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October 18, 2010

I N   T H I S   I S S U E . . .

2011 Dues Renewals Were Due October 1!
Primary REALTORS®: Paying by Installment?
Third Installment is Due Sunday, October 31

Use our fast and secure Online Dues Payment!
Whether making one complete payment, or paying by installment, paying online is easy, secure, and supplies you with a receipt.

Renew as Easy as 1-2-3:

  1. Click here
  2. Log in
  3. Renew online and receive receipt !

2011 dues are payable no later than Tuesday, November 30th, 2010 in order to prevent late charges. Primary REALTOR® members may pay their 2011 dues in installments. Installment payments are due as follows:

Installment 3: Due October 31 $125.75
Installment 4: Due November 30 $125.75

Please note: If dues payments are not made online, they may not be reflected in your private, online History portal.


Learn More — Earn More!

Earning the GRI designation pays!
The GRI 300 is 5 full days of real estate business training for $325. Attendees will also earn 25.5 MD CEU (this includes required Legislative Update hours). GRI 300 classes and training dates are:

  red arrow Module 301: Environmental / Health Issues Affecting Real Estate - Wed, Nov 3
  red arrow Module 302: Taxes - Fri, Nov 5
  red arrow Module 303: Ethics & Mediation and Arbitration - Thurs, Nov 11
  red arrow Module 304: Legislative Update & Smart Growth and Land Planning - Fri, Nov 12
  red arrow Module 305: Real Estate Technology & Trends - Wed, Nov 17
Sign up today for the entire series >>

Register for individual GRI classes here >>


DC Broker and Property Manager licenses must be renewed by February 28, 2011 -- and clock hours must be completed by December 28, 2010. Register now to meet all of the required topic CEU in October!

Tuesday, October 19
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Financing Issues / Update Register here >
Tuesday, October 19
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending Register here >
Friday, October 22
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
DC Legislative Update Register here >

Also earn the required 6 hours of general elective hours at PGCAR. Full CE schedule >

NARdi GRAS 2010 - Only 2 weeks away!
Join REALTORS® from across the nation and the world November 5 - 8 in New Orleans. Learn about changing issues affecting the industry, share ideas with colleagues outside your local marketplace, and see the incredible innovations shaping the future of real estate. Over 125 expert sessions, 400 exhibitors, special events and entertainment, and more!

Registration and complete details are online at

Fall Food Drive - Now through Friday, November 19

The cold weather is coming, and our local food banks are working hard supplying food to families in need. Each time you shop, please add a can or two of canned vegetables, boxed potatoes or other dried foods, baby food, or any other non-perishable food item to donate. Even a 6-pack of veggies or soup at Costco, BJ's or Sam's is very inexpensive!

The need is immediate. Please bring your donations of non-perishable food items to the PGCAR office as soon as you can. We'll be collecting food donations from now until the Friday before Thanksgiving, November 19.

Thanks for making a positive difference in our community!


Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs


We reported recently that the Town of Capitol Heights has escalated enforcement of a business license law requiring real estate licensees to pay a $250 Real Estate Services - Sign Permit.

On Monday, September 27th, representatives of PGCAR met with city officials in an effort to clarify several provisions of the law. The town, much like the rest of the county and state, is experiencing severe difficulties in attending to vacant foreclosed and abandoned property up-keep and similar problems associated with rental properties. It is their opinion that the business license concept will assist them to mitigate costs associated with servicing these properties.

During the meeting we were able to clarify several vague provisions of the law (see below). However, we were unable to obtain any official explanation in writing. At this time we have a verbal definition outlining the "intent" of the ordinance:

  • The sign permit is to be applied per "sale sign" at $250 each. This applies to each "for sale" sign posted on the for sale premises.
  • The town ordinance is silent on "for rent" signs and NO clarification was offered.
  • PGCAR verified that the $500 Rental License Fee is intended as a "one time" fee.
  • City officials declined to verify the $500 violation fee. However, several PGCAR members have advised that they were verbally warned by city officials that unless they obtained a sign permit they would be subject to a $500 fine.
  • Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the professional services license of $500.
  • Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the administrative fee of $125.
  • Real estate professionals are NOT subject to the gross receipts fees ranging from $200 to $900 annually, unless they have an office within the town limits.

PLEASE NOTE, the above clarifications are subject to change.

Attached is a copy of the town ordinance (as provided to us). Also attached is a town jurisdictional map which will assist in identifying the incorporated city limits where the license fees apply. The necessary applications to obtain a sign permit or business license are attached as well.

