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October 17, 2011

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • HUGE SentriLock Lockbox Sale
  • GRI 300 Starts Wednesday, November 2
  • 2011 - 2012 Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs
  • 2012 Dues Renewals
        - Third Installment Due Oct 31
  • Flood Insurance Program is Kept Alive
  • 2011 NAR Conference
    Homeownership Matters
  • Buy Suitland Initiative
  • Free Initiative Training This Friday
  • Members Briefed on MD Buying Programs
  • Fannie Mae Offer Expires October 31:
        3.5% Buyer Incentives Plus $1200 Agent Bonus
  • Amazing Homebuyer Incentives
    The Industry Insider
  • Updated Contracts, Lease & Addendum Alert
  • Market Sen$e: Employment & Mortgage Rates
        and Home Sales Too
  • Singles Dive into the Real Estate Market
  • We Can't Ignore Housing Anymore
  • Changes in Earnest Money Deposit Management
  • Sales Coach: Managing Expectations,
        Teaching Change
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Code of Ethics: Case #17-8
  • REALTORS® FCU - $50 Cash Back Ends Oct 31
  • Free MRIS Hand-On Training at PGCAR
  • DC Salesperson License Renewals

    Extended through December 31, 2011

    PGCAR is pleased to announce a special sale on SentriLock Lockboxes for PGCAR Members.
    Between NOW and DECEMBER 31, 2011, lockboxes will be sold as follows:

    1 - 9 Lockboxes
    10 - 19 Lockboxes
    20 - 29 Lockboxes
    30 Lockboxes or more
      $65 each + tax
    $60 each + tax
    $55 each + tax
    $50 each + tax

    GRI 300 Starts Wednesday, November 2
    Sign up for the 5-day, 25.5 CE Series here!

    Need a few make-up classes?
    Sign up for individual classes by clicking class titles below.
    Earn Your GRI by taking GRI Series 100, 200 and 300 in any order!

      red arrow Module 301: Environmental / Health Issues Affecting Real Estate - Wed, Nov 2
      red arrow Module 302: Taxes - Mon, Nov 7
      red arrow Module 303: Ethics & Mediation and Arbitration - Thurs, Nov 10
      red arrow Module 304: Legislative Update & Smart Growth and Land Planning - Wed, Nov 16
      red arrow Module 305: Real Estate Technology & Trends - Thurs, Nov 17


    Announcing PGCAR 2011 - 2012 Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs

    PGCAR committees are off and running -- planning our next events, assuring PGCAR stays strong in community service, publicizing the positive impact of PGCAR members and homeownership, and helping our Association and industry move forward in so many ways.

    Help extend a hearty THANK YOU to our many Committee Chairs and Vice Chairs.

    Click here to volunteer for a committee >

    2012 Dues Renewals Were Due October 1
    Primary REALTORS®: Paying by Installment?
    Third Installment is Due Monday, October 31

    Use our fast and secure Online Dues Payment!
    Whether making one complete payment, or paying by installment, paying online is easy, secure, and supplies you with a receipt.

    Renew as Easy as 1-2-3:

    1. Click here
    2. Log in
    3. Renew online and receive receipt !

    2011 dues are payable no later than Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 in order to prevent late charges. Primary REALTOR® members may pay their 2012 dues in installments. Remaining installment payments are due as follows:

    Installment 3: Due October 31 $156.25
    Installment 4: Due November 30 $156.25

    Please note: If dues payments are not made online, they may not be reflected in your private, online History portal.


    call for action

      Flood Insurance Program is Kept Alive
    Future Generations:
    For Their Sake,
    Protect Homeownership
    Flood Insurance Program is Kept Alive. . .
    But Only Until November 18
    70,727 REALTOR® members have taken action, contacting their members of Congress to extend the National Flood Insurance Program for 5 years. This is a good response, but REALTORS® must do better to make sure Congress understands the importance of the NFIP to homebuyers and our national economy.

