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May 16, 2011

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • FREE Health Fair - This Saturday!
  • WHC Certification Training - Next Tuesday
  • GRI 100 @ PGCAR - Starts June 3
  • 2011 County Housing Fair - FREE FREE FREE
  • Commercial Real Estate Symposium
  • MAR Conference - May Early Bird Rates
  • Memorial Day Holiday
    Homeownership Matters
  • Prince George's County Homebuyer Savings
  • My HOME Program - 5% Sale Price Incentive
  • American Dream Downpayment Initiative
  • Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP)
  • $7.5k FHLB First-Time Homebuyer Funds
  • Fannie Mae "First Look"
  • 2011 Real Estate Legislation
  • Defend MID
    The Industry Insider
  • REALTOR® of the Year - Due June 10
  • Give 10 Minutes to Win $10,000 - Due June 14
  • Market Sen$e: Rates & Home Sales Stats
  • 2011 Home Sales Market Projections
  • News From Midyears
  • First Access to Sales Stats
  • Family Members Can Join the Credit Union
  • MLS Photos Upgrade is Here!
  • Good Neighbor Nominations - Due Friday
  • NAR Committee Applications - Due May 25
  • DC and MD CEU
  • New MREC Agency CEU Requirement
  • Code of Ethics: Case #5-1
    with FREE Health Screenings
    10 a.m. - 3 p.m.
    at Suitland Community Center
    5600 Regency Lane, Forestville, MD 20747


     FREE HOME SAFETY TIPS (from PG County Fire Dept.)



    Help reach out to our community by inviting family, friends, customers, neighbors, community businesses (in DC, Prince George's and neighboring counties), and other offices.

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

    Click Here for Flyer >>
    Please ask others to display it too!




    Next Tuesday, May 24
    9:00 am - 4:00 pm

    at PGCAR
    9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
    Largo, MD 20774

    CreditSmartTM (6 hours - no CE), taught by Freddie Mac certified trainers, is a "Training for Trainers" program with a comprehensive curriculum that will prepare you to educate consumers about getting and maintaining good credit, credit scoring and money management towards achieving their financial goals.

    One of 2 days of training required for WHC certification.
    Only $25 for REALTORS® / $50 for non-REALTORS®

    Sign up Early >>

    Registering for the May 24 CreditSmartTM training and the Friday, June 10 training
    will complete your WHC training hours.

    GRI 100 @ PGCAR Next Month!
    Starting Friday, June 3
    Sign up for the entire, 5-day Series here >
    (Also provides 3 hrs Fair Housing, 3 hrs Ethics, and 10.5 hrs Elective CE)
      red arrow Module 101: Building a Real Estate Business - Friday, June 3
      red arrow Module 102: Prospecting & Listing Techniques - Thursday, June 9
      red arrow Module 103: Fair Housing & Cultural Issues; and MD Law Ethics, Flipping & Predatory Lending - Wednesday, June 15
      red arrow Module 104: Basic Residential Financing - Monday, June 20
      red arrow Module 105: Marketing Methods - Friday, 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

    FREE! Annual Housing Fair
    & Homeowner Legal Consultations

    Saturday, June 11 at the Sports and Learning Center

    Registration is Now Open >

    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 for homeowners, home sellers and buyers, and renters.
    Workshops will give practical information on:

    • Credit Rebuilding / Finances
    • Short Sales
    • Senior Programs / Reverse Mortgages
    • First-time Homebuyer Programs
    • Rental Information

    Free legal consultations on Foreclosure Prevention and Loan Modification will also be provided. Advance registration and preparation are required for the consultations. Please spread the word to pre-register and gather the information listed at in advance, to take best advantage of these free consultations. .

