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March 21, 2011

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • PGCAR is Moving Next Week!
  • Hawaiian Bash Extravaganza
  • Developer Roundtable - This Wednesday
  • MAR Breakfast of Champions
  • HUD / FHA Webinar Invitation
  • Annual Prayer Breakfast
  • Christmas in April
  • Midyear Meetings and Trade Show
    Homeownership Matters
  • PGCAR In the News Again!
  • My HOME Program
  • 2011 Housing Fair - FREE Legal Consultations
  • American Dream Downpayment Initiative
  • $7.5k FHLB First-Time Homebuyer Funds
  • Fannie Mae "First Look"
    Real Estate Industry Insider
  • Market Sen$e: Rates Drop, Sales Surge
  • Your Virtual Branch Bank is Open 24 / 7
  • MRIS Password Sharing Prohibited
  • Like Us on Facebook
  • NAR Federal Tax Report
  • Forms Alert - Updated Rental Agreement
  • NAR Leadership Academy
  • Community Service Award
  • Good Neighbor Nominations
  • MAR Committee Volunteers Wanted
  • $50M County Economic Development Proposed
  • DC and MD CEU Schedule
  • Code of Ethics: Case #1-30
  • Membership Renewals Past Due
  • DC Broker and Property Manager Licenses

    PGCAR is Moving!

    Our office will be closed next Monday, March 28th until Monday, April 4th
    to move.

    The new offices will be located at:
    9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
    Largo, MD 20774
    mapquest Google maps

    Please visit the office and REALTOR® store for signs, information boxes, and other needs this week.
    Next week, during our move, we will still be available by phone at 301-306-7900 in case you must reach us.
    If that number is disconnected, please call 410-610-4731.

    2011 RPAC Fundraiser
    6 - 10 p.m.
    La Fontaine Bleu
    Contribute to your industry, meet County and
    State lawmakers, and have fun!
    And yes . . . Hawaiian shirts are allowed!

    Texas Hold'em ~ Caricaturist
    Silent & Live Auctions ~ Costume Contest
    Great Food ~ Open Bar ~ DJ & Dancing

    Tickets: $35 each or 3 for $100
    Register today >

    Click here to contribute a door prize, auction item, or sponsorship >

    A Message From 2011 RPAC Chair, John Lesniewski


    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.

    Area Developers Share How Decisions Are Made
    This Wednesday, March 23

    Gearing Up for New Investment:
    Developer Roundtable on Metro Station Potential in Prince George's

    What does it take for Prince George's County to better leverage its Metro stations for quality, mixed use development? What can the County do to create a more competitive market for investment? How can the community best work with developers and government to guide development that meets community needs while taking full advantage of the benefits of transit-oriented development (TOD) for the County?

    Find out the answers to these questions (and more!) at a roundtable discussion with TOD developers in the region as they discuss the opportunities and constraints for increased quality development at Prince George's 15 Metro stations. Come prepared for an exciting conversation - and don't forget to ask questions!

    Mike Smith, LCOR
    Jair Lynch, Jair Lynch Companies
    Aakash Thakkar, EYA

    Opening Remarks: Council Chair Ingrid Turner (District 4)
    Also Invited: Council members Karen R. Toles (District 7) and Obie Patterson (District 8)

    This event is part of a series of Prince George's focused events co-sponsored by Envision Prince George's Community Action Team for Transit-Oriented Development.

    Date: This Wednesday, March 23
    Time: Refreshments 6:30 p.m.
    Program 7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
    Location: Hillcrest Heights Community Center
    2300 Oxon Run Drive, Temple Hills, MD 20748
    (Near Naylor Road Metro)

    RSVP Here >


    MAR Breakfast of Champions

    The Maryland Association of REALTORS® invites you to attend...
    "Get in the Green Zone!"
    Don't miss this fun, fast-paced and idea-packed 90-minute learning experience!

    • How to plan (and actually have) a productive, profitable day . . . every day!
    • The four "green zones" that have the greatest affect on your career success
    • Breaking down the barriers to open new doors to new business opportunities
    • Big steps and bold moves other real estate professionals are making right now
    • How to keep from becoming a "victim" of this market
    • Ideas and actions for moving forward through 2011 with the drive and energy to succeed!

    Only $15 for program and breakfast.

    Next Tuesday, March 29 in Frederick   •   Tuesday, April 26 in Edgewood

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


    HUD / FHA Webinar Invitation - Important Changes to HUD Home Sales

    HUD/FHA Webinar Invitation HUD's Federal Housing Administration invites you to a training webinar titled "Important Changes to HUD Home Sales". The webinar is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 30th from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. and is intended for real estate Brokers nationwide. Learn important information on recent changes and how they affect the real estate community.

    Click here to register for this free event >

    If you are unable to take the webinar on March 30th, it will be archived within 48 hours of the event. The archived version will be available online for viewing by April 1st.

    You are Invited to the
    Women's Council of REALTORS®
    33rd Annual Prayer Breakfast
    on Good Friday, April 22

    8:00 a.m. Registration   ·   8:30 a.m. Breakfast/Program
    Lake Presidential Golf Club
    3151 Presidential Golf Drive
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

    Please join us this Good Friday, and invite family and friends.
    Please register in advance at >

    For sponsorship opportunities contact Kelli Baxter at


    Christmas in April

    Please join us on Saturday, April 30 to help a Prince George's family. No skills required!

    Please Volunteer to Help >


    Register Online for 2011 Midyear Meetings and Trade Show

    NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo This year's Midyear Meetings will take place
    May 9 - 14 in Washington, DC.
    The Trade Expo will be held May 11 - 13.

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

    PGCAR In the News Again!

    Prince George's sees increase in pending home sales

    New pending home sales in Prince George's County were up more than 50 percent in February from last year, according to a report released last week.

    The Washington area showed the largest year-over-year pending sales increase in 10 years, stated the report released by real estate tracker Metropolitan Regional Information Systems Inc.

    Although pending sales are up from this time last year, selling prices are still down. The average selling price of a home in the county was about $16,000 higher last February, according to the report.

    Prince George's County had the largest increase in pending sales in the D.C. region compared to last year, meaning more potential sales this March, according to the report. Homes also spent almost two weeks less on the market this February compared to last February, according to the report.

    Read the full article in the Prince George's Sentinel >


    Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance

    My HOME Program

    Now Open for Applications - The My HOME program offers $$$ incentives to buy a home in
    Prince George's County. Up to 5% of home sale price to qualified homebuyers
    who have not owned a home within last 3 years.

    My HOME Program

    Prince George's County has acquired over $1 million to use toward Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance, through HUD's HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME). The County's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is leading the program and now accepting applications from homebuyers.

    My HOME Program Details:

    • Applications are being accepted as of March 7, 2011.
    • The purchase property DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A FORECLOSED PROPERTY. The MY HOME program is open to all residential sale properties in Prince George's County up to $362,790. . . including short sales (single family, townhome, condominium, new construction included. The buyer must occupy.)
    • Down payment assistance (DPA) is NOT restricted to specific zip codes. Under My HOME all areas of Prince George's are eligible.
    • Applicant must be a first time home buyer, defined as "not owning a home within last three years."
    • The amount of DPA is 5% of the property sale price.
    • Buyer must contribute 1.75% of sale price toward transaction or 50% of liquid assets over $3,000 which ever is greater.
    • Purchaser's total household income must be at or below 80% of the area median. Income Limits Chart >
    • Buyer must qualify for the first mortgage through a Participating Lender approved by DHCD.
    • The lender will accept and complete the DPA loan applications and underwrite and qualify the first mortgage and pre-qualify the DPA loan simultaneously.
    • DHCD will require a specific DPA application, a special contract addendum, and seller/borrower affidavits.
    • Prospective purchase property will be subject to special inspections performed by a DHCD qualified inspector (at no cost to buyer).
    • A Streamline 203K is acceptable, limited to repairs up to $35,000.
    • The DPA will be in the form of a deferred payment loan secured on the property as a second trust. Repayment is required if ownership is less than 10 years.
    • Applicants must attend 8 hours of HUD approved financial counseling classes.
    • Real estate licensee certification is not required; however, training on the program is provided by DHCD. REALTOR® training schedule >   Lender training schedule >

    At this point there is just over $1 million dedicated to down payment and closing cost assistance through this program. It is estimated that this may translate into over 100 loans. Help your clients become homeowners with this amazing opportunity.

