Print     Email a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

May 4, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .

to Learn More and Earn More!

Wednesday, May 5
Sign up for the 5-day, 16.5 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

PGCAR Hosts the 2010 Housing Fair:
Building Livable Communities

Hosted by the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Sports & Learning Complex
8001 Sheriff Road
Landover, MD 20785
FREE! Make your reservation here >>

Learn all you need to know about being a successful homeowner.

FREE Seminars!      FREE Information!

Visit the exhibitors.
Ask questions of various mortgage lenders, housing counselors,
and other services providers with no pressure.

Click here for flyer >>

Please help spread the word to customers, the real estate industry,
neighbors and the public!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Exhibit at the Housing Fair ~ Or Be a Sponsor.
All Sponsors receive an exhibit booth and advertisement opportunities.

Sponsor and Exhibitor details are in the Exhibitor's Guide >>

Exhibit space will be assigned in order of completed reservation and payment.

Return completed reservation from Exhibitor's Guide pages 4 and 5 with payment
~ OR ~
Choose exhibitor or sponsorship level and pay online >>

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Be a Hero — Volunteer.
Volunteers are needed for the Housing Fair. Help organize, greet visitors, answer visitor questions -- it's all needed and important. Volunteer with the Housing Affordability Committee today to be a part.



SATURDAY, MAY 22, 2010
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m

AT 8400 CORPORATE DRIVE (parking lot)

Conveniently located near the New Carrollton Metro


 FREE PG COUNTY FIRE DEPT. (Home Safety Info.)



Invite family, friends, customers, neighbors, community businesses
(in DC, Prince George's and neighboring counties), and other offices.

For more information contact: William Murry - 240-737-2708 E-Mail -
-or- Joan Ostenso - 301-306-7900 E-Mail -

Click Here for Flyer >>
Please share it with other businesses and the community!



Thank you to all of the Motown Extravanza
RPAC Fundraiser participants and sponsors!
What a great time, and YOU made a difference!

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

2010 Midyear Meetings and Trade Show

NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo This year's Midyear Meetings take place next week, May 10 - 15 in Washington, DC. The Trade Expo will be held Wednesday through Friday, May 12 - 14.

Registration, schedules and a list of exhibitors are online at
Midyears are FREE, as always, to REALTOR® members.

Be there!

Short Sales and Foreclosures - 6 CEU Designation Class Coming to PGCAR

Wednesday, June 2 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 designation elective
  • 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 >>

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 >








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 went into effect 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.


Key legislation affecting MD CEU for license renewals, transfer fees, semi-annual property tax payments, taxation of forgiven debt in short sales, and many other issues important to our industry and homeownership, was debated and passed in the latest General Assembly session. Learn about these key issues below:

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.

Commercial Symposium Open to All Practitioners


MAR, SIOR and NAIOP 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
Register by May 10 for early bird rate of $35.

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. June 30 Settlement Deadline!
    $6,500 / $8,000 Homebuyer Tax Credit
    - For all buyers who entered a binding contract for a new or replacement principal residence by April 30, 2010, now is the time to help make sure they can make the settlement deadline of June 30, 2010. Help them with necessary guidance and communications now . . . don't procrastinate until June.

    Homebuyer Tax Credit Basics >>
    How to Get the Homebuyer Tax Credit >>
    Homebuyer Tax Credit IRS Q & A >>

  2. 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 >>

  3. 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 >>

  4. 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 >>

  5. 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 >>

  6. $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 still near the all-time low 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, May 8 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Offered by HOPE, $50 cost
RSVP by calling 301-567-3330.
Saturday, May 22 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Offered by HIP, FREE
RSVP by calling 301-699-6262.
Tuesday, May 25 (Part I) and
Thursday, May 27 (Part II)
5:30 p.m. - 9:30 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, 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

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

Next Tuesday, May 11
Reverse Mortgages
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Eric Rittmeyer 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

Next Thursday, May 13
GRI 100 Series - Module 103:
Fair Housing & Cultural Issues; and MD Law Ethics,
Flipping & Predatory Lending

MD CEU - 6 hours total:
3 hrs Fair Housing and 3 hrs Ethics
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Monday, May 17
MD Code of Ethics
3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
3 DC Elective CEU
Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Tuesday, May 18
DC Fair Housing
3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
Prabhjit Singh 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Thursday, May 20
GRI 100 Series - Module 105:
Marketing Methods

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

Friday, May 21
DC License Exam Preparation
Prabhjit Singh 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>


Code of Ethics Case Study:
Case #2-6: Misrepresentation

REALTOR® A, a cooperating broker, had shown four houses to Buyer B, and Buyer B's wife had asked to see one of them a second time. There was a third inspection, and a fourth. They seemed at the point of decision but said they would like to "sleep on it." When there was no word the next day, REALTOR® A called. Buyer B said he was a bit hesitant on the price; that some transfers of executives in his company had been rumored; that this could affect him within the year; that he hesitated to buy at a price that might mean taking a loss if he should be transferred within a year.

REALTOR® A tried to reassure the prospect by telephone. Then he dictated a letter stating that the house was an exceptional bargain at the asking price and "our office guarantees to get your money out of it for you any time in the next year if you should need to sell." Buyer B came in and signed the contract.

Six months later, Buyer B came to REALTOR® A as a seller. He was being transferred. He would need to get his equity out of the house to be able to afford a purchase in the new community. REALTOR® A listed the house at the price Buyer B had paid for it. After a month there had been no offers. Buyer B reminded REALTOR® A of his written assurance that his office had guaranteed he would get his money out of the house within a year.

REALTOR® A explained that the market had become much less active and that Buyer B might have to reduce his price by $10,000 to $15,000 to attract a buyer. Whereupon, Buyer B filed a complaint with the Board of REALTORS® charging REALTOR® A with misrepresentation, exaggeration and failure to make good on a commitment. After examination of the complaint, the Grievance Committee referred it to the Professional Standards Committee for a hearing.

Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 2, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

Find out here >>


Register by June 1st to save!
Early bird rate for full 3-day Conference Attendee is $195.
$50 discount applies for all ROOKIE REALTORS®.

MAR has assembled an excellent lineup of educational offerings you won't want to miss!

15 hours of CE in 2 ½ days

  • Nationally known presenters — Terry Watson, Gee Dunsten, Amy Cherow
  • Opportunities to NETWORK, NETWORK and NETWORK!
  • Breakfasts; Exhibit Hall Grand Opening; Light Lunch, Happy Hour and a Brunch during the conference

Book now for discounted hotel & condo rates too!

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