    1. Without NFIP, which currently allows 5.57 million home owners to purchase flood insurance, more of the cleanup burden from a flood will fall to tax payers in the form of federal post-disaster assistance.
    2. The only way that a home owner can acquire a federally backed mortgage in over 21,000 communities is through the NFIP.
    3. There is virtually no private flood insurance market for properties valued under $1M, and standard home owner policies do not cover flood damage.
    Let's flood Congress with our letters today, asking them to reauthorize the NFIP for the long-term >
    Loan Limits - Expired September 30, 2011
    Last week, REALTOR® members asked House of Representative members to sign the "Posey/Ackerman Dear Colleague Letter." This letter, being circulated by Reps. Bill Posey (R-FL15) and Gary Ackerman (D-NY05), is asking House Leadership to restore the pre-September 30th FHA and GSE loan limit levels by including a provision in the Omnibus Appropriations bill coming later this fall. Please contact your House Member and urge them to sign on to the Posey/Ackerman letter, and enable the return of affordable FHA and GSE mortgage loans to a larger number of qualified buyers in Prince George's and 668 other counties.
    Mortgage Interest Deduction
    NAR President Ron Phipps and other witnesses testified before the Senate Finance Committee on October 6, in complete agreement that now is not the time to make changes to the mortgage interest deduction. Phipps testified that, "Congress must do no harm - raising taxes on America's homeowners by changing the tax rules that apply to homeownership now or in the future will further stall the housing recovery and critically erode home values. It is imperative that Congress preserve the mortgage interest deduction and that the nation's 75 million home owners continue to receive this important tax benefit, which helps primarily middle- and lower-income families." Read more >


    2011 NAR Conference & Expo
    November 11 - 14 in Anaheim, California

    2011 NAR Conference Seize the Day

    Choose from 100 education sessions, visit 400 industry vendors, and network with 18,000 members and guests from the U.S. and around the globe. You'll also enjoy the Entrepreneurial Excellence Sessions and special events such as the Diana Ross concert, a 5K run/walk, and more.

    Oh yes, and the beautiful sunny weather of southern California too!

    Details and Registration >


    Buy Suitland Initiative
    Program Open to Household Incomes up to 120% AMI

    Up to $40,000 in Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance

    REALTOR Safety Month Suitland is home to the Suitland Federal Center employing over 12,000 and a Metro station, is slated for a 22-acre mixed-use development project, and now has its own First-Time Homebuyers Program. The Buy Suitland Initiative will award 0% interest grants to households who have not owned a home within the last 3 years, and are buying a home as their principal residence.

    Homebuyers can receive these 0% grants for buying:

    • Foreclosure and Short Sale properties
    • In 7 Census Tracks: 8018.02, 8019.02, 8020.01, 8020.02, 8021.05, 8024.05, 8024.06
    • Where Appraisal vs Contract Price = 1% Discount
      Similar to the first NSP Program, the sale price of property under contract must be at a 1% discount of the most recent appraised value.

    Buy Suitland Grant Amounts:

    Maximum 0% Interest Grant Amount Applicant Qualifications
    5% of the purchase price of home An applicant with household income between 80 - 120% of the area median income.
    7% of the purchase price of home An applicant currently employed at the Suitland Federal Center, Police Office, Firefighter, Nurse or Teacher.
    35% of the purchase price of home or $40,000
    Whichever is greater, as needed, to meet the
    45% Debt-to-income requirements
    An applicant with a combined household income of 50% or below the area median income.

    Qualifying Households May Earn Up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI):

    Prince George's County AMI 1 Person Household 2 Person Household 3 Person Household 4 Person Household 5 Person Household 6 Person Household 7 Person Household 8 Person Household
    50% $37,150 $42,450 $47,750 $53,050 $57,300 $61,550 $65,800 $70,050
    80% $58,000 $66,200 $74,500 $82,800 $89,400 $96,000 $102,700 $109,300
    120% $89,100 $101,850 $114,600 $127,300 $137,500 $147,700 $157,900 $168,050

    Find more details at and the County's new Buy Suitland website.


