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May 14, 2012

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Memorial Day
  • Education Day - Earn 6 CEU Next Tuesday
  • STOP the 20% Recordation Tax INCREASE!
        - County Council Votes Next Week
  • Rally to Protect the American Dream
        This Thursday, May 17
  • 2012 NAR Midyear - Happening Now in DC
  • 5K Fun Walk/Run Results
  • GRI 200 @ PGCAR Next Month!
  • FREE Webinar Presented by MAR
    Homeownership Matters
  • 2012 Housing Fair - Saturday, June 9
  • FREE Homebuyer Workshops
        - Starting This Saturday
  • Amazing Homebuyer Incentives
  • Consumer Tip: Home Maintenance ~ DIY or
        Hire a Pro?
    The Industry Insider
  • Who Shall be Named Prince George's
        REALTOR® of the Year?
  • MAR'S CARE and Special Project Awards
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Set New
        All-Time Record Lows; April Sales Stats
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Good Neighbor Nominations - Due This Friday
  • NAR Committee Nominations - Due May 25
  • Sales Coach: Educate Your Buyers
        and Sellers
  • Code of Ethics: Case #8-1
  • Some Reasons to Join REALTORS® Federal     Credit Union
  • PGCAR Membership Application
  • WCR: Prince George's Chapter - Join Today
    The PGCAR Office will close at 3 pm on Friday, May 25th
    for the Memorial Day holiday
    and reopen on Tuesday morning, May 29th.
    We remember and honor those who protect our freedom.

    Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day!
      Memorial Day Salute

    at La Fontaine Bleu
    Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC Continuing Education
    • Contracts
      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective Hours
      Instructor: Stu Stern
    • MREC Required Supervision
      3.0 CE, MD Required "I" Hours
      Instructor: Al Monshower
    • MD Code of Ethics
      3.0 CE, MD Required "D" & DC Elective Hours
      Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels
    • 203K Purchase Rehab
      3.0 CE, MD Elective Hours
      Instructors: Michael Chelst / M. Gamble
    • DC Fair Housing
      3.0 CE, DC Required Hours
      Instructor: Prabhjit Singh
    • MD Legislative Update
      3.0 CE, MD Required "A" & DC Elective Hours
      Instructor: Al Monshower
    • MREC Agency-Residential
      3.0 CE, MD Required "H" Hours
      Instructor: Fredericka Lloyd
    • Short Sales
      3.0 CE, MD Elective Hours
      Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels

    Terrific Courses & Instructors

    Choose One Morning and
    One Afternoon Class

    Breakfast, Lunch and
    Our Famous
    Ice Cream Social

    All for Only
    $75 Members
    $100 Non-Members


    Click here for a printable flyer.


    Fight to STOP the County's 20% Recordation Tax INCREASE!
    County Council Votes Next Thursday, May 24

    Email your County Executive and Council Members NOW!! >

    Alease Bowles
    2012 PGCAR President
    Thank you to all of the REALTORS® that turned out for last Monday night's Council hearing on the proposed Prince George's Recordation Fee Increase. PGCAR President Alease Bowles presented the REALTOR® message:

    "Increasing housing costs is counterproductive to rebuilding our local economy and a barrier to stabilizing our local real estate market. The Association opposes policies that discourage housing opportunities and this concept most certainly discourages buyer investment in Prince George's County."

    President-Elect, Anthony Williams expressed his concerns by stating:

    "It troubles me deeply to listen to the remarks of PGCAR President Bowles to hear my County characterized as the most expensive in closing costs, transfer taxes and property taxes. People hear statistics like this and they immediately formulate the position that they don't want to purchase a home here. That means they're NOT paying recordation taxes to Prince George's County or transfer taxes, and neither are they contributing to our property tax base. ... Overall, when they buy a home elsewhere, they're NOT contributing AT ALL to our local economy."

    Council is slated to vote on the full budget, including the recordation fee increase, on May 24, 2012. Until then, we will keep the pressure on!

    Email your County Executive and Council Members >

    PGCAR President Alease Bowles May 10th Letter >

    News Coverage of the May 7 Budget Hearing >

    Prince George's County Council Members Contact Information >


    Rally to Protect the American Dream of Home Ownership

    Join us at the Washington Monument!
    This Thursday, May 17    9:30 am - 11 am

    Thank you for your interest in joining us to prove that Home Ownership Matters.
    Your dedication to your industry is appreciated and, thanks to you,
    PGCAR has a FULL BUS to the Rally!

