||PGCAR Offices are closed today, February 18th
in observance of Presidents' Day.
David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund
Second Annual 5K Fun Walk/Run - Saturday, April 20
|David Maclin Memorial Scholarship
Applications Due Next Thursday, February 28
|Do you know a Prince George's County Public High School Senior who wants to further his/her education and is already making
a difference in the community?
Then have them complete a David Maclin Memorial Scholarship application before next Thursday, February 28. Winners will receive a $2,500 scholarship to be used toward further education in any community college, university or trade school.
Please also share this with principals and teachers at your local schools. Enable someone who may not have received the materials to share this opportunity with their class.
You can make an important difference in the life of a student!
Scholarship Letter • Scholarship Application • Permission Slip
Email Scholarship Info to a Friend
GIVE BLOOD - SAVE LIVES
|PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®
This Wednesday, February 20th
9 am to 3 pm
ALL ARE INVITED
FRIENDS ~ FAMILIES ~ MEMBERS
COME GIVE THE GIFT OF LIFE!
DC Broker License Renewal Deadline
Avoid penalties - Renew before next Thursday, February 28
DC Broker and Property Manager licenses expire every two years. They must be renewed by next Thursday, February 28, 2013 in order to practice real estate in DC. ALL CE Hours must be completed and reported, and Renewals must be submitted and paid by next Thursday, February 28 in order to renew without penalty.
Register now to help meet your required topic CEU before the license renewal deadline!
|This Friday, February 22
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Financing Issues / Update
Register here >
Also earn the required 6 hours of general elective hours by registering for the following classes:
|Tomorrow, February 19
9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Register here >
|This Thursday, February 21
1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
MD Code of Ethics
Register here >
Complete CE Schedule >
Online DC Elective CE >
License Renewal CE Requirements >
Online Renewal for Brokers and Property Managers >
DC Sales Agent licenses expire, and must be renewed before August 31, 2013.
GRI 100 Series Begins April 11 - Learn More, Earn More in 2013
Improve your industry knowledge and your income!
You can earn your GRI by taking the GRI 100, 200 and 300 Series in any order. Register for the entire GRI 100 or individual classes at www.pgcar.com.
RPAC Presents: Las Vegas Casino Night
Coming Tuesday, May 7th
RPAC is hosting another party this spring with table games, an open bar, music, dancing, food, prizes, and much more at their Las Vegas Casino Night. Network and mingle with your fellow real estate professionals in a casual atmosphere, all while helping our business.
Don't miss out! Make time on Tuesday night, May 7, to support RPAC, our industry and economy, and have FUN doing it! Your RPAC contribution is taken care of simply by registering for tickets.
HUGE SENTRILOCK LOCKBOX SALE
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.
Membership / Office Terminations
for Members with Non-Paid 2012 - 2013 Dues
Brokers and Non-Paid Agents - A $100 reinstatement fee was added to unpaid accounts on Saturday, January 12. January 31 was the deadline to pay 2012 - 2013 dues or remove any unpaid agents from your office roster. All new licensed agents in your office were also required to join by January 31. Suspensions are now taking effect for offices with non-paid members.
Reinstate your membership, SentriLock key privileges, MRIS discount, ZipForms and other REALTOR® membership benefits at www.pgcar.com.
- Click here
- Log in
- Pay and receive an itemized receipt for your
2012 - 2013 PGCAR, MAR and NAR membership renewals.
RENEW IMMEDIATELY at www.pgcar.com, or please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.
- Maryland Homefront - Expires June 30th, or When Funds Run Out!
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 >
- NEW! Homebuyer Savings for City of Laurel
Buyers of foreclosed homes receive tax credits. The program offers a five-year descending City tax credit of up to $3500 for buyers purchasing their primary residence within Laurel City limits.
Program Details >
- $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 >
- Buy Suitland Initiative - Savings in 11 Census Tracts!
Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers; Up to 7% for local civic employees. Program Details >
- 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 >
- 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 >
- Freddie Mac HomeSteps SmartBuySM
Offers up to $500 for purchase of a home warranty.
Home listings and incentive details > Sign up for homesteps.com buyer leads >
Most of these programs can be used in combination. Information on these and other homebuyer savings are available at pgcar.com.
Consumer Tip: Deduct Mortgage Interest and Equity Loan Cost
It's that time of year again... tax season is upon us! In our line of work, that means helping clients understand how they can save a few dollars on their new home.
The Mortgage Interest Deduction can be a significant tax benefit that makes it easier to afford your home loan. Not limited to your first mortgage, you can often receive deductions on home equity lines of credit and second mortgages.
Unfortunately, if you want to deduct all of your mortgage interest, there are limitations on how much can be borrowed and what you do with that money. And, since you'll need to itemize in order to reap benefits of the deductions, you should likely consult a tax adviser.
