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March 8, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .

Envision Prince George's 21st Century Town Meeting
Saturday, March 20th
Envision Prince George's 21st Century Town Meeting Saturday, March 20 Since December, the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission (MNCPPC) has been conducting informal email surveys with County residents in an effort to begin a dialog on countywide planning. The "hands on" event, The Envision Prince George's Town Meeting, will take place on March 20th. MNCPPC is billing this as the largest and most diverse community meeting in our County's history and REALTORS® should be a part of it.

Event time and Location:
Saturday, March 20, 2010
9:30 am to 3:30 pm
Prince George's Sports and Learning Complex, Landover, Maryland
8001 Sheriff Road, Landover, MD 20785

Participation is FREE; however, attendees must register in advance for the event. All REALTORS® are encouraged to attend this interactive town meeting as discussion will focus on growth, jobs, schools, natural resources and more. MNCPPC is indicating that this will be a highly participatory event with wireless computers on every table to capture attendee's ideas in real time.

Specific information is available at

Reserve your attendance NOW >>
or call 1-866-377-3742 .

David Maclin Memorial Scholarship
Do You Know a Prince George's County Public High School Senior:
Graduating with a 2.0 or better GPA?
Already making a difference in the community?

Please have them complete an application for the 2010 David Maclin Memorial Scholarship. Winners will receive a $2,500 scholarship to be used toward further education in any community college, university or trade school.

Please also share Scholarship Application Forms with Principals and Teachers whom you know. These have been distributed to area schools, but you may enable someone who hasn't received the materials to share this opportunity with their class, and make an important difference in the life of a student who wouldn't have heard of it without your involvement.

Scholarship Letter   •   Scholarship Application   •   Permission Slip
Scholarship Applications are Due March 31st, 2010.

Workforce Housing Certification
Three Classes in One Day!

Friday, March 26
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at PGCAR

Workforce Housing Certification

Registration includes the following three classes toward WHC certification:

Bridging the Gap From Availability to Affordability
(2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), gives practical information about financial products and eligibility standards that may help challenged or first-time homebuyers.

State and Local Programs
(2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), provides fundamentals about state and local programs available for low/no downpayment, closing cost grants, extended term mortgages, as well as other tax credits, plus local government resources for homeownership education and counseling. ALSO includes training on how to best utilize the website.

Federal Programs and National Initiatives
(2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), includes information on programs and new regulations for HUD/FHA, Veteran's Administration, Rural Housing, as well as national private sector loan/guaranty programs.

Required for WHC certification
6 MD Elective CEU

Only $25 for REALTORS® ~ $50 for non-REALTORS®

Hurry! Register while seating remains at >>

MD/DC CRS Luncheon


The Maryland/DC CRS Chapter invites you to attend their General Membership Luncheon Friday, March 19, 2010

Be "In the Know" - Get all the Local, Regional, National Numbers & Outlooks
Straight from the Leading Sources

Ken Fears, NAR Economist, Manager of Regional Economics

Kent Menser, Executive Director of HC BRAC Office and Co-coordinator of the 8 County

Fort Meade Regional Growth Management Committee

WHEN: Next Friday, March 19, 2010
WHERE: Suburban Country Club of Baltimore
7600 Park Heights Avenue
Pikesville, MD, 21208
Exit 21 Baltimore Beltway
TIME: 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
COST: $35.00 includes lunch

Click here for Registration Form >>

Join Us at the Motown Extravaganza

2010 RPAC Fundraiser
Wednesday, April 21
6 - 10 p.m.
@ La Fontaine Bleu

3 tickets for $100
Single tickets $35

Don't miss the best RPAC Fundraiser ever!
Be there to be part of the action and support your industry!

Costume Contest, Texas Hold'em, Bid Whist, Spades, Motown Music,
Silent and Live Auctions, Caricaturist, Great Food and Open Bar!