    Everyone's participation is still necessary, so if you haven't registered yet, please do so immediately at

    Click here for tips and Information to make the most of this momentous day, including:
    Forecast    Metrorail    Rally T-shirts & Backpacks    Midyear to Rally Transport    Logistics
    Breakfast & Lunch    Program    Post-Rally Expo    Virtual Rally

    Giving this one day of support can help ensure a great future for real estate!


    2012 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo
    FREE to all REALTOR® Members - Going On NOW in DC!

    The REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members come together to take an active role in advancing the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. There will be a variety of meetings and events including: special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, the industry trade show, and a Rally on the National Mall.

    Meetings:   Today, May 14 - Saturday, May 19
    Capitol Hill Visits:   Wednesday, May 16 - Thusday, May 17
    Trade Expo:   Wednesday, May 16 - Thusday, May 17
    Rally:   Thursday, May 17

    Expo: Over 100 exhibitors under one roof showing the latest products and services in real estate.
    Symposium: Experts' perspectives on housing and housing/finance related topics.
    Rally: Thousands of REALTORS® joining together to protect the American Dream of home ownership.

    Midyear is FREE to all REALTOR® Members!
    For details and registration click here.


    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K Fun Walk/Run
    Race Results, Sponsors & Photos



    Thank you to everyone who participated in the first annual David Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K Fun Walk/Run.
    The event was a huge success and we couldn't have done it without your help.

    Congratulations to Our Top Overall Winners!

    Michael Niederhausen ~ 17:40    Noah Wood ~ 19:15    James Keesling ~ 20:18
    Denise Dimares ~ 28:03    Christine Bupp ~ 29:18    Renee Davis ~ 32:15

    Click Here for Complete Race Results >

    We appreciate our generous sponsors for all of their help and support for this important day!

    Presented by Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® Inc.

    Hosted by Toll Brothers at Marlboro Ridge

    K302 Design, LLC    Pro-Title, LLC    RE/MAX® United Real Estate    RealInvestors of Maryland, Inc.

    A Special Congratulations and Thank You to RE/MAX® United
    for having the most participants from any office and for raising the most money!


    GRI 200 @ PGCAR Next Month! - Starting Wednesday, June 6

    Presented by the Maryland Association of REALTORS® and
    Sponsored by the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®

    PGCAR Association Office
    8:30 am - 4 pm each day

    GRI 200 Series Class Schedule
    Sign up for the entire, 5-day Series here >
    MD CEU - 27 Hours Total: 6 hrs Legislative Update and 21 hrs Elective CE
    Wednesday, June 6 Module 201 - Pricing Property & Appraisal
    Friday, June 8 Module 202 - Contracts & Agency
    Thursday, June 14 Module 203 - Interpersonal Skills & Personal Assistants
    Monday, June 18 Module 204 - Advanced Financing & Real Estate Investments
    Thursday, June 21 Module 205 - Condominiums, Cooperatives & Buyer Brokerage

    Just need a few make-up classes, or want to learn in-depth knowledge of specific topics?
    Sign up for individual classes by clicking class titles above.

    Hurry! Classes are limited to the first 40 registrants!


    FREE Webinar Presented by MAR
    Finish 2012 as Successfully as You Started It!

    Thursday, June 7    10 am to 11 am

    National real estate expert Steve Harney will give you a 3-step plan to guarantee that 2012 will be the best year of your career. In this webinar you will learn how to re-work your annual goals, uncover the hidden opportunities in an improving market, and ride the current momentum to an exceptional 2012 income.

    Details & Registration >


    Mark Your Calendars for the 2012 Housing Fair
    Saturday, June 9

    9 am to 3 pm
    Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Complex

    Please come, and invite all of your customers and prospective customers to come! The Housing Fair will allow you . . . and consumers to visit with mortgage lenders & bankers, housing counselors, rental property management, home developers and more! Learn how to avoid housing scams, prevent foreclosure, find affordable housing, and manage your money & credit.

    Click here to download a Housing Fair Flyer

    In addition, the Prince George's Housing Fair will have its first-time ever house lottery! One lucky winner will be drawn to purchase a single family home in Prince George's County at a substantially reduced price.

