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November 14, 2011

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Annual Legislative Breakfast
  • PGCAR Annual Holiday Charity Event
  • 2012 Dues Renewals - Save the Late Fee!
        Renew by November 30
  • News from the 2011 NAR Conference
  • Thanksgiving Holiday
  • 'Tis the Season of Giving
  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist®     Training
  • HUGE SentriLock Lockbox Sale
    Homeownership Matters
  • NFIP Expires This Friday
  • My HOME and Buy Suitland Holiday Schedule
  • Buy Suitland Initiative
  • Free Buy Suitland Initiative Training
  • Amazing Homebuyer Incentives
    The Industry Insider
  • New Form!  Option to Purchase Agreement
  • MAR Contracts Return to
  • Sign Posting Regulations - Urgent Reminder
  • 2011 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Drop,
        October Home Sales Up
  • 2012: Gradual Housing and Economic Recovery
  • Sales Coach: Green Retrofit Older Homes,
        to Increase Resale Values
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Learn More, Earn More in 2012
  • Code of Ethics: Our Professional
        Code of Conduct
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Training at PGCAR

    Annual Legislative Reception

    Please join us for the
    Annual Legislative Breakfast
    Wednesday, November 30 at Martin's Crosswinds
    Take advantage of this rare opportunity to meet with your elected officials. County Executive Rushern Baker, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, and Representative Donna Edwards have already responded they are attending. Other invited guests include: Prince George's County US Senators and Congressmen, Gov. Martin O'Malley, Prince George's County State Senators and Delegates, and members of the Prince George's County Council.

    WE CANNOT HAVE INFLUENCE IF WE DO NOT SHOW THAT WE ARE INTERESTED AND INVOLVED. It is important that you attend this Legislative Breakfast to become informed and show our strength.

    8 am Coffee and mingling  ~  8:30 am Breakfast served  ~  9 - 10 am Program
    Cost: $20 per person.



    Help raise funds and buy meals for needy local families. Then as a thank you for your contribution, join us 6 - 10 pm on December 6 for "An Evening of Elegance" - dinner, dancing, open bar, networking and a fun holiday celebration!

    Tickets are only $40 each, or buy several (tickets and meals) with a sponsorship. Simply want to make a cash donation? Individual tickets and cash donations are 100% tax deductible.

    This year, there are thousands of families in need of help to feed their families. PGCAR is 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, and they need our help to do it again!

    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


    2012 Dues Renewals Were Due October 1
    Save the Late Fee!   Renew by November 30
    Installment 4 is also due November 30

    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 !

    Make your 2012 dues payment by midnight on Wednesday, November 30th, 2011 in order to prevent late charges.
    Paying by installments? Your last installment payment is due as follows:

    Installment 4: Due November 30 $156.25

    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
    News from Anaheim, California

    Over the past four days, more than 18,000 members and guests came together from around the globe for 100 education sessions, an expo featuring 400 industry vendors, special events, legislative meetings, and more. Catch a small bit of the action online. Here's some highlights from online coverage:

    You can find additional highlights at the Conference website and NAR Conference Live 2011.



      PGCAR offices will be closed next Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 in celebration of Thanksgiving.

    We wish you a blessed, thanks-filled holiday!


    '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 >


    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist® Training

    March 22 - 23, 2012
    8:30 am - 5:00 pm
    Required for CLHMS Designation • Earns 2 CRS Elective Units
    Sponsored by the Women's Council of REALTORS®

    Attend this valuable training and discover how to:
    • Reach more affluent prospects
    • Increase your average price
    • List and sell more luxury homes
    • Deliver outstanding service to affluent buyers and sellers
    • Set yourself apart as a luxury home expert
    • Grow your business and increase your income

    Successful completion of the course results in membership with The Institute for Luxury Home Marketing and is the first step in earning the coveted CLHMS designation. Members must then meet sales performance requirements before they are awarded the CLHMS designation.

    Investment: $549
    Early Bird: $499 before January 15, 2012
    Register in full or pay in 3 installments
    (Installments require login to Members Only)


    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


    call for action

      Flood Insurance Program is Kept Alive
    Future Generations:
    For Their Sake,
    Protect Homeownership
    Flood Insurance Program Set to Expire Again. . .
    This Friday, November 18
    On October 4, Congress extended the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by including it within the continuing resolution, but only through this Friday, November 18, 2011.

    Please Take Action Now to request that Congress reauthorize the NFIP, an alternative to expensive taxpayer-funded disaster relief, for 5 years.

    Loan Limits - Expired September 30, 2011
    As of September 30, FHA and GSE loan limits decreased from $729,750 to $625,500 in Prince George's County. The Senate has since voted 60-38 to approve an amendment to restore the higher limits on FHA backed home loans. The bipartisan amendment introduced by Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Isakson (R-GA) would restore the 125% of median area price loan limit through December 2013. But it faces tough opposition in the House.

