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May 3, 2011

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • GRI 100 @ PGCAR Next Month!
  • 2011 PGCAR Health Fair
  • Visit PGCAR's New Office!
  • 2011 Housing Fair - FREE Legal Consultations
  • MAR Diversity Day
  • Midyear Meetings and Trade Show
  • NAR Proposed Political Survival Initiative
        & $40 Dues Increase
  • MAR Annual Conference & Tradeshow
    Homeownership Matters
  • 2011 Real Estate Legislation
  • Defend MID; 1099 Requirement Repeal
  • My HOME Program - New FAQs on the
        My HOME Quality Inspection
  • American Dream Downpayment Initiative
  • Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP)
  • $7.5k FHLB First-Time Homebuyer Funds
  • Fannie Mae "First Look"
    The Industry Insider
  • REALTOR® of the Year - Nominations Open!
  • Market Sen$e: Rates & Home Sales Stats
  • First Access to Sales Stats
  • Family Members Can Join the Credit Union
  • MRIS Updates
  • MAR Committee Applications Due Next Week
  • Good Neighbor Nominations
  • DC and MD CEU Schedule
  • New MD CEU Requirement - Agency
  • Code of Ethics: Case #4-3
  • Membership Renewals Past Due
    GRI 100 @ PGCAR Next Month!
    Starting Friday, June 3
    Sign up for the entire, 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 - Fri, June 3
      red arrow Module 102: Prospecting & Listing Techniques - Thur, June 9
      red arrow Module 103: Fair Housing & Cultural Issues; and MD Law Ethics, Flipping & Predatory Lending - Wed, June 15
      red arrow Module 104: Basic Residential Financing - Mon, June 20
      red arrow Module 105: Marketing Methods - Fri, June 24
    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 GRI series 100, 200 and 300 in 2011,
    all 3 series required to earn your GRI designation.

    GRI Series 200 in August ~ GRI Series 300 in November

    Community Health Fair
    WHEN: SATURDAY, MAY 21, 2011
    TIME: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    WHERE: Suitland Community Center
    5600 Regency Lane, Forestville, MD 20747

    PG COUNTY FIRE DEPT. (Home Safety Info.)

    ... & Much - Much More!

    Participating Organizations:
    Washington Metro Pain Institute, Psychological Group of Washington,
    Lupus Foundation, National Institutes of Health,
    Prince George's County Health Dept., Center for Wellness & Weight Loss Surgery, NIH Marrow Donor Program, Glaucoma Caucus Foundation,
    The Red Cross, Prince George's County Sheriff's Office & Others

    Prince George's, Howard University, Georgetown University,
    University of Phoenix & Others

    For more information contact:
    Joan Ostenso at 301-306-7900 or



    Visit PGCAR's New Office!

    Our new location is conveniently located off I-495, Exit 17A (Route 202 / Landover Road):

    9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
    Largo, MD 20774
    (mapquest Google maps)

    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

    Action Items:

    1. Spread the word by emailing and posting the Housing Fair link.
    2. Share the Flyer.
    3. Sign up to be an Exhibitor or Sponsor.
    4. Share Exhibitor and Sponsorship information with your favorite affiliated businesses and partners. What an inexpensive way to directly meet interested homebuyers and homeowners!

    MAR Diversity Day - This Thursday, May 5

    at Maryland Association of REALTORS®
    200 Harry S Truman Parkway
    Annapolis, Maryland 21401

    Sponsored by: Equal Opportunity/Cultural Diversity Committee

    9:30 a.m. Registration & Coffee
    10:00 a.m. - 12 noon Panel Discussion: Real Estate Issues in Diverse Communities
    2 hrs. CE for Professional Enhancement
    $5 sponsorship contribution for the 2011 MAR Fair Housing Calendar

    Panelists will identify information and home buying resources for consumers representing emerging populations and culturally diverse communities. They will discuss real estate issues, obstacles and concerns that they face in helping distinctive cultural communities with home buying and selling, especially in this difficult economic climate.