Nevertheless, this is a job you can get done in less than an hour, saving you up to $988 (on $100,000 AGI) -- not a bad return on your time invested.
As with any time we give information on taxes, it is important to note it shouldn't be used as tax or legal advice for particular transactions. Always consult a tax professional for such advice.
Visit HouseLogic.com for more details.
Energy Star Tax Free Weekend - TODAY IS THE LAST DAY TO SAVE!!
Today is the last day of a tax-free, three-day weekend where the sales tax does not apply to the sale on qualifying Energy Star Products:
- Air conditioners
- Clothes washers
- Heat pumps
- Standard size refrigerators
- Programmable thermostats
- Compact fluorescent light bulbs
- Solar water heaters are now tax-exempt at all times
Energy Star Products are clearly labeled, showing that they meet or exceed applicable Energy Star Efficiency requirements developed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Energy.
Visit the Shop Maryland Energy website for more information.
PGCAR Legislative Guide - Updated with 2013 Leadership and Committee Changes
Don't forget to get your copy of the PGCAR Guide to Prince George's County Government 2011 - 2014, available at the PGCAR.com legislative page.
The guide includes names, contact information, and district maps for local leaders - as well as committee listings and tips for casually communicating with legislators.
Click here to get a copy >
Also see 2013 Legislative Priorities >
Qualified Mortgage Rule: NAR Success!
Concisely defined by NAR as being "about ensuring lenders only make loans to borrowers who have the ability to repay the loan," the Qualified Mortgage (QM) law now has a safe harbor for loans underwritten to the automated standards of the GSEs, FHA, VA, and RHS.
As the actual rule is over 804 pages, you may want to read a summary of the new QM rule here >
For more information on the NAR victory, click here >
Tax reform and fixing mortgage rules are high on the 2013 Obama Agenda. For more information click here >
2012 MAR Legal Hotline Review Now Available
The MAR Legal Hotline is designed to answer "the most pressing and popular questions" fielded by their staff attorneys. Every year, the prior year's questions and answers are published in a reference for your use. Hot topics from 2012 include: lead paint, short sales, properly terminating a contract, and duties to disclose.
Download the 2012 review here >
For more details on the review, click here >
FREE Class, Huge Value
The REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR®) is an NAR initiative providing advanced technology for creating property pricing presentations, research, and analytics. It includes robust, high value, property and market specific data, offering REALTOR® members a competitive advantage in this challenging real estate climate. The RPR® system provides valuable customized reports, analytics, and statistics, and is included with your REALTOR® membership dues!
In this session on Tuesday, March 5th, you will learn how to log into the RPR® system, setup your profile, research and create customized property and market activity reports.
To register, click here >
Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR
All classes are held at PGCAR offices. There's plenty of parking.
Sale on All PGCAR Classes
Special Pricing Extended Through June 2013
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, $26 regular.
Hurry to www.pgcar.com/real-estate-ceu today >
Market Sen$e: 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage Unchanged for Third Week
Results released last Thursday, February 14th, showed fixed-mortgage rates remaining unchanged from the previous week, remaining near record lows.
Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said the near record lows will continue to support housing demand, translating into a pick-up in home prices in most markets.
"The median sales price of existing homes rose 10 percent between fourth quarter 2011 and 2012, the largest year-over-year gain in seven years," Nothaft said. "Among large metropolitan areas, 88 percent saw positive annual increases in the fourth quarter, compared to 81 percent in the third quarter and
75 percent in the second."
Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending February 14th, 2013:
Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >
- The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.53%, the same as the week before.
- The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77%, the same as the week before.
- The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.64%, up from 2.63%.
- The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.61%, up from 2.53%.
Detailed Home Sales Statistics for Prince George's County
Available online, announced on PGCAR Facebook
Statistics for January 2013 are now available at www.pgcar.com/stats >
Settlements on single family homes were up by over 10 percent for January 2013 over January of last year, increasing from 457 in 2012 to 503 in 2013. Condo & co-op listings, contracts, and settlements were all up for January 2013 over January 2012 - with settlements increasing by over 9 percent.
Sold dollar volume also increased, by over 11 percent in January over the same time
With mortgage rates remaining at steady low rates and a positive outlook for the housing recovery, now is a great time to buy in Prince George's County!
Like us on facebook to be the first to see home sales statistics and other market news when they're released.
Sales Coach: It Pays to Have Educated Buyers
Why an Informed Customer is Your Best Customer
It's important to consult with buyers and make sure they fully understand the sales process. With the wealth of real estate information now available online, it's more crucial than ever to lend a helping hand in wading through the endless rivers of data.
Why doesn't the greater amount