Print     Email a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

November 12, 2012

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Veterans Day
  • Legislative Items of Interest
        - Eviction, Rural Housing
  • Annual Legislative Breakfast
  • Winter Wonderland - A Party with a Purpose
        - Annual Charity Event is 12/12/12
  • PGCAR 2013 Membership Renewal
        - Payment Now Due!
  • Last Day of the NAR Conference
        - Not in Orlando? Check out Live Coverage
  • Huge SentriLock Sale
  • Thanksgiving Closure
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
        - Wednesday, December 19
    Homeownership Matters
  • My HOME Program Temporarily Suspended
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Maryland Mortgage Program
        - Workshop this Wednesday
  • CityLIFT: $20K Assistance to Buy in
        Prince George's County or DC
  • Consumer Tip: The Mortgage Interest Deduction
        - How the MID is Important to the Housing Market
    The Industry Insider
  • Contracts Alert - 5 Updated or New Forms
  • MRIS News and Tips:
        Photo Mandatory on Listings
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Change Little
  • October Home Sales Increase!
  • Sales Coach: Creating Cohesive Ad Campaigns
  • Code of Ethics: #15-1
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training
  • 30 Under 30 Application

    PGCAR offices are closed today, November 12
    in observance of Veterans Day.

    To our many Veterans and Military Families. Thank you for your service!


    Proposed Legislation Threat to Landlords/Property Managers

    The County Council is considering legislation that greatly alters the eviction process for "failure to pay rent" evictions. If passed, this law will have grave consequences for Prince George's County property owners and landlords.

    As you know, more properties are entering the rental market as sellers are forced to rent when their properties fail to sell at adequate prices. These "reluctant landlords" are often times struggling to make ends meet. When their tenant fails to pay rent, it creates a significant hardship on the property owner who most likely has a mortgage on the property, definitely owes property taxes, and absolutely incurs maintenance expenses. Prolonging and further complicating the eviction process places unnecessary burden on the landlord.

    In addition to expanding the notice requirements, the bill adds a four-hour reclamation period for an evicted tenant to reenter the premises, after the sheriff has cleared it, to reclaim any personal belongings left behind. It is not clear and highly unlikely that the Sheriff's deputy will remain present for four hours to provide security for the landlord's protection. Also, there are no provisions in the law allowing for compensation to the landlord if the former tenant damages the property interior upon move-out.

    The subject of care, custody and control also becomes an issue. Under whose responsibility are the "not removed" items during the reclamation period? How will the landlord be protected if the tenant claims that valuables are missing? To protect oneself from liability will a landlord be required to inventory the tenant's belongings? Who will verify that the inventoried items are accurate? Under the current process a Sheriff's Deputy supervises the removal of personal property and provides security for the landlord. We need to assure that this practice remains intact.

    Stay tuned for an update on the status of CB 88!

    Call for Action: Keep the Housing Recovery on Track

    If Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief isn't extended, families involved in foreclosures, short sales, or loan modifications, will be left with a large tax burden. Neither the housing market nor families can afford this expense in this fragile economy.

    "Homeowners shouldn't be forced to pay a tax on money they've already lost with cash they never received."

    Please take a moment to watch a video from 2012 NAR President Moe Veissi about the importance of extending Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief. Then, click here to easily tell Congress to extend relief today.


    Annual Legislative Breakfast
    Wednesday, November 28, 8 - 10 am at Greenbelt Marriott

    Invited guests include: Prince George's County US Senators and Congressmen, Gov. Martin O'Malley, Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown, Prince George's County State Senators and Delegates, County Executive Rushern Baker, Members of the Prince George's County Council, you, and your office.

    Please make it a priority to attend the Annual Legislative Breakfast. This is an extremely rare opportunity to have our legislative leadership from the County, Annapolis and Washington, DC at one event. We cannot have influence if we do not show that we are interested and involved.

    The cost is only $20 per person. Please register no later than Friday, November 23 at >>

    Help raise funds to feed families in need in Prince George's County! Especially in recent years, many local families are in need of help. Your tax deductible $30 will provide much needed food items for these families. As a thank you, you will also receive an evening of Networking, Fun, Food, Entertainment and Dancing at La Fontaine Bleu.

