|June 11, 2012|
The PGCAR Community Service Committee deeply appreciates that Prince George's County REALTORS® give back to their communities every day in a number of different ways.
You coach, mentor, lead scout troops, raise needed funds for medical research and assisting others. 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 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 give to a local charity of our choice. We could use it for another Habitat House; we could increase scholarship opportunities for our graduating students; we could give it to a food bank or numerous other charities - the possibilities are endless.
...but we can't win if you don't tell us what you are doing!
Please take a few minutes to let us know how you help your community!
CARE surveys are due to PGCAR by 5:00 pm THIS Friday, June 15.
Upcoming CRS Training
Two Classes Still Available for 50% Off Offer
Wednesday, June 27, 2012, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Tuesday, October 23, 2012, 8:00 am - 4:30 pm
Note: If you already attended the June 8 class, It's a Price War to the Door,
Visit the CRS website for more details.
PGCAR is now accepting nominations for Affiliate of the Year and Distinguished Sales Associate of the Year. Click below for details and application forms.
The annual MAR Leadership Academy is a rare opportunity for training in organizational leadership and communications. Applications for the upcoming October 4, 2012 through April 16, 2013 sessions are due Wednesday, August 1, 2012. Applicants must be available for an interview on August 7 or August 16.
This Saturday, June 16, 11 am to 12:30 pm
Keller Williams Realty
Homebuyers will learn about the My HOME and Buy Suitland loan programs. This workshop is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for the required 8 hours housing counseling class.
RSVP required: LAJONES1@co.pg.md.us
FREE Foreclosure Prevention Workshop
Presented by U.S. Congresswoman Donna F. Edwards
Saturday, July 21 9 am to 2 pm
Fort Foote Baptist Church
8310 Fort Foote Road, Fort Washington, MD 20744
There are still too many foreclosures in Prince George's County. In this workshop, you can meet with loan servicers, learn how foreclosures can be prevented, speak with housing counselors and attorneys, and find out how Maryland's foreclosure prevention laws affect you.
Help is available, so please pass this information on to your customers, family members, and anyone who you think may benefit from this workshop.
To pre-register for a FREE legal consult with an attorney, call the Pro Bono Resource Center of Maryland.
There are some reasons a house doesn't sell that are beyond the seller's control, including your home having a unique layout or being the only one in the neighborhood without a garage. But if your house has been on the market a lot longer than any of the other houses for sale in your area, it may be time to think about one thing you can control - the price. Here are some other factors with regard to lowering the selling price.
NOT AS MANY LOOKERS
Because buyers don't want to miss their chance, you will get the most interest in your home immediately after it is listed. If your agent tells you that your house is getting far fewer looks than the other houses for sale in your area, it may be because buyers are waiting for the price to come down before they look at it.
A LOT OF LOOKERS; NO OFFERS
If you've had multiple showings and not a single offer, something is not right. Ask your agent to find out what other agents are saying about your home. A home priced too high can discourage buyers from even making an offer.
YOU'VE GOT A DEADLINE
If you're being transferred or you've already purchased another home, you may want to make your selling price slightly lower than comparable homes in your area to generate interest.
Be sure to check out the other homes in your area - new listings, ones that have sold and ones that are still on the market. If your price is more in line with the homes that are still on the market, it may be a sign that your price is too steep.
Remember that the amount the buyer will pay for your home should determine the sale price (not how much money you need to get from the sale).
For more pricing and selling tips, go to houselogic.com.
In the next issue of REALTOR® Connection, we'll cover 5 do-it-yourself projects that can increase sales value by more than $10,000.
Withholding Tax Changes for Maryland Non-Residents
For Maryland non-residents who sell their real property located in Maryland, their property sales withholding tax (paid for at settlement) has increased from 6.75% to 7% effective June 1, 2012.
In response to the income tax withholding rate for non-resident individual sellers of real property increasing from 6.75% to 7% (SB 1302, Chapter 2 of the 2012 Special Session), the following three forms were updated. Please destroy all older versions of these forms and begin using the new forms immediately. The new forms are dated 6/2012.
PG Form 1005: Land - Unimproved Land Listing Agreement
PG Form 1200: Listing - Residential Listing Agreement
PG Form 1311: Non-Resident Seller Transfer Withholding Tax Addendum
Please visit PGCAR Members Only to download the latest forms.