Buy your tickets online today >>

Sponsor or donate a door prize and receive special recognition >>

Share the flyers.
Event Tickets >>   |   Event Sponsorship >>

NOTE: Contributions are for RPAC which is not deductible for Federal Income Tax purposes, charitable or otherwise. Contributions to RPAC are voluntary and are used for political purposes to support state, local and federal candidates and are charged against your limits under 2USC441A. Nothing should be construed as solicitations of contributions.

3.5% of Sale Price Available for Homebuyers Who Close Before May 1

Fannie Mae is offering a 3.5% incentive for buyers who purchase and close on a Fannie Mae-owned home between January 28 and April 30, 2010. Buyers purchasing properties listed on that are closed within this period may receive up to 3.5% of the final sales price for:

  • Closing costs;
  • The purchase of new Whirlpool® appliances by Fannie Mae; or
  • A mix of closing costs and appliances, at the buyer's discretion, up to the maximum 3.5%.

To be eligible for this incentive:

  • Property sales must close before May 1, 2010; and
  • Buyers must be owner-occupants (investors are excluded).

WANTED: 2010 - 2011 MAR Committee Volunteers

WANTED: 2010 - 2011 MAR Committee Volunteers Committee descriptions and a volunteer form are now online at There are 19 Maryland Association of REALTORS® committees, and all MAR members are encouraged to apply for 2 or 3 preferred committee choices.

Current MAR committee members must re-apply for 2010 - 2011 MAR Committee memberships.

Applications are due May 12, 2010.

2011 NAR Leadership Academy

2011 NAR Leadership Academy To our many members already actively involved, with a passion for the industry and a vision for the future of real estate - application for the 2011 graduating class of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy is open.

Benefits: Gain NAR institutional knowledge and achieve higher levels of personal effectiveness and leadership. The next Academy begins August 4-7, 2010 at the NAR Leadership Summit in Chicago and you will graduate on May 9, 2011 at the Midyears in Washington, DC.

Full Details & Application >>

Information Flyer >>

Applications are due March 31, 2010.

Midyear Registration Now Open

NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo Save the date for this year's Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo. The meetings will take place May 10 - 15 in Washington, DC.
The Trade Expo will be held May 12 - 14.

Registration and schedules are now online at
Midyears are FREE, as always, to REALTOR® members.

Veterans Homeownship
Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown and Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Secretary Raymond A. Skinner announced the launch of a special initiative to help veterans purchase previously foreclosed property within designated areas in Prince George's County.

This new program will provide up to all closing costs plus a 20% down payment in the form of a zero percent deferred loan to qualified Veterans. The state DHCD will use $2.175 million of federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) funds for this initiative.

  • Targeted especially to veterans' families at or below 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI).
  • Requires a minimal cash outlay of $1,000 by the homebuyer.
  • Provides up to all closing costs plus the 20% down payment in the form of a zero percent deferred loan to ensure that monthly mortgage payments are affordable to the targeted families.
  • Offers the homebuyers additional funding on a case-by-case basis if repairs are needed, to help ensure the home meets at least minimum property standards.
  • In addition to NSP/DHCD funds covering the settlement and downpayment, DHCD will be able to leverage another $7 million of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bond funds as part of this initiative in the form of an 4.875% MMP first mortgage loan with a 40 year term and no mortgage insurance requirement.

Program details >> press release >>

Details are also available in the Homebuyers Savings section. Email the link to veterans who may be eligible.


Down Payment on your Dream


Up to $60,000 in Assistance Available to Eligible Households

The Prince George's County Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) office will continue to accept applications until funding reserved for the below income brackets is depleted.

Maximum Income Level
for NSP Extension -
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

The NSP loan limit for this extension and expansion of the County program is $60,000 and is NOW available for down payment and closing costs assistance to purchase foreclosures in all 33 NSP eligible zip codes. The new guidelines are already in effect.

Program Requirements and Assistance Details available in the January 20 Legislative Alert >>

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, next offered on Saturday, April 3, by calling 301.567.3330 NOW, so they can take advantage of this offer while it lasts. They will also learn valuable tips about homeownership.
  2. Checklists, required forms, and instructional details are at Members Only.

