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September 17, 2012

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • PGCAR Installation of Officers and Directors     Registration Closes Tomorrow!
  • Vote for Your 2013 Directors and Officers     Voting Deadline Noon Wednesday!
  • Revised Condominium Project Approval Rules
        15% Delinquency Rule Now Based on 60 Days
  • New Legal Requirements Effective Today!
        Utility Cost Disclosure & CO Detectors
  • Earn Your GRI
  • PGCAR 2013 Membership Renewal
        Now Available Online
  • NAR Annual Conference
  • Huge SentriLock Sale
    Homeownership Matters
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: The ARM
        - When an Adjustable Rate Makes Sense
    The Industry Insider
  • September is REALTOR® Safety Month
  • Introducing MRIS HomesTM
        The Official Mobile App of MRIS
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Hold Steady
  • Maryland Mortgage Program:
        Alternative for High Credit Buyers
  • August Home Sales Statistics Available Online
  • DC and MD CEU
        Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Sales Coach: Clear the Clutter
        Getting Your Clients to Clean Up Their Act
  • Code of Ethics: #12-12
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training
  • Congratulations to 2012 MAR Awards Winners


    Congresswoman Donna Edwards is Keynote Speaker This Thursday
    Register Online Today - Deadline is Tomorrow!

    Don't forget! Our office will be closed this Thursday for the installation.

    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 Tomorrow, 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, Wednesday 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

    REVISED: Condominium Project Approval Rules
    15% Delinquency Rule Now Based on 60 Days

    Since June of 2010 PGCAR, NAR and MAR representatives have been lobbying our Federal and State legislators as well as regulatory officials at HUD and the U.S. Treasury on the problems associated with the so called "15% delinquency rule," the rule which dictates that condominium projects lose their FHA project approvals if more than 15% of the projects unit owners are delinquent in condominium assessments in excess of 30 days. Because of the current economy, this rule basically crippled a buyer's ability to finance the purchase of a condominium unit in Prince George's County.

    On Thursday September 13, 2012 HUD issued Mortgagee Letter 2012-18 which, among other things, revises the 15% delinquency rule basing the delinquencies on a 60-day calculation instead of the 30-day calculation that has been in effect since 2010.

    The industry had requested a modification to a 90-day calculation which was not adopted. However, the move to 60 days is a positive step in the right direction.

    Mortgage Letter 2012-18 addresses several other important condominium project approval issues as well: investor ownership, certification requirements, commercial space, and pre-sale requirements. The Letter establishes a temporary approval guideline effective as of September 13, 2012 until August 31, 2014.

    Read the NAR briefing letter here >>

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

    All 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 everyone on your sales team, and with your home buyers and sellers. With this law now in effect, don't wait until the final days before settlement to make sure sellers are fulfilling these two new requirements, and buyers know their rights regarding 1) access to energy costs and 2) installed carbon monoxide detectors.

    CB 25 - Utility Cost Disclosure and Home Energy Audits
    As of today, September 17, 2012, sellers of certain residential properties are 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 today, 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
    Due October 1 ~ Renew at

    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.


    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 and Power Paddle Sale

    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.

    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: The ARM
    When Adjustable Rates Make Sense

    Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) are often looked at as dangerous - an icon of irresponsible borrowing. But, ARMs can be a wise choice in some situations.

    How ARMs Work

    Beginning with a low introductory rate that remains fixed for a specified period, ARMs then enter a period in which their interest is adjusted based on an underlying index, which goes up or down. The more conservative fixed-rate mortgage (FRM), on the other hand, has a monthly payment that remains consistent.

    The biggest benefit of adjustable rates is that they allow the buyer to save money in the beginning of their pay-off period. However, it historically becomes dangerous as declining rates don't usually last more than about five years. Generally, payments on a long-term ARM increase in the long run.

    Such unpredictability makes an ARM much riskier than a fixed-rate loan. But, there are times when this risk might be acceptable.

    An ARM may be right if:

    • You plan to refinance or sell within five to seven years.
    • You want to pay as little as possible.
    • You want to aggressively pay down your mortgage.

    Whatever you choose, picking a mortgage will be one of the biggest financial choices most people make.

    Start by reading more about ARMs and other mortgage options at >>


    September is REALTOR® Safety Month

    Think about your average workday. Some of the ordinary tasks you take for granted probably read like a list of "don'ts" for staying safe: Leading strangers around an unknown property... advertising that you will be alone in a vacant home on a Sunday afternoon... offering rides to strangers.

    Whether it's giving strangers tours of houses or rides in your car, it pays to be prepared for the everyday risks of the Real Estate profession.

    Check out the 4 Safety Essentials Every Agent Needs to Know >>

    Read this and find other saftey resources to share with your office at the safety site >>


    Introducing MRIS HomesTM
    The Official Mobile App of MRIS

    Say so long to your desktop! Now you can login with your MRIS credentials to access agent-only information anytime, anywhere.
    1. Text "MRIS" to 87778 for a download link
    2. Find it in all app stores including iTunes Store, Google Play Store and BlackBerry App World
    3. Visit
    Download the app today to your phone and tablet >>

    Contact Sue Pinder for more information or to schedule her to speak at one of your upcoming office meetings.


    Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Remain Near All-Time Lows.

    Results released last Thursday, September 13, showed mortgage rates held steady from two weeks ago and remained near all-time lows.

    Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said despite a lackluster August employment report, Treasury bond yields and mortgage rates were little changed last week with the financial markets speculating on further monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve.

    "The economy added 96,000 net new workers in August, while revisions subtracted 41,000 from the prior two months; manufacturers cut 15,000 employees in August which represented the largest decline since August 2010," Nothaft said. "Meanwhile, approximately 368,000 people left the workforce thereby lowering the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending Sepetember 13, 2012:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.55%, same as last week.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.85%, down from 2.86%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.72%, down from 2.75%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.61%, same as last week.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>


    Maryland Mortgage Program
    Alternative for high credit buyers

    The Maryland Mortgage Program is again participating in the conventional mortgage market, offering a new option for homebuyers.

    Secretary Skinner told the Maryland Association of REALTORS® board of directors at their annual meeting that the state is partnering with Fannie Mae to create an alternative for borrowers with higher credit.

    Skinner said there would be a substantial savings for many of these borrowers.

    DHCD conventional loans are made possible by Fannie Mae's HFA Preferred program but retain many features of other Maryland Mortgage Program loans.

    Learn more about this new option >>

    Read more about MMP innovations on the DHCD Blog >>


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

    My HOME Program

    Detailed statistics for August 2012 are now 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 Wednesday, September 19
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    This Friday, September 21
    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

    Monday, September 24
    Short Sales
    3 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 >>


    Sale on All PGCAR Classes
    Special Pricing through End of Year

    Sale Tag

    All PGCAR Members and REALTORS® Save Huge on ANY CEU offered at PGCAR!

    Register for ANY 3 CE class for $18 early bird, $33 regular.
    Register for ANY 1.5 CE class for $11 early bird, $26 regular.

    Hurry to today >>


    Sales Coach: Clear the Clutter
    Getting Your Clients to Clean Up Their Act

    Home Sales Coach As you walk through a client's home with them prior to a showing, they proudly point to a trophy buck mounted on their wall and you notice the taxidermist who created this work of art was going through an abstract phase.

    How can you politely let a client know that their prized possesions might hurt the price they get for their home?

    While you might be tempted to speak up right away and let them know the damage they are doing to their bottom line with questionable decor and clutter, it's important not to offend.

    After all, one man's trash is another man's treasure as they say.

    A good technique for handling this gracefully is to let your clients know that you are preparing them to move out as well as sell the home. As part of this process, packing their things away to move, also lets the new homeowner imagine themselves in the space.

    Read more on this and other staging tips at >>


    Case #12-12:
    Advertising in the Guise of News

    Shortly after mailing his "Homeowners Neighborhood Newsletter" to local residents, several complaints were filed against REALTOR® B claiming that he had engaged in deceptive advertising in violation of Article 12's "true picture" directive. These complaints were reviewed by the Grievance Committee which determined that a hearing should be held and that all of the related complaints would be consolidated in a single hearing. The appropriate notices were sent and the hearing was convened.

    REALTOR® A, one of the complainants, introduced REALTOR® B's "Homeowners Neighborhood Newsletter" into evidence pointing out that, on the first page, REALTOR® B had prominently shown pictures of, and addresses for, ten homes in an exclusive area of town labeling each as "Recently Sold."

    REALTOR® A, the listing broker for several of these properties, stated that, in his opinion, the average reader would readily conclude that REALTOR® B, by advertising this way, was claiming to have listed and sold the properties and that his claims violated Article 12, as interpreted by Standard of Practice 12-7.

    In response, REALTOR® B indicated that Article 12 was limited in scope to ". . . advertising and representations to the public" and that his "Homeowners Neighborhood Newsletter" was not, in fact, advertising but rather a well-intentioned effort to make homeowners aware of current market values. "Sale prices in our county become a matter of public record once a deed of sale is recorded," REALTOR® B argued, "and anyone who wants to find out about recent sales can get that information from the recorder's office." "All I am doing," he continued, "is reporting news-and saving residents the time and effort of retrieving this information on their own. If someone appreciates my efforts and later buys or sells through me, so much the better, but that is not the reason for my newsletter."

    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.


    Congratulations to our 2012 MAR Award Winners!

    President for 2012, Alease Bowles, with
    Iona Harrison who was selected to receive
    the MAR Life Achievement Award.

    JoAnne Poole also received the
    MAR Life Achievement Award.
    The Awards were presented by Al Ingraham, 2011 President of MAR.

    Bea Rodgers was named Women's Council State REALTOR® of the Year
    during MAR's Ocean City Convention.

    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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