Print     Email a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

September 3, 2012

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • PGCAR Installation of Officers and Directors
  • Vote for Your 2013 Directors and Officers
  • New Legal Requirements Effective September
        17: Utility Cost Disclosure & CO Detectors
  • Earn Your GRI
  • PGCAR 2013 Membership Renewal
        Now Available Online
  • 2012 MAR Annual Conference - Next Week
  • NAR Annual Conference
  • Huge SentriLock Sale
  • Thank You Committee Volunteers
  • It's Labor Day
    Homeownership Matters
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's
  • Consumer Tip: Install a Solar Air Heater
        - Save on utility bills and add appeal
    The Industry Insider
  • Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Ease
  • July Pending Home Sales Rebound
  • A New NAR Resource:
        - Global business in your backyard
  • Home Sales Statistics Available Online
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sales Coach: Get a CLUE About
        Your Properties
  • Code of Ethics: #12-9
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training


    Congresswoman Donna Edwards is Keynote Speaker
    Register Online Today - Deadline is Fast Approaching!

    11:30 am
    12:30 pm
    - Reception
    - Lunch, followed by the Program

    New Venue! Camelot
    13905 Central Avenue
    Upper Marlboro, MD 20774

    Meet and hear from U.S. Congresswoman Donna Edwards.
    Registration closes at midnight Tuesday, September 18.

    Dress: Business Attire Tickets: $35 per person


    Vote now for 2013 Board of Directors and Officers
    Review the slate of candidates and vote today!

    Check out the slate of candidates for the 2012 - 2013 PGCAR Board of Directors, then go to the PGCAR website at to vote online till noon September 19.

    The 2012 / 2013 Candidates
    President: Anthony Williams, Long & Foster Real Estate
    President-Elect: John Lesniewski, RE/MAX United Real Estate
    Secretary: Desiree Callender, Desiree Callender & Associates
    Directors (4 to be elected): Cheryl Abrams, RE/MAX Specialists
    Sonatta Camara, Camara & Co - The Real Estate Group
    Claudette Davis, Keller Williams Preferred Properties
    Donald Frederick, RE/MAX United Real Estate
    J. Marshall Hand, Long & Foster Real Estate
    Yolanda Muckle, Long & Foster Real Estate
    Melvin Pitt, RE/MAX Specialists
    Willie Rhone, Weichert, REALTORS®
    William Wells, RE/MAX Professionals

    REQUIRED: Effective Monday, September 17, 2012
    Utility Cost Disclosure & CO Detector Installation

    REALTORS® transacting business in Prince George's County Maryland should be aware of two recently enacted laws effecting property transfers. We encourage you to share this information with your sales team.

    CB 25 - Utility Cost Disclosure and Home Energy Audits
    Beginning on September 17, 2012, sellers of certain residential properties will be required to disclose the prior 12-month energy consumption history resulting from electric, gas and oil heating/power consumption.

    PGCAR will be releasing standardized forms to address this new law in the near future.

    CB 34 - Carbon Monoxide Detectors in County Residences
    CB 34, also effective on September 17, 2012, requires the installation of battery powered, UL listed carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in residential one and two family dwellings with gas heating systems, fuel burning appliances and/or with an attached garage. The law requires the seller or transferor to install carbon monoxide detectors at, or prior to, transfer of ownership.

    The law is silent with regard to rental property. To reduce liability exposure it is suggested that you address the CO detector issue with regard to rental properties.

    PGCAR will be releasing form language to address this subject.

    For more details on both laws, read the
    Legislative Newsletter, updated August 30 >>

    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.
    Earn your GRI by completing GRI 100, 200 and 300 in any order.

      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


    PGCAR 2013 Membership Renewal
    Now Available Online

    Invoices for PGCAR 2013 Dues in the amount of $636 have been mailed and are now available online. 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!

    Visit to renew now.
    Renew online to receive an itemized receipt, and show dues payment on your PGCAR Order History.


    2012 MAR Annual Conference & Trade Show
    Kick Off the Conference Next 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.

    Tickets are $35 at the Door
    RPAC Major Investors Get Two Tickets for FREE!

    Sunday Social ~ Details & Registration Instructions >>


    NAR 2012 Annual Conference
    Sign Up to Join Us in Orlando!

    November 9 - November 12
    Register online As Soon As Possible to secure your place at the NAR 2012 Annual Conference.
    Also book your hotel in advance for best selection.


    Huge SentriLock Lockbox Sale
    Lockbox Sale Continues

    Back by popular demand PGCAR is pleased to announce the continuation of the sale on SentriLock Lockboxes. Lockboxes will be sold as follows:
    • 1 to 9 Lockboxes are $65 each + tax
    • 10 to 19 Lockboxes are $60 each + tax
    • 20 to 29 Lockboxes are $55 each + tax
    • 30 Lockboxes or more are $50 each + tax
    Also, SentriLock has lowered the cost of power paddles to $55 for a limited time. Power paddles must be ordered through PGCAR. If you would like to purchase one or more at this reduced price, please contact Shirley at the Association office.