Thank you for making this program such a huge success.
More than 500 new homeowners have been assisted and we're still adding more!


Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

Verbal Reprieve Only - Still in Effect on Forgiven Debt Taxation

On January 27, Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler released his opinion as to whether or not a local jurisdiction can collect transfer and recordation tax on forgiven debt in a short sale transaction. The Attorney General of Maryland has stated, "Counties do not have the authority to include debt forgiven by the seller's lender in calculating consideration on which the recordation tax will be calculated."

The Prince George's County Finance Department has not released an official written position on the opinion. The Finance Director, Michael Dougherty, communicated with PGCAR by phone on Friday, January 29 and indicated verbally that Prince George's County is "halting" the tax on forgiven outstanding debt until the County can study it further. Mr. Dougherty suggests that REALTORS® and title professionals who have upcoming settlements contact his office to verify the taxes due. The office of Finance can be reached at 301-952-4013. More details >>

Home Sales, Loan & Market Statistics

February 2010 market statistics are now online at, still showing remarkable improvements from one year ago. Although many economists have predicted a three-month lull between December 2009 and April 2010, contracts for the condo market in Prince George's show a slight uptick from January to February 2010. Contracts for single-family homes show a 11% decrease, not as much of a decrease some economists feared once February's record-setting snow falls hit, and a 183% increase from February 2009.

Mortgage Rates Below 5%
Mortgage borrowing costs are remaining below 5%, reports Freddie Mac. Rates on 30-year, fixed loans averaged 4.97 percent for the week ending March 4, and not far off the record low of 4.71 percent. Interest on 15-year fixed loans are averaging 4.33 percent. Five-year adjustable-rate mortgages decreased slightly to 4.11 percent and the one-year ARM increased slightly to 4.27 percent. Full article >>

Keep alert of the many incentives available to Prince George's home buyers (online and in the following article) during these winter months.

$35,000 in Closing Cost and Down Payment Assistance

  1. April 30 Settlement Deadline!
    3.5% Fannie Mae Closing Cost Assistance
    - Fannie Mae is offering a 3.5% incentive for buyers who purchase and close on properties listed on

  2. April 30 Contract Deadline!
    $6,500 / $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit
    - Available for buyers entering a binding contract for a new or replacement principal residence by April 30, 2010, and closing 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?

    Homebuyer Tax Credit IRS Q & A >>
    Homebuyer Tax Credit Basics >>
    FREE Homebuyer Tax Credit Marketing Brochures >>

  3. NEW! Veterans Homeownership Initiative - State pilots assistance program for veterans to affordably buy vacant properties in Prince George's County.

    Forward this link to eligible veterans >>

  4. 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 >>

  5. 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 >>

  6. 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 >>

  7. $60,000 County-wide Down Payment on Your Dream Program - Buying a foreclosure in Prince George's County? Don't forget assistance of up to $60,000 is still available for targeted income brackets through NSP.

    Details >>

Visit for national, state, county and township programs which SAVE HOMEBUYERS MONEY.

Low mortgage rates and unbelievable home buyer incentives -
The news is out, "It's a great time to buy in Prince George's!"

FREE Marketing Webinars from NAR

Right Tools, Right Now

Use the First-Time Buyer Tax Credit to Build Business
Listen to a webinar and download helpful marketing slides and consumer pamphlets. Click here >>

121 Ways to Market Yourself
Specifically for commercial agents, this program will teach seasoned and newer practitioners how to systematize a consistent lead flow, target your ideal client, and position yourself as a leading expert. Playback or download here >>

Federal and State Legislative News

ANNAPOLIS UPDATE: MAR Testifies Against Imposing Stormwater Management Fees on Residential and Commercial Property
Click here to view a video update from Friday, March 5 on Maryland legislation now being considered affecting homeownership and the real estate industry.

In early 2009, NAR urged the U.S. Treasury Department, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to improve the short sales process. On May 14, 2009, the Obama Administration announced a program outline to provide incentives and uniform procedures for short sales and deeds-in-lieu (DIL) of foreclosure under the Making Home Affordable Program. On November 30, 2009, the Obama Administration released guidelines and uniform forms for its Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives (HAFA) Program.

