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July 25, 2011

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • DC Salesperson License Renewals
        - Due August 31
  • GRI 200 Series - Starts Next Week
  • Committee Signs Ups - Happening Now
  • PGCAR REALTOR® Store Specials
  • MAR Leadership Academy - Due Next Monday
  • MAR Conference
    Homeownership Matters
  • 9 of 10 Americans Value Homeownership
  • Help Those Devastated by Floods
  • FHA / GSE Loan Limits Being Lowered
  • Act Now to Save Homeownership
        Programs Expiring in 2 Months
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Offer
        3.5% Buyer Incentives Plus $1200 Agent Bonus
  • FHLB Lenders Offer Homebuyer Savings
  • My HOME Update - New
  • Amazing Homebuyer Incentives
    The Industry Insider
  • Revised Forms Directory
  • Brokerage Response Due to MREC Aug 4
  • Market Sen$e: Prince George's County
        Settlements Increase for Second Month
  • Why Miss a Lead?
  • Sales Coach: Test Your FHA Market Knowledge
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Code of Ethics: Case #10-3
  • REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
  • Maryland Tax-Free Shopping Days Aug. 14 - 20

    DC Salesperson Licenses Expire August 31

    Only 5 weeks remain to meet CEU hour requirements and renew licenses through the DC Real Estate Commission. Click here for the DCREC license renewal website.

    15 total CEU hours are required for license renewal.
    The 9 CEU in required subjects are offered on the following dates / times through PGCAR.

    3 CE Financing Issues / Update Tue, July 26 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Legislative Update Fri, August 19 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending Fri, August 19 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Register here >

    PGCAR classes marked DC Elective CEU on the
    Education calendar are available to meet your 6 required DC Elective hours.

    See your complete continuing education requirements for DC license renewal here >

    Register for classes early >


    GRI 200 SERIES - Begins Next Wednesday, August 3

    Experience proves that REALTORS® earn more referrals and income after obtaining their GRI. Earn more by learning more about helping homebuyers, home sellers and investors - and about managing your own career - through the GRI designation training series. Complete the GRI 200 Series by this time next month! Earn your GRI by taking the GRI 100, 200 and 300 Series, in any order.

    Register for the entire GRI 200 Series, or individual classes, at

    The GRI 300 Series is also offered this year at PGCAR!


    Committee Sign Ups Happening Now

    PGCAR wants, and needs, your involvement in your local association. Through PGCAR's many committees, you can play a major part in the leadership of our association, as well as help promote the efforts and positive contributions which PGCAR members make throughout the communities in Prince George's County.

    Click here for a detailed description of our committees.
    Click here to sign up now.
    Committee applications are due Friday, August 12, 2011.


    ALL GROUND SIGNS   NOW $6.00 each
    SIGN RIDERS 6 X 24   $5.00 each
    SIGN RIDERS 5 X 17   $2.50 each
    YARD MARKERS   $21.50
    SIGN FASTENERS   $4.00 per 12 pack
    SentriLock Lockboxes on Sale Through August 31.
    All other Specials are Good Through September 30.
    Come visit us at:
    9200 Basil Court, Suite 400
    Largo MD 20774
    (301) 306-7900


    2012 Leadership Academy - Applications Due Next Monday

    Receive training in organizational leadership and communications through the MAR Leadership Academy. Apply for the upcoming October 5, 2011 through April 17, 2012 session by next Monday, August 1. Applicants must be available for an interview on August 10 or 23.

    Hurry! Applications are due August 1st.
    Details and application >>
    Leadership Academy brochure >>


    MAR Annual Conference & Tradeshow

    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
    • Exhibit Hall - with Monday grand opening, Tuesday happy hour, Wednesday brunch
    • YPN event ($10), more "Learning Labs", more grand prize winners!
    • Free bus transportation within Ocean City with your attendee badge

    More value–National Speakers–Networking–Exciting Tradeshow

    Conference Homepage      Hotel Information      Schedule (PDF)


    New York Times / CBS News Poll - 9 of 10 Americans Value Homeownership

    The poll, conducted June 24 - 28 and released Thursday, June 30 shows Americans overwhelmingly positive on homeownership. And this is not due to rose-colored glasses. The split was 49/45 on whether buying a home now is generally a safe or risky investment. 49% said generally safe; 45% said generally risky. Some other results:
    • If they were to move now and could afford either, 73% would prefer to buy and 23% would prefer to rent.
    • 53% think the federal government should help people who are having trouble paying their mortgage.
    • 93% think it is important for the federal government to continue the home mortgage interest deduction.
    • 45% think the government should be doing more to help the housing market improve. Only 16% feel it should do less.

