Friday, November 11 is Veterans Day
PGCAR offices will be closed in observance of
Veterans Day next Friday, November 11.
We salute the many Veterans, those serving now, and Military Families.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE!
Announcing - PGCAR's Holiday Charity Event to raise funds to feed needy families in Prince George's County. Your tax deductible $40 will provide much needed food items for these families. In addition to feeding the needy families, you will also be provided with an evening of Networking, Fun, Food, Open Bar, Entertainment and Dancing at La Fontaine Bleu.
This year, there are thousands of families in need of help to feed their families. PGCAR will be partnering with Prince George's County Public Safety Service Program to feed more than 500 of these families. This program fed over 6000 families in Prince George's County last year. We will also need volunteers to help pack the boxes of food for delivery. We'll announce the date and time in late November.
Buy your tax-deductible tickets here >
Be a Sponsor, and help ensure even more families are helped >
Help spread the word. Share the links and flyers.
Event flyer > Sponsorship flyer >
Thanks you for your help and participation.
For more information, please contact Joan Ostenso at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Town Hall Meeting on Economic Development - Tonight, November 1
Prince George's County Council
Town Hall Meeting on
Developing Great Opportunities in Prince George's County
Tonight - Tuesday, November 1
7 - 9 pm at Baden Volunteer Fire Station
16608 Brandywine Road, Brandywine, MD 20613-3310
Be informed and be involved in our County's future. Please join our County Council for this Public Town Hall Meeting. The Town Hall is aimed at expanding our commercial tax base, and strengthening business and community engagement in economic development initiatives for employers and residents in Prince George's County.
Carla A. Reid
, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Economic Development and Public Infrastructure
, Prince George's County Economic Development Corporation President and CEO
M.H. Jim Estepp
, Greater Prince George's Business Roundtable President and CEO
, Prince George's Soil Conservation District Conservation Planner
, University of Maryland Extension, Prince George's County Agriculture Marketing Specialist
|2012 Dues Renewals Were Due October 1
Primary REALTORS®: Paying by Installment?
Third Installment is Due Midnight TONIGHT
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:
- Click here
- Log in
- Renew online and receive receipt !
2012 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 by Midnight TONIGHT, November 1*
|Installment 4: Due November 30
* You have until midnight tonight instead of midnight October 31 to pay Installment 3.
Please also note: If dues payments are not made online, they may not be reflected in your private, online History portal.
2011 REALTORS® Conference & Expo
Friday, November 11 - Monday, November 14 in Anaheim, California
Seize the Day
In just four days, you'll gain the skills you need to shine in your real estate career. Choose from 100 education sessions, shop 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.
All of this happens in beautiful, sunny southern California starting next Friday!
Details and Registration >
'Tis the Season of Giving
Please help collect coats and non-perishable foods for our Annual Coat and Food drive. Collect them in your offices, then bring to the Association office by December 15th
. You may also bring them to the December 6 Evening of Elegance Charity Event
Please take a picture of the coats and food your office collects. Email your photos for possible use in PGCAR promotions, and when PGCAR applies for the annual MAR CARE Award. We'd love to add more photos to our Facebook page too, but we need members to email them in first!
Information flyer >
HUGE SENTRILOCK LOCKBOX SALE
Now through December 31, 2011
PGCAR is pleased to provide 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
For Their Sake,
Flood Insurance Program is Kept Alive. . .
But Only Until November 18
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.
Let's flood Congress with our letters today, asking them to reauthorize the NFIP for the long-term >
- 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.
- The only way that a home owner can acquire a federally backed mortgage in over 21,000 communities is through the NFIP.
- There is virtually no private flood insurance market for properties valued under $1M, and standard home owner policies do not cover flood damage.
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 >
Centex Offers Additional Savings to My HOME Program
The My HOME program
has established a relationship with Centex Homes. Your homebuyer can buy a Centex Home in the Victory Promenade
development (behind FED EX Field) with My HOME funds and get seller assistance too. They have units that are standing and ready within 30 days. For more information or to schedule a time to view these homes, please call (301) 350-5875 or email Jennifer Eaddy
Buy Suitland Initiative
Program Open to Household Incomes up to 120% AMI
Up to $40,000 in Down Payment and Closing Costs Assistance
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:
Buy Suitland Grant Amounts:
- 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.
Qualifying Households May Earn Up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI):
|Maximum 0% Interest Grant Amount
|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.
|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
Find more details at www.pgcar.com and the County's new Buy Suitland website.
Buy Suitland Initiative - FREE Training This Friday
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 www.mmprogram.org and www.pgcar.com.
