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August 6, 2012

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Committee Sign Ups - Due August 20
  • All About Short Sales
        - FREE Events This Wednesday!
  • PGCAR 2013 Dues
  • Sign up for the GRI 300
  • NAR Annual Conference Early Bird Deadline
  • Red Cross Blood Drive - Friday, August 17
  • WCR Annual Crab Feast - Friday, August 17
  • 2012 MAR Annual Conference
  • PGCAR Installation of Officers and Directors
    Homeownership Matters
  • Maryland's Tax Free Week
        - Starts Next Sunday, August 12
  • Homebuyer Incentives
        in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Save Time,
        Maintain that Property Line
    The Industry Insider
  • Contracts Alert: Updated Form 1320
  • Market Sen$e:
        Streak of Record-Breaking Lows Over
  • July Home Sales for Prince George's County
  • August DC and MD CEU
  • Sales Coach: Help Your Seller Tame
        Their Neighbor's Trees
  • Code of Ethics: #12-2
  • Open a Money Market Savings Account
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training at PGCAR

    Committee Sign Ups Happening Now!
    Applications Due Monday, August 20

    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.

    Sign up by Monday, August 20 to be in on the action when new committee terms start October 1.

    Volunteer Today >


    All About Short Sales
    FREE Events for REALTORS® & Homeowners This Wednesday

    The Show Place Arena
    14900 Pennsylvania Avenue, Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

    In-Person Workshop & LIVE Webinar for REALTORS®
    This Wednesday, August 8    9 am - 11 am

    This event is designed for real estate professionals to learn and engage directly with Treasury and top financial institutions (Bank of America, CitiMortgage, GMAC Mortgage, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo) with regards to HAFA and other short sale programs. Find out how to get your short sale offers approved, navigate the process more smoothly, and get help with difficult cases. This session is not open to homeowners. You'll gain additional contacts and knowledge by attending this important event in person; however, if you are unable to attend in person, you can also register for the LIVE Webinar.

    REALTORS® may also volunteer for the public Homeowners event being held later this Wednesday (August 8), from 1 pm to 8 pm, also at The Show Place Arena.
    • Soliciting homeowners as clients is not permitted at the event.
    • Choose from two shifts starting as early as noon.
    • To volunteer, please contact or call 202-589-2426 ASAP.

    Help for Homeowners Event
    This Wednesday, August 8    1 pm - 8 pm

    Homeowners struggling to make their mortgage payments will meet face-to-face with their servicers and HUD-approved housing counselors to explore foreclosure-prevention options and to move toward solutions to their mortgage problems. Please encourage homeowners to participate by sharing the event flyer with clients, family and neighbors.


    PGCAR 2013 Dues
    Available Online Next Wednesday, August 15

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

    GRI 300 Starts Wednesday, October 3
    Sign up for the full series of 5 classes here!

    Need a few make-up classes?
    Sign up for individual classes by clicking class titles below.

      red arrow Module 301: Environmental / Health Issues Affecting Real Estate - Wed, Oct 3
      red arrow Module 302: Taxes - Wed, Oct 10
      red arrow Module 303: Ethics & Mediation and Arbitration - Mon, Oct 15
      red arrow Module 304: Legislative Update & Smart Growth and Land Planning - Thurs, Oct 18
      red arrow Module 305: Real Estate Technology & Trends - Wed, Oct 24


    NAR 2012 Annual Conference
    Early Bird Deadline ~ Next Wednesday, August 15

    November 9 - November 12
    Register by August 15 to join us in Orlando and save!
    Also book your hotel in advance for best selection.

    PGCAR is sponsoring and hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    Next Friday, August 17
    9 am to 3 pm

    At the
    PGCAR Office



    Prince Georges County Chapter
    Annual Crab Feast

    Next 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 next 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 >


    Installation Coming to New Venue



    Thursday, September 20

    13905 Central Avenue
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20774


    Maryland's Tax Free Week
    Starts Next Sunday, August 12

    The sales tax holiday for general merchandise purchased in Maryland is scheduled for next Sunday, August 12 to Saturday, August 18, and applies to clothing and footwear priced at $100 or less. Make sure you do your homework, clip coupons, and compare prices at different retailers to get the best savings. Also keep in mind that accessories such as jewelry, watches, watchbands, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands, and belt buckles are not tax-exempt. Read more >

