|Membership Renewals are PAST DUE!
SentriLock and Membership Shut Offs Next Tuesday, Feb 1
SentriLock access to properties will be turned off and PGCAR, MAR and NAR REALTOR® membership will be terminated for all non-paid REALTOR® members as of February 1, 2011.
Renew by midnight Monday, January 31 at www.pgcar.com.
- Click here
- Log in
- Pay and receive an itemized receipt for your
2010 - 2011 PGCAR, MAR and NAR membership renewals.
Brokers and non-paid Agents - Membership renewals were due October 1. On non-paid dues invoices, a late fee was added after November 30, 2010, and reinstatement fess were added after January 10, 2011. You must pay all outstanding REALTOR® dues by January 31st, or remove all unpaid agents from Office rosters. If dues remain unpaid on February 1st, the entire office will be suspended.
Thanks to the majority of members who renewed on time!
|Today is MAR Legislative Day - Monday, January 24|
Reminder to Registrants - The Maryland Association of REALTORS® is hosting its annual Legislative Day TODAY, January 24 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel, 126 West Street, Annapolis. Please be there at 3 p.m. so you don't miss any of the program, starting at 3:30 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 2011 General Session. (The 428th General Assembly opened on Wednesday, January 12.)
The cocktail reception immediately follows from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. A modest $15 "cover" for drinks and hors d'oeuvres will be collected at the door. Parking is free for the day. Don't forget your parking voucher at registration.
RSVPs for both the Legislative Day Program and this evening's Reception were due last Thursday, January 20.
Meet your local legislators and show our REALTOR® strength.
We hope to see everyone there to start off the 2011 Legislative Session right!
Who are your legislators? See all Prince George's County legislators of the current General Assembly in the PGCAR Guide to Prince George's County Government. Also read 10 Tips for Communicating with Legislators.
|Virtual Legislative Town Hall with NAR Leadership - Also Today|
Missed registering for today's MAR Legislative Day?
We would really like you to meet and hear from Maryland Legislators, but if you're missing that please register for today's Live Virtual Town Hall with NAR Leadership. It starts at 3 p.m.
Hear the NAR Leadership Team discuss our 2011 legislative priorities, then ask them your questions.
Register Early, then Sign In by 3 pm >
|DC BROKER LICENSE RENEWAL|
Avoid penalties - Renew before February 28
DC Broker and Property Manager licenses must be renewed by February 28, 2011. ALL CE Hours must be completed before-hand, then reported. License renewals must be submitted and paid by February 28, 2011. That is the deadline to renew without penalty.
DC Sales Agents must renew their DC real estate licenses before August 31, 2011.
Register now to meet your required topic CEU before license renewal deadline!
|Wednesday, Febrary 16
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
DC Legislative Update
Register here >
|1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
||Financing Issues / Update
||Register here >
|Tuesday, February 22
6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
Register here >
Also earn the required 6 hours of general elective hours at PGCAR. Full CE schedule >
License Renewal CE Requirements >>
Online Renewal for Brokers and Property Managers >>
|IT'S ANOTHER YEAR . . . AND THAT MEANS TAX CHANGES
The IRS Standard Mileage Rates as of January 1, 2011 used to calculate deductible costs of operating a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) are:
- 51 cents per mile for business miles driven
- 19 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes
- 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations
See www.IRS.gov or your tax specialist for additional information.
New 1099 Reporting Requirements for Rental Property Owners - As of January 1, 2011, property owners and landlords receiving rental income from real estate must provide a Form 1099 to the IRS and to all service providers (plumbers, electricians, accountants, etc.) for all payments of $600 or more for rental property services provided to the landlord. Penalty? It's $50 for each non-filed Form 1099, up to a maximum fine of $250,000. Details >>
|1.5 CE Real Estate Tax Issues - The class which should be taken every year to reduce your stress at tax time and increase your deductions. Learn from Linda de Marlor, the recognized expert in taxes for the real estate professional! The seminar includes a large measure of tax information that REALTORS® can use for their clients too.
Offered next Thursday, February 3, 1:30 - 3 pm at PGCAR.
Register at www.pgcar.com >>
Tax Free Weekend on Energy Star Products — February 19 - 21
|TAX-FREE ITEMS - February in Maryland!|
Share the news with your homebuyers! Marylanders mark your calendars: the weekend of February 19, 2011 through February 21, 2011 will be a tax-free three day weekend during which the sales and use tax will not apply to the sale of selected Energy Star Products, or solar water heaters.
Energy Star Product means an air conditioner, clothes washer or dryer, furnace, heat pump,
standard size refrigerator, compact fluorescent light bulb, dehumidifier, or programmable thermostat that
has been designated as meeting or exceeding the applicable Energy Star Efficiency requirements developed
by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
DECEMBER 2010 CONTRACT CHANGES
Four contract forms were updated or created in December. All are available in the Members Only section. Not following the new procedures now effective can jeopardize even a signed contract. Do a forms check today!