    New York Times poll results and article >
    Related REALTOR® Magazine artilce >
    Like us on Facebook, to see similar news releases sooner >


    Time is Running Short
    Urge Congress to Reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program

    call for action From 1990 to 2005, flood disasters were declared in every state - along rivers, lakes, behind levees and dams. Anywhere snow melts or rain falls is at risk for flooding, yet Americans in over 21,000 communities are about to have their access to flood insurance severed.

    What can you do?
    Help urge Congress to reauthorize the
    National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

    Banks require many homebuyers to have a flood insurance policy before lending. Yet the only way that a homeowner can acquire flood insurance, thus a mortgage in over 21,000 communities is through this federal program -- which ends September 30, 2011 -- less than 70 days from now.

    We're 1 million voices strong.
    Let's flood Congress with our support for the NFIP >


    Call for Action - FHA and GSE Loan Limits Expire September 30

    You can make the difference for your Buyers!!

    call for action Current FHA and GSE loan limits are set to expire September 30, 2011. Unless Congress acts, these loan limits will drop from the current limit of $729,750 to $625,500 in Prince George's County. The impact to other counties where loan limits are lower will be more severe. REALTORS® in other regions have reported that the upcoming lowered limits are already causing canceled contracts, due to banks holding new applications to the lowered limits.

    What does all of this mean? On September 30, mortgage costs could rise so much that they impact the ability of your buyers to purchase their home to be. Your clients could find themselves in a position where lending is even more tight, and they no longer have access to affordable mortgage financing.

    Most homebuyers don't realize how much the decisions of Congress can impact their opportunity to buy a home, but you do! Please contact Congress today and communicate clearly that a housing recovery depends on keeping mortgages affordable for well-qualified buyers. Congress needs to prevent these higher loan limits from taking effect.

    Let your voice be heard!
    Take action today >


    FHA Loan Limits and National Flood Insurance Program
    Due to expire September 30, 2011

    Both the NFIP and current FHA loan limits are set to expire September 30, 2011; however, as anticipated the expirations seem to already be affecting new mortgage applications. Bankers know that settlements can take 90 days from when they start processing a mortgage loan request.

    It's time to act. Please engage at every level possible.

    -   -   -   My HOME Update   -   -   -

    Eligible Income Limits are Increased
    Effective Immediately

    As of July 13, 2011 households with slightly higher incomes are eligible to participate in
    the My HOME program. Click here for the new income limits.

    My HOME 203K Loan Addendum

    The My HOME office issued a loan addendum which is mandatory for any My HOME purchase utilizing a 203K loan. The new loan addendum is included in Members Only and here.

    Take advantage of the County's FREE training on the My HOME program for REALTORS®.
    Next offering is Tuesday, August 9 at 10:00 am.

    1. Freddie Mac 3.5% + Agent Bonus for Offers Submitted by July 31 - Freddie Mac is offering 3.5% toward closing and a $1,200 selling agent bonus on primary residence home purchases. The initial offer must be submitted by July 31, 2011 with escrow closed by September 30, 2011. Complete details >

    2. Fannie Mae 3.5% + Agent Bonus through October 31 - homebuyers purchasing a property as their primary residence can also receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance. Eligible sales must close by October 31, 2011. A $1,200 selling agent bonus is also available! Complete details >

    3. New! Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta) - 2 new programs - The first offers up to $15,000 towards a foreclosure purchase. The second offers up to $7,500 to homebuyers earning up to 80% AMI and buying within NSP targeted areas in MD or DC. These two programs do NOT require you to be a first-time homebuyer.
      Consumer information page >   Details & webinars for REALTORS® >

    4. 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 $1 million in total funds available.
      Consumer information page >   Details (in Members Only, updated July 21) >

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

    6. The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) offered through the state's Community Development Administration (CDA) has announced 2 loan products for distressed properties. All MMP products have low, fixed interest rates and some offer matching funds. These 2 new products will assist in revitalizing communities burdened with foreclosed and rundown properties.

      The Acquisition / Rehabilitation Mortgage Program helps purchase a single-family home as a primary residence and obtain funds for needed repairs and renovations.

      The Homeward Bound Program offers eligible buyers of foreclosed or short sale property a lower rate mortgage.

      Program Details >

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


    Revised Forms Directory

    Due to the frequency of changes to Statewide forms, such as the MAR Sales Contract and MAR Listing Contracts, the PGCAR Forms Committee acted to limit the PGCAR Downloadable Forms Directory to forms that are drafted, copyrighted and managed by PGCAR. This greatly eliminates the possibility of offering an outdated or illegal form.