- 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® >
- 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) >
- American Dream Downpayment Assistance (ADDI) - up to $10,000 to County Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. Details >
- 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 pgcar.com. 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 pgcar.com Members Only.
Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs
Real Estate Sign Posting Regulations
The Prince George's County Department of Public Works and Department of Environmental Resources has requested that we remind REALTORS® of County law regarding real estate signs.
Most signage in Prince George's County and many jurisdictions for that matter require sign permits; however, real estate identification or "for sale" signs (limited to six square feet posted on premises) and temporary real estate directional signs measuring 1.5 square feet are exempt from sign permit requirements. Certain posting rules (below) are strictly enforced.
"For Sale" Sign Posting Rules:
Sec. 27-632. Real estate, identification or construction (contractors).
(1) Maximum area - 6 square feet.
(1) The signs shall be placed on the property being advertised.
(Avoid public right-of-way easements. In most cases this can be determined by measuring 12 feet (4 paces) from the front face of the existing curb or gutter. If there is no curb or gutter, then 12 feet from the edge of grass yard. If there is a sidewalk, generally right of way easements end 1 foot behind the sidewalk so signs should be placed no closer than 1 foot behind the sidewalk. When unsure, a general rule of thumb is that signs should be behind any utility poles or water meter or other utility markers.)
(1) Maximum number - 1 per each street frontage.
"Open House" Sign Posting Rules:
Sec. 23-607. Signs or objects exempt from permit.
Types of signs exempt from sign permit, subject to the limitations provided:
(b) Temporary real estate directional:
Temporary signs, not located on the premises being advertised, containing a directional arrow and advertising real estate for sale or lease,
(1) Maximum area of 1.5 square feet.
(2) Located within the County rights-of-way and within 25 feet of the corner of a street intersection.
(3) Maximum of 4 per each property advertised, with a maximum of 25 for multiple properties with an on-site common sales office.
(4) At any one intersection, there shall be only one sign facing each direction of traffic.
(5) Maximum height of 3 feet above finished grade at base of sign.
(6) Signs may only be erected between the hours of 5:00 p.m. Friday and 5:00 p.m. of the following Sunday.
(7) Signs placed or remaining within the County rights-of-way in violation of these conditions shall be considered abandoned and illegal at the time the sign is placed.
Signs placed in violation of the code are subject to confiscation by the Department of Environmental Resources and/or the Department of Public Works. Civil penalties may also be applied in the amount of $100 for the first violation, $500 for the second violation and $1,000 for the third and subsequent violations. This is existing law that has not changed.
Please also remember that open house directional signs may NOT be placed on state roads and/or federal highways.
Should you have questions or concerns please contact Mike Graziano, PGCAR Director of Government Affairs at 301-306-7900 or email me at email@example.com.
MAR Contract Forms Have Returned!
You asked, and we listened. All current MAR forms have returned to the PGCAR.com forms page! Login at www.pgcar.com Members Only
as usual, and click on the red Downloadable Forms
Twelve forms were updated or added in 2011, including four in October. Do you have all of the latest? Do a forms check today. Also, register for your complimentary copy of ZipForm
while in Members Only.
4 Updated Forms - In Effect as of Saturday, October 1
Updates include legislative changes which went into effect Saturday, October 1. Destroy all older versions of all 4 forms, and begin using the new forms immediately. The new forms are dated 10/11.
Please visit PGCAR 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
Changes in Managing Earnest Money Deposits - Also In Effect as of Saturday, October 1
House Bill 1109, enacted during the 2011 Session of the Maryland Legislature, changed requirements 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. These new requirements are now in effect.
Please see the September 19 Legislative Alert for complete details, and utilize the new October 2011 MAR Residential Contract of Sale which reflects the new legislation.
2011 Five-Point Housing Solutions Plan
NAR worked with two well-respected policy think tanks, the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and the Economic Policies for the 21st Century (e21), that organized and conducted a policy meeting on October 4. New Solutions for America's Housing Crisis
brought together policy leaders, industry representatives, Members of Congress, thought leaders and the media to present ideas and make actionable recommendations intended to stimulate the growth necessary for a sustained recovery in housing, which would also favorably impact job creation and the broader economy.
We have long maintained that the key to the nation's economic strength is a robust housing industry. And, we remain steadfast in our belief that swift action is needed now from Congress and the Administration that could directly stimulate a housing recovery. NAR unequivocally endorses many of the bipartisan ideas and recommendations that came out of the meeting and we wholeheartedly urge Congress and the Administration to undertake their consideration promptly.
