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July 23, 2012

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Fed Calls on REALTORS® for Policy Input
  • Become a Certified Investor Agent SpecialistTM
        - This Week at PGCAR
  • Committee Sign Ups Happening Now!
  • Annual Leadership Academy
        - Applications Due Next Wednesday
  • Red Cross Blood Drive - Friday, August 17
  • WCR: Annual Crab Feast
  • 2012 MAR Annual Conference
  • 2012 NAR Annual Conference
  • Become a Fan of PGCAR
  • Housing Roundtable Coming August 8
    Homeownership Matters
  • Maryland Housing Market is Getting Stronger
  • Military Families and Veterans - the Maryland
        Homefront Homebuyer Program is for You!
  • 2.87% Mortgage Rates for Maryland Homebuyers
  • 203K Training for Homebuyers
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Protect Your Property ~
        Think Like a Thief
    The Industry Insider
  • 2012 Legislative Report
  • Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates
        at All-New Record Lows
  • June Home Sales for Prince George's County
  • June Existing Home Sales Rise Again
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sales Coach: Master Incoming Calls
  • Code of Ethics: Case #12-1
  • Three Great Ways to Save
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training at PGCAR
  • PGCAR 2013 Dues
  • Don't Miss Out On Emails and News!


    Fed Calls on MD REALTORS® for Policy Input
    Take the Survey before tomorrow, July 24 @ noon

    The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond has asked Maryland REALTORS® to provide accurate, front-line information about the economy (present and near future), which will be used to help formulate monetary policy. All responses are anonymous, so please take a few minutes to complete this short survey before it closes this Tuesday, July 24 at noon. Here's your chance to tell the Fed what's really going on and what you expect to see in the future. Thank you!

    Click here to take survey >


    Become a Certified Investor Agent SpecialistTM
    Find repeat buyers and triple your closings with each new client!

    This Wednesday & Thursday, July 25 & 26
    9:00 am to 5:30 pm    Registration begins at 8:00 am

    Learn how to locate, create and close with residential real estate investors using knowledge and tools earned through comprehensive education and experience.

    370-page Field Manual    Investor Practice Scripts    Complete Forms & Check Lists
    Sample Investment Package    Financial Calculators    Investor Terms Glossary
    Investor Presentations    Listing on 'Find a CIAS'    Marketing Tools & Flyers

    One Year FREE CIAS Membership

    5 payments of $99 OR 1 payment of $449 ~ Save $350
    (Regular price: $799    Offer expires: 7/25/12)

    Brought to you by the   
    Prince Georges County Chapter


    Committee Sign Ups Happening Now!

    PGCAR wants, and needs, your involvement in your local association. Through PGCAR's many committees, you can play a major part in the leadership of our association, as well as help promote the efforts and positive contributions PGCAR members make throughout the communities in Prince George's County. It is an opportunity to give back, to develop leadership and team building skills, and to broaden your experience.

    Click here to sign up now >
    Committee applications are due Wednesday, August 15, 2012.


    2012 - 2013 Leadership Academy
    Deadline closing in fast, applications due next week

    Broaden your base of core abilities and help secure your place in the future of the industry at the MAR Leadership Academy. A unique opportunity to prepare for the challenges ahead alongside current and future industry leaders, the personal development program consists of seven monthly sessions held October 4, 2012 through April 4, 2013.

    Apply now as time is running out! Acceptance will be based on a mandatory interview to be held next month (August 7 or August 16).

    Details and application >
    Leadership Academy brochure >

    PGCAR is sponsoring and hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    Friday, August 17
    9 am to 3 pm

    At the
    PGCAR Office



    Prince Georges County Chapter
    Annual Crab Feast

    Friday, August 17
    7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
    Knights of Columbus - College Park
    9450 Cherry Hill Road, College Park, MD 20740

    Join the Prince George's County Women's Council of REALTORS®
    for a summer swim and crab feast!

    Enjoy steamed Maryland crabs and corn, fried chicken, hot dogs,
    hamburgers, beer, soda and a cash bar service.

    Cool off before you eat with a dip in the pool ~ you can swim all day for just $5!