    Please use the Call to Action link to urge your Representative to restore the higher limits as quickly as possible.

    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." Read more >


    My HOME and Buy Suitland Holiday Schedule

    Due to the upcoming holidays, the following submission deadlines should be noted:


    • Last day to submit new loans to close by November 30 was November 2.
    • Last day to submit final conditions on loans in My HOME/BUY SUITLAND pipeline to close by November 30 is November 16.


    • Last day to submit new loans to close by December 30, 2011 is December 1.
    • Last day to submit final conditions on loans in My HOME/BUY SUITLAND pipeline to close by December 30, 2011 is December 16, 2011.

    Buy Suitland Initiative Details
    For this program with wide eligibility, including Civic Employees and Incomes up to 120% AMI, visit the County website dedicated to the Buy Suitland Initiative. Also find a handy overview to Buy Suitland Initiative eligibility criteria at which you can email to homebuyers.

    My HOME Details
    My HOME provides up to 5% of the home sale price in Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance to County Homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years. See details at or the County website


    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

    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 grants worth 5%, 7% or 35% of home purchase price 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 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.

    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 Lenders and REALTORS®

    The following training dates are available for REALTORS® and Lenders:
    - Buy Suitland Program -
    Monday, December 5 10:00 a.m. LENDERS
    Monday, December 5 2:00 p.m. REALTORS®
    These training sessions will be held at
    1400 McCormick Drive, Suite 308, Largo, MD 20774

    RSVP to
    Program details at and

    1. 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® >

    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. $2.2 million in total funds is now available.
      Consumer information page >   Details (in Members Only) >

    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. 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.


    New Lease Option Form!   Option to Purchase Agreement

    A new Lease Option Agreement is now available.
    Download the new Option to Purchase Agreement from Members Only.


    MAR Contract Forms Have Returned!

    You asked, and we listened. All current MAR forms have returned to the forms page! Login at Members Only as usual, and click on the red Downloadable Forms button.

    13 forms were updated or added in 2011, including five in October. Do you have all of the latest forms? Conduct a forms check today. Also, register for your FREE copy of ZipForm while in Members Only.

    Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

    -  U R G E N T    R E M I N D E R  -
    Real Estate Sign Posting Regulations

    Real estate identification or "for sale" signs and temporary real estate directional and "Open House" signs must follow legal posting rules which are strictly enforced, including the restriction against placing any open house directional signs on state roads and/or federal highways.

    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.

    For a listing of important sign posting regulations, see the November 1 Legislative Alert at or click here for a printable copy of the Alert.

    Should you have questions or concerns please contact Mike Graziano, PGCAR Director of Government Affairs at 301-306-7900 or


    2011 Home Buyer and Seller Survey Results are Now Available

    The 2011 National Association of REALTORS® Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers was released Friday, showing the demographics, preferences, marketing and experiences of recent home buyers and sellers from the 12-month period between July 2010 and June 2011. The effects of tighter lending standards was underscored throughout survey findings. For example, median downpayments and median prices paid were up slightly from the 2010 study; median income of buyers was much higher than in the 2010 study.

    Some quick stats from the survey:
    • 78% of recent home buyers said their home is a good investment, and 45% believe it's better than stocks. Most buyers believe in the long-term value of home ownership.
    • First-time home buyers fell to a 37% market share from a record high 50% in the 2010 study. The median age of first-time buyers was 31 and the median income was $62,400, up from $59,900 in the 2010 study. The typical first-time buyer purchased a 1,570 square foot home costing $155,000; the estimated median monthly mortgage principal and interest payment was $794.
    • The typical repeat buyer was 53 years old and earned $96,600, notably higher than the $87,000 median reported in the 2010 profile. Repeat buyers purchased a median 2,100 square foot home costing $219,500, with an estimated median payment of $1,006.
    • 64% of all buyers are married couples, 18% are single women, 10% single men, 7% unmarried couples and 1% other. Last year 58% were married couples, 20% single women, 12% single men, 8% unmarried couples and 1% other.
    • Buyers responded they use a wide variety of resources in searching for a home: 88% use the Internet, 87% use real estate agents, 55% yard signs, 45% attend open houses and 30% review print or newspaper ads. While buyers also use other resources, they generally start their search process online and then contact an agent.
    Read more >

    The complete 2011 Profile can be purchased at, or by calling 800-874-6500. The study costs $19.95 for NAR members and $149.95 for non-members.


    Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Sharply Down, October Home Sales Up

    The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99%, dropping below 4.00% for the second time this year. For the week ending November 3, all average mortgage rates dropped sharply as investors rushed to U.S. Treasury bonds (lowering bond yields) amid concerns over the European debt market. Last week, average rates changed little, leaving the 30-year FRM at the second lowest mark since its record low of 3.94% for the week ending October 6, 2011.