    Lottery application deadline is this Friday, May 18, 2012.
    Only pre-qualified candidates can enter their names into the pool of applicants.

    Click here for more information and to download a lottery application >
    Click here for a lottery flyer >


    203K, My Home and Buy Suitland Homebuyer Assistance Programs
    FREE Workshops for Homebuyers

    Buy Suitland

    Let your customers know about these 2 FREE, upcoming workshops. Both workshops are specifically for homebuyers, not for REALTORS® or lenders.

    Saturday, May 19
    203K Workshop

    11 am to 12:30 pm

    Prince George's County Offices
    Facilitator: Rhonda Mayo-Lewis ~ Primelending Mortgage

    Homebuyers will learn details of the popular 203K loan programs, applicable to My HOME and Buy Suitland and for any home purchase where you also wish to fund home renovations using the mortgage. This workshop is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for the required 8 hours housing counseling class.

    RSVP required:

    Saturday, June 16
    My Home and Buy Suitland Homebuyer Assistance Programs Workshop

    11 am to 12:30 pm

    Keller Williams Realty
    9701 Apollo Drive, Upper Marlboro, MD 20774
    Facilitator: Cecelia Bell, REALTOR® ~ Keller Williams Realty

    Homebuyers will learn about the My HOME, Buy Suitland and 203K loan programs. This workshop is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for the required 8 hours housing counseling class.

    RSVP required:

    1. Buy Suitland Initiative
      Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details >

    2. Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta (FHLB Atlanta)
      Up to $15,000 towards a foreclosure purchase; Up to $7,500 toward the purchase of a property located in area approved for NSP funds.
      Program Details >   Details & webinars for REALTORS® >

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

    4. My HOME
      Up to 5% of the home sale price to qualified homebuyers who have not owned a home within the last 3 years.
      Program Details >   County My HOME Website >

    5. Centex Adds Savings to My HOME Program
      Purchase a Centex Home in the Victory Promenade development with My HOME funds and receive seller assistance also. For more information call (301) 350-5875 or email Jennifer Eaddy.

    6. The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP)
      Acquisition / Rehabilitation Mortgage Program with new incentives for Renovating Fixer-Uppers, and the Homeward Bound Program offering lower mortgage rates on foreclosed or short sale properties.
      Program Details >

    7. Freddie Mac HomeSteps SmartBuySM
      Offers a limited FREE two-year HomeProtect® Home Warranty and up to 30% savings on new appliances.
      Home listings and incentive details >   Sign up for buyer leads >

    Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at For more My HOME program details, members can login to Members Only.


    Consumer Tip: Home Maintenance ~ DIY or Hire a Pro?

    Doing home maintenance yourself can be a great way to save money; however, you need to make sure you choose the right DIY projects or the cost can be high. Over 100,000 people are injured each year doing home improvement jobs. Medical bills, in addition to the DIY budget and the time it takes you to do the job, can all add up. Here are some tips to decide when to do it yourself and when to call in the professionals.

    Stick to Routine Maintenance

    It Pays: Seasonal home maintenance, such as sealing decks, painting fences, and general landscaping are ideal DIY projects because they are routine maintenance tasks that are easy to get done on weekends or as your schedule permits.

    It Costs: Unless you have skill and experience on your side, steer clear of electrical work, operating power saws, and stay off of any ladder over six feet tall (ladder injuries rate high for emergency room visits).

    Become Your Own General Contractor

    It Pays: If you find and hire competent carpenters, plumbers and other tradesmen yourself, you can save 10% to 20% of the overall job cost (the typical general contractor fee).

    It Costs: If you don't have the reliable workers, the time to supervise, the knowledge to spot problems right away, or the skill to negotiate disputes, your project and your budget are at risk.

    Pitch in on the Big Jobs

    It Pays: Sometimes you can perform minor demolition, such as tearing out kitchen cabinets, before the contractors get started. Performing this work before they arrive can take a large chunk off the entire construction project.

    It Costs: By not negotiating cost savings upfront with your contractor well before work starts, or by slowing down the crew by getting in the way while they are working, you could end up costing the contractor and yourself more money.

    Add the Finishing Touches

    It Pays: Many finishing touches are simple and DIY-friendly. Painting, tile work, flooring and installing trim are all good DIY jobs if you have skill, patience or someone to teach you.