    Entertainment includes a live DJ, dancing, door prizes and a raffle.

    Tickets: $52
    Swim All Day: $5
    (tickets must be purchased before Monday, August 13)

    Any questions, contact Linda Simpson at 240-353-5808.


    2012 MAR Annual Conference & Trade Show
    Kick off the conference Sunday the 9th with RPAC!


    Come Ride the Wave with your fellow REALTORS® at the Maryland Association of
    REALTORS® Conference and Expo in Ocean City. Take part in a schedule
    packed with great events and networking opportunities including:

    Three Days of CE Classes    Exciting Trade Show    Sunday Golf Tournament
    National Speakers    Cocktail Parties    Industry Awards
    Recognition Banquet Installation

    Register Here    Conference Homepage    Hotel Information (PDF)    Schedule (PDF)

    All MAR members and affiliates are invited to join RPAC at the Galaxy 66 Bar & Grille
    on Sunday, September 9, from 6 to 8 pm.

    $25 - Advanced Online Purchase (before 8/31)    $35 - At the Door
    RPAC Major Investors Get Two Tickets for FREE!

    Details & Registration Instructions >


    NAR 2012 Annual Conference
    November 9 - 12

    Register by August 15 to join us in Orlando and save!
    Also book your hotel in advance for best selection.


    Become a Fan of PGCAR
    If you haven't joined us on Facebook, what are you waiting for?

    It only takes a click or two to keep up-to-date with what's going on at PGCAR - including weekly mortgage rates, the latest legislation, monthly sales stats, upcoming events and classes, new housing programs ... just to name a few.

    While you're there, add yourself to the Find a REALTOR® Directory to give homebuyers and sellers yet another way to find you.


    Roundtable Discussion for REALTORS®
    Coming August 8

    Save the date for an upcoming roundtable and panel discussion on government housing programs, to be hosted by the Department of the Treasury in Prince George's County on Wednesday, August 8.

    Details and registrations will be available this week. Like us at to be the first to know! We will share the details as soon as the Treasury Department finalizes them.


    Maryland Housing Market is Getting Stronger
    Home Sales & Sales Prices on the Rise

    On Thursday, July 19, Governor Martin O'Malley, Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Ray Skinner, state and local officials, REALTORS® and community leaders announced positive trends in Maryland's housing market. In June, home sales increased for the fifth consecutive month (the most home sales in one month since June of 2010), and the median home sales price increased for the fourth consecutive month (the highest monthly figure in nearly three years).

    "Progress is a choice. Job creation is a choice. Protecting the family home and fighting the scourge of foreclosures is also a choice," said Governor O'Malley.
    "... today we share this good news that our home sales and home sales prices are on the rise. Thanks to our hard work together, we're moving forward – forward for homeowners, for home buyers, and for jobs and our economy."

    In honor of June's National Homeownership Month, several new statewide initiatives are now available to both first time and non-first time homebuyers to continue to move Maryland's housing market forward.

    Maryland Homefront: the Veterans and Military Family Mortgage Program
    $30 Million Targeted Areas Initiative

    The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) also offers a variety of low-interest, fixed-rate mortgage loan options with downpayment and closing cost assistance. "The goal of the MMP has always been to support qualified homebuyers who want to make the important investment of owning a home," said Secretary Skinner. These programs can be combined with funds from applicable Partner Match programs and assistance from the local jurisdictions to maximize savings for homebuyers.

    Read the articles below to learn more about all of the amazing homebuyer incentives in Prince George's County.

    Click here to read blog >

    -   Two New Maryland Mortgage Programs   -

    New $50 Million Initiative for Military Personnel and Veterans

    Maryland Homefront: the Veterans and Military Family Mortgage Program

    This mortgage program offers historically low reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) and is available while funds last. Veterans, first-time homebuyers and current homeowners buying a new primary residence are eligible if they buy in a Targeted Area of Prince George's County or the State of Maryland.