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending November 10, 2011:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.99 percent, down from 4.00 percent a week ago.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.30 percent, down from 3.31 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.98 percent, up from 2.96 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.95 percent, up from 2.88 percent.

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>

    October Contracts Improve Across all Markets, Single Family Settlements Improve Too
    2011 Continues on Improvement Trend From 2010

    October single family home contracts improved 7.1% from September 2011. Monthly single family settlements improved 3.8%. For the condo market, new contracts increased 3% and settlements decreased 16.5%.

    The big news for Prince George's condo sales is that they have increased 33.3% during 2011 from year-to-date this time in 2010, and the 71 settlements closed in October 2011 was an increase of 73.2% over October 2010.

    Visit for detailed statistics.


    Gradual Housing and Economic Recovery Expected in 2012

    Although the housing market struggled to maintain an even footing in 2011, gradual improvement is expected in 2012 and beyond, according to experts' projections at a residential forum at the 2011 REALTORS® Conference " Expo.

    Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said home sales should be stronger. "Tight mortgage credit conditions have been holding back home buyers all year, and consumer confidence has been shaky recently," he said. "Nonetheless, there is a sizeable pent-up demand based on population growth, employment levels and a doubling-up phenomenon that can't continue indefinitely. This demand could quickly stimulate the market when conditions improve."

    Yun projects growth in Gross Domestic Product to be 1.8 percent this year, then rising moderately at a rate of 2.2 percent in 2012. With job growth of 1.7 to 2.2 million next year, the unemployment rate is expected to decline to 8.7 percent by the second half of 2012. Mortgage interest rates should gradually rise from recent record lows and reach 4.5 percent by the middle of 2012.

    Read more details and insights from Richard Peach, Senior Vice President at the Federal Reserve Board of New York, at


    Sales Coach: Retrofit Older Homes to Increase Resale Value

    About 130 million homes were built prior to energy codes, and many times aren't seen as competitive versus newer "greener" homes. But why not retrofit an older home to be more green? An energy retrofit will save utility costs and potentially increase the resale value of a home.

    • Get an energy audit of the home sellers' property
    • Research and alert your home sellers of Energy Rebate programs and Energy Efficient mortgages
    • Form your own "green team" of qualified contractors

    Your listings can now be better advertised as being green, and YOU will have a new business niche of helping home owners retrofit their older homes to be green, save costs, and increase resale values!

    Action plan to "Green" existing homes >


    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, November 16
    Commercial SBA Loan Programs
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    John Throne 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Monday, November 28
    MD Legislative Update
    3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3.0 DC Elective CEU
    Daniel Mushala 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Daniel Mushala 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Tuesday, December 6
    203K Purchase Rehab
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Wednesday, December 7
    Short Sales
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 9:00 am - 12 noon

    Friday, December 9
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3.0 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Tuesday, December 13
    3.0 MD Elective CEU;
    3.0 DC Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Wednesday, December 14
    MD Code of Ethics
    3.0 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3.0 DC Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 9:00 am - 12 noon

    Complete CEU Schedule >>


    Learn More, Earn More in 2012

    PGCAR is offering GRI Series 100, 200, and 300.
    Sign up now!


    Did you know?

    the Code of Ethics case studies are a very popular feature in REALTOR® Connection! If you're not reading them with your fellow members, it's not too late. All of our past case studies are also online at

    Have a question about a specific Code of Ethics Article? You can read that complete Article and its Standards of Practice, then also read case studies related to that Article.

    Over the next several issues, we'll cover Articles 1 to 9 of the REALTORS® Code of Ethics, Duties to Clients and Customers.

    ARTICLE 1 -   Protect and Promote Your Client's Interests, But be Honest with All Parties
    ARTICLE 2 -   Avoid Exaggeration, Misrepresentation, and Concealment of Pertinent Facts. Do Not Reveal Facts that are Confidential Under the Scope of Your Agency Relationship
    ARTICLE 3 -   Cooperate with Other Real Estate Professionals to Advance Client's Best Interests
    ARTICLE 4 -   When Buying or Selling, Make Your Position in the Transaction or Interest Known
    ARTICLE 5 -   Disclose Present or Contemplated Interest in Any Property to All Parties
    ARTICLE 6 -   Avoid Side Deals without Client's Informed Consent
    ARTICLE 7 -   Accept Compensation from Only One Party, Except with Full Disclosure and Informed Consent
    ARTICLE 8 -   Keep the Funds of Clients and Customers in Escrow
    ARTICLE 9 -   Assure, Whenever Possible, that Transactional Details are in Writing


    Free Hands-On MRIS Tools 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 for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.

    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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