    Currently the PGCAR Downloadable Forms Directory only contains PGCAR forms. If you require a state form you can link to those via on the Members Only "Downloadable Forms" page. If the form you are seeking is not present you can also access all PGCAR forms and MAR forms as well as federal lead paint disclosures and HUD forms at Zipform®. All forms available at Zipform® are "auto fill" meaning you can enter data on an electronic version of the form. As a PGCAR member, ZipForm® access is complimentary. There are links on the Members Only home and Downloadable Forms pages to register for your complimentary access to ZipForm®.


    Brokerage Response Due to MREC Next Thursday, August 4

    The following letter was emailed from the Real Estate Commission to brokerage team and group leaders on July 8. Responses are due 20 business days from the letter. MREC is now looking for verification that the law regarding team and group documentation which went into effect October 1, 2010 is being adhered to. Please review the July 16, 2010 Legislative Alert for compliance tips, and promptly provide the required response to MREC.

    July 7, 2011

    Dear Broker:

    The Maryland Real Estate Commission is requesting that you provide to the Commission the following information:
    1. List of all Teams/Groups with the Team Leader or Group Leader identified (include all team or group members).
    2. A list of all Branch Managers and the location of the Branch that they manage.
    This information is required to be provided to the Commission in Title 17, Business Occupations Article. Please refer to the section of the law below. This information is due to the Commission within 20 business days from the date of this letter. Please email the lists to me at the email address listed below. This letter requires a response. If your brokerage does not have any teams or groups, please state that in your email response.

    Section 17-544:

    Team Leader- Each team shall designate a team leader who shall be:
    1. A licensed associate broker; or
    2. A licensed real estate salesperson who has at least 3 years of experience in providing real estate brokerage services.
    Duties.- Team leader shall:
    1. Maintain a current list of all members of the team; and
    2. Provide the list and any revisions of the list to the broker or the branch office manager of the brokerage with which the licensees are affiliated.
    Lists.- The real estate broker or branch office manager of a real estate broker shall:
    1. Maintain copies of the lists; and
    2. Make copies available to the Commission on request
    If you have any questions, please contact me at

    Steve Long
    Assistant Director
    Maryland Real Estate Commission
    500 N Calvert St
    Baltimore, MD 21202


    Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Fluctuate; Settlements Up for 2nd Consecutive Month

    Average mortgage rates barely changed this week, staying within 0.02 percentage points of the average rates from July 14, but greatly eased from their increase of 2 weeks ago. Rates continue to be lower than they were at the beginning of 2011. Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending July 21, 2011:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.52 percent, up from 4.51 percent a week ago.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.66 percent, up from 3.65 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.27 percent, down from 3.29 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.97 percent, up from 2.95 percent.

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

    Settlements Improve for Second Month in Prince George's County

    June settlements in Prince George's rose significantly over May, increasing 4.8% for single family homes, 14.1% for condos. The single family market made strong gains across the $200,000 - $499,000 price range. New contracts signed in June held fairly steady. 1,087 single family contracts were signed (19 more than in May 2011). 139 condo contracts were signed (3 less than in May 2011).

    Year-to-date comparisons. Condos continue their 2011 surge. Year-to-date settlements in the condo market are up 29.1% from 2010. Year-to-date contracts signed are up 37.3%.

    In the single family market, year-to-date contract signings are about even with 2010, down 0.8%. Settlements are down 8.2% from 2010 to 2011; however, the largest differential is from June 2010 to June 2011. Most economic forecasts warned of larger decreases for early 2011, in comparison to January through June 2010 when homebuyers were rushing to close before the June 2010 Homebuyer Tax Credit settlement deadline.

    Visit for detailed statistics.

    Pending Home Sales Rise 8.2 Percent in May

    Pending home sales rose strongly in May with all regions experiencing gains from a year ago, pointing to higher housing activity in the second half of the year, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

    The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 8.2% to 88.8 in May from an upwardly revised 82.1 in April and is 13.4% higher than in May 2010.

    Complete article >

    Nationwide, June Existing-Home Sales Slip, Prices Slightly Up

    Total existing-home sales declined 0.8 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.77 million in June from 4.81 million in May, and remain 8.8 percent below the 5.23 million unit level in June 2010, which was the scheduled closing deadline for the home buyer tax credit.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said this is an uneven recovery. "Home sales had been trending up without a tax stimulus, but a variety of issues are weighing on the market including an unusual spike in contract cancellations in the past month," he said. "The underlying reason for elevated cancellations is unclear, but with problems including tight credit and low appraisals, 16 percent of NAR members report a sales contract was cancelled in June, up from 4 percent in May, which stands out in contrast with the pattern over the past year."