The town attorney is researching the law and is expected to provide a written interpretation within three weeks. We will continue to provide information as it comes to us. We continue to caution that you may be subject to the ordinance and license fees if you have listings within the town limits. For additional information we suggest that you contact Mr. Ware, Neighborhood Services Director, with the Town of Capitol Heights at (301) 336-0626.

Now Effective - New Laws Regarding Teams and Groups

...and Updated Maryland Residential Sales Contract and Contract Addenda

New Required Procedures for Teams and their Brokerages - Have you prepared the required documentation and implemented the new procedures required of real estate teams and brokerages? Please revisit the July 16 Legislative Alert to help comply with these new regulations. This new law enacted by the Maryland General Assembly is effective as of Friday, October 1, 2010.

In addition, the Maryland Statewide Residential Contract of Sale has been updated along with 9 addenda. Please visit to download the latest forms.

These are the forms updated and effective as of Friday, October 1, 2010:

  • MAR Residential Sales Contract
  • As Is Addendum
  • Condominium Unit Resale Acknowledgment
  • Property Inspections Addendum
  • Lead-Based Paint Federal Disclosure - Sale or Lease
  • Maryland HOA Act Disclosures to Buyer and Transmittal of Documents
    - Resale (all) or initial sale (12 or fewer lots)
  • Short Sale Addendum
  • Third Party Approval Addendum
  • Unilateral Notice of Termination Under Contract of Sale / Mutual Release of Deposit Agreement
  • Water Quality Addendum

Click here for a brief explanation of contract and addenda updates.

State-wide Handheld Telephone Ban

Also Effective Since October 1

As of October 1, 2010, a driver in Maryland is subject to a $40 fine when talking on a handheld telephone. The fine is $100 for a second offense. Drivers may be stopped for any violation such as reckless driving or an unsafe lane change. Details >

Please remember to always be courteous, safe and ALERT on the road!

Market Sen$e: Homeownership Advantages, Rates & Stats

Record lows were again set in 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages for the week ending October 14. Fixed rates have been consistently under 5% since May 6, 2010 and now straddle the 4% mark. According to Freddie Mac:

  • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.19 percent, down from 4.27 percent a week ago.
  • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.62 percent, down from 3.72 percent.
  • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.47 percent, equal to last week and down from 3.52 percent two weeks ago.
  • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.43 percent, up from 3.40 percent.

2010 Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

September local market statistics are now online at REALTOR® Resources >>. Contracts and settlements are holding consistently since their decrease after expiration of the new homeowners tax credit. 2010 contracts and settlements remain above 2009 levels.

Interest rates are the lowest ever, inventories are good, and homeownership is more valuable than ever to single households and families alike. Please check out:

A Few Words About the Foreclosure Freezes
For many, the dream of homeownership could turn into agony if their home purchase is indefinitely delayed by a moratorium on foreclosures declared by some banks, the National Association of REALTORS® stated Wednesday. The moratoriums are needed, banks say, to review all of the foreclosures in their portfolios to make sure they're in compliance with the law and that titles are clear.

"As the leading advocate for homeownership issues, we understand that many lenders need a time-out to review their actions to ensure that homeowners are not improperly foreclosed on and that the lenders are following regulations and state laws. After that, the foreclosure process must resume quickly to return stability to families, the housing market and the economy," said NAR President Vicki Cox Golder. "There are valid foreclosures that should move ahead quickly, and we shouldn't lump them in with mortgages that are suspect."

Read the entire article >>
Bank Foreclosure Reviews: What They Mean for REALTORS®: podcast >>

Not only is now a good time to buy, it's an especially good time for home buyers and sellers to realize the importance of working with a professional REALTOR®.

  1. REALTORS® know the importance of title insurance and following correct procedure in settlements. Now is a good time to review the details of title insurance, and also remind your customers of the importance of title insurance. As REALTORS® one of our duties is to not give legal advice. We can advise our customers to review title documents thoroughly, so they can ask any questions of the title company, who will have attorneys as part of their team. 5 Things to Know About Title Insurance >>
  2. REALTORS® have the resources and access to training in Foreclosures and Short Sales. Do you have NAR's SFR certification which can be earned at PGCAR? Have you reviewed the ample materials available to you? Short Sales Basics >>   Foreclosure Basics >>
  3. As REALTORS®, we are required to abide by the National Association of REALTORS® Code of Ethics.

Winter MAR Rookie Society Webinars - Open to ALL REALTORS®!