    12 noon - 1:00 p.m. FREE Festive Networking Lunch
    (open to both morning and/or afternoon attendees)
    Special guest - Kyle Lambert London, NAR
    Coordinator, At Home with Diversity program
    1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Special Issues in Fair Housing
    1.5 hrs. CE for Fair Housing
    $5 sponsorship contribution for the 2011 MAR Fair Housing Calendar
    Instructor: Glendora Hughes, Esq., General Counsel
    Maryland Human Relations Commission

    To register: Contact Kara Ardison at or 800-638-6425.

    You may attend the morning, afternoon or both programs.
    Registration for each program is a $5 sponsorship contribution for the 2012 MAR Fair Housing Calendar.
    If you fail to attend WITHOUT giving 48 hrs notice in advance, you will be charged $25.


    2011 Midyear Meetings and Trade Show - In DC Next Week

    NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings and Trade Expo This year's Midyear Meetings will take place
    next Monday through Saturday, 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.

    Special May 11 Session at Midyears

    The NAR Board of Directors will vote on the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative and the associated $40 dues increase next Saturday, May 14. Find out more about the Political Survival Initiative at this interactive session, before the Board votes. In the meantime, get the latest information about the REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative online at and let NAR know what you think.



    Below is a status report of issues followed by PGCAR and MAR during the 2011 Maryland General Assembly. Representatives of PGCAR frequently traveled to Annapolis, to lobby legislators and to testify on a number of these issues.

    2011 Prince George's County Delegation Issues
    Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs - PGCAR

    2011 RPAC Chair,
    John Lesniewski.
    Local RPAC
    achievements and goals >
    Local Legislative Victories.
    Your local RPAC
    dollar at work >
    SB 978 - Landlord and Tenant
    - Reclaiming Property After Repossession
    STATUS: Failed in Committee

    If enacted this bill would have authorized a landlord who prevailed in an action for possession of a rental property in Prince George's County to repossess the premises after four days if the tenant failed to comply with the requirements of the order (i.e. exit the premises). The bill also provided the evicted tenant three full days after the date of the repossession to reclaim any personal property left in the premises.

    PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR opposed the original concept of the bill as detailed above. However, the Association worked with the Sponsor and other parties in amending the bill to remove the three day holding period in favor of immediate abandonment of personal belongings upon the specified date of eviction and changing of the locks by the property owner when accompanied by the County Sheriff. This practice is similar to Baltimore City law adopted in 2007.

    HB 609 - WSSC - Residential Rental Property - Delinquency - Receivership
    STATUS: Failed in Committee

    This bill would have allowed the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission or tenants of residential rental property in the sanitary district to institute an action for receivership upon "non-performance" of the property owner (i.e. when property owner is delinquent to WSSC). The bill attempted to establish a procedure for petitioning a circuit court for appointment of a receiver to collect payments on behalf of the WSSC.

    PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR supported the bill after negotiating an amendment to clearly specify that the receivership only pertained to rental property structures consisting of five or more rental units.

    HB 615 - WSSC - Transfer of Single-Family Residential Real Property - Payment of Outstanding Charges and Costs
    STATUS: Withdrawn

    In the event of outstanding debt owed to the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, this bill would have prohibited the transfer of title of single-family residential real property until the debt for water or sewer usage was paid.

    PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR was opposed to this legislation as the bill proposed, in a very vague manner, to impose a "lien type" caveat on residential properties where the WSSC customer was past due on owed services. The bill did not follow the technicalities of the lien process. PGCAR representatives testified to this concern and further pointed out that an additional lien process would hinder sales of foreclosed properties.

    HB 616 - WSSC - Security Deposits on Customer Service Accounts
    STATUS: Withdrawn

    This bill would have authorized the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission to require the payment of a security deposit on a customer service account for water and sewer usage.

    PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR opposed this effort as it would have required additional up-front capital from home buyers and tenants of rental property.

