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May 30, 2011

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Memorial Day Holiday
  • 2011 County Housing Fair - Coming June 11
  • GRI 100 @ PGCAR - Starts Friday
  • WHC Certification Training - Next Friday
  • Community Health Fair - Thank You!
  • MAR Conference - Register Now to Save
  • Commercial Real Estate Symposium
    Homeownership Matters
  • 20% Mortgage Down Payment Requirement?
  • My HOME Program Update
  • Fannie Mae 3.5% Sale Price Incentive Expires June 30
  • Amazing Homebuyer Incentives
  • 2011 Real Estate Legislation
  • RPAC Letter from John Lesniewski
  • Defend MID
    The Industry Insider
  • MAR CARE Award Questionnaires - Due June 14
  • David Maclin Memorial Scholarships Awarded
  • REALTOR® of the Year - Due June 10
  • To ALL DC Real Estate Licensees
  • Market Sen$e: Rates & Home Sales Stats
  • First Access to May Sales Stats
  • Bank Anytime, Even Holidays
  • MLS Photos Upgrade is Here!
  • DC and MD CEU
  • New MREC Agency CEU Requirement
  • Code of Ethics: Case #6-3
    The PGCAR Office is closed today, May 30th
    in observance of Memorial Day.
    We remember and honor those who protect our freedom.

    Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day!
      Memorial Day Salute

    FREE! Annual Housing Fair
    & Homeowner Legal Consultations
    Next Saturday, June 11
    10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

    at the Sports and Learning Center

    for Homeowners, Home Buyers, Renters and Industry Professionals

    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!

    Earn Your GRI @ PGCAR
    GRI 100 Starts This 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

    Workforce Housing Certification
    Three Classes in One Day!

    Next Friday, June 10
    9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at PGCAR

    Workforce Housing Certification

    Registration includes the following three classes toward WHC certification:

    Bridging the Gap From Availability to Affordability
    (2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), gives practical information about financial products and eligibility standards that may help challenged or first-time homebuyers.

    State and Local Programs
    (2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), provides fundamentals about state and local programs available for low/no downpayment, closing cost grants, extended term mortgages, as well as other tax credits, plus local government resources for homeownership education and counseling. ALSO includes training on how to best utilize the website.

    Federal Programs and National Initiatives
    (2 hours MD CE - Professional Enhancement), includes information on programs and new regulations for HUD/FHA, Veteran's Administration, Rural Housing, and national private sector loan/guaranty programs.

    Required for WHC certification
    Also provides 6 MD Elective CEU

    Only $25 for REALTORS® ~ $50 for non-REALTORS®
    Earn your WHC certification, then be listed on

    Hurry! Register while seating remains at >>



    A HUGE congratulations and thank you to the PGCAR Community Service Committee for such a tremendous job organizing another successful Health Fair on Saturday, May 21. The day was beautiful. Attendees had fun, and ample opportunity to learn good tips and resources for healthy living, and benefit from free health assessments. We also deeply appreciate our Prince George's County Department of Parks and Recreation, who contributed a wonderful location and logistics support.


    MAR Annual Conference & Tradeshow - Register by This Wednesday to Save

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

    September 12th - 14th
    in Ocean City, Maryland

    • 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)


    MAR's Annual Commercial Real Estate Symposium - This 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 Continental Breakfast

    9 to 10:30 a.m - Panel Discussion
    A team of experts 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 >


    20% Mortgage Down Payment Requirement?

    Thanks for Saying No!

    Thank you for responding to last week's call to action asking Congress to ask our Federal regulators NOT to require a 20% down payment from homebuyers.

    Over 140 Representatives and 40 Senators have now signed letters of concern to the governing regulatory agencies. The regulators are being asked to implement a more reasonable Qualified Residential Mortgage (QRM) that will keep credit-worthy buyers in the market and able to acquire a loan.

    My HOME Program Revises Their Debt to Income Guideline!

    The new maximum DTI is "45%", effective 5/24/2011.

    This means your borrower's debt to income ratio can have a maximum amount of 45%.

    We hope this information is helpful when qualifying potential homebuyers.

    All other guidelines remain the same. For more information on the My HOME program, please visit: My HOME information page Members Only
    Prince George's County My HOME website

    1. New!   Fannie Mae 3.5% Incentive Ends June 30 - homebuyers purchasing a property as their primary residence can receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance, if the sale closes on or before June 30, 2011. Complete details >>

    2. My HOME Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance - up to 5% of Home Sale Price Offered to County Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. Over $100 million in total funds available. Consumer information page >>  Details (updated April 25) >>

    3. American Dream Downpayment Assistance (ADDI) - up to $10,000 to County Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. Details >>

    4. Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta) - up to $7,500 to first-time homebuyers in MD or DC. Details >>

    5. Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) - offers low fixed rates and some matching funding to Maryland homebuyers. Details >>

    Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at Sales agents can study up, and send links to their contacts from these public information pages. For more My HOME program details, members can login to Members Only.


    2011 Real Estate Legislation

    County and State Legislation That Affects Homeowners and YOU

    A full status report of legislative issues followed by PGCAR and MAR during the 2011 Maryland General Assembly is at (login required).


    Letter from PGCAR RPAC Chair John Lesniewski - Victories Won

    PGCAR and RPAC played a valuable role in the 2010 elections, and we need that positive influence to continue, now more than ever. What is the REALTOR® Party, what current issues are important to us, and what impact have we made?

    RPAC Letter from John Lesniewski >
    Recent Local Victories for Homeownership >


    Preserve, Protest and Defend MID - Let Congress Know We're Still Watching

    Congress needs to hear from you. Members of Congress still have removing or reducing the Mortgage Interest Deduction (MID) on the table. Even the Speaker of the House of Representatives has 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.