    1. Maryland Homefront: The Veterans and Military Family Program
      Historically low reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) and increased payment assistance for qualified current and former military members. Program Details >
    2. $30 Million Targeted Areas Initiative
      Reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) for qualified homebuyers purchasing a new primary residence in a Targeted Area of Maryland or Prince George's County. Program Details >
    3. 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 >
    4. 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® >
    5. 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 >
    6. 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 >
    7. 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.
    8. 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: Save Time, Maintain that Property Line

    You didn't mind when your neighbor installed a swing on the oak just on your side of the property line. And when their garden went into your yard a few feet, it wasn't a big deal either. After all, you enjoyed the shared vegetables. Then they put up a fence around the garden to keep out the deer. Now a new job is calling you to another state and it's time to sell. And, after doing some research, it turns out that the tree adds value to your property while the fence is cutting down on valuable acreage. So how do you handle a potentially uncomfortable property line situation? Here are a few tips to maintain the lines - and your friendship - with your neighbors.

    Be Prepared with Your Documents

    Having survey documents in hand will go a long way toward making the inevitable conversation with your neighbor quick and civil. It's much harder for them to argue a boundary when a professional survey lays out the facts. If you don't have the documents you need, a visit to state or government sites will often yield the plat you require. If there hasn't been a recent survey, it may be in your interest to have one done - especially if there is a foreseeable dispute or any significant land to be gained.

    Have the Right Tools and Attitude

    Bringing some baked goods to a friendly meeting can go a long way toward keeping things civilized from the start. If the softer approach isn't gaining you any ground - so to speak - then there are a few intermediary steps you can take before bringing in an outside mediator or launching a lawsuit.

    Simply sending a letter to the neighbor, and filing it with a county clerk or land record office, will likely do much to make the situation real to them and hasten action. If all of these actions do not produce the desired results, it may be time to take a stronger stance. While the rules are too detailed to describe here, understanding adverse possession is mandatory if you think the neighbors might argue that they are the owners of the land.

    Bring Out the Big Guns

    At all costs, try to avoid a legal battle in the turf war. They are expensive as well as unpleasant for everyone, but they can be a final option to get the matter resolved. Another way you might settle the dispute is by giving your neighbor some options, like offering to sell the land to them instead of making them tear down that fence. Police action should only be used as a last resort, but if your neighbor is about to have a tennis court installed on your land, you need to call the cops and report them for trespassing.

    The best course of action is to find out your property boundaries as soon as you move in and stick to them. However, sometimes as the years go by, these lines can become blurred and you may end up having to settle some disputes - especially if someone is planning to sell. Being prepared, acting civilly, and getting your facts straight will go a long way toward easing any disagreements.

    Read more at >


    Contracts Alert: Updated Form 1320
    Seller's Estimated Settlement Expense

    Form 1320 Estimated Settlement Expense - Seller was revised in July and is now available at Members Only and ZipForm. Please destroy all older versions of Form PG 1320 and begin using the updated form immediately. The July 2012 revision includes the new Prince George's County and Maryland transfer taxes and recordation charges among other changes.

    All seven forms which were added or revised in June, are also now available at ZipForm. Visit PGCAR Members Only to download the latest forms, and to sign up for ZipForm. ZipForm is a FREE benefit for PGCAR members!


    Market Sen$e: 4-Week Streak of Record-Breaking Lows Over

    Results released last Thursday, August 2, show that average mortgage rates for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate as well as the 5-year ARM rose last week. Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac, states, "Recent announcements of additional debt relief for the Eurozone and mixed domestic economic indicators added upward pressure on Treasury yields as well as mortgage rates this week. The U.S. economy grew at a 1.5 percent annualized rate in the second quarter, slower than the 2.0 percent growth in the first quarter with consumer spending in June unchanged from May. However, consumer confidence rose in July for the first time in five months according to The Conference Board."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending August 2, 2012:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.55%, up from 3.49%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.83%, up from 2.80%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.75%, up from 2.74%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.70%, down from 2.71%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >


    July Home Sales for Prince George's County
    Single Family Settlements Up Slightly - Condo Stats Down

    Single family settlements increased by 0.8% from June to July, while listings and contracts were on the decline (-5.7% and -11.4%, respectively). Condo/co-op stats decreased across the board this month (listings -12.1%, contracts -9.0%, settlements -9.9%).