    Thank You PGCAR Committee Volunteers

    Thanks for helping spread the word, and the wonderful response to PGCAR Committee Sign Ups. While committee leadership and membership decisions are already being made for the year beginning October 1, many committees do accept volunteers throughout the year. For anyone who still wants to sign up, please do so, and encourage others to join in. For most committees, you'll still be able to join us for the first meetings of the new year.

    Click here to sign up >>



    We wish you a happy and safe Labor Day!

    PGCAR is closed today
    in observance of the Labor Day holiday.

      Happy Labor Day

    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 for Homebuyers
      First-Time Homebuyers Can Gain Same Benefits in ANY Prince George's County Area

      Reduced interest rates starting at 2.875% (APR 3.675%) for qualified homebuyers purchasing a new primary residence. 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: Increase Home Value with Supplemental Heating
    Save on utility bills and add appeal to green minded buyers

    Even in Maryland, winter heating bills can add up fast. As fuel prices aren't expected to plunge anytime soon, it might be a good idea to look at ways to cut back on traditional fuels such as oil, natural gas, and kerosene.

    Adding an alternative heating method, such as a solar air heater, can not only edge down your utility bills now, it can also add sales appeal for the increasingly large segment of homebuyers looking for green features.

    With the possibility of saving more than $300 a year on heating costs with the use of a solar air heater, it would only take a few years for the investment to start paying off. The prospect of such savings — and the added feel-good impact of decreasing use of fossil fuels — may be the extra push many homebuyers need when looking for a new place.

    When looking at these devices, remember there are two types:

    • Outdoor panels take air from inside your home and circulate it through a heat gathering panel mounted on the outside of the house facing the sun, before returning the now toasty air to your house. An outdoor-type panel collects air from inside your home, circulates it through a flat, heat-gathering panel that's mounted outside facing the sun, and then returns the heated air to your house - through holes that have to be placed in the walls.
    • Window mounted units don't require holes to be cut into exterior walls. Sealed against a window, the unit includes intake and outflow vents, and a temperature controlled fan. The downside of these units is their dark, heat collecting color blocks out light.

    The difference in price between these two types ranges from about $400 for the window units to over $2,500 for the outdoor panels. With the latter being the most likely to add value if you sell your home, the investment is something to consider in depth. Also remember that, while it might not be flashy, good insulation is the key to utility savings.

    Read more at >>


    Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Ease Entering September

    Results released last Thursday, August 30, show that average mortgage rates for the 30-year and 15-year fixed rate as well as the 5-year and 1-year ARM were down last week.

    "Treasury bond yields fell, allowing mortgage rates to follow, after the release of the July 31st and August 1st minutes of the Federal Reserve's monetary policy committee. Committee members agreed that economic activity had decelerated more in recent months than they had anticipated at their last meeting in June. Some members even saw room for additional stimulus fairly soon if needed," said Frank Nothaft, vice president and chief economist of Freddie Mac. "Nonetheless, the housing market continued to show improvement over the past few months. New home sales rose 3.6 percent in July matching May's pace as the strongest month since April 2010. Similarly, pending existing home sales also rose in July to its highest rate since April 2010. (Editor's note: April 2010 was just prior to the home buyer tax credit deadline.) And, the S&P/Case-Shiller® National Home Price Index rose 1.2 percent between the second quarter of 2011 and 2012, reflecting the first annual increase since the second quarter of 2010."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending August 30, 2012:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.59%, down from 3.66%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.86%, down from 2.89%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.78%, down from 2.80%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.63%, down from 2.66%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>


    July Pending Home Sales Rebound

    Pending home sales climbed to their highest levels since April 2010 and continue to stay above year-ago levels, according to NAR.

    The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, rose 2.4 percent to 101.7 in July from 99.3 in June and is 12.4 percent above July 2011 when it was 90.5. The data reflect contracts but not closings.

    The index is at the highest level since April 2010, which was shortly before the closing deadline for the home buyer tax credit.

    "While the month-to-month movement has been uneven, more importantly we now have 15 consecutive months of year-over-year gains in contract activity," NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said.

    Check out the full article at and see a video of Yun speaking about the rebound.


    A New NAR Resource
    Global business in your backyard

    International business is taking place in every state in the nation. Use NAR's new State-by-State International Business Reports and map to learn more about the global homebuyers in Maryland.

    "The purpose of the current state-by-state reports is to present recent economic and demographic data related to international business activity directly associated with each of the states. There are 51 reports — one per state and for the District of Columbia. State specific demographic and economic data are available in each state report on a variety of topics."

    Check out the latest report
    for Maryland >


    Detailed Home Sales Statistics for Prince George's County
    Available online, announced on PGCAR Facebook

    My HOME Program

    Just a reminder that detailed statistics for July 2012 are available at >>

    Like us on facebook to be the first to see the next release of home sales statistics. 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 association office at 9200 Basil Court, Suite 400, Largo, MD 20774. There's plenty of parking.