    Wednesday, 12/12/2012
    7 pm - 11 pm
    La Fontaine Bleu
    7963 Annapolis Road
    Lanham, MD 20706

    Food and coats will be collected until December 12, so get any items together that you can and bring them by the PGCAR offices as soon as possible, or to the Holiday party! Thank you for your help and participation.

    Click here to Donate and Attend the Charity Event >>

    Click here to Sponsor our Charity Event >>

    PGCAR 2013 Membership Renewal
    Now Due ~ Renew at
    Invoices for PGCAR 2013 Dues in the amount of $636 are available online. Dues were due and payable as of October 1, 2012. A late fee will be charged after November 30.

    Renew at as Easy as 1-2-3:

    1. Click here
    2. Log in
    3. Renew online and receive receipt !
    Visit to renew now.
    Renew online to receive an itemized receipt, and show dues payment
    on your PGCAR Order History.

    Thank you for being a part of PGCAR!


    NAR 2012 Annual Conference
    Another Successful Year!

    We hope everyone who was able to attend is having a great time and learned a lot in Orlando. Safe travels to all on the return trip.

    If you stayed behind to hold down the fort, you can visit the Conference Live page to catch up on the event from nearly anywhere in the world.

    Already looking forward to next year? Visit the NAR Conference Sweepstakes site for a chance to win a trip to the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Francisco.


    Extended for Limited Time

    Back by popular demand, PGCAR is pleased to announce the continuation of the sale on SentriLock Lockboxes. Lockboxes will be sold as follows:

    1 - 9 Lockboxes
    10 - 19 Lockboxes
    20 - 29 Lockboxes
    30 Lockboxes or more
      $65 each + tax
    $60 each + tax
    $55 each + tax
    $50 each + tax

    Also, SentriLock has lowered the cost of power paddles to $55, but only 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.



      PGCAR offices will be closed next Thursday, November 22 and Friday, November 23 in celebration of Thanksgiving.

    We wish you a blessed, thanks-filled holiday!

    Come give the gift of life!
    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    Wednesday, December 19
    9 am to 3 pm

    At the
    PGCAR Office



    My HOME Program
    Loan Funding Suspended

    DHCD has temporarily suspended funding for the My HOME Program and is currently taking steps to identify additional resources in order to begin accepting applications as soon as possible. The My HOME Program has not been terminated; it has suspended the intake of new applications effective November 7, 2012. Applications submitted for processing as of November 7, 2012 will be funded on a ready to close basis, or placed on a waiting list, when additional funding becomes available.

    Once additional funds have been identified, the My HOME Program will resume taking applications. DHCD said the My HOME Program website at will be updated to reflect new information in the program's funding status and periodic e-mails will be sent to participating lender and REALTOR® partners.

    Please remember, funding is still available through a variety of programs like the Buy Suitland Initiative, for buyers interested in the Suitland NSP Target Census Tracts. Check out the great list of incentives for homebuyers in Prince George's County below.

    Click here for more information on the depletion of funds >>

    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. 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 program details, members can login to Members Only.


    Maryland Mortgage Program
    Alternative for High Credit Buyers - Workshop this Wednesday

    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.

    Real Estate licensees can learn more about the Maryland Mortgage Program and get CE credit for 3 elective hours by attending the 2012 CDA Morning Workshop, this Wednesday, November 14, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, 100 Community Place, First Floor, Main Conference Room.

    Click here for registration details >>

    Learn more about this new option >>

    Read more about MMP innovations on the DHCD Blog >>


    CityLIFT Down Payment Assistance Funds
    Homebuyers Can Contact Manna for Eligibility Session

    Eligible homebuyers in the DC and Prince George's County area may be able to access $20,000 in funding for the purchase of a new or existing home. After living in the house for 5 years, the funding is fully forgivable and the City LIFT funds can be used in combination with most other down payment assistance programs, such as HPAP or CDA.

    Those that missed getting a reservation for the funding at an early October event aren't out of luck.

    Just click here for more information on how to access the funding if you missed the October 5th, or 6th event. Post-event funding won't be available until December 6, 2012. There will be no waiting list for the funds, but if you didn't make it to the event, you can contact Manna for an eligibility session at 202-832-1845 in mid-November.

    Prior to mid-November new applicants should check the CityLIFT income guidelines, get a preapproval from a CityLIFT approved lender, and start shopping for a home.

    Many qualify for this assistance! Household income limits dependent upon loan type are 120% or 115% of Area Median Income (AMI) adjusted for household size - as shown in the chart available here >>

    Get all the information you need on the program here >>


    Consumer Tip: The Mortgage Interest Deduction
    How the MID is Important to the Housing Market

    Saving the average homeowner thousands of dollars in taxes, the Mortgage Interest Deduction is viewed by many as critical to helping U.S. home buyers purchase their first home and supporting home values across the country.

    According to the U.S. Census, some 37 percent of home owners with mortgages spend nearly one third of their income on housing. Getting rid of the MID would decrease the number of renters who could afford to buy a home responsibly. Keeping the MID helps these renters who want to become homeowners, and also stabilizes prices for existing homeowners by allowing more buyers in the market.

    How it Works

    According to HouseLogic, "Any home owners who pay U.S. taxes and who itemize their taxes can deduct mortgage interest attributable to primary residence and second-home debt totaling $1 million, and interest paid on home equity debt of as much as $100,000."

    Why MID is Threatened

    Due to the looming U.S. deficit, officials are looking at a variety of ways to reduce spending and begin the daunting task of balancing the country's books. A sizeable expenditure, the MID is being targeted by many for being cut back in ways such as:

    • Reducing the MID for upper-income taxpayers.
    • A $100,000 a year reduction to the $1 million cap.
    • Or, changing the MID to a 15 percent tax credit.
    While members of Congress have previously suggested other ways for eliminating or cutting back on the MID, none ever got very far. But now, RPAC has warned the MID may be considered for the chopping block in one way or another in the near future.

    Visit to read more on some of the arguments for and against the MID.


    5 Updated or New Contract Addendums for Use in Prince George's County

    Effective Now!

    Four forms have been revised and one form added as of November 5. Some of the most important changes center around new Utility Cost Disclosure & CO Detector Installation legislation that is already in place.
    So, it's important to replace your old forms with the updates immediately!

    Also look out for new paragraphs involving proximity to agricultural and/or forestry operations, as well as deferred water and sewer assessments/front foot benefit charges.

    These new form changes come on the heals of some 13 Maryland form updates that were effective as of October 1, 2012. A complete list of recently revised forms can be found, and all current forms can be downloaded, at Just log in and click on the "Revised" column to sort all new forms to the top.

    Don't wait! Update your forms and destroy old versions today!

    Want more details on the Utility Cost Disclosure and CO Detector Installation requirements? Just click here >>



    MRIS News and Tips
    Photo Mandatory on Listings

    An image or photo of the main exterior must be submitted with each residential listing within 48 hours excluding weekends and holidays unless the seller has requested in writing that no photos are to be included as part of the listing.

    Should you not have a photo within 48 hours of entering your listing into Keystone you can temporarily choose "No Photo per Seller" to avoid being fined. This is only a temporary solution. Compliance will police listings with this selection chosen and could ask to see the letter from seller, so please upload the listing photo as soon as possible.


    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 week, earn your required CE in ALL 3 required DC topics (DC Legislative Update, DC Fair Housing and Financing Issues / Update) before the 2013 DC license renewal deadline -- at reduced pricing!

    Tomorrow, Tuesday, November 13
    3 MD Elective CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
    Jill Pogach Michaels 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3 pm

    This Wednesday, November 14
    DC Legislative Update
    3 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
    3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    This Thursday, November 15
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Monday, November 26
    MREC Agency-Residential*
    3 MD Required or elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >>

    *New Required class for all Maryland Licensees with an expiration date of 1/1/2012 thru 12/31/2013.
    The new class titled MREC Agency-Residential is under topic H.


    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 >>


    Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Staying Near Record Lows

    Results released last Thursday, November 8, showed average mortgage rates settling in near all-time lows.

    Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said the low rates remained following the employment report for October.

    "The economy added 171,000 jobs, above the market consensus forecast, and the two prior months were revised up a combined 84,000. The Labor Department also reported that the unemployment rate ticked up to 7.9 percent and that average hourly wages were unchanged," Nothaft said.

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending November 8, 2012:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.40%, up from 3.39%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.69%, down from 2.70%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.73%, down from 2.74%
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.59%, up from 2.58%.

    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >>


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

    facebook logo Statistics for October 2012 are now available at >>

    The latest report sees both settlements and contracts on single family homes edge up from September, with contracts increasing by over 7 percent in October.

    Condo/co-op statistics likewise saw an increase with contracts a few percentage points higher in October and settlements increasing more than 54 percent over September's stats!

    With a brighter outlook for the housing market and near record low mortgage rates, now is a great time to buy in Prince George's County!

    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.


    Sales Coach: Creating Cohesive Ad Campaigns
    Keep Your Ads Consistent Across Multiple Platforms

    Home Sales Coach

    These days there are more ways than ever for your real estate advertisements to reach prospective buyers.

    Without creative content and repetitive delivery across the various advertising mediums, a huge advantage can be lost. With consistency, you can create an accumulative effect and prospective buyers begin to have a reflexive recognition of your offering that can get you big results.

    Just think of a few of the ways REALTORS® are reaching their audience:

    • Various Internet sites: MLS, brokerage Web site, individual Web site,, Craigslist, blog, other listing sites, etc.
    • E-mail
    • E-newsletter
    • Flyer
    • Newspaper ad
    • Real estate magazine
    • Window display
    • Photos and signboards
    • Social media
    • TV and radio
    The list could go on and on, and indeed many REALTORS® harness many of these sources. But all too often, the wording, design, or branding isn't the same platform to platform.

    Read more on getting your advertising to work better for you by creating consistency at


    Case #15-1:
    Knowing or Reckless False Statements About Competitors

    REALTOR® A operated a residential brokerage firm in a highly competitive market area. He frequently used information from the MLS as the basis for comparative ads and to keep close track of his listing and sales activity as well as his competition.

    One day, while reviewing MLS data and comparing it to a competitor's ad, REALTOR® A noticed that REALTOR® Z had used a diagram to demonstrate his market share, contrasting it with those of several other firms. The ad showed that REALTOR® A had listed 10% of the properties in the MLS over the past three months.

    REALTOR® A thought this was low. His analysis of MLS data showed his market share was 11%. REALTOR® A filed an ethics complaint against REALTOR® Z citing Article 15 of the Code of Ethics in that REALTOR® Z's "obviously understated market share claim" was a "misleading statement about competitors." REALTOR® A's complaint was considered by the Grievance Committee which determined that an ethics hearing should be held.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® Z testified he had always been truthful in his advertising and that all claims were based in fact. He produced an affidavit from the Board's MLS administrator which indicated that a programming error had resulted in miscalculations and, after careful recomputation, REALTOR® A's market share over the past three months had been 10.9%. The administrator's statement noted that this was the first time that information related to REALTOR® A's listings or sales had been misstated on the system. "I relied on information from the MLS. It's always been accurate and I had no reason to even suspect it was wrong last month," said REALTOR® Z in his defense.

    The Hearing Panel agreed with REALTOR® Z's logic, noting that a REALTOR® should be able to rely on generally accurate information from reliable sources. They reasoned that if, on the other hand, the MLS had shown REALTOR® A having, for example, 1% of the market, then REALTOR® Z's reliance on the information would have been "reckless" because REALTOR® A had generally had a 10-15% market share and a reasonable conclusion would have been that the information from the MLS was seriously flawed.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 15, 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 Tuesday, November 27, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm
    In this course you will be introduced to the various products and topics that will help you effectively get started with your MRIS subscription and real estate career. Whether you are a new real estate professional, just getting back into the business from a break, or simply need a refresher on MRIS-related basics, this is the course for you.

    KEYSTONE 101: Entering Listing Correctly, The Key to a Fast Sale
    Tuesday, November 27, 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm

    Learn how to add or edit a listing in Keystone. We will go over Rules & Regulations, Compliance, entering accurate information, open houses and photos.

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


    30 Under 30 Application is Now Open!

    Are you 29 or younger and having a phenomenal year? NOW is the time to apply for international recognition as one of 2013's 30 Under 30. REALTOR® Magazine will announce and showcase this year's rising young stars in the real estate industry next June 2013.

    But the application deadline is January 15, 2013. Don't delay until the busy holiday season to apply and ask for recommendations in support of your selection.

    30 Under 30 Web Site >
    30 Under 30 FAQ and Contest Rules >

    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