    Buy Suitland Initiative - FREE Training for REALTORS® and Lenders

    The following training dates are available for REALTORS® and Lenders:
    - Buy Suitland Program -
    This Friday
    October 21
    10:00 a.m. 1400 McCormick Drive, Suite 308
    Largo, MD 20774
    This Friday
    October 21
    2:00 p.m. 1400 McCormick Drive, Suite 308
    Largo, MD 20774
    RSVP to
    Program details at and


    PGCAR Members Briefed on Maryland Buying Programs

    Maryland Housing Secretary Ray Skinner and his staff briefed members of PGCAR on October 13th relative to all of the various home buying programs available through the state of Maryland. Those present learned of below average CDA loan rates and details on down payment and closing cost assistance programs.

    For more information visit and

    1. Fannie Mae 3.5% + Agent Bonus Ends 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 >

    2. 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® >

    3. 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. $2.2 million in total funds is now available.
      Consumer information page >   Details (in Members Only, updated July 21) >

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

    5. 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 >   Training 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.


    Updated Contracts & Addendum are Now Available - Effective Immediately

    The Maryland Residential and Unimproved Land Contracts of Sale, the Single Family Dwelling Lease and a Addendum have been updated. The updates include legislative changes which went into effect on Saturday, October 1. Please destroy all older versions of these forms and begin using the new forms immediately. The new forms are dated 10/2011.

    Please visit PGCAR Members Only and MAR Members Only to download the latest forms.

    The MAR Exclusive Right to Sell Listing Agreement has also been revised. This form can be obtained from MAR by returning the Request Brokerage Agreement Form.


    Market Sen$e: Employment Gains, Mortgage Rates and Home Sales

    One week after the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage fell to the lowest ever rate of 3.94 percent (for the week ending October 6, 2011), it rose sharply to 4.12 percent. A better than expected employment report released on October 7 helped raise mortgage rates and long-term Treasury bond yields. Rates are still near their 60-year lows. The 30-year FRM averaged 4.19 one year ago.

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending October 13, 2011:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.12 percent, up from 3.94 percent a week ago.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.37 percent, up from 3.26 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.06 percent, up from 2.96.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.90 percent, down from 2.95 percent.

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

    September Home Sales Continue Large Improvement from 2010, Mixed Message

    The improvements from 2010 to 2011 in both single family and condo sales are good. Both annual and monthly increases in condo and coop sales are spectacular. Yet the monthly decrease in the single family market raises questions - How many potential homebuyers are "on the fence" waiting credit approvals? Are homebuyers waiting on Federal government decisions? Were we also affected by the floods and harsh weather of this summer?

    Single family sales snapshot for September 2011:

    • 912 new contracts, -5.4% from August, +8.8% from September 2010.
    • 546 new settlements, -15.6% from August, +10.3% from September 2010.
    Condo sales snapshot for September 2011:
    • 132 new contracts, +10.0% from August, +63.0% from September 2010, +40.2% Year-to-Date over 2010.
    • 85 new settlements, +18.1% from August, +60.4% from September 2010, +32.3% Year-to-Date over 2010.
    Visit for detailed statistics.
    Like us on to see October home sales statistics when they are released.


    Singles Dive into the Real Estate Market

    With interest rates so low, and multiple downpayment assistance programs which are ideal for single buyers, it's a good time to remember, "Don't neglect the single buyer." Most Prince George's County homebuyer programs allow household incomes of up to 80% or 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI). For a single person with or without children, these limits are very inclusive.