    MAR CARE Award
    Questionnaires due Tuesday, June 14

    The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® 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 use it for a college scholarship for a deserving high school senior. 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.


    David Maclin Memorial Scholarships Awarded

    PGCAR recognized the five David Maclin Memorial Scholarship recipients at a dinner on Tuesday, May 17.
    The 2011 Scholarship winners are:

    Erika Victoria Liggins   Friendly High School
    Carl N Randall, Jr   Gwynn Park High School
    Jasmin Hurling Spears   Suitland High School
    Amanda Michelle Watson   Bishop McNamara High School
    Shayla Wortham   Frederick Douglass High School

    See photos at >      Read more at >

    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. next 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?


    To ALL DC Real Estate Licensees

    Critical - If you are a Salesperson, Broker, or Property Manager in DC, this subject matter may apply to you. Please share this with other DC Brokers, Property Managers and Salespersons.

    Please note that as of February 28, 2011, some real estate companies, real estate brokers and/or property managers did not renew their licenses and are currently INACTIVE AND UNLICENSED to practice real estate in the District of Columbia.

    All licensees (AGENTS) who are affiliated with an unlicensed real estate company and/or real estate broker also have INACTIVE LICENSES.

    Any business conducted by a licensee with an inactive license is deemed unlicensed real estate activity and therefore, ILLEGAL.

    Follow these steps to check the status of your license:

    1. Go to:
    2. Choose a Program: Click District of Columbia
    3. Select a Board: Click Real Estate
    4. Under "Search/Inquiry Services" select: "Search Licensees (to find and verify a person or entity who is licensed"
      • Enter either your license number (which starts with: SP, AB, IB, PB or PM) OR enter your first and last name. Click "Next"
      • Look under the "Status" header to determine the status of your license.
      • If your license status is "Active", then you are free to conduct real estate business in the District of Columbia.

    If you find that your license status is "INACTIVE", YOU MUST:

    • Cease conducting real estate business in the District of Columbia until your license status is ACTIVE!

    Your OPTIONS, if you find that your license status is "INACTIVE":

    • Contact your Broker to determine the status of the broker's license and or the real estate company's license and when it will be revised.
    • Transfer to an active broker or company. Visit the DC Real Estate Commission's website, to download a SPONSORING BROKER CHANGE/TRANSFER REQUEST in the "Publications and Forms" section. Follow the instructions and fee requests on the form.

    Per DC Regulations:


    For the purposes of this subpart, the term "real estate broker" means any person, firm, association, partnership, or corporation (domestic or foreign) ...:

    § 47-2853.12. License, certification, and registration criteria; waiver.

    (k) A person who fails to renew a license or certification required by this subchapter, or fails to re-register, shall be considered to be unqualified to practice the occupation or profession and subject to the penalties set forth in this subchapter and other applicable laws of the District if he or she continues to practice the profession or occupation.


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

    Average mortgage rates have now decreased for six consecutive weeks, with the 30-year FRM down to a rate not seen since December 9, 2010. Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 26, 2011:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.60 percent, down from 4.61 percent a week ago.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.78 percent, down from 3.80 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.41 percent, down from 3.48 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 3.11 percent, down from 3.15 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 May 12 during 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 >


    My HOME Program First Access to May Stats

    May housing market statistics will be released before the next issue of REALTOR® Connection. Like us at to see it on your own news feed when they're released. Be one of the first to see a short synopsis and link when monthly statistics are released.


    Holiday Banking? No Problem at REALTORS® FCU

    Is your bank usually closed by the time YOU'RE not working? Bank online, deposit checks from your home, office, or on the road, apply for a loan, or call customer service 24/7 with the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union.

    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.


    MD and DC CEU at PGCAR

    All classes are held at PGCAR offices, just off the Route 202 / Landover Road exit of I-495. Find our NEW association office 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, June 23 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 Friday, June 3
    GRI 100 Series Begins
    5-day, 16.5 MD CEU
      8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Next 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

    Monday, June 13
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Bruce Winstead 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Wednesday, June 15
    Self-Defense Class
    Jim Thrift 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

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

    Tuesday, June 21
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3 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
    Environmental Issues/Chesapeake Bay
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 3:15 pm - 4:45 pm

    Thursday, June 23
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Full CEU Schedule >>


    Case #6-3:
    Management Responsibility in Relation to Manager's Enterprises

    REALTOR® A managed a large apartment building for his client, Owner B. After the building had been under his management for two years, REALTOR® A acquired a vacant site adjacent to the building and developed it as an automobile parking lot with monthly rates set at $50. REALTOR® A advised Owner B of this action, feeling that it would be advantageous to the building, and Owner B indicated that he, too, felt this development was favorable to him.

    Six months after opening his parking lot, REALTOR® A raised the monthly rate to $100. When this came to the attention of Owner B, he filed a complaint against REALTOR® A with the Board of REALTORS® charging that the parking rate increase represented an unethical attempt on the part of REALTOR® A to profit by Owner B's investment in the apartment building; that REALTOR® A should have raised rents in the building but had instead substituted the rent increase with an increased rate in his parking lot.

    A hearing was called on the complaint before the Board's Professional Standards Committee. At the hearing, REALTOR® A presented data tabulating monthly parking rates in the general area of his enterprise, which showed that $100 was the average prevailing rate for similar facilities in the area. He also presented information which showed that the rent charged in Owner B's building was relatively high in comparison with similar apartments in the area.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 6, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

    Find out here >>

    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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