    More Great News to Share with Your Customers
    Free Housing Fair   |   Homebuyer Savings
    FREE! Annual Housing Fair
    & Homeowner Legal Consultations

    Saturday, June 11 at the Sports and Learning Center
    Share the Flyer!

    Help spread the news. The County's Annual Housing Fair is FREE, and open to everyone in the industry and the public. Free workshops will be held to give homeowners, sellers and buyers practical information on Credit Rebuilding / Finances, Short Sales, Senior Programs / Reverse Mortgages, First-time Homebuyer Programs and Rental Information.

    Free legal consultations on Foreclosure Prevention and Loan Modification will also be provided. Advance registration and preparation are required for the consultations. Online registration will open soon; required forms and information are now available at

    2011 Housing Fair details are online at Email the Link and Share the Flyer.

    Sponsorship Opportunities >
    Exhibitor Registration (save $100 by registering now) >       Sponsors / Exhibitors Guide >

    American Dream Downpayment Initiative - Up to $10,000

    ADDI Now Available for County Homebuyers!
    Up to $10,000 Available in Downpayment / Closing Costs Assistance to Eligible Households

    The American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI) provides downpayment and closing cost assistance for purchasing a home within Prince George's County to be used as a family's principal residence. Eligible families earn a maximum 80% of the area median income and are first-time homebuyers (or have not owned a home in the last 3 years). Assistance is in the form of a 5-year forgivable loan at 0% interest of up to $10,000 for downpayment and/or closing costs.

    FHLB First-Time Homebuyer Down Payment Funds - Up to $7,500

    Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLBank Atlanta) announced that funding is now available under its 2011 First-time Homebuyer Program. FHLBank Atlanta will provide up to $7,500 in matching funds per eligible household through its member financial institutions for down payment and closing costs.

    Funds are provided to FHLB member institutions on a first-come, first-served basis, and potential homebuyers must request the funds from a participating member institution of FHLBank Atlanta.

    Fannie Mae "First Look" Gives 15 Day Preference
    to Owner Occupants

    Fannie Mae FirstLookHave you checked lately for affordable real estate owned (REO) properties? If so, you'll notice the "First Look" logo on several Fannie Mae property listings.

    Fannie Mae's innovative First Look period contributes to neighborhood stabilization by encouraging home ownership. During the First Look period, typically the first 15 days a property is listed on, offers will only be accepted from owner occupants and public entities. No investor offers.

    If the property remains available for sale after the expiration of the First Look period, investor offers may be submitted and will be considered along with all other offers.

    Did you also know that the earnest money requirement is only $500, for buyers of Fannie Mae homes using public funds (e.g., ADDI and NSP program funds)?


    Market Sen$e: Rates Fall Further, February Sales Surge

    30-year average rates retreated further from the 5.05% mark reached five weeks ago. Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending March 17, 2011:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.76 percent, down from 4.88 percent a week ago.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97 percent, down from 4.15 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.57 percent, down from 3.73 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.17 percent, down from 3.21 percent.

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

    County Home Sales Surge in February
    See Prince George's February 2011 home sales statistics at >>

    New contracts and settlements increased from January to February in both the single family and condominium markets, from a 5% increase in single family settlements to a 34.9% increase in condo/co-op contracts. Prince George's County home sales statistics also beat national averages when comparing 2010 and 2011. All County contract and settlement numbers also increased from 2010 to 2011, from a 10.3% increase in single family contracts to a 154.2% increase in condo/co-op settlements. Details at >>


    Your Virtual Branch Bank is Open 24 / 7

    At the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union

    Enroll in Online Banking today. Scan and deposit checks from your home or office (no more racing to the bank between appointments), pay your bills online, transfer funds online, and call a customer support person anytime of day or night!

    Visit REALTORSFCU.ORG for more information.
    Share the link and flyer.