    Prince George's County AMI 1 Person Household 2 Person Household 3 Person Household
    50% $37,150 $42,450 $47,750
    80% $58,000 $66,200 $74,500
    120% $89,100 $101,850 $114,600

    Whether they're professionals just moving into the area, or already living here and feeling it's time to move from a rental (or parental home) to a place of their own, home buying is extremely attractive to singles. In 2010, 20% of all homebuyers were single women and 12% of all homebuyers were single men. article >


    We Can't Ignore Housing Anymore

    A Wall Street Journal article echoes NAR Calls to Action, that it's time for our economic and political leaders "to stop trying to work around housing, and take it on." The proponents for doing more for the housing market include Warren Buffett and Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. When asked by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D., MD), "How critical is housing to the economic recovery and are we doing enough on it?" Chairman Bernanke replied that housing is usually a big part of the recovery. "I think a lot could be done to address the housing and mortgage situation," he says. Among the long list of options were rent-to-own measures for unsold homes, neighborhood stabilization, and getting Fannie and Freddie's futures stabilized.

    Access to affordable mortgages, as well as mortgage refinancing, were also stated as key provisions for rebuilding long-term economic health.

    Wall Street Journal article >

    Also see:
    August Existing-Home Sales Rise Despite Storms, Economic Headwinds >
    Government Plays Valuable Role in Homeownership >
    Lenders Offer Ideas to Get Housing Moving Again (video) >

    By: Alvin C. Monshower, Jr., Esq.
    Monshower, Miller & Magrogan, LLP

    General Legal Counsel for the Maryland Association of REALTORS®

    URGENT: Changes in Earnest Money Deposit Management
    Effective Immediately

    In August 2010, the Maryland Real Estate Commission announced a new advisory regarding the return of earnest money deposits by real estate brokers in residential real estate transactions where the property is located in a Homeowners Association or is a condominium.

    Specifically, the Commission advised that a real estate broker may return the earnest money deposit to the buyer without a written release of deposit agreement signed by the seller and the buyer in those instances where a buyer timely rescinds the Contract of Sale, in writing, based upon the receipt of the required disclosures from the seller and/or the condominium or Homeowners Association ("HOA").

    However, with the enactment of House Bill 1109 during the 2011 Session of the Maryland Legislature, this has now changed effective October 1, 2011.

    Pursuant to House Bill 1109, the Maryland Legislature amended the Condominium Act with respect to the initial and resale of condominium units as well as the Disclosure/Disclaimer Act and the Maryland Homeowners Association Act to provide that any earnest money deposits held by a licensed real estate broker shall comply with the requirements of Section 17-505 of the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act. In other words, in a residential transaction where the property being conveyed is located within a condominium, or within a homeowners association, or is subject to the Maryland Residential Property Disclosure/Disclaimer Act, a broker may not distribute the earnest money deposit in the absence of proper written instructions from the seller and the buyer directing the disposition of the deposit monies or the broker, in the broker's good faith, intends to disburse the deposit monies to the seller or the buyer, by written notice to both parties, pursuant to the requirements of Section 17-505(b)(1) of the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act.

    Accordingly, the provisions of House Bill 1109 supercede the informal interpretation of the Maryland Real Estate Commission as communicated in 2010.

    Accordingly, please ensure that this information is shared with all other agents in your office, in order to ensure that deposit monies are not distributed without written instructions from the seller and buyer as required by the new law, effective immediately as of October 1, 2011.

    The current MAR Residential Contract of Sale, dated 10/11 reflects this change.


    Sales Coach: Managing Expectations, Teaching Change

    When clients understand what to expect, they can weather ups and downs in the real estate transaction more easily. Read three real-life examples of how to prepare buyers and sellers in advance about three common obstacles:

    • Potential buyers negotiating down at the offer and home inspection stages
    • Buyer's remorse
    • Short sales remorse by the seller

    After reading these examples, you'll be better able to come up with your own creative, caring ways to put yourself in your clients' shoes. How can you better prepare your clients in advance? Write down the obstacles your clients have encountered most often, then ways you can prepare them in advance. Preparation will allow better results, for your clients and yourself!