    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's Annual Commercial Real Estate Symposium - Thursday, June 2

    What is it and how will it affect the Commercial Real Estate Market?

    at Sheraton Four Points BWI Hotel

    8 a.m. - Registration and Breakfast

    9 to 10:30 a.m - Panel Discussion
    A team of experts to explain this emerging technology and its impact on commercial and industrial real estate
    in the region. (1.5 hours Professional Enhancement CE, Category F)
    10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. - 2011 Legislative Session Impact on Real Estate Update
    (1.5 hours Legal/Legislative CE, Category A)

    Details and registration >

    News to Share with Your Customers and Contacts
    Homebuyer Savings

    Prince George's County has some of the BEST deals for homebuyers, with our conveniently located, up and coming neighborhoods and AMAZING incentives (FREE downpayment assistance). Incentives are especially plentiful for homebuyers earning up to 80% of the area median income. 80% AMI is $58,000 for a single-member household. Did you know that young professionals, especially women, are buying homes at an increasing rate? Learn the details of these following homebuyer incentives, and others listed at, to help YOUR customers realize the dream of homeownership.
    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

    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.

    Details and an Application Form at >

    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 Wednesday, June 8 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)?



    Below is an abbreviated 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. The complete 2011 Legislative Update is at

    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 >
    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 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®.

    Click Here for the Complete Summary of
    Followed by PGCAR and 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



    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.

    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?


    Give 10 Minutes to Win $10,000

    The PGCAR Community Service Committee realizes that Prince George's County REALTORS® give back to their communities every day in a number of different ways; they are coaches, mentors and scout leaders. They deliver Meals on Wheels, work on Habitat and Christmas in April Homes, and create March of Dimes walk teams. We have many REALTOR® companies that raise money every year for a favorite charity, collecting food, coats and toys. The problem we have is . . . too few are sharing what they do with PGCAR! They don't do it for the recognition.

    Well, PGCAR has a chance to win MAR's CARE Award which gives us $10,000 to use for whatever cause we select. We could use it for another Habitat House. We could give it to a food bank or numerous other charities...

    ...but we can't win if you don't tell us what you are doing!
    Help create yet another opportunity to give back.

    Please take a few minutes to let us know how you help your community!
    Click here for an online form.
    Questionnaires are due Tuesday, June 14.


    Market Sen$e: Interest Rates Decrease, 2011 Home Sales Projections

    Average mortgage rates decreased for the fourth consecutive week, dipping back down to January 13, 2011 levels. Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 12, 2011:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.63 percent, down from 4.71 percent a week ago.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.82 percent, down from 3.89 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.41 percent, down from 3.47 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.11 percent, down from 3.14 percent.

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

    April Prince George's County Stats are Online

    After 3 straight months of greater than expected monthly increases in Prince George's County home sales, we saw a decrease in single family sales from March to April. April 2011 saw 1095 single family contracts signed and 609 settlements. The tremendous year-to-date increase in condo sales from 2010 to 2011 continued (13.5% increase in contracts signed; 35.8% increase in settlments). Condo monthly sales experienced yet another increase in contracts signed from March to April; a slight decrease in settlements from March to April. Visit for detailed statistics.

    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.

    Economy, Affordability to Drive Home Sales Growth Through 2011

    Home sales are on track to outperform last year, even though the market doesn't have the benefit of the 2010 home buyer tax credit. This is thanks to sustained economic growth, the slowly recovering jobs picture, and historically high affordability conditions, NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun told a packed room on Thursday during last week's Midyear Meetings in DC.

    Historically high affordability is one of the key drivers of the improved sales performance. NAR's affordability index is at its highest level ever, at nearly 170, which means households earning the national median income have 170 percent of the income needed to buy a home at the national median price. Behind the affordable conditions are low interest rates, which today are below 5 percent, and home prices that, while rising in some areas, remain quite a bit below their peak during the housing boom. The high number of distressed homes is one of the main reasons values are struggling to get off the bottom.

    Yun's forecast: The U.S. economy will grow about 2.5 percent this year, with between 1.5 and 2 million new jobs added to the economy. Home sales will reach about 5.1 million, up 7 - 10 percent from last year, with home values staying virtually unchanged. Read entire article at >


    News From Midyears

    NAR Directors Say Yes to REALTOR® Party Political Survival Initiative - Read details about all of the Director decisions made this Saturday, May 14 at the Directors Meeting.