    It Costs: If you don't have a sure eye and a steady hand, you'll notice every mistake every time you see them. Make sure not to take on a task that only a skilled tradesperson can get right.

    Read entire article at >

    Who shall be named Prince George's REALTOR® of the Year?

    It could be you, or someone you know whom exemplifies leadership and service.

    Submit your nominations by 5 p.m. on Friday, June 15.
    1. Entries must be submitted on PGCAR's official form.
    2. Nominees must be Primary members of PGCAR.
    3. Nominees must be REALTOR® members who provide continuous, dedicated service to the industry to enhance the quality of the profession.

    4. Supporting information or documentation may be included as an attachment to the entry form.
    5. Pictures and supportive information are not encouraged.
    6. Entries that do not follow this format will be disqualified.
    7. ONE (1) COLOR PHOTO (any size) must be submitted in digital format, as a jpeg or .tif file, of 300 dpi or greater resolution, to with the subject line ROTY and your name.
    8. Deadline for submissions to PGCAR is 5 p.m. on Friday, June 15, 2012.

    One ROTY application will be submitted by PGCAR to be entered in the MAR competition. The winner of the State Award will be sent to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for consideration in the national award. Could we see a Prince George's REALTOR® honored in Ocean City and Orlando this year?


    MAR'S CARE and Special Project Awards
    Give 10 Minutes to Win $10,000 for Charity

    The PGCAR Community Service Committee realizes that Prince George's County REALTORS® give back to their communities every day in a number of different ways.

    You are coaches, mentors and scout leaders. You deliver Meals on Wheels, work on Habitat and Christmas in April Homes. You create March of Dimes walk teams and Scholarship Fun Walk/Run events. So many of our offices raise money each year for their favorite charity, or they collect food, coats and toys. And because you don't do it for the recognition, sometimes we aren't aware of ALL of the wonderful things you are doing.

    Well now is your chance!

    PGCAR has an opportunity to win MAR's CARE Award, which gives us $10,000 to use for whatever charity we select. We could use it for another Habitat House; we could increase sponsorship opportunities for our graduating students; we could give it to a food bank or numerous other charities - the possibilities are endless.

    Please take a few minutes to tell us how you help your community!

    Nominations are due to PGCAR by Friday, June 15.

    Click Here for the CARE / Special Project Nomination Form

    Positively No Late Submissions Will Be Accepted.


    Market Sen$e: Second Week of Record-Low Fixed Rates

    Results released last Thursday, May 10 are showing average fixed mortgages rates are hitting all-time record lows for the second week in a row. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, states, "Following April's weaker than expected employment report, and the French and Greek election results raising concerns over the stability of the Euro currency zone, long-term Treasury bond yields declined allowing fixed mortgage rates to ease to new all-time record lows this week. The economy added just 115,000 jobs, below the market consensus forecast and less than in March. And although the unemployment rate declined, it reflected fewer people actively seeking jobs."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 10, 2012:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.83 percent, down from 3.84 percent.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.05 percent, down from 3.07 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.81 percent, down from 2.85 percent
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.73 percent, up from 2.70 percent.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

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    April Home Sales for Prince George's County:
    Monthly Condo sales up; Single family sales down for April

    March 2012 single family sales saw a 4.8% increase in new contracts and a 23% increase in settlements. April's single family market saw a decrease from those levels.

    During the month of April, 1062 contracts on single family homes were signed. This is down 3.5% from March. Single family settlements were also down slightly during April, by 1.4% from March. Year-to-date contracts are up 5.1% and settlements down by 4.8% from 2011.

    The condo market enjoyed another monthly increase from March to April. Contracts increased 1.4%. Settlements increased an amazing 16.1%. Year-to-date condo contracts are up 12.8%. Year-to-date condo settlements are down 5.7%, still showing the effects of slower lending.

    See detailed statistics for April 2012 at >

    To be the first to see home sale statistics when they're released, like us at www.facebook/pgcar. While you're there, add yourself to the Find a REALTOR® Directory.