    Potential Fines and Loss of Access Alert MRIS PASSWORD SHARING PROHIBITED

    As a valued member of our association, we want you to be aware that MRIS does monitor customer logins to their applications. Starting this week, MRIS will begin notifying their customers if password sharing has been detected. Should you receive a notification, you will need to follow the steps on the notification to stop the sharing of your login credentials. If the password sharing continues, MRIS will begin issuing fines and even revoking access.

    The MRIS Subscription Agreement, signed by each MRIS customer, states that the password / PIN must remain under the control of the subscriber and cannot be shared. Continued sharing of login credentials is a breach of the legal terms governing your subscription. Your personal or administrative assistant must also have their own MRIS subscription so they receive a separate User ID, PIN and Password for access to the system.

    We recommend you change your password immediately if you believe that your login credentials may be compromised. Protect your User ID, PIN, and Password and DO NOT SHARE it with anyone else.


    My HOME Program Like Us on Facebook

    Visit and Like PGCAR's Facebook page at Our Facebook fans were the first to know about the REALTOR® and Lender training dates, and this Wednesday's Free Forum on Transit-oriented Development. If we just published an email alert, additional late-breaking news will be posted at Don't miss out on important legislative, CE and homebuyer savings reminders, or alerts. Bookmark and today!


    NAR Federal Tax Report

    1099 Reporting Repeal Effort Continues

    House and Senate bills have been introduced that would repeal the 1099 information reporting requirement affecting all businesses, that was included as one of the "pay-for" provisions in the 2010 Health Care legislation. HR 4 has 263 House sponsors from across the political spectrum. Senate Finance Committee Chairman Baucus (D-MT), along with Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) has introduced S 72, along with 16 cosponsors. In the State of the Union address, President Obama anticipated that the provision would be repealed and said he would sign a bill with full repeal. Nonetheless, neither bill has been scheduled for House or Senate consideration. NAR supports this repeal effort.

    Unfortunately, neither bill includes a repeal of the burdensome landlord reporting provision that was included in a 2010 small business bill. That provision requires ALL persons who "receive rental income"(not just property managers) to report payments of over $600 to the contractors and others who do work for them. NAR has identified a senior member of the House Ways and Means Committee who intends to lead an effort to secure repeal of the landlord provision.

    NAR Issue Brief: Information Reporting IRS Form 1099

    Rental Agreement Update


    2012 NAR Leadership Academy - Applications Due Next Week

    Are you already actively involved, have a passion for the industry and a vision for the future of real estate? If this describes you, consider applying for the 2012 graduating class of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy.

    Full Details & Application >>
    Application deadline is next Thursday, March 31.


    COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD - Tell Us What You've Done

    So many PGCAR members help others in the community. Please tell us about it, by completing a simple online form. Whether you adopted a family, collected "Toys for Tots," donated to local charitable organizations, or donated time at your child's school or at church, we want to know about it. We will compile and submit all submissions for possible MAR C.A.R.E. award recognition. If PGCAR wins, MAR will contribute funds to a charity within our community! With your help, we can win. We just need to know:

    • Which charity did your work or fundraising benefit?
    • What dollar amount was collected?
    • How many total hours were volunteered?


    REALTOR® Magazine Seeks Good Neighbor Nominations

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

    REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2011 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 20, 2011, 6 pm EST.
    Apply at


    WANTED: 2011 - 2012 MAR Committee Volunteers

    Committee descriptions and a volunteer form are now online at All MAR members are encouraged to apply for 2, no more than 3 preferred committee choices. Some committees have specific requirements; however, every attempt will be made to accommodate your request for at least one committee assignment. Committee selections are prioritized by qualifications and date received.

    Reminder: Current MAR committee members must re-apply for 2011 - 2012 MAR Committee memberships.

    Applications are due Wednesday, May 11.
    MAR will confirm committee appointments by August 26.


    $50 Million Fund Aims to Jump-start Development in Prince George's

    Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker III rolled out his new strategy for economic development last week, introducing his new economic development team and proposing a $50 million one-time investment into a county Economic Development Incentive Fund.

    The new $50 million fund would provide support for activities such as mixed-use development projects, business startup capital, land acquisition and building construction, which help county businesses and attract new business to the county.

