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April 19, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .

Please plan accordingly.
The PGCAR Office will be closed this Friday because of Education Day.

See you there!


T H I S   W E E K !

Come out and stand strong for RPAC this Wednesday
with over 100 REALTORS®, Affiliates and supporters of homeownership!

One Million REALTORS® Speak
. . . and Our Government Listens!

Over 100,000 REALTORS® called and emailed
. . . the tax credit was expanded and extended.

RPAC guarantees a united voice for REALTORS® and homeownership.

But it all starts with you.

Please contribute to RPAC and keep the REALTOR® voice STRONG!

Join us for the best RPAC Fundraiser ever!
Reserve now to be part of the action and support your industry!
Each ticket provides you:
Admission to the event, a credit toward your total 2010 RPAC contribution, a chance to
win door prizes at the reception, and a chance to meet County and State lawmakers.
Costume Contest, Texas Hold'em, Bid Whist, Spades, Motown Music,
Silent and Live Auctions, Caricaturist, Open Bar and Great Food!
Share the flyers.

Michael Chelst, AmericaHomeKey, Inc.
Open Bar
CSS Title Corporation,
Lynn Gardner
Bronze Sponsors
• Mel Schneider Title
& Escrow, Inc.
• Presidential Bank FSB,
Mike Christafaro & Mike Kelly
• Capital Mortgage Finance,
Rich Pierson
• Home First Title Group,
Michelle Raines
• RE/MAX United Realty,
Jack Bannister &
John Lesniewski
Cash Sponsors
• Carl E. Zentz, P.A.
• Cerrito Realty, LLC - REALTOR® Mike Cerrito
• HMS Home Warranty - Jim Hoopes
• Pioneer Realty - REALTOR® John Harrison
• Prosperity Mortgage - Harold Myles
• RE/MAX Specialists - REALTOR® Andre Nicholas
• RE/MAX United Realty - REALTORS® Jack Bannister
& John Lesniewski
• Sage Title Group - Kim Deal
• Village Settlements, Inc. - David C. Hahn, Esq
* 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.

This Friday, April 23rd
at La Fontaine Bleu
Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC license renewal

Terrific Courses & Instructors
to Select From,
Breakfast, Lunch &
Our Famous
Ice Cream Social

All for Only
$75 for Members;
$100 Non-Members

  • MD Code of Ethics
    3.0 CEU - MD required (Ethics) & DC elective hours
    Instructor: Larry Hudson
  • Law of Agency
    3.0 CEU - MD required (Legislative Update) hours
    Instructor: Al Monshower
  • 203K Purchase Rehab
    3.0 CEU - MD elective hours
    Instructor: Michael Chelst
  • Stay Current on FHA & RESPA
    3.0 CEU - MD elective hours
    Instructor: Pat Miller
  • Building Green
    3.0 CEU - MD elective hours
    Instructor: Vimal Kapoor
  • Advertising Obligations of a RE Licensee
    1.5 CEU - MD required (Legislative Update) & DC elective hours
    Instructor: Al Monshower


Click here for a printable flyer.

Get Onboard with Community Service... It Feels Right!

Christmas in April

Christmas in April is this Saturday, April 24.
No special skills required! Please come help paint and do yard work for a needy County family.   Volunteer today at >

Thank you to all who joined or sponsored the March of Dimes' March for Babies on Saturday, April 17 at Watkins Park. You can still make a contribution at

Finally, save the date for our 2nd Annual Health Fair on May 22 in the parking lot of the Association office.

$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $
Pursuing New Strategies for State and Local Programs
$ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $ $

There are so many programs to help, providing REAL dollars to homebuyers!

  • What downpayment/closing cost assistance programs and tax credits are available?
  • How do homebuyers apply?

For only $10, you'll get a lot of questions answered, earn 2.5 CEU, and enjoy breakfast too!