    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 Thursday, May 17
    How to Handle Settlements
    3.0 Elective Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Next Tuesday, May 22
    PGCAR Education Day
    Up to 6 hours of MD and DC Continuing Education
    Various 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, June 6
    GRI Series II Begins
    MD CEU - 27 hours total:
    6 hours Legislative Update and 21 hours Elective CE
    Various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >>


    REALTOR® Magazine Seeks Good Neighbor Nominations
    Deadline for Entry is This Friday, May 18

    REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2012 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live. Five winners will be announced in the November/December issue of REALTOR® Magazine, will be recognized at the 2012 REALTORS® Conference in Orlando, and will receive a $10,000 grant for their charity - along with additional publicity, prizes and benefits.

    If a REALTOR® you know is putting forth the effort to make a difference in the community, help their cause by nominating them today!

    Deadline for entry is this Friday, May 18. Click here for more details. Click here for rules and an entry form.


    WANTED: NAR Committee Volunteers
    Applications Due Friday, May 25

    2013 NAR Committee Recommendations

    NAR committee recommendations are also open (login required).
    Nominations are due by Friday, May 25. Self nominations are encouraged.

    NAR Committee Details and Nomination Form >


    Sales Coach: Educate Your Buyers and Sellers

    Home Sales Coach Did you know that REALTOR® Magazine provides handouts for you to download and give to your customers? They're free, grouped into separate categories for buyers and sellers, and can be easily downloaded into Microsoft Word so they can be personalized and customized to suit your needs. Enforce your value and show off your real estate expertise by informing and preparing your customers.

    Samples of Handouts for Buyers

    Questions to Ask When Choosing a REALTOR®

    What a Home Inspection Should Cover

    Moving With Pets

    Samples of Handouts for Sellers

    Navigating Short Sales: What to Do When the Sale Price Leaves You Short

    Open House Safety Tips

    Understanding Capital Gains in Real Estate

    For the entire list and to download all handouts, click here >


    Case #8-1:
    Failure to Put Deposit in Separate Account

    REALTOR® A, a listing broker, obtained a signed offer to purchase, together with Buyer C's check for $5,000 as an earnest money deposit. Buyer C's offer was subject to the sale of his current residence. REALTOR® A presented the offer to Seller B who accepted it. REALTOR® A then inadvertently deposited the earnest money check in his personal checking account. Since Buyer C's offer was contingent on the sale of his current home, Seller B's house remained on the market. A week later, REALTOR® A received another offer to purchase Seller B's house from another broker and presented it to the seller as a back-up offer. Buyer C was informed about this new offer and reluctantly concluded that he would be unable to waive the sale contingency or proceed with the purchase of Seller B's house. He then asked REALTOR® A for his $5,000 check back. REALTOR® A explained that he had mistakenly deposited Buyer C's check in his personal bank account which had been attached since he received Buyer C's offer, and he was temporarily unable to refund the deposit to Buyer C.

    Buyer C filed a complaint with the Board of REALTORS®, which was received by the Grievance Committee. The Grievance Committee concluded that the complaint warranted a hearing and referred it to the Professional Standards Committee. At hearing, REALTOR® A explained that his bank account had been unexpectedly attached following the loss of a civil suit which he was appealing; that his deposit of Buyer C's check in his personal account was a simple error in handling deposit slips; that he was arranging for the prompt release of his account; and that everything would be straightened out in three or four days, which should not be of great inconvenience to Buyer C.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 8, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

    Find out here >>


    Some Reasons to Join REALTORS® Federal Credit Union


    REALTORS® FCU offers its members real partnership built through unique understanding, common goals and innovative solutions. In addition, we are committed to improving the quality of life for our members.


    By joining the REALTORS® FCU, your business will have access to our diverse portfolio of investment products and services, as well as access to financial education resources and money management solutions.


    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.

    To find out more, go to >


    PGCAR Membership Application - for New or Returning Agents

    For new agents, please download, print and use the 2012 membership application at >

    For any returning agents who did not pay 2012 dues, you will need to Renew Online and pay the reinstatement and late fees to regain SentriLock access. If your online access is no longer active, please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.


    Women's Council of REALTORS®
    Prince George's Chapter - Join Today

    We are a network of successful REALTORS® empowering women to exercise their potential as entrepreneurs and industry leaders. Through our influence as successful business professionals, the women and men who are members of WCR will effect positive change in the profession and in the broader community.

    Join the Prince George's Chapter by signing up today!

    Click Here for More Information >

    Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
    8300 Corporate Drive, Suite 100  :  Landover, MD 20785
    Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2012 PGCAR

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