    Commercial Real Estate Slowly Turning Around, Faster in DC Market >


    My HOME Program First Access to Statistics Reports

    Our Facebook fans had the inside track when April statistics were posted 10 days ago. Join them by liking us at You'll be one of the first to see a short synopsis and link when 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

    Upload Photos in Minutes! - Upload photos, add captions and submit your listing to the MLS in minutes, with the new photos application, Media Connect. Install Adobe Flash Player 10 or above (it's FREE), and watch the tutorial, then start using Media Connect to upgrade your listings today!

    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.


    Good Neighbor Nominations – Due Friday

    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 6 pm this Friday, May 20.
    Apply at


    WANTED: NAR Committee Volunteers

    The NAR Committee Recommendation Database for 2012 is open for one more week. Submit committee recommendations for yourself or other members at

    NAR recommendations are due next Wednesday, May 25.


    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.

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

    This Wednesday, May 18
    Current Mortgage Guidelines Made Easy
    3 MD & DC Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    This Thursday, May 19
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 pm - 12:30 pm
    MREC Agency - Residential
    3 MD Required CEU
    Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    This Friday, May 20
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Next Tuesday, May 24
    Workforce Housing Certification: CreditSmartTM
    Required for Workforce Housing Certification
    No CEU
     - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Friday, June 3
    GRI 100 Series Begins
    5-day, 16.5 MD CEU
      8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Friday, June 10
    Workforce Housing Certification: 3 Classes in 1 Day!
    Required for Workforce Housing Certification
    6 MD Elective CEU
     - 9:00 am - 4:00 pm

    Full CEU Schedule >>


    MAR Annual Conference & Tradeshow - Register by June 1 to Save

    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 #5-1:
    Contemplated Interest in Property Appraised

    Seller A and Buyer B were negotiating the sale of an apartment building, but couldn't agree on the price. Finally, they agreed that each would engage an appraiser and they would accept the average of the two appraisals as a fair price. Seller A engaged REALTOR® C as his appraiser, and Buyer B engaged REALTOR® D. Both REALTORS® were informed of the agreement of the principals. The two appraisal reports were submitted. The principals averaged the two valuations and made the transaction at the price determined.

    Six months later, it came to the attention of Seller A that REALTOR® C was managing the building that he had appraised. Upon making further inquiries he learned that REALTOR® C for several years had managed five other buildings owned by Buyer B, and that he had been Buyer B's property manager at the time he accepted the appraisal assignment from Seller A.

    At this point Seller A engaged REALTOR® E to make an appraisal of the building he had sold to Buyer B. REALTOR® E's valuation was approximately 30% higher than that arrived at six months earlier by REALTOR® C.

    These facts were set out in a complaint against REALTOR® C made by Seller A to the local Board of REALTORS®. The complaint charged that since REALTOR® C was an agent of Buyer B; since he managed all of Buyer B's properties; since he had become manager of the property he had appraised for Seller A in connection with a sale to Buyer B; and since he had not disclosed his relationship to Buyer B, he had acted unethically, and in the interest of his major client had placed an excessively low valuation on the property he had appraised for Seller A.

    At the hearing, Seller A also brought in a witness who stated that he had heard Buyer B say that he had made a good buy in purchasing Seller A's building because Seller A's appraiser was his (Buyer B's) property manager.

    Buyer B, appearing as a witness for REALTOR® C, disputed this and protested that he had paid a fair price. He substantiated REALTOR® C's statement that management of the building formerly owned by Seller A was never discussed between them until after it had been purchased by Buyer B.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 5, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

    Find out here >>

    Have a Safe and Happy Memorial Day Weekend!
    The PGCAR Office will be Closed on Monday, May 30
    in observance of Memorial Day.
      Memorial Day Salute

    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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