This Wednesday, April 21
9 am - 12 noon
at La Fontaine Bleu

Register today >>

Short Sales and Foreclosures - 6 CEU ABR & SFR Designations Class

Next Tuesday, April 27 at PGCAR, 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

Manuever the complexities of short sales, master the opportunities, learn how to evaluate options for distressed homeowners, and counsel buyer-clients in purchasing foreclosures. A core class for the Short Sales and Foreclosures Resources (SFR) certification, an ABR elective, and worth 6 elective MD CEU if you score at least 80% on the test at end of class.

Only $75 for this full-day designation class. Registration & Details >>   PDF Flyer >>

to Learn More and Earn More!

GRI 100 Starts Wednesday, May 5
Sign up for the entire, 30 CE Series here!
(3 hrs Fair Housing, 3 hrs Ethics, and 10.5 hrs Elective CE)
  red arrow Module 101: Building a Real Estate Business - Wed, May 5
  red arrow Module 102: Prospecting & Listing Techniques - Fri, May 7
  red arrow Module 103: Fair Housing & Cultural Issues; and MD Law Ethics, Flipping & Predatory Lending - Thur, May 13
  red arrow Module 105: Marketing Methods - Thur, May 20
  red arrow Module 104: Basic Residential Financing - Wed, May 26
Just need a few make-up classes, or want to learn in-depth
knowledge of specific topics?
Sign up for individual classes by clicking class titles above.

PGCAR is hosting all three required GRI series in 2010.

GRI Series 200 in August ~ GRI Series 300 in November

Online Education Now Offered by PGCAR
Continuing Education

Online Education is here at PGCAR!

The first offering is Maryland Legislative Update, a 3 CEU required category for license renewals. Click here to sign up!

Online options for several more classes will be approved and offered soon. Details at >





Homebuyer Savings Expiring April 30 - 11 Days Away

Home Buyer Tax Credit Expiring Home Buyer Tax Credit

Have some homebuyers on the fence or slow on paperwork? The $8,000 tax credit is available for first-time homebuyers and $6,500 for homebuyers replacing their principal residence. If they enter a binding contract by April 30, 2010, and close on the home by June 30, 2010 they can still qualify.
Here's how >>

3.5% Sales Price Incentive From Fannie Mae

Home buyers purchasing properties listed on can receive up to 3.5% of the home sales price to cover closing costs and the purchase of new Whirlpool® appliances by Fannie Mae.

Appraisals, Short Sales, Refinances All See Changes

The last issues of REALTOR® Connection detailed extensive changes which affect YOU and our industry. Please review these to make sure they weren't missed!



A New Rule Affecting REALTORS® and Property Managers

A rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requiring the use of lead-safe practices for renovation work will go into effect this Thursday, April 22, 2010. Under the rule, contractors performing renovation, repair and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in homes built before 1978, and certain other properties must be certified and must follow specific work practices, including testing, to prevent lead contamination.

To learn more about these regulations and how they will affect real estate transactions, click here to access short webcasts offered by NAR. Information for REALTORS®, property managers, other professionals and consumers is available through the Environmental Protection Agency at Also see the EPA's Renovation Compliance Guide.


HB 590 / SB 657 -- Prohibit the Taxation of Forgiven Debt in Short Sales - SUPPORT

Prince George's and two other counties (Anne Arundel and Montgomery) recently implemented policies that imposed recordation and/or transfer taxes on the forgiven debt in short sales transactions. Prince George's County has been under a verbal reprieve only from this additional tax. HB 590 / SB 657 makes clear that recordation and transfer taxes may not be imposed on the forgiven debt in short sale transactions. Short sales, like other real estate transactions, may only be taxed on the consideration. The passage of this legislation follows an Attorney General Opinion issued at MAR's Legislative Day that also deemed the Counties' practices unlawful.

STATUS: Passed - Effective on the date the Governor signs the bill into law.