    Maryland Homefront Details >
    Maryland Homefront Flyer >

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    2.87% Special Interest Rates for Maryland Homebuyers
    $30 Million Targeted Area + First-Time Homebuyer Initiative

    NOT Just for First-Time Homebuyers ~ Now until Allocated Funds are Expended

    This mortgage program offers historically low reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) and is available while funds last. Veterans, first-time homebuyers and current homeowners buying a new primary residence are eligible if they buy in a Targeted Area of Prince George's County or the State of Maryland.

    Program Eligibility
    • Targeted Areas ~ Any qualified homebuyer (no first-time homebuyer or veteran requirement).
    • Targeted & Non-Targeted Areas ~ Buyers who haven't owned a home within the last 3 years.
    • Targeted & Non-Targeted Areas ~ Any veteran.

    Prince George's Targeted Areas include: Brentwood, Capitol Heights, Colmar Manor, Fairmont Heights, Mt. Rainier, North Brentwood, Seat Pleasant, along with 7 census tracts.

    Click here for a map of Targeted Areas in Prince George's County.
    Click here for a complete list of Targeted Areas in other Maryland Counties.

    $30 Million Targeted Areas Initiative Details >

    203K Training for Homebuyers
    This Saturday, July 28 at 11 am

    Spread the word to your customers and contacts who may benefit from My HOME, Buy Suitland or a 203K loan including renovation financing. This training is for buyers (not REALTORS® and Lenders) and will be at the Centro D Apoyo Familiar (CAF), 6801 Kenilworth Ave., Suite 201, Riverdale, MD 20737.

    RSVP required, to

    1. Two New Programs and Funding!
      Read the above article about new low interest rate mortgage products and incentives.
    2. Buy Suitland Initiative - NOW in 11 Census Tracts (4 Areas Newly Added)!
      Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details >
    3. 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® >
    4. 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 >
    5. 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 >
    6. 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.
    7. Freddie Mac HomeSteps SmartBuySM
      Offers up to $500 for purchase of a home warranty.
      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: Protect Your Property ~ Think Like a Thief

    We're still in the middle of vacation season - one of the best times of year to be a thief. If you are getting ready to head out for your own get-away, thinking like a criminal might keep you from returning to a ransacked home. Here are some things a burglar doesn't want you to know:

    Leaving ladders out is a helping hand for a second story man.
    Sometimes homeowners don't connect the second story of their home to their security system. A ladder left unsecured - maybe stored leaning against the side of a shed - is a great gift for a malicious marauder looking for a convenient way to get up to that unlocked window. Lock up your ladders!

    Trash can look like cash to criminals.
    Maybe you gave in and got your kid that new video game system to while away the air-conditioned hours of the dog days of summer. Or maybe summer sales on a new flat screen were too hard to pass up. Whatever the big-ticket purchase might be, leaving the box it came in by the curb is open notice that you have new valuables in the house.

    Too hot for yard-work means a happy crook.
    Leaving the trees and shrubs in front of your home untrimmed means more places to hide for someone trying to sneak inside. If your doors and windows are visible from the street, a would-be robber won't have the privacy they prefer to work in. Motion sensor lighting doesn't hurt either.

    That cheap door is going to cost you.
    A simple wood panel exterior door may be a less expensive option up front, but it could put a much bigger dent in your pocket later on - as it's not too difficult for a thief to kick in. If you shelled out a little more, the only dent would be in your steel-wrapped door.

    Mirror, mirror in the hall.
    It's a popular decorating habit to place a mirror directly in the entry hall of a house - it opens up the space visually and lets guests fix their hair. But, an unexpected guest might also appreciate the chance to check themselves out - once they have used the mirror to see the alarm system panel isn't armed. Make sure you can't see alarm control panels from windows.

    Read the rest of the list, in the form of thank-you notes from burglars, at >


    2012 Legislative Report Now Available

    Representatives of PGCAR frequently travel to Annapolis to lobby legislators and testify on a number of bills and issues. Details on the bills as well as recent Prince George's County Council actions are included in the 2012 Real Estate Legislative Report. Following the County and State report is an update on Federal legislation important to REALTORS®, including notes from the May 16 Midyear Meeting of the NAR Federal Housing Policy Committee.