    Complete article >


    MD and DC CEU at PGCAR

    Earn ALL of your required Continuing Education hours for Maryland and DC license renewals early -- including the newly required 3 CEU Agency training requirement for Maryland. Don't sweat your next licensing deadline!

    This Tuesday, March 22
    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

    This Wednesday, March 23
    Commercial SBA Loan Programs
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    John Throne 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    This Thursday, March 24
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3.0 MD Required CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Code of Ethics
    3.0 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3.0 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, April 6
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Full CEU Schedule >>


    Code of Ethics Case Study: Case #1-30: Multiple Offers Where
    Listing Broker Agrees to Reduce Listing Broker's Commission

    REALTOR® A listed Seller S's house. He filed the listing with the MLS and conducted advertising intended to interest prospective purchasers. Seller S's house was priced reasonably and attracted the attention of several potential purchasers.

    Buyer B learned about Seller S's property from REALTOR® A's Web site, called REALTOR® A for information, and was shown the property by REALTOR® A several times.

    Buyer X, looking for property in the area, engaged the services of REALTOR® R as a buyer representative. Seller S's property was one of several REALTOR® R introduced to Buyer X.

    After the third showing, Buyer B was ready to make an offer and requested REALTOR® A's assistance in writing a purchase offer. REALTOR® A helped Buyer B prepare an offer and then called Seller S to make an appointment to present the offer that evening.

    Later that same afternoon, REALTOR® R called REALTOR® A and told him that he was bringing a purchase offer to REALTOR® A's office for REALTOR® A to present to Seller S. REALTOR® A responded that he would present Buyer X's offer that evening.

    That evening, REALTOR® A presented both offers to Seller S for his consideration. Seller S noted that both offers were for the full price and there seemed to be little difference between them. REALTOR® A responded, "They're both good offers and they'll both net you the same amount." Seller S asked about the feasibility of countering one or both of the offers. REALTOR® A agreed that was a possibility, but noted that countering a full price offer could result in the buyer walking away from the table. Besides, he reminded Seller S, production of a full price offer triggered REALTOR® A's entitlement to a commission under the terms of their listing agreement. Seller S acknowledged that obligation but expressed regret that, faced with two full price offers, there was no way to increase the proceeds he would realize from the sale of his property. "I'll tell you what," said Seller S, "if you'll reduce your commission, I'll accept the offer you procured. While you'll get a little less than we'd agreed in the listing contract, you'll still have more than if you had to pay the other buyer's broker."

    Seeing the logic of Seller S's proposal, and realizing that he and the seller were free to renegotiate the terms of their agreement, REALTOR® A agreed to reduce his commission by one percent. Seller S, in turn, accepted Buyer B's offer and the transaction closed shortly thereafter.

    Upset that his purchase offer hadn't been accepted, Buyer X called Seller S directly and asked, "Just to satisfy my curiosity, why didn't you accept my full price offer to buy your house?" Seller S explained that he had accepted a full price offer produced by REALTOR® A because of REALTOR® A's willingness to reduce his commission by one percent.

    Buyer X shared Seller S's comments with REALTOR® R the next day. REALTOR® R, in turn, filed an ethics complaint alleging that REALTOR® A's commission reduction had induced Seller S to accept the offer REALTOR® A had produced, that REALTOR® A's commission reduction made his presentation of the competing offer less than objective and violated Article 1, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 1-6, and that REALTOR® A's failure to inform him of the change in his (REALTOR® A's) commission arrangement violated Article 3, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 3-4.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 1 and Article 3, 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 2010-2011 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.

    Renew Online, or please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.


    DC Broker and Property Manager Licenses

    Non-renewed licenses expired as of March 1, 2011.

    Renew Your DC Broker or Property Manager License Online >

    Practicing real estate within DC without a current DC real estate license is punishable by fines, loss of your license and other disciplinary actions. For more information on license renewals from the DC Real Estate Commission, click here. Renewals made now (of an expired license) require a $50 late fee.

    Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
    8300 Corporate Drive, Suite 100  :  Landover, MD 20785
    Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2011 PGCAR

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