Results released last Thursday, June 7 show that record-setting low fixed mortgage rates dropped even further (30-year fixed-rate was down to 3.67 percent while the 15-year fixed-rate dropped to 2.94 percent). Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, states, "Fixed mortgage rates reached new record lows for the sixth consecutive week as long-term Treasury bond yields declined further following downwardly revised economic growth and job creation data. Gross domestic product rose 1.9 percent in the first quarter, after originally being reported as 2.2 percent, led by gains in inventories, more government cutbacks and the slowest increase in corporate profits in over three years. In addition, the economy added 69,000 jobs in May, less than half of the market consensus forecast and revisions subtracted a total of 49,000 workers in March and April. Lastly, the unemployment rate ticked up from 8.1 percent in April to 8.2 percent."
Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending June 7, 2012:
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May Home Sales for Prince George's County:
The condo market enjoyed another monthly increase from April to May in contracts and settlements. Contracts increased 8.0% and settlements increased by 2.8%. Year-to-date condo contracts are up 12.2% and condo settlements are down 6.3%, still showing the effects of slower lending.
See detailed statistics for May 2012 at www.pgcar.com/stats >
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 to give homebuyers and sellers yet another way to find you.
Commercial Real Estate Market Improving
Multifamily Sector Strong
Shaking off a prolonged impact from the recession, fundamentals are gradually improving in all of the major commercial real estate sectors, according to NAR's quarterly commercial real estate forecast and the May 2012 quarterly Commercial Real Estate Market Survey, which collects data from members about market activity. The apartment rental market has fully recovered and is growing.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said new jobs are the key. "Ongoing job creation, which is at a higher level this year, is fueling an underlying demand for commercial real estate space, assisted by a steady increase in consumer spending," he said. "The pattern shows gradually declining commercial vacancy rates, with consequential but generally modest rent growth. Although we need even stronger job growth, by far the greatest impact of job creation is in multifamily housing, where newly formed households striking out on their own have increased demand for apartment rentals - this is the sector with the lowest vacancy rates and strongest rent growth, which is attracting many investors."
Rising apartment rents also are having a positive impact on home sales because many long-time renters now view homeownership as a better long-term option, Yun noted.
On May 30, 2012, the House of Representatives passed a 60-day extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This temporary extension enables the Senate to act on the NAR supported 5-year reauthorization and reform bill during June, before it expires again. The short-term extension bill was being held up by Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) who threatened to let the NFIP shut down yet again, unless his demands were met regarding federal tax dollars subsidizing vacation homes.
The compromise now in place prevents a potentially catastrophic lapse of the NFIP for both the short and long-term. Flood insurance is required by law to obtain a mortgage in more than 21,000 communities nationwide. A lapse would have affected 1,300 transactions a day or nearly 40,000 a month, a potentially devastating blow to the nascent market recovery. NAR will continue to work with our Congressional allies to minimize the impact of this provision as the legislative process moves forward. Learn more >
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.
Sales Coach: Solving Seller Problems
If you work in real estate, you're eventually going to come across a difficult client. However, in almost every case - whether it has to with pricing, staging, your commission, or even a clash of personalities - if you address the problems early and honestly, they shouldn't present an obstacle to the selling process. Some of the common issues that come up:
The universal solution may be easier than you think. The first step is to get to know the seller's expectations. A good way to do that is to ask very specific questions at the beginning of the listing presentation to establish rapport and make sure everyone is on the same page. Questions such as "Why are you thinking of selling?", "The tax records indicate that you bought it x years ago, is that correct?" and "Have you done much research online?" opens the lines of communication and gives the seller confidence in your ability.
The second step is to address any issues before they become a problem. First, specifically outline the entire selling process from listing to closing, and make sure they understand every step. Simply doing this often alleviates seller anxiety. Then you can deal with their specific concerns. If they are uncooperative on price, prepare a comparative market analysis. If they get anxious over negotiation, go over the process and explain that you'll be their advocate during this turbulent time. If they have unrealistic demands, show proof and give examples of how your marketing efforts have worked in the past.
It doesn't take a lot of effort to solve almost every problem a seller can throw at you. What it does take is doing your research, being prepared, and adjusting and improving your presentation to be in tune with each seller's individual needs.
Why Join REALTORS® FCU?
It's the 24/7 credit union designed for your unique needs as a REALTOR®!
Join Online > It only takes 15 minutes!
MRIS 201: Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS June 19, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
Visit www.mris.com/training for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.
PGCAR Membership Application - for New or Returning Agents
For new agents, please download, print and use the 2012 membership application at www.pgcar.com >
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.
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.