HB 1298 / SB 666 -- Prohibit Private Transfer Fees - SUPPORT

Several states have passed legislation prohibiting the imposition of private transfer fees on property. Similar to a ground rent, private transfer fees are typically created as a 99 year deed restriction that requires a buyer to pay a fee to the original seller of the property every time the property sells. Those fees can be as high as 1% of the purchase price. Developers and some individual sellers often share the revenue with the commercial entity that creates it. MAR believes PTFs reduce transparency in real estate transactions, impose complexity on transactions which will increase with time, and cost buyers money in higher closing costs and lost equity. HB 1298 / SB 666 prohibits the imposition of PTFs on property in Maryland.

STATUS: Passed - Effective on the date the Governor signs the bill into law.

HB 62 -- Septic Legislation Correction - SUPPORT

The Maryland General Assembly passed legislation in 2009 which required homeowners living in Maryland's Critical Areas to install nitrogen reduction technology when replacing a failing septic system. Although the legislation was passed with the understanding that grants would cover the cost difference of the new technology, the Maryland Department of the Environment changed the loan terms forcing most families to incur thousands of dollars in extra costs. In response to the introduction of HB 62, MDE reversed course and is now providing full grants for the cost differential to those homeowners living in Maryland's Critical Areas. HB 62 clarifies in statute that MDE must continue to provide full grants through 2012, at which time the grants and program funding will be reevaluated.

STATUS: Passed - Effective October 1, 2010

HB 999 / SB 686 -- Storm Water Management Fees - OPPOSE

MAR opposed similar legislation last year. These bills would have required all residential and commercial properties to pay a stormwater "fee" even if those properties already manage all of their stormwater on-site. There are already multiple layers of tax on real property and MAR opposed these bills again this year.

STATUS: Not Passed.

HB 1209 / SB 1083 -- Semi-Annual Taxation for Non Owner-Occupied Properties

All owner-occupied residential properties in Maryland pay their property taxes semi-annually or may choose to pay the full payment in advance. Non owner-occupied properties in Maryland, however, do not have the option of paying their property taxes semi-annually. Given the state of the economy, many businesses and investors would benefit from semi-annual payments. Although the Legislature was unwilling to pass HB 1209 / SB 1083 as introduced, it passed a more limited semiannual bill which MAR also strongly supported. HB 484 requires counties to convert small business property to a semiannual tax payment schedule. A small business is a commercial property with a property tax bill of no more than $50,000 a year.

STATUS: HB 484 Passed. Effective October 1, 2010.

HB 1291 / SB 952 -- Energy Disclosure for Maryland Properties - OPPOSE

The Maryland Energy Administration introduced legislation to require the disclosure of utility bills to all homebuyers in Maryland. Although MAR was initially opposed to the specific approach taken by these bills, MAR worked with the Energy Administration on an alternative approach. However, those amendments were not ultimately accepted by the Committees and the legislation died.

STATUS: Not Passed.

HB 83 and HB 406 -- Real Estate Commission Legislation - SUPPORT

The Maryland Real Estate Commission introduced two bills.

The first requires all brokers and managers to take a broker supervisory course as part of their continuing education requirement. It also requires agents and brokers to take an agency law course. Both the supervisory and agency courses would not increase the existing 15 hour CE requirement.

STATUS: Passed. Effective October 1, 2010.

The second bill provides the first statutory guidance on how real estate teams may operate in Maryland. The legislation requires all real estate teams have a designated team leader with three year's experience. Each team must include the name of the team leader in advertisements, and disclose the business relationship between team members when a dual agency situation arises.

STATUS: Passed. Effective October 1, 2010.

HAFA (Short Sale) Rules Now in Effect

The federal government's standardized rules and forms for short sales took effect on Monday, April 5. Moving forward, lenders who are participating in the government's Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) have to participate in the standardized short sale procedures. Learn about the rules, including changes just announced in late March, in a 14-minute video with Jeff Lischer, NAR managing director of regulatory policy. Jeff discusses more details in an hour-long webinar. This Webinar will give you the information you will need to know to make HAFA short sales a success.