The new HAFA provisions become effective on or before April 5, 2010.

HAFA Consumer Information Brochure >>
Short Sales Resources at >>
February 19 Press Release >>

Earn Your Required CE at PGCAR

CONTRACTS TRAINING - Need a bit of practical guidance with contracts? Sign up for Don Martin's 3 CEU Contracts class this Wednesday, March 10, 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. at PGCAR.

You can also earn all of your required MD CEU at PGCAR during March, and learn some peace of mind over taxes from Linda de Marlor on April 7.

Sign up for classes at

This Wednesday, March 10
3 MD Elective CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

This Friday, March 12
MD Legislative Update
3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
3.0 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
MD Fair Housing Update
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Next Tuesday, March 16
Reverse Mortgages
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Bruce Winstead 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Wednesday, March 24
MD Code of Ethics
3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 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 >>

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!

  • Why are some agents doing really well right now, while others are failing?
  • What simple practices and approaches are creating opportunities in this market?
  • What are the "Five Cs" to success in real estate sales?
  • Where do most successful agents get most of their leads and referrals?
  • Is motivation really the answer to success. . .or is it something more?

Only $10 for program and breakfast.

March 17, 2010 in Baltimore   •   April 21, 2010 in Frederick

Learn tips to keep your attitude up and your business strong!
Register today at


Offer a Class that Helps Buyers Qualify for 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. PGCAR has partnered with HIP and HOPE certified counseling agencies to offer these classes for your customers, the home buying public.

After completion of the required eight hour course attendees will be provided with the documentation necessary to qualify them for NSP down payment assistance.

Only $50 for the full 8-hour required class.
Call 301-567-3330 to register your customers PROMPTLY for the next open session.
All classes will be held at the PGCAR offices.

Saturday, April 3, 2010 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Parts 1 & 2 (8 Hours)


Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #16-15:
Cooperating Broker's Compensation Specified on Deposit Receipt

REALTOR® A filed a written complaint against REALTOR® B, alleging violation of Article 16 of the Code of Ethics. It was referred to the Grievance Committee and after preliminary review, the Grievance Committee referred it to the Executive Officer with instructions to arrange a hearing before a Hearing Panel of the Professional Standards Committee. After following required procedures, including timely notices to all parties, a Hearing Panel was convened.

REALTOR® A stated to the Hearing Panel that he and REALTOR® B were both members of the Board MLS and that, as an MLS Participant, he was required to specify the amount of compensation he was offering on listings filed with the MLS. However, REALTOR® B had ignored this information as published by the MLS and had, on two separate occasions, brought REALTOR® A purchase agreements with copies of deposit receipts that provided for a different amount of subagency compensation to be payable to REALTOR® B. In following this practice, REALTOR® B was, in effect, presenting a demand for a subagency compensation greater than that which REALTOR® A, as the listing broker, had specified in the information filed with the Board's Multiple Listing Service.

REALTOR® A also complained that the language of the deposit receipt was so phrased as to make presentation of the offer conditioned upon REALTOR® A's agreement to pay a larger subagency commission than he had offered through the MLS. REALTOR® A said this practice by REALTOR® B created a dilemma for him as the listing broker of either not submitting the offer to the client or, alternatively, paying an amount of subagency compensation greater than he had offered through the MLS.

REALTOR® B responded that he had a right to negotiate with REALTOR® A as to the subagency compensation he would receive for his work, and the amount he had put on the deposit receipt was the compensation for which he was willing to work. REALTOR® B said that REALTOR® A would have to make his own decision as to whether he would present the offer or not.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 16, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>

Membership Renewals Past Due

Brokers and non-paid Agents - January 31 was the deadline to pay 2010 dues or remove any unpaid agents from your office roster. All new licensed agents in your office were also required to join by January 31. Suspensions are now taking effect for offices with non-paid members.

Renew Online, or if your account has already been suspended, please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.

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

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