    Nationwide, condo sales are weak. In Prince George's County they have been strong. Many factors are affecting sales right now, including some lenders already placing lower loan limits on current contracts, tight credit, and consumer uneasiness over the federal budget debates.

    Complete article >


    Why Miss a Lead? Update your REALTOR® profile today.

    The consumer friendly helps
    home buyers and home sellers find YOU,
    the experts
    in Prince George's real estate.

    Haven't updated your profile yet? Click here and log in to
    Members Only to edit your Membership profile.


    Sales Coach: How Well Do You Know FHA Lending?

    FHA has risen to an unprecedented level of importance in the mortgage market since late 2008. What percentage of newly acquired mortgage loans are FHA loans? What is the current, standard downpayment requirement of an FHA loan?

    Take a quick FHA quiz to test your knowledge, and to learn a few new FHA facts!


    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.

    This Tuesday, July 26
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm

    Starting Next Wednesday, August 3
    GRI 200 Series - Full Series of 5 Classes
    MD CEU - 27 hours total:
    6 hrs Legislative Update and 21 hrs Elective CE
    - 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Monday, August 8
    Home Inspection & Environmental Issues
    3 MD Elective CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Vimal Kapoor 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Friday, August 19
    DC Legislative Update
    3 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
    3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, August 24
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU;
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Tuesday, August 30
    MD Legislative Update
    3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3.0 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

    Wednesday, August 31
    MD Code of Ethics
    3.0 MD Required Ethics Update CEU;
    3.0 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MREC Required Supervision
    3.0 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Starting Wednesday, November 2
    GRI 300 Series - Full Series of 5 Classes
    MD CEU - 25.5 hours total:
    13.5 hrs Legislative Update and 12 hrs Elective CE
    - 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >>


    Equal Professional Services by the REALTOR®

    REALTOR® A was contacted by Prospect C, a female head of household, concerning a home for sale which was advertised during the previous week in the newspaper's classified real estate section. When informed by REALTOR® A that the home in question had already been sold, Prospect C asked to be shown homes in the $80,000 to $90,000 price range with three bedrooms and located near schools and playgrounds. REALTOR® A proceeded to show Prospect C a number of homes which met her stated criteria for price range, size, and location, but Prospect C was interested in none of them.

    Shortly thereafter, Prospect C filed a complaint with the Board of REALTORS® against REALTOR® A, complaining that he had violated Article 10 of the Code of Ethics by failing to offer equal professional service to her because she was a woman. Prospect C contended that she did not receive the same professional service from REALTOR® A that would have been afforded to a male head of household and home seeker with the same criteria for price range, size, and location.

    The complaint was referred to the Grievance Committee and after its preliminary review and evaluation, the Grievance Committee referred to its Secretary and directed that a hearing be arranged before a Hearing Panel of the Professional Standards Committee. The Secretary made the necessary arrangements and provided the proper notices and opportunity for response by REALTOR® A.

    At the hearing, Prospect C expressed her complaint and concluded by saying, "It was obvious to me that REALTOR® A discriminated against me because I am a woman. In my opinion, he showed little interest in helping me find a home."

    REALTOR® A responded that he was sorry Prospect C had that opinion, but that certainly he held no such attitude as charged. REALTOR® A advised the Hearing Panel that he routinely utilized a contact report for each prospect which includes identification information on the clients, provides data on price range, type of house and location preferred by the prospect, and records the homes shown to the prospect with the information on the price, type, and location of each home shown. REALTOR® A presented several such reports from his files including the report pertaining to Prospect C. Prospect C's report showed that several homes shown to her met the data supplied by her.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 10, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

    Find out here >>


    REALTORS® Federal Credit Union

    Personal and Professional Lines of Credit

    Whether you're consolidating higher interest debt, investing in home or business improvements, spreading tuition or annual dues payments, or simply opening a line of credit "just in case", you can cover it with a REALTORS® Federal Credit Union line of credit or personal loan.

    Apply for personal or professional loans online at REALTORSFCU.ORG.


    Maryland Tax-Free Shopping Days August 14 - 20

    Maryland is having a tax-free period for back-to-school shopping. For the week of Sunday, August 14 through Saturday, August 20 sales and use tax does not apply to the sale of any items of clothing or footwear, excluding accessory items, if the taxable price of the item of clothing or footwear is $100 or less. Accessory items, which are not exempt from the sales and use tax during the tax-free week include jewelry, watches, watchbands, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands, and belt buckles.

    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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