    Learn how to manage expectations >


    Earn All MD and DC Required 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 Wednesday, October 19
    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

    This Thursday, October 20
    Buyer Beware - Foreclosed & Neglected Properties
    3.0 Elective CEU
    Vimal Kapoor 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Tuesday, October 25
    3.0 MD Elective CEU;
    3.0 DC Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Environmental Issues/Chesapeake Bay
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Wednesday, October 26
    MD Code of Ethics
    3.0 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3.0 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MREC Agency-Residential
    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

    Friday, November 4
    Short Sales
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Tuesday, November 8
    Current Mortgage Guidelines Made Easy
    3.0 Elective CEU, MD and DC
    Michael Chelst 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Monday, November 14
    MD Code of Ethics
    3.0 MD Required Ethics 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

    Complete CEU Schedule >>


    Case #17-8:
    Attempted Use of Corporate Veil to Avoid Obligation to Arbitrate

    REALTORS® A and B, principals in different firms, were both members of the same Board. A disagreement arose between them concerning entitlement to a commission in a real estate transaction. After initial efforts to resolve the dispute proved fruitless, REALTOR® A filed a request for arbitration with the Board which was reviewed by the Grievance Committee which concluded that an arbitrable issue existed. Instead of agreeing to arbitration through the Board, REALTOR® B filed a lawsuit against REALTOR® A. Receiving notice of the suit, REALTOR® A filed a charge with the Board alleging REALTOR® B had violated Article 17 of the Code of Ethics.

    REALTOR® B, in his presentation to the Board of Directors indicated that, in his opinion, he was not subject to any ethics charge, since it was his corporation, and not REALTOR® B individually, that had filed suit against the corporation of REALTOR® A, not against REALTOR® A himself.

    REALTOR® A told the Board of Directors that immediately upon occurrence of the dispute, he had suggested to REALTOR® B that the matter be arbitrated by the Board, and REALTOR® B said he would think about it. REALTOR® A then proceeded to file his request for arbitration with the Board. However, REALTOR® B did not respond to the arbitration notice and, shortly thereafter, REALTOR® A received notice of the suit filed by REALTOR® B's corporation against the corporation of REALTOR® A. He said he then called REALTOR® B and again discussed the obligation of Article 17 with him. However, REALTOR® B advised him that his corporation was not subject to the requirements of the Code and stated his intent to pursue the litigation.

    REALTOR® B acknowledged that the facts as related by REALTOR® A were correct and that his corporation had filed suit upon the advice of the corporation's legal counsel. REALTOR® B said that membership in a Board of REALTORS® is individual and that personal responsibility disappears when a matter of corporate business is involved. He pointed out that he was not the only principal or officer in his corporation and that the decision to file litigation was not made by him alone, but by all of the corporate officers.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 17, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

    Find out here >>


    Save BIG with REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
    - Plus Receive $50 Back for October Auto Loans

    Are you, or someone in your family, paying too much interest on your car or home loan? REALTORS® FCU offers auto loan rates and 30-year fixed rate mortgages, both currently at 4.25%.

    • Auto Loans - Refer a friend or family member, or close on an auto loan yourself, between now and October 31, 2011 (includes refinance loans) and receive an extra $50 cash and an incredibly low interest rate.
    • Home Mortgages - Fixed and adjustable rate mortgages of various terms are all offered at competitive rates, and with zero points!
    Apply for home or auto loans online at


    Did You Know?
    You Can Attend Free MRIS Hand-On Training at PGCAR

    PGCAR hosts free MRIS hands-on training sessions each month. The October sessions are:

    This Tuesday, October 18, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS

    This Tuesday, October 18, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
    Matrix Tips and Tricks

    Visit for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.


    DC Salesperson Licenses - Expired August 31

    Please remember that it is unlawful to practice real estate in the District of Columbia without a current DC real estate license. If you missed the August 31 deadline, you may still renew with a late fee; however, you may NOT conduct real estate activities in DC until doing so. Click here for the DCREC license renewal website.

    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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