    Year-to-date contracts for single family homes are 2.0% less than they were in 2011. Year-to-date condo/co-op contracts are up by 7.9%. 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. For potential home sellers who are "on the fence" or currently renting their former homes but prefer to sell, share the good news that average and median home sales prices have steadily increased this year, and mortgage rates are at near all-time lows.

    My HOME Program

    See detailed statistics for July 2012 at >

    Like us on Facebook to be the first to see home sales statistics when they're released. While you're there, add yourself to the Find a REALTOR® Directory to give homebuyers and sellers yet another way to find you.


    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, August 9
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

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

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

    Next Wednesday, August 15
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Next 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

    Friday, August 24
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 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: Help Your Seller Tame Their Neighbor's Trees

    Home Sales Coach When working with a seller to spruce up their home for a sale, it might end up being the spruce itself that's a problem. Perhaps a neighbor's tree is hanging over a pool deck, driveway, or darkening a window. Even if it is growing in the neighbor's yard, you have the right to prune back limbs, as long as you don't hurt the tree and stay on your side of the line. In every U.S. state, homeowners have a common law right to prune the limbs, roots, and branches from a neighbor's yard that intrude onto their property.

    When helping your seller prepare for photos for a virtual tour, a showing or open house, you want to make sure the curb appeal is not hindered by a poorly appointed adjacent lot. Whether it is to let more light into the house or to make room for landscaping, it's important to know what you are and are not allowed to do.

    Before you start:

    • Find the boundary line on a surveyor's map and be sure you are confident before you trim.
    • Stop at the line. If you go past it, you are trespassing!
    • Don't hurt the tree - weakening a tree is not only dangerous to your client and their property, killing it could also make for an angry neighbor or even a legal suit.
    • Talk to the neighbor about any damage to the tree before you start.
    • Clean up any debris left when you are done. One of the main points of trimming is making the house look good!
    • Be careful when trimming a neighbor's tree and work with them directly if possible. Maintaining good relationships with the neighbors is also an important selling point!

    Feel free to print a copy of these tips to share with your sellers. Giving them important information on staging and listing their property, will show you are making the extra effort on their behalf. Read more about the finer points of property hygiene and legal issues at And for more on property line disputes, check out the Consumer Tips section of this newsletter.


    Case #12-2:
    Exaggeration in Advertising

    Prospect A noted REALTOR® B's classified advertisement describing a home with five acres "about 20 miles from the city" giving directions to the "modern 3-bedroom home, well maintained, and set in a charmingly landscaped site."

    After visiting the property, Prospect A clipped out the ad and pasted it to a letter to the Board of REALTORS® complaining of the gross exaggeration it contained, which had induced him to waste time and money in inspecting the property. The property, he said, was actually 36 miles from the city limits; its wood-lath support for plaster, which was visible in many large breaks in the walls, indicated it to be 40 years old or more; there was no evidence of painting in recent years; several windows were broken; and, half of the back steps were missing. The house was located at the end of a crude dirt road in a small cleared area that had become densely overgrown in weeds - a picture of extreme neglect.

    REALTOR® B was asked to respond to the charge of misleading advertising, and a hearing was called on the complaint by the Professional Standards Committee. REALTOR® B criticized the complainant for bringing the matter to the Board, pointing out that Prospect A had failed to mention that the property was priced at only $30,000; that at such a price it was an exceptionally good buy to anyone looking for a small place with a few acres; that to get attention to such properties it was necessary to do a bit of "puffing" to attract attention in advertising; that as a matter of fact the general lines of the house were similar to many of modern design; that the house had been well enough maintained to be salvageable by anyone who would do a reasonable amount of work on it; and that, in his opinion, the site was truly "charming" in its rugged simplicity.

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

    Find out here >>


    Open a Money Market Savings Account
    Just One of the Benefits of the REALTORS® FCU

    This savings account offers a premium rate to members who carry higher savings balances and for whom earning a greater return on their savings is a priority. With three flexible tiers to help you save and rates to reward your higher balance, the FCU's competitive rates beat some of the top banks! Only $1.00 is required to open an account, there are no monthly fees, you can make deposits anytime and from anywhere, get free direct deposit, and so much more. It's easy and safe, so open an account today. Just log in to online banking and click on "Open New Account" in the "Accounts" tab.

    Join the only credit union designed to meet the unique needs of REALTORS® like you!


    Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training at PGCAR

    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.

    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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