Also see NAR's Short Sales Website, including HAFA Guidelines, Forms, and FAQs >

Register Online for 2010 Midyear Meetings and Trade Show

NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo This year's Midyear 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.

Commercial Symposium Open to All Practitioners


MAR has joined with SIOR and NAIOP
to present

Real Estate in the 2010 MD General Assembly Session
(Pending Approval for 3 Legal/Legislative CE Credits)

Thursday, May 20, 2010
Westin Hotel at BWI

7:30 AM Registration and Breakfast
8:30 AM - 11:30 AM 2010 Legislative Update

The program will focus on the 2010 Maryland General Assembly Session as well as briefings on local commercial and industrial real estate issues by practicing attorneys.

For more information, please click here. Register online at

REALTOR® Magazine Seeks Good Neighbor Nominations

Five winners will receive $10,000 grants and national publicity.

REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2010 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live.

Deadline for entry is Friday, May 21, 2010.
Apply at

$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. 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.

Mortgage rates are below 5% and there are unbelievable home buyer incentives -
It's a great time to buy in Prince George's!




PGCAR is continuing to partner with HOPE and HIP to offer more Saturday classes for your homebuying customers.

These 8-hour HUD approved sessions are mandatory for the extended, expanded benefits NSP program, and provide information that will help prospective homebuyers be successful homeowners.

Saturday, April 24 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Offered by HIP, FREE
RSVP by calling 301-699-6262.
Saturday, May 1 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Offered by HOPE, $50 cost
RSVP by calling 301-567-3330.
Saturday, June 5 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Offered by HOPE, $50 cost
RSVP by calling 301-567-3330.

Learn More Earn More at PGCAR

Sign up for classes at

This Wednesday, April 21
WHC: Pursuing New Strategies for
State and Local Programs

2.5 MD Elective CEU
various 8:30 am - 12 noon

This Friday, April 23
Up to 6 hours of MD and DC Continuing Education
various 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuesday, April 27
Short Sales and Foreclosures:
What Buyer's Representatives Need to Know

6 MD Elective CEU
various 9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Monday, May 3
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 Housinge
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Wednesday, May 5
GRI 100 Series - Full Series of 5 Classes Begins
16.5 MD CEU - covering 3 hrs Fair Housing,
3 hrs Ethics, and
10.5 hrs Elective CE
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
GRI 100 Series - Module 101:
Building a Real Estate Business
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Friday, May 7
GRI 100 Series - Module 102:
Prospecting & Listing Techniques
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>


Our Professional Code of Conduct

The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® establishes a public and professional consensus against which the practice and conduct of REALTORS® and REALTOR-Associates® may be judged. In joining a Board of REALTORS®, you signify your intention to abide by the Code and thereby enhance the public and professional image of yourself and all other REALTORS®. Adherence to the Code is the first great bond between REALTORS® throughout the country. Knowledge and adherence to the Code sets you apart from other real estate practictioners.

The Code of Ethics Case Studies which you have been reading have been developed by the NAR Professional Standards Committee to help understand in real-life scenarios, the ethical obligations created by the Code of Ethics. They are also used for extra guidance for Grievance Committees, ethics and arbitration Hearing Panels, and Boards of Directors.

Code of Ethics Case Studies present specific situations involving charges of alleged unethical conduct by REALTORS® and/or REALTOR-Associates®, which are reviewed by a peer panel of Board Members and in which decisions as to ethical conduct are reached. Each case study provides the Hearing Panel's decision based on the facts and the rationale for the decision.

We hope these Case Studies help you in considering your duties and applying good ethics in your dealings with Customers, the Public, and with other REALTORS®. Have you noticed that the NAR Code of Ethics is divided into your

Each of these areas of professional duties will be covered.
Tune in for another case study in the next REALTOR® Connection!

Save the Date!
PGCAR Hosts the
2010 Housing Fair:
Building Livable Communities

Saturday, June 12
at the Sports & Learning Complex
Landover, MD

Click here for flyer >>

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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