PGCAR Forms 1302, 1303 and 1331 include new language mandated by local law in the Land Use, Zoning, Roads, Highways, Parks, Transportation, Etc. paragraph that references, in a more specific manner, where to obtain information on planning decisions. The County Council enacted CB-42-2010 which required the addition of this new language. The three updated forms also include a new paragraph, Uncompleted Community Amenities. This addition is also mandated by local law; HB 642-10 requires a home builder to disclose the specific date of completion of certain community amenities if amenities are offered by the builder. This law is somewhat unclear as to the requirement to make disclosure in the resale market. As such, the Uncompleted Community Amenities language has been added to the forms referenced above to assist in determining the need to make disclosure.
New PGCAR Form #1339 was created to make disclosure of any planned or "incomplete" community amenities which might include a pool, walking trail, park or more.
These laws are already in effect. Please discontinue and destroy any printed copies of forms #1302, #1303, and #1331 that may be accessible to sales staff. The current form revisions are dated 12/2010.
|Start of Year Contracts Review|
Did you know that 16 contract forms and addendums were updated or added in 2010? Please make sure your ZipForms is updated. You may also find updated contract forms and details about the legislative requirements behind them at PGCAR.com Members Only.
- Log in at Members Only.
- Click on the Downloadable Forms graphic.
- To display latest revisions, click the column header.
Don't risk a settlement or cause a delay due to outdated forms. Do a forms check today!
|Is your New Year resolution to learn more or earn more in 2011? If yes, earn Your GRI!
All three required GRI Series are offered at PGCAR in 2011.
To earn your GRI Designation, complete Series 100, 200 and 300 in any order.
Improve your industry knowledge and your income.
|GRI 400 Offered at MAR in Annapolis
Hurry! Starts Next Tuesday, February 1
Taking the GRI 400 in addition to GRI 100, 200 and 300 will satisfy the education hours needed to obtain your associate broker or broker license. Click here to register.
|Market Sen$e: Favorable Rates, Annual Market Report|
Average mortgage rates are fluctuating about .5 percent above the historic lows set in November. Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending January 20, 2011:
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.74 percent, up from 4.71 percent a week ago.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.05 percent, down from 4.08 percent.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.69 percent, down from 3.72 percent.
- The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.25 percent, up from 3.23 one week ago.
Fannie Mac's reported 30-year fixed rate mortgage rate has stayed below 5% since May 6, 2010. NAR Chief Economist Yun forecasts the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to rise gradually to 5.3 percent around the end of 2011; at the same time, unemployment should drop to 9.2 percent.
||2010 Prince George's County Year in Review / 2011 Preview - PGCAR held its Annual Press Conference on December 14, 2010 in cooperation with GCAAR, GWCAR, NVAR and the GMU Center for Regional Analysis.
Click here to view the PowerPoint presentation >>
December 2010 local market statistics are now online at pgcar.com REALTOR® Resources >> While new contracts decreased from November to December, the number of settlements increased dramatically from November 2010 to December 2010. Settlements increased 50% in county condo sales, and 24% in single family sales. 2010 settlements ended 33.8% above 2009 levels for Condo/Coop homes and 21.4% above 2009 levels for single family home sales.
|December Existing-Home Sales Jump|
Existing-home sales rose sharply in December, when sales increased for the fifth time in the past six months, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Existing-home sales rose 12.3 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.28 million in December from an upwardly revised 4.70 million in November, remaining 2.9 percent below the 5.44 million pace in December 2009.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said sales are on an uptrend. "The pattern over the past six months is clearly showing a recovery," he said. "The December pace is near the volume we're expecting for 2011, so the market is getting much closer to an adequate, sustainable level. The recovery will likely continue as job growth gains momentum and rising rents encourage more renters into ownership while exceptional affordability conditions remain."
Total housing inventory at the end of December fell 4.2 percent to 3.56 million existing homes available for sale, which represents an 8.1-month supply at the current sales pace, down from a 9.5-month supply in November.
NAR President Ron Phipps said buyers are responding to very good affordability conditions despite tight mortgage credit. "Historically low mortgage interest rates, stable home prices, and pent-up demand are drawing home buyers into the market."
A parallel NAR practitioner survey shows first-time buyers purchased 33 percent of homes in December, investors purchased 20 percent; repeat buyers purchased 47 percent.
Regionally, existing-home sales in the Northeast jumped 13.0 percent to an annual pace of 870,000 in December but are 5.4 percent below December 2009. The median price in the Northeast was $237,300, which is 1.4 percent below a year ago. Rather than decreasing, Prince George's County sales improved from 2009 to 2010.
REALTOR.org article >>
|MD and DC CEU at PGCAR|
Ring in the new year by earning ALL of your required Continuing Education hours for Maryland and DC license renewals early -- right here at PGCAR. Don't sweat your next licensing deadline, especially the quickly approaching DC renewal deadlines!
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs
COLLEGE PARK RENT CONTROL
In an effort to regulate residential rent increases, the City of College Park enacted (in 2005) an ordinance to implement rent stabilization. The law was not implemented immediately because of a legal challenge brought by a group of concerned landlords. The Maryland Court of Appeals upheld the City ordinance in August 2010 and plans are moving forward to begin implementation. The rent cap applies to all rented single family dwellings, including duplexes, triplexes and quadraplexes located within the jurisdiction of the City of College Park. The cap is based on the highest value of three potential rent caps: a HUD fair market rate, a documented rent charged in 2005, or 0.6% of the property assessment. The City has created a "Frequently Asked Questions" website to address the law. Click here for FAQs >
Additional information may be obtained at the City Manager's office at 240-487-3501. Real estate professionals doing business in College Park are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the ordinance, as disclosure to potential buyers is necessary.
PROPERTY MANAGER REGISTRATION
As of January 1, 2011 property management companies or individuals THAT MANAGE COMMUNITY ASSOCIATIONS defined as: condominium council of unit owners, home owner associations and cooperative housing corporations in Prince George's County are required to register with the County's Office of Community Relations. "Management" basically means providing services to manage the common property, business, legal, financial and other business transactions OF AN ASSOCIATION for a "fee".
THIS LAW DOES NOT APPLY TO REAL ESTATE LICENSEES THAT MANAGE INDIVIDUAL PROPERTIES ON BEHALF OF PROPERTY OWNERS. The law ONLY APPLIES if an agent, broker or firm manages an association of home owners. Essentially, a licensee can manage one or more units in a condominium complex or multiple homes in a home owner association or "co-op" and NOT be subject to the registration requirements. Further, the law does NOT apply to the management of commercial office space unless the offices are organized under a condominium council of unit owners defined under Maryland Law, Title 11. View a copy of the ordinance >
For additional information, please contact the Prince George's County Office of Community Relations at 301-952-4729.
2011 Changes to the Code of Ethics
Changes to the Code which are approved at the NAR Annual Convention become effective on January 1 of each year. For your easy reference we have posted the January 1, 2011 changes here, and online, so that you can stay up to date. Revised and added text is noted in italics. Strikeouts indicate deletions.
Previous Standard of Practice 3-7 wording "representational status" was clarified as "relationship with the client."
Revised Standard of Practice 3-7
When seeking information from another REALTOR® concerning property under a management or listing agreement, REALTORS® shall disclose their REALTOR® status and whether their interest is personal or on behalf of a client and, if on behalf of a client, their relationship with the client. (Amended 1/11)
Standard of Practice 3-10 was added to clarify a REALTORS®' dury to cooperate with other brokers to promote our clients' interests.
New Standard of Practice 3-10
The duty to cooperate established in Article 3 relates to the obligation to share information on listed property, and to make property available to other brokers for showing to prospective purchasers/tenants when it is in the best interests of sellers/landlords. (Adopted 1/11)
Article 10 and Standard of Practice 10-3 added sexual orientation in its emphasis that all persons are to be treated equally and professionally, and that REALTORS® are not to discriminate in their REALTOR® or employment practices.
Revised Article 10
REALTORS® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status,
or national origin, or sexual orientation. REALTORS® shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin. (Amended 1/11)
REALTORS®, in their real estate employment practices, shall not discriminate against any person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status,
or national origin, or sexual orientation. (Amended 1/11)
Revised Standard of Practice 10-3
REALTORS® shall not print, display or circulate any statement or advertisement with respect to selling or renting of a property that indicates any preference, limitations or discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status,
or national origin, or sexual orientation. (Adopted 1/94, Renumbered 1/05 and 1/06, Amended 1/11)
The Code of Ethics now clarifies that electronic displays of real estate information which are too small to include required disclosures must link to the name of the REALTOR®'s firm and all required disclosures.
Revised Standard of Practice 12-5
REALTORS® shall not advertise nor permit any person employed by or affiliated with them to advertise real estate services or listed property in any medium (e.g., electronically, print, radio, television, etc.) without disclosing the name of that REALTOR®'s firm in a reasonable and readily apparent manner. This Standard of Practice acknowledges that disclosing the name of the firm may not be practical in electronic displays of limited information (e.g. "thumbnails", text messages, "tweets", etc.). Such displays are exempt from the disclosure requirement established in the Standard of Practice, but only when linked to a display that includes all required disclosures. (Adopted 11/86, Amended 1/11)
Please take the time to review the entire 2011 REALTOR® Code of Ethics >>
We'll return to our Tour of the Code of Ethics in the next REALTOR® Connection. We wish you an ethical 2011!
|FREE Webinar - Social Media|
How to Effectively Maximize Social Media
Next Friday, February 4
10 - 11 am
Join leading technology expert Amy Chorew and walk away with a clear understanding of how you too can use social media as a powerful tool to drive business. You'll learn tips to successfully leverage LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and a Blog. For those who have started but haven't sustained their momentum, this power hour also include blogging tips for the not so motivated.
FREE to ALL REALTORS® ~ Registration Required >
GIVE BLOOD — SAVE LIVES
Wednesday, February 23
9 am to 3 pm
PGCAR is sponsoring and hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive® at the association office on Wednesday, February 23.
FRIENDS ~ FAMILIES ~ MEMBERS
COME GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE!
|Save the Date!
April 12th at La Fontaine Bleu