Learn 11 Secrets of Business Planning Success, Lead Generation & Prospecting Strategies and more! The MAR Rookie REALTOR® Society is offering 4 winter webinars, FREE to all MAR members. Winter webinars are open to both new and experienced REALTORS®.

Details and registration >




Earn ALL of your required Continuing Education hours for Maryland and DC license renewals -- and the SFR and GRI designations -- here at PGCAR.

This Tuesday, October 19
Financing Issues / Update
3.0 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
3.0 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
Prabhjit Singh 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

This Friday, October 22
DC Legislative Update
3.0 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Next Wednesday, October 27
Reverse Mortgages
1.5 MD Elective CEU
Eric Rittmeyer 10:00 am - 11:30 am
Home Inspection & Environmental Issues
3.0 MD Elective CEU;
3.0 DC Elective CEU
Vimal Kapoor 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Tuesday, November 2
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
1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
1.5 DC Elective CEU
Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

Wednesday, November 3
GRI 300 Full Series
13.5 MD Required Legislative Update and 12 MD Elective CEU
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm
GRI 300 Series - Module 301:
Environmental / Health Issues Affecting Real Estate

6 MD Required Legislative Update CEU
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Friday, November 5
GRI 300 Series - Module 302: Taxes
4.5 MD Required Legislative Update CEU
various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

Full CEU Schedule >>

You have a voice! Depending upon where you live, vote for your next Maryland County Executive and State Governor, or DC Mayor, in the General Election on Tuesday, November 2. Did you know DC early voting starts today?

Customer Reminder - Why not send a friendly email or letter to your recent homebuyers, letting them know how to register to vote in their new place of residence? What a great way to keep in touch!

Mon - Sat,
Oct. 18 - 30
DC early voting centers for the General Election will be open Monday - Saturday 8:30 am - 7 pm, closed Sundays.
DC Voters: Find your early voting centers here >>
Fri - Thurs,
Oct. 22 - 28
Maryland early voting centers for the General Election will be open each day, except for Sunday, October 24.
MD Voters: Find your early voting centers here >>
Tuesday, October 26 Maryland Absentee Ballot Application Deadline to vote in the General Election
Click here for a Maryland Absentee Ballot Application
Monday, November 1 DC early voting centers for the General Election will be open 8:30 am - 4:45 pm.
DC Voters: Find your early voting centers here >>
Tuesday, November 2 General Election
Maryland Voters: Find your polling place here >>
DC Voters: Find your polling place here >>

Bravo! Several PGCAR REALTORS® Win in Primary

Several members of your association have won in the Primary Election:

  • Beverly Ball, Democratic Central Committee District 47
  • Del. Aisha Braveboy, House of Delegates District 25
  • Del. Marvin Holmes, House of Delegates District 23B
  • Del. Jolene Ivey, House of Delegates District 47
  • Toni Jarboe Duley, House of Delegates District 27A
  • Casey Lewis, Democratic Central Committee District 23B
  • George Mitchell, Board of Education District 9

Again, we urge all members to make every effort to exercise your right to vote in the General Election on November 2nd.

(Please note: PGCAR does not endorse candidates)

RPAC Supported Candidates Continue On to General Elections

We reported recently that PGCAR put together a Political Tracking Task Force to survey and interview candidates for the County Council and County Executive. The questionnaires and interviews concentrated on real estate and property rights related issues as well as other issues that have an impact on real estate.

After thorough debate and careful deliberation, the Task Force recommended RPAC support for a number of candidates (listed). These candidates demonstrated that they understood the issues of concern to the real estate community, homebuyers, sellers and property owners in Prince George's County.

Seven of the eight RPAC supported candidates won the primary. Only Council Member Ingrid Turner (D4) has a general election challenger. Here is the list of how PGCAR RPAC supported candidates did in the primaries.

Prince George's County Executive: Rushern Baker - WON PRIMARY
County Council District 1: No Recommendation
County Council District 2: Will Campos - WON PRIMARY
County Council District 3: Eric Olson - WON PRIMARY
County Council District 4: Ingrid Turner - WON PRIMARY
County Council District 5: Andrea Harrison - WON PRIMARY
County Council District 6: Leslie Johnson - WON PRIMARY
County Council District 7: Karen Toles - WON PRIMARY
County Council District 8: Unable to Reach Consensus
County Council District 9: Sydney Harrison (Placed 3rd out of 10 candidates)

Candidate Mary Lehman won the District 1 Council Primary Election and Mel Franklin won the Council seat in District 9.

PGCAR looks forward to working with our newly elected officials on all matters concerning real estate and private property rights.

For complete election results Click Here.


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 >>

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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