    HB 1006 - Transfer Tax - Exemption and Rate Reduction for State's Attorneys
    STATUS: Withdrawn

    This bill would have provided a reduction in the Prince George's County transfer tax for the transfer of property to a Prince George's County State's Attorney. To qualify, the States Attorney must have been a first time homebuyer and the property had to be the principal residence.

    PGCAR ACTION - In light of the State and County fiscal condition, passage of this proposal didn't seem likely; however, PGCAR supported this effort to reduce the transfer tax.

    HB 1105 - School Facilities Surcharge - Replacement of Existing Single Family Structure.
    STATUS: PASSED, Effective June 1, 2011

    This bill clarifies that the County's School Facilities Surcharge typically imposed on new development (as high as $17,000 per home) does NOT apply to improvements, renovations and additions to existing single family structures or to "re-builds" of structures on the same lot, owned by the same owner occupant.

    PGCAR ACTION - The Association supported the bill and suggested that additional language (which was adopted) be added to waive the surcharge fee on homeowner improvements and additions.

    HB 1108 / SB 951 - Prince George's County - Abandoned Property Registry
    STATUS: Failed in Committee

    These similar pieces of legislation would have authorized Prince George's County to enact a local law establishing an abandoned property registry for vacant foreclosed property. The bill required a creditor owner (the bank) to register the property, pay a $75 registration fee, and be responsible for the maintenance and security of the property.

    PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR opposed this effort as Prince George's County already has an effective foreclosed/vacant property registration ordinance with no registration fee and very low impact on REALTORS®.


    Maryland Association of REALTORS®
    Bill Castelli, Vice President of Government Affairs - MAR

    The 2011 Maryland General Assembly considered legislation
    impacting real estate in the following areas:
    Affordable Housing & Tax Issues ~ Real Estate Brokerage & Contracts
    Common Ownership Communities
    Land-use, Property Rights, & the Environment
    Property Management ~ Commercial & Others



    call for action

    Congress needs to hear from you. Warning signs have appeared on Capitol Hill about removing or reducing the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID). Even the Speaker of the House of Representatives recently stated that the budget situation may require Congress to eliminate the MID for second homes and homes over $500,000. These MID changes would be particularly devastating to resort markets that are still in trouble, and for higher end properties that will face additional trouble when the GSE loan limits are scheduled to revert back to lower levels this Fall.

    Maryland will feel the impact of a limited MID more than most states. Consider these facts:

    • Maryland taxpayers have the highest percentage of tax returns claiming the MID than any other state in the country.
    • Marylanders have the fifth highest average deduction amount ($14,162) in the country - following California, Hawaii, Nevada, and Washington.
    Please take 3 minutes today. Send your letter asking your Representative to cosponsor H.Res 25, a bipartisan House resolution affirming the value and importance of the MID.

    1099 Reporting Requirement for Businesses and Landlords - REPEALED!
    The provision requiring businesses and landlords to file a 1099 Form for purchases of ALL goods and services exceeding $600 a year, was repealed on April 14. Thank you to everyone who supported NAR and MAR opposition to this burdensome measure. Reuters article >

    News to Share with Your Customers and Contacts
    Homebuyer Savings
    Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance

    My HOME Program
    Up to 5% of Home Sale Price Offered to County Homebuyers
    $1 Million, Limited Time Program

    The My HOME program is an amazing opportunity, worth up to 5% of a home's sale price to buy in Prince George's County. This program is open to homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. It is in the form of a no-interest loan which is applied towards the down payment and closing costs, of which none has to be paid back if the homebuyer remains the resident owner of that home for 10 years.

    My HOME Program

    Answers to Common Myths About the
    My HOME Inspection Requirement - New!

    Housing Quality Standards (HQS) Inspector for the My HOME program, Tim Ryan, provided answers to a few concerns and myths regarding the Home Quality inspection provided by the County for properties where My HOME funds are being applied for.

    See complete My HOME Details at and the following links:

    Over $1 million is dedicated to down payment and closing cost assistance through the My HOME program. It is estimated this will translate into over 100 loans. Help your clients become homeowners with this amazing opportunity.

    American Dream Downpayment Initiative (ADDI)
    Up to $10,000 to Buy a Home in Prince George's County

    ADDI provides downpayment and closing cost assistance to purchase a home in Prince George's County. Eligible families earn a maximum 80% of the area median income, are first-time homebuyers (or have not owned a home in the last 3 years), and will use the home as their principal residence. 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.

    Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP)
    Up to $5,000 Downpayment Assistance & Zero-Point Mortgages

    Community Development Administration's MMP has competitive interest rates with no points! Downpayment assistance of $5,000 is still available, plus matching closing cost programs. Learn how to help your customers utilize this program and earn 3 CEU. Training is FREE. Advance registration is required. The next CDA workshop is next Wednesday, May 11 at 8:30 am.
    Details and registration >

    Learn more about how the MMP opens opportunities for qualified families to own their first home with safe, 30-year fixed mortgages at competitive interest rates. Read "Rethinking Our Rethink of Homeownership" by Secretary Skinner, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, on page 10 of the Maryland REALTOR® Magazine April / May issue.

    FHLB First-Time Homebuyer Down Payment Funds
    Up to $7,500 for DC, MD or VA Homebuyers

    Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta) will provide up to $7,500 in matching funds to eligible first-time homebuyers for down payment and closing costs. Funds are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. Potential homebuyers must request the funds from a participating member institution of FHLB Atlanta.

    Program details to share >

    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.

    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)?

    Who shall be named Prince George's REALTOR® of the Year?

    It could be you, or someone you know whom exemplifies leadership and service.

    Submit your nominations by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 10.
    1. Entries must be submitted on PGCAR's official form.
    2. Nominees must be Primary members of PGCAR.
    3. Nominees must be REALTOR® members who provide continuous, dedicated service to the industry to enhance the quality of the profession.

    4. Supporting information or documentation may be included as an attachment to the entry form.
    5. Pictures and supportive information are not encouraged.
    6. Entries that do not follow this format will be disqualified.
    7. ONE (1) COLOR PHOTO (any size) must be submitted in digital format, as a jpeg or .tif file, of 300 dpi or greater resolution, to with the subject line ROTY and your name.
    8. Deadline for submissions to PGCAR is 5 p.m. on Friday, June 10, 2011.

    One ROTY application will be submitted by PGCAR to be entered in the MAR competition. The winner of the State Award will be sent to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for consideration in the national award. Could we see a Prince George's REALTOR® honored in Ocean City or California this year?


    Market Sen$e: County Sales Increase Yet Another Month

    Average mortgage rates decrease for the second week, dipping back down to March 17, 2011 levels. Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending April 28, 2011:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.78 percent, down from 4.80 percent a week ago.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.97 percent, down from 4.02 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.51 percent, down from 3.61 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.15 percent, down from 3.16 percent.

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

    Prince George's Continues to Attract Homebuyers

    March Home Sales statistics are at and the numbers are great! Contracts and settlements, for single family homes and condos, have ALL increased from Feb 2011 to March 2011.

    In the condo market, year-to-date contracts and settlements show a dramatic improvement from 2010 to 2011, 26.9% and 57% respectively. In the single family market, year-to-date contracts and settlements show only a slight decline, -2.4% and -0.6% respectively. Most economic forecasts warned of a large decrease for early 2011, in comparison to early 2010 when homebuyers were signing contracts before the April 2010 Homebuyer Tax Credit contract deadline.

    Prince George's County definitely beat those predictions!


    My HOME Program First Access to Statistics Reports

    Like us on Facebook to know when April home sales statistics are posted online. April statistics should be available this Friday or next Monday at We will post a link with a short synopsis at as soon as monthly statistics are released.


    Family Members Can Join the REALTORS® FCU

    Is your brother looking for a terrific rate on a car loan? Parents refinancing their home? Have you been meaning to set aside a few dollars each month into savings? Planning to teach your kids the benefits of saving at an early age?

    You, and family members, can visit REALTORSFCU.ORG 24/7 to join the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union.
    Share the link and flyer.