In letters sent October 24 to the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank, President Obama, and Congress, NAR provided recommendations and solutions to stabilize and revitalize the housing industry and economy:
- Recommendation 1: Do Not Risk Weakening Our Nation's Housing Markets Any Further
- Recommendation 2: Restore Vitality to Our Communities and Neighborhoods by Reducing the Foreclosure Inventory
- Recommendation 3: Open Opportunities for Private Capital to Return to the Mortgage Marketplace to Foster New Demand among Responsible Homebuyers
- Recommendation 4: Support a Secondary Mortgage Market Model that Includes Some Level of Government Participation
- Recommendation 5: We Call on the White House to Hold a National Housing Summit to Articulate a New National Housing Policy and Move the Provision of Housing to the Front of the Nation's Domestic Agenda
Homeownership matters! It represents the single largest expenditure for most American families and the single largest source of wealth for most homeowners. Homeownership is inextricably linked to job access and healthy communities and the social behavior of the families who occupy it. We call on the White House to empanel a body comprised of public and private industry participants to fashion a national housing policy that is flexible enough to address the varying needs across the nation, whether it's homeownership or rental housing, production or preservation.
Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates and Availability, and Home Sales
Average fixed mortgage rates have changed little over the last two weeks. All average fixed and adjustable rate mortgages are lower than last year at this time, and remaining near 60-year lows. The 30-year FRM averaged 4.23 one year ago.
Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending October 27, 2011:
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.10 percent, down from 4.11 percent a week ago.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.38 percent, the same as last week.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.08 percent, up from 3.01.
- The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.90 percent, down from 2.94 percent.
Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>
September Single Family Sales Down, Condo Sales Up From August,
Both Continue Large Improvement from 2010
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:
Condo 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.
- 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.
for detailed statistics.
Like us on www.facebook.com/pgcar
to see October home sales statistics when they are released next week.
National September Home Sales Numbers Released
Nationally, existing-home sales were down in September after a strong gain in August, and remained well above 2010 sales. Total September 2011 existing-home sales declined 3.0% to 4.91 million, from an upwardly revised 5.06 million in August. This is 11.3% above the 4.41 million unit pace in September 2010.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the market has been stable although at low levels, and there is plenty of room for improvement. "Existing-home sales . . .(are) staying relatively close to the current level in most months," he said. "The irony is affordability conditions have improved to historic highs and more creditworthy borrowers are trying to purchase homes, but the share of contract failures is double the level of September 2010. Even so, the volume of successful buyers is higher than a year ago and is remaining fairly stable - this speaks to an unfulfilled demand."
More details at realtor.org >
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
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.
MSNBC.com article >
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.
Our Professional Code of Conduct
The Code of Ethics of the National Association of REALTORS® establishes a public and professional consensus against which the practice and conduct of REALTORS® and REALTOR-Associates® may be judged. In joining a Board of REALTORS®, you signify your intention to abide by the Code and thereby enhance the public and professional image of yourself and all other REALTORS®. Adherence to the Code is the first great bond between REALTORS® throughout the country. Knowledge and adherence to the Code sets you apart from other real estate practictioners.
The Code of Ethics Case Studies which you have been reading have been developed by the NAR Professional Standards Committee to help understand in real-life scenarios, the ethical obligations created by the Code of Ethics. They are also used for extra guidance for Grievance Committees, ethics and arbitration Hearing Panels, and Boards of Directors.
Code of Ethics Case Studies present specific situations involving charges of alleged unethical conduct by REALTORS® and/or REALTOR-Associates®, which are reviewed by a peer panel of Board Members and in which decisions as to ethical conduct are reached. Each case study provides the Hearing Panel's decision based on the facts and the rationale for the decision.
We hope these Case Studies help you in considering your duties and applying good ethics in your dealings with Customers, the Public, and with other REALTORS®. Have you noticed that the NAR Code of Ethics is divided into your
Each of these areas of professional duties will be covered.
Tune in for another case study in the next REALTOR® Connection!
REALTORS® Town Hall Recording
Did you miss NAR's Online Town Hall Meeting last Thursday? Hear what NAR's Leadership had to say about the new five-point housing solutions plan and more. View webcast here >
Did You Know?
You Can Attend Free MRIS Hand-On Training at PGCAR
PGCAR hosts free MRIS hands-on training sessions each month. The November sessions are:
Tuesday, November 29, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS - Discover the often overlooked tools and features available as an MRIS customer, that are designed to save you time and money.
Tuesday, November 29, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
What's New with MRIS and Matrix - Make every dollar count. Learn about the many new features added to MRIS and Matrix, and how to use them.
Visit www.mris.com/training for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.