application for 2009 PGCAR Achievement Awards is now open -- to all current members holding a broker or salesperson's license. In order to qualify, an applicant must have been a Primary member of PGCAR in good standing on or before July 1, 2009. However, members licensed for the first time during 2009 must be a Primary Member of PGCAR in good standing on or before September 30, 2009.

You are reminded that All transactions must be reported in M.R.I.S. If you are the selling agent and the listing does not appear in M.R.I.S., you may enter it as a comparable. If you do not know how to enter these transactions, please call M.R.I.S. at (301) 838-7160 or follow the directions enclosed. Please post all comparables as soon as possible.


The application process is simple! All you need to do is:
  1. Read the rules.
  2. Complete the Entry Form.

    Achievement Awards Application:    

    Rookie of the Year Application:        

  3. Submit the Entry Form and $40 application fee
    to PGCAR by 5 p.m. SHARP on February 12th, 2010.

Complete application rules & details are also at
The Annual Awards Luncheon is set for March 9th at La Fontaine Bleu.
Watch for Luncheon details coming soon!

2009 Production Awards

30 UNDER 30 - Nominations Due Sunday

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 Sunday, January 31.

2010 MAR LEGISLATIVE DAY - This Wednesday, JANUARY 27

The Maryland Association of REALTORS® will host its annual Legislative Day this Wednesday, January 27 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel. The program begins at 3:30 p.m. with registration starting at 3 p.m. Key Legislative officials have been invited and the program will feature various guest speakers briefing us on top issues affecting REALTORS® in the upcoming 2010 General Session. A reception will follow at 6 p.m. and will conclude at 8 p.m.

REALTORS® and their guests are welcome to attend the 3:30 Legislative Day Program FREE. All are also welcome to attend the evening reception for a modest $20 "cover" for drinks and hors d'oeuvres, which can be paid at the door by check or cash only.

Please RSVP your attendance plans in advance, for both the Legislative Day Program and Reception to Sheryl Bergman via email to or by phone at (800) 638-6425.

Meet your local legislators and show our REALTOR® strength.
We hope to see everyone there to start off the 2010 Legislative Session right!

In the Press! PGCAR & Prince George's County Home Buyer Benefits

Here are some helpful statistics showing that now IS the time to buy, especially in Prince George's County.

Find synopses of these articles in the January 11th REALTOR® Connection.

NAR Offers Employer-Assisted Housing Class

NAR's Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH) class, formerly the Home from WorkTM class, is a unique class to help you unlock a new market and help address workforce housing issues in your community.

The EAH Class will train you to:

  • Increase your name recognition
  • Expand your client base
  • Gain referrals
  • Enhance your professionalism
  • Strengthen your community
When: This Thursday, January 28
9 am - 1 pm (8:30 am Registration)
Where: National Association of REALTORS® DC Office - 12th Floor
500 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington DC 20001

Email Holly Moskerintz to register today!

Listing and Sales - Forms Checklists Now Available

Two helpful forms checklists are now available in Members Only, in the Downloadable PDF Forms section.

Click here and log in for a Sales Contract Forms checklist and a Listing Forms checklist.


Earn Your Required CE Early
Why not also earn ALL of your required MD CEU in February? You can, here at PGCAR.

Sign up for classes at

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
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
GRI 100 Series - Module 101:
Building a Real Estate Business

6 Elective CEU, MD
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Friday, May 7
GRI 100 Series - Module 102:
Prospecting & Listing Techniques

6 Elective CEU, MD
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>

PGCAR's Inclement Weather Policy can be found on our Events calendar, at

Homebuyer Tax Credit Details

The new, expanded homebuyer tax credit requires that you must buy, or enter into a binding contract to buy a new or replacement principal residence by April 30, 2010, and close on the home by June 30, 2010. Did you know that replacement homebuyers do NOT have to sell their current principal residence to qualify for the $6,500 credit as long as other requirements are met?

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!!

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, charge a reduced fee of $50 for the entire 8-hour class.

Below are the next 3 homebuyer training sessions. Call 301-567-3330 to register your customers PROMPTLY, so they can meet the February 19 deadline.

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)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
Saturday, February 13, 2010 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)

More details at

REALTORS® Core Health Insurance

According to NAR surveys more than one in four REALTORS® lack medical insurance and many more are significantly underinsured. A new NAR member benefit, REALTORS® Core Health Insurance (RCHI), offers an affordable and guaranteed-acceptance limited medical insurance program designed exclusively for REALTORS® under 65.

  • Provides coverage for everyday healthcare needs - helping to provide a safety net for people who do not have the luxury of being covered by a comprehensive health insurance plan
  • Guaranteed-acceptance**- No medical questions/exams required
  • Low cost - Plans start as low as $70.69 per month
  • Freedom to choose any provider
  • Next day coverage is available
  • Benefits include: doctor office visits, wellness visits, emergency room benefits, surgery benefits, a prescription discount card and more!

Learn More... and take advantage of exclusive rates and plans >>


Code of Ethics Case Study:
Case #13-2: Use of Standard Purchase Contract Form

REALTOR® A, as the exclusive agent of Seller B, sold a small commercial property to Buyer C, filling in the blanks in the standard purchase contract form. At the time REALTOR® A presented the contract for Buyer C's signature, he explained that the contract was prepared by attorneys and was commonly used in the area. He suggested that Buyer C have his attorney review it. Buyer C said he would read it over carefully, and if he had any questions he would consult an attorney about it. He subsequently signed the contract, saying it was clear and satisfactory to him.

At the closing, Buyer C professed to having been under some misunderstanding as to language in the contract regarding the date of possession of the property, and following the closing Seller B complained to the Board of REALTORS® that he had been greatly embarrassed by this circumstance at the closing and felt that REALTOR® A was at fault in preparing a contract without having an attorney participate in the drafting.

At the hearing, REALTOR® A reiterated the points that had been made in his written response to the complaint: that the contract he had used was the standard form, prepared by an attorney; that in keeping with Article 13 he had recommended that the buyer have the contract reviewed by his own attorney; and that no other parties present at the closing had found any lack of clarity in the clause in question.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 13, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>

Save the Date!
Annual Awards Luncheon
March 9th at La Fontaine Bleu


The Gazette is offering full color display home ads for $49 in their weekly publication, with Thursday delivery of over 162,000 papers to homes and businesses in Prince George's County. Instead of publishing a monthly Homes Spotlight, the Gazette now plans to emphasize current home listings more prominently on a weekly basis. Contact Matt Lafranchise of the Gazette at or 240-473-7589 for information or to advertise.
Home Ads Details >>


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