    MRIS Updates

    Photo Upload Upgrade - The current Keystone Photo Upload will be upgraded soon with a much better application, Media Connect. Adobe Flash Player 10 or above will be required for Media Connect. Be prepared in advance by installing the latest version of Adobe Flash Player now by visiting More launch details to come!

    Password Sharing Punishable by Fines and Loss of Access - As a valued member of our association, we want you to be aware that MRIS does monitor customer logins to their applications. If MRIS notifies you that password sharing has been detected, 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 revoking access. Personal and administrative assistants must have their own MRIS subscriptions 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.


    WANTED: COMMITTEE VOLUNTEERS - At State and National Levels

    MAR Committee descriptions and a volunteer form are now online at Committee selections are prioritized by qualifications and date received. Current MAR committee members must re-apply for 2011 - 2012 MAR Committee memberships.
    MAR applications are due Next Wednesday, May 11.

    The NAR Committee Recommendation Database for 2012 is also open. Submit committee recommendations for yourself or other members at
    NAR recommendations are due Wednesday, May 25.


    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


    MD and DC CEU at PGCAR

    Reminder! All classes are now being held at our NEW offices, just off the Route 202 / Landover Road exit of I-495. Find us at 9200 Basil Court, Suite 400, Largo, MD 20774. There's plenty of parking.

    New 3 CEU Agency Requirement - ALL Maryland Real Estate Licensees - House Bill 83 (2010 Legislative Session) requires all real estate licensees to take a 3-hour continuing education course in agency principles and disclosure as part of the 15 hours of education required for license renewal. The agency course requirement must be fulfilled once every 4 years for the license renewals that occur after January 1, 2012. The Thursday, May 19 MREC Agency - Residential class fulfills this requirement! If your current 2-year license cycle ends during 2011 you may still take this class as an elective.

    Next Wednesday, May 11
    Financing Issues / Update
    3.0 DC Required Financing Issues;
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Next Thursday, May 12
    Real Estate Tax Issues
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Linda de Marlor 10:00 am - 11:30 am

    Tuesday, May 17
    DC Legislative Update
    3.0 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
    3.0 Required Fair Housing CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, May 18
    Current Mortgage Guidelines Made Easy
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12 noon

    Thursday, May 19
    MREC Agency - Residential
    3.0 MD Required CEU
    Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Friday, May 20
    MD Legislative Update
    3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3.0 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Full CEU Schedule >>


    Maryland Association of REALTORS® Annual Conference & Tradeshow

    September 12th - 14th
    Ocean City, Maryland

    Register by June 1 for $195.
    Saves $80 on full 3-day conference price.

    • Up to 15 hours of premier Continuing Education (CE)
    • Monday Keynote & light lunch with Steve Harney, Keeping Current Matters
    • FREE Conference Gift - ABS flashlight with auto tool kit
    • Rookies (up to 4 years since licensed) receive $50 off 3-day registration
    • YPN event ($10), more "Learning Labs", more grand prize winners!

    More value–National Speakers–Networking–Exciting Tradeshow

    Conference Homepage      Hotel Information      Schedule (PDF)


    Case #4-3:
    Disclosure of Family Interest

    REALTOR® A listed Client B's home and subsequently advised him to accept an offer from Buyer C at less than the listed price. Client B later filed a complaint against REALTOR® A with the Board stating that REALTOR® A had not disclosed that Buyer C was REALTOR® A's father-in-law; that REALTOR® A's strong urging had convinced Client B, the seller, to accept an offer below the listed price; and that REALTOR® A had acted more in the interests of the buyer than in the best interests of the seller.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® A defended his actions stating that Article 4 of the Code requires disclosure when the purchaser is a member of the REALTOR®'s immediate family, and that his father-in-law was not a member of REALTOR® A's immediate family. REALTOR® A also demonstrated that he had presented two other offers to Client B, both lower than Buyer C's offer, and stated that, in his opinion, the price paid by Buyer C had been the fair market price.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 4, 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.

    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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