    To read the complete Legislative Report covering 2012 County, State and Federal Real Estate Legislation, click here >


    Market Sen$e: Record Lows Fueling Housing Demand

    Results released last Thursday, July 19, show that average mortgage rates for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate as well as the 5-year ARM dropped to new record lows. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, states, "With little signs of inflation and the Federal Reserve's "Operation Twist" keeping U.S. Treasury bond yields in check, fixed mortgage rates are remaining low and helping to stir the housing market. For instance, the 12-month growth rate in the core Consumer Price Index has been in a narrow 2.1 to 2.3 percent band over the past nine months ending in June. Meanwhile, new construction on one-family homes rose for the fourth consecutive month in June to its strongest pace since April 2010 with builders restocking their lean inventories of new homes. In fact, homebuilder confidence for the next six months rose for the third month in a row in July to its highest reading since March 2007."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending July 19, 2012:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.53 percent, down from 3.56 percent.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.83 percent, down from 2.86 percent.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.69 percent, down from 2.74 percent.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.69 percent, same as last week.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

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    June Home Sales for Prince George's County
    Single Family Settlements Hold - Condo Settlements Up

    Although single family stats decreased slightly across the board from May to June (listings -9.9%, contracts -0.7%, settlements -0.9%), condo/co-op settlements and listings enjoyed another large monthly increase (listings 10.0%, settlements 23.0%). Year-to-date listings for both single family homes and condos/co-ops are still down by about half of what they were last year; however, settlements for both are only slightly less (single family homes -4.8%, condo/co-op -5.1%). Year-to-date contracts have increased for both (single family homes 0.7%, condo/co-op 10.0%).

    See detailed statistics for June 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 to give homebuyers and sellers yet another way to find you.


    June Existing-Home Prices Rise Again

    In June, existing-home prices continued to gain, but few affordable homes on the market caused sales to fall according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

    Total existing-home sales declined 5% from May to June, but are 4.5% higher than the 4.18 million-unit level in June 2011. In the Northeast, existing-home sales dropped 11.5% to an annual pace of 540,000 in June but are almost 2% above June 2011.

    "Despite the frictions related to obtaining mortgages, buyer interest remains solid. But inventory continues to shrink and that is limiting buying opportunities. This, in turn, is pushing up home prices in many markets," said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist. "The price improvement also results from fewer distressed homes in the sales mix."

    For the first time since 2006, June marked four back-to-back monthly price increases from a year earlier. Up about 8% from a year ago, the national median existing-home price for all housing types was $189,400 in June. This was the strongest since February 2006 when the median price rose almost 9% from a year prior.

    Accounting for about 25% of June sales, Yun said the distressed portion of the market will further diminish as the number of seriously delinquent mortgages is falling.

    Yun also noted the percentage of first time buyers had fallen from 34% in May to 32% in June, up only 1% over this time last year. He said a healthy market-share of first time buyers should be around 40%.

    Read more >


    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 Friday, July 27
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 MD Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Thursday, August 9
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Saturday, August 11
    DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
    3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Monday, August 13
    3 MD Elective CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Jill Pogach Michaels 2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

    Thursday, August 16
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Real Estate Tax Issues
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Linda de Marlor 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Thursday, August 23
    How to Handle Settlements
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Starting Wednesday, October 3
    GRI 300 Series Begins
    13.5 MD Legislative Update CEU
    and 12 MD Elective CEU
      8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >>


    Sales Coach: Master Incoming Calls

    Home Sales Coach

    When a seller calls your office, they might say they are just doing research or shopping around, but by asking the right questions you can keep them on the line and secure the listing.

    By having a script in hand when you pick up the phone, you can be ready to steer the conversation toward an appointment with ease.

    Tips to Keep in Mind

    • Without getting too Glengarry Glen Ross on a potential client, it's important to remember to "always be closing." In this situation, the goal is to have a meeting set up by the end of each call. Don't hesitate to ask for this appointment, sometimes more than once, over the course of the conversation.
    • Remember the technique used by fast food restaurants when they ask you what size drink you want, rather than if you want one at all. Assume the seller will want an appointment and start by asking what day and time would be best for them to come in.