    This Thursday, September 6
    How to Handle Settlements
    Soup to Nuts * Perfect for Rookies and Brokers Alike
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Next Thursday, September 13
    Understanding Credit Reports & How to Improve Your Credit
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Monday, September 17
    DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
    3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, September 19
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Friday, September 21
    MD Legislative Update
    3.0 MD Required Legislative Update CEU
    3.0 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

    Monday, September 24
    Short Sales
    3.0 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Pogach Michaels 2:30 pm - 5:30 pm

    Thursday, September 27
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 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: Get a CLUE About Your Properties
    The Importance of Investigating a Home's Insurance Claim Records

    Home Sales Coach It's important to learn how to investigate a home's insurance claim records. Doing this not only adds value to your service as a real estate professional, it can also protect you from a possible lawsuit.

    In the past, hidden dangers waiting to sabotage happy home sales included asbestos, lead-based paint, and mold. Possibly just as big a deal-breaker are the skeletons in the closet of a home's CLUE Report.

    These Comprehensive Loss Underwriting Exchange reports pull data from an insurance industry database with millions and millions of personal property claims. Such documents can reveal fires, floods, and all sorts of other calamities that could threaten a home's long-term stability and value.

    Here are some tips for handling this potentially game changing information with buyers and sellers.

    When Working With Sellers

    • Before listing a property, ask sellers to order the CLUE Report for their property. This way there are no surprises and they can correct any incorrect information on the report. Ask sellers to order their home's CLUE report before listing the property.
    • Remember, a CLUE report free of claims can actually help your sale.
    When Working With Buyers
    • Ask for the CLUE Report from the seller. If you need additional leverage, just make purchase contingent on receiving the report.
    • Ask the buyer to apply for insurance immediately after a signed contract.
    • Educate yourself and your clients. Read up on how to read reports and consider adding CLUE report information in your buyer's packet.
    If you haven't checked for CLUE reports in some time, it's good to know that some sources for CLUE Report information have changed in recent years. ChoiceTrust, previously a provider of CLUE reports is now LexisNexis Personal Reports. You can order a CLUE Home Seller's Disclosure Report from them here.

    While some of the links are now outdated, a lot more detail on CLUE reports is available at Realtormag.


    Case #12-9:
    Unethical Advertising

    REALTOR® A inserted an ad in the local newspaper soliciting $5,000 investments in a "sure thing." The ad explained that he was seeking only ten investors at $5,000 each; that each investor would receive $6,000 for his investment in 30 days; or if he chose to invest for a longer period, could receive $8,000 in 90 days. The ad stated that REALTOR® A personally guaranteed this investment experience to the first ten investors who responded to the ad.

    The President of REALTOR® A's Board saw the ad and was concerned. He requested the Board's Grievance Committee to review the matter and determine if a hearing was warranted. The Grievance Committee asked REALTOR® A to demonstrate that he had put liquid assets in escrow to back up his published guarantee. REALTOR® A was at first evasive, and then explained that there was no possibility of any one losing any money as a result of his ad because he had simply been using ingenuity to develop a list of prospects interested in small real estate investments.

    The Grievance Committee referred the matter to the Professional Standards Committee of the Board for a hearing, charging a violation of Article 12 of the Code of Ethics. In the subsequent hearing, REALTOR® A explained that he had told those who inquired that the opportunity was no longer available, but that he would take their names and addresses for future investment opportunities that might arise. He explained that in this case any guarantee he would make in a tangible transaction would, of course, be fully protected by liquid assets put in escrow.

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

    Find out here >>


    Get Benefits Built for Your Business
    Real Estate Loans and Lines of Credit from REALTORS® FCU

    Learn about a variety of credit solutions to meet the day-to-day demands of your business as well as capital to fund your growth at

    • Business Lines of Credit to ramp up inventory or fund seasonal cash flows. REALTORS® FCU offers both revolving and closed-end credit programs.
    • Business Term Loans to provide funds for the purchase of equipment, vehicles, inventory or other fixed assets.
    • Business Real Estate Loans for purchasing or refinancing owner-occupied commercial real estate. REALTORS® FCU offers a number of financing options, all without a prepayment penalty.

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


    Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training at PGCAR

    MRIS 101: Kick Off Your Career with MRIS September 25, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
    Get in the real estate game faster with this introduction to all the various products and topics available with your MRIS subscription.

    MATRIX 101: The Need-to-Knows of Matrix September 25, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm
    Settings, searches, contacts or emails. This is the best place to start and learn about the multiple functions Matrix offers.

    Sue 101: Sue's MRIS Reviews September 28, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
    Observe all the latest features of MRIS in this 2 hour presentation. Learn how to create a school boundaries map search and other recent Matrix updates. Utilizing the New Keystone Homepage, learn how to make price adjustments on the fly, pre-schedule changes to your listings and more.

    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

    Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive