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November 26, 2012

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Annual Legislative Breakfast - This Wednesday!
  • Legislative Items of Interest
        - Eviction Bill Withdrawn, Tax Relief
  • Winter Wonderland - A Party with a Purpose
        - Annual Charity Event is 12/12/12
  • PGCAR 2013 Membership Renewal
        - Late Fee After this Friday
  • Huge SentriLock Sale
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
        - Wednesday, December 19
    Homeownership Matters
  • CityLIFT: $20K Assistance to Buy in
        Prince George's County or DC
  • My HOME Program Temporarily Suspended
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Maryland Mortgage Program
  • Consumer Tip: Flowering in the Cold
        - Boost Curb-Appeal for a Winter Sale
    The Industry Insider
  • Contracts Alert - Two More Updates from MAR
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Dip Again
  • October Home Sales Increase!
  • Sales Coach: Repurposing Old Buildings
  • Code of Ethics: #16-14
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training
  • 30 Under 30 Application

    Please Join Us This Wednesday, November 28
    8 - 10 am at the 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, and YOU.

    Please make it a priority to attend this Wednesday's 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.



    New Eviction Proposal Withdrawn

    Anthony Williams
    2013 PGCAR President
    The eviction bill (CB 88-12) proposing to add a "reclamation period" to the County eviction process was withdrawn at a County Council session on Tuesday, November 20th. The bill sponsor, Council Member Will Campos (District 2), announced that he was withdrawing the bill from consideration. Councilman Campos explained that the bill was significantly amended from his original intent and that there was literally no support for the bill in its current form.

    I wish to acknowledge that Councilman Campos introduced a bill that was, in its original form, very favorable to REALTORS®, landlords, and property managers. I want to credit Councilman Campos for recognizing that the final version of the legislation was flawed and thank him for withdrawing it.

    I wish to also thank all of the PGCAR members who responded to our "calls-to-action." In total, Prince George's County REALTORS® sent almost 3000 opposition email messages to the County Council. We began hearing during the week prior to the Council's November 20th meeting that certain Council Members were reconsidering their support of the measure. So take pleasure in knowing that your messages were heard loud and clear.

    Former PGCAR President Boyd Campbell acknowledged that, "When imprudent legislation presents itself, Prince George's REALTORS® are a force to be reckoned with." He also pointed out, "this is why we need RPAC, to compliment our lobbying efforts." Former PGCAR Director and PGCAR Legislative Committee member Art Greene shared, "Congratulations to all involved. This is a great win for landlords and REALTORS® in the County. However, we must be ever vigilant because someone somewhere is busy cooking up another misguided proposal that affects our industry." Thank you Boyd and Art for sharing your insight and wisdom.

    I wish to also recognize the countless hours PGCAR representatives spent in meeting with public officials to explain the negative effects of this complicated bill, specifically Mike Cerrito, representing the PGCAR Legislative Committee and Rayna McClendon, representing the PGCAR Property Management Committee. Without their commitment to the industry, our efforts would be that much more difficult. They spent countless hours volunteering their time to attend work sessions and hearings on the bill.

    Thanks to everyone's efforts on this bill, I am happy to chalk this one up as another victory for Prince George's County REALTORS®.

    Anthony Williams,

    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.

    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 this Friday, 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!


    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.

    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



    CityLIFT Offers Up to $20K Down Payment Assistance Funds
    Second Round of Funding Available Starting Next Thursday, December 6

    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. Funding is in the form of a loan, which is fully forgivable (no pay-back required) after living in the house for 5 years. Also, the City LIFT funds can be used in combination with most other down payment assistance programs, such as HPAP or CDA.

    Homebuyers Should Contact Manna ASAP for Eligibility Session

    Just click here for more information on how to access the funding if you missed the October 5th, or 6th event. Post-event funding will be available as of next Thursday, December 6, 2012. If you didn't already attend the October 5th or 6th event to apply, please contact Manna for an eligibility session soon, at 202-832-1845.

    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 >>


    My HOME Program
    Loan Funding Temporarily 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


    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 >>


    Consumer Tip: Flowering in the Cold
    Bright Plants to Boost Curb-Appeal for a Winter Sale

    It's the time of year when once soft green lawns give way to spreading patches of dry brown grass. The last of fall's colorful leaf display is on the ground and usually lively properties are beginning to look stark and cold.

    Needless to say, it can be a difficult time of year to sell a house. But, if you prepare ahead of time, a few choice plantings can bring pops of color back to the picture and shift winter's minimalist look to your advantage.

    Here are a few good choices for bringing berries, verdant bushes, and even blossoms to your property through the dead of winter.

    • Flowering Quince (Chaenomeles) - An extremely hardy plant, Flowering Quince will put up with a wide range of climates and with a minimum of care can grow into great natural fencing.
    • Snowdrop (Galanthus elwesii) - A delicate looking plant, Snowdrop nevertheless will brave the winter cold and display hanging white drop-shaped blossoms. This plant prefers to be tucked into rock gardens or under larger shrubs.
    • Boxwood (Buxus) - One of the more familiar plants on this list, Boxwood is an evergreen that is fairly forgiving for growers. A common choice for simple topiary shapes, it can add a touch of class to any property in the winter.
    • Winterberry (Ilex Verticillata) - A sort of deciduous holly, winterberry loses its leaves in the late fall, but retains its bright sprays of red berries. A showstopper in the snow, it will help if you get male and female pairs to ensure a berry display.
    • Witch Hazel (Hamamelis) - A classic medicinal plant, it is sometimes known as "Winterbloom" in North America. Earning its name, the sizable shrub will put out little explosions of red and yellow color when it flowers in the middle of winter.
    For photos, four more suggestions, and more information, check out the slideshow "9 Winter Plants That Dazzle Even in Snow" at


    7 Updated or New Forms for Use in Prince George's County

    Effective Now!

    In addition to five forms changes earlier this November, MAR has released updates* to
    PG 1300, Residential Contract of Sale and PG 1400A, Notices Regarding Property Condition (Part I) and Property Inspection (Part II). Replace your old forms with the updates! All November 2012 form revisions are available in the Members Only section. Log in and click on the "Revised" column title to sort all new forms to the top.

    *The following changes were made to PG 1300, the MAR Residential Sales Contract:

    • Paragraph 14 - The Notice Pursuant to Condition of Property and Possession Paragraph of MAR Residential Contract of Sale and Notice Pursuant to MAR Property Inspections Addendum was removed from the list.
    • Paragraph 21 - The word "attached" was removed from the 9th line of the paragraph.
    *The following changes were made to PG 1400A, Notice Pursuant to Condition of Property and Possession Paragraph of the MAR Contract and Notice Pursuant to MAR Property Inspections Addendum:
    • The words "Notice Pursuant" were removed from the second and sixth lines of Section I on page 1 of the notice.
    • The related "Notice Pursuant to Condition of Property and Possession," (reference paragraph 21 of the MAR Residential Contract of Sale) was added as a Part I to PG 1400A.


    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.

    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!

    This Wednesday, November 28
    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

    This Friday, November 30
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Successfully Selling Government
    Owned Properties

    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Melanie Gamble 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Next Tuesday, December 4
    Short Sales
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Pogach Michaels 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

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

    Thursday, December 13
    DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending
    3 DC Required Fair Housing CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    DC Legislative Update
    3 DC Required Legislative Update CEU
    Prabhjit Singh 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Friday, December 14
    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

    Saturday, December 15
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Monday, December 17
    ABC's of Rentals
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Rayna McLendon 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Tuesday, December 18
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Friday, December 28
    MREC Agency-Residential*
    3 MD Required or elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 am - 12:30 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 Hit Record Lows, Again

    Results released last Wednesday, November 21, showed average mortgage rates dipping to again reach new record lows.

    Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said the low rates should help the ongoing housing recovery.

    "Already, new construction on homes was up 3.6 percent in October to the strongest pace since July 2008. In November, homebuilder confidence rose for the sixth straight month to its highest reading since June 2006 according to the NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index," Nothaft said. "And existing home sales increased 2.1 percent in October to an annualized pace of 4.79 million, exceeding the market consensus forecast."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending November 21, 2012:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.31%, down from 3.34%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.63%, down from 2.65%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.74%, the same as last week.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.56%, up from 2.55%.

    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 shows both settlements and contracts on single family homes on the rise, with contracts increasing by over 7 percent from September to 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: Repurposing Old Buildings
    The Rewards and Challenges of Historic Properties

    Home Sales Coach

    As more people move toward urban areas, repurposing existing historic buildings has become increasingly popular. Turning these old factories and other industrial spaces into homes and new commercial spaces can have great rewards -including beautiful one-of-a-kind finishes and inimitable charm- but it can also have great risks.

    Experts in repurposing note that small changes in old buildings can have a ripple effect and change something else in a building you never anticipated.

    In one example, a restaurateur installed air conditioning in a historic mill converted into a restaurant and literally brought previously unseen bugs out of the woodwork.

    Did you know?

    • The first building code in 1913 B.C.E. and called for a builder's death if their structure killed any occupants.
    • Houston, Texas is the largest city in the U.S. without any zoning laws.
    • Bird droppings can be considered just as hazardous a material as asbestos.
    To read more on the ups and downs of repurposing, visit


    Case #16-14:
    Dealings Initiated by Another Broker's Client

    REALTOR® X, a residential broker, had recently listed a home. REALTOR® X's marketing campaign included "open houses" on several consecutive weekends.

    One Sunday afternoon Buyer B came to the open house. REALTOR® X introduced herself to Buyer B and asked whether Buyer B was working with another broker. Buyer B responded that he was, in fact, exclusively represented but went on to add that he was quite familiar with the property as it had been previously owned by a close personal friend. REALTOR® X told Buyer B that she would be happy to show Buyer B through the home and answer any questions he might have, but added that she represented the seller and not Buyer B.

    After viewing the home, Buyer B indicated that he was seriously interested in the property and intended to discuss a possible purchase offer with his buyer representative. REALTOR® X responded that there were several other buyers interested in the property and that it would likely sell quickly. "I can't tell you what to do, but if it were me, I would make an offer today," REALTOR® X told Buyer B, "You can go back and discuss this with your broker if you like or I can help you write a purchase contract. It's your choice." With REALTOR® X's words in mind, Buyer B decided to make an offer. REALTOR® X assisted Buyer B in filling out a standard form purchase contract which was accepted by the seller later that day.

    REALTOR® X was subsequently charged with violating Article 16 for dealing and negotiating with a party who had an exclusive relationship with another REALTOR®.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® X defended her actions noting that she had told Buyer B that she was the seller's exclusive agent and, as such, would not and could not represent Buyer B's interests. She pointed out that Buyer B had asked for her help in writing a purchase offer and had not sought the counsel and assistance of his exclusive representative. She concluded her defense noting that Standard of Practice 16-13 authorizes dealings with the client of another broker when those dealings are initiated by the client.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 16, 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 Tomorrow, 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
    Tomorrow, 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

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