    How to Start

    After picking up the phone, immediately thank the seller for calling and ask their name. Then use it in conversation a few times to show you remember and are interested in them - but don't overdo it, many people are familiar with this technique and you don't want to sound artificial.

    Often an unexpected call from a new seller will find them simply looking for a price. In that case, the recommendation is to be ready to connect them with a trusted appraiser or, if they are prepared to put their home on the market then, set up an appointment.

    While eventually getting a meeting with the caller is important, professionals note time is better spent on meeting with prospects who are closer to selling and will prioritize accordingly.

    If they don't just want an appraisal, but are hesitant to set up an appointment, back off the pressure and have a set of questions ready to get the conversation flowing. If they relax enough to supply abundant answers and information, they are probably willing to meet with you.

    Emphasizing that the person who asks the most questions usually controls the conversation, offers several sample scripts and questionnaires in an article on the topic.


    Case #12-1:
    Absence of Name on Sign

    Prospect A observed a sign on a vacant lot reading: "For Sale - Call 330-5215." Thinking he would be dealing with a For Sale by Owner, he called the number on the sign. He was surprised and offended that the lot was exclusively listed by REALTOR® A, and the telephone number on the sign was the home number of REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® B in REALTOR® A's office.

    Prospect A filed a complaint against REALTOR® A and REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® B alleging a violation of Article 12 of the Code of Ethics.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® A stated that he permitted REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® B to put up the sign. REALTOR-ASSOCIATE® B's defense was that the sign was not a "formal" advertisement, such as a newspaper advertisement, business card, or billboard, to which he understood Article 12 to apply.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 12, how do you think the Professional Standards Panel ruled?

    Find out here >>


    REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
    Three Great Ways to Save

    1. Primary Savings
      Open your Primary Savings Account with an initial minimum deposit of $25, which will be held on deposit throughout your membership. Membership provides access to all of the Credit Union's products and services.
    2. Annual Dues Savings
      An Annual Dues Savings Account is a great place for you to stash some extra cash when you have it. Setting aside an average of just $60 a month will more than cover your local, state and national dues for the year.
    3. REALTOR® Event Savings
      The NAR meetings and expos are a great way to network, learn new things and further your career. REALTORS® FCU has created a REALTOR® Event Savings Account to make setting aside money for these events easy. Saving $160 a month could get you to Annual Conference & Expo, including conference registration, air fare, hotel, dining and spending cash.

    Learn more about how the REALTORS® FCU helps you invest in your future >


    Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training at PGCAR

    Keystone 101: Entering Listings Correctly, The Key to a Fast Sale July 31, 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Learn how to add or edit a listing in Keystone. Rules and regulations, compliance, entering accurate information, open houses and photos will be covered.

    Matrix 101: The Need-to-Knows of Matrix July 31, 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
    Settings, searches, contacts or emails. This is the best place to start and learn about the multiple functions Matrix offers.

    MRIS 201: Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS August 21, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
    This class introduces the often overlooked tools and features available as an MRIS customer benefit that are designed to save you time and money.

    MATRIX 201: Customize Matrix to Fit Your Business August 21, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
    Personalize Matrix to create easier navigation to better assist your advanced skills. These advanced features enable you to work more efficiently and productively.

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


    PGCAR 2013 Dues

    Invoices for PGCAR 2013 Dues in the amount of $636 will be mailed and available online by August 15. Dues are due and payable on October 1, 2012. A late fee will be charged after November 30th. Association dues are as follows:

    PGCAR Dues $300
    MAR Dues $181
    NAR Dues $155
    Optional RPAC Contribution $35
    Optional Maclin Scholarship Fund Contribution $5

    Thank you for being a part of PGCAR!


    Don't Miss Out On Emails and Newsletters!
    White List and

    Please make sure you're receiving all of our newsletters and emails. It's as easy as white listing and Instructions - as well as information on updating your email address - are located in the Members Only Section. In addition to providing email and white list instructions, the Members Only Section contains a wealth of information and resources, including downloadable contract and listing forms, the latest legislative news, your online order history, and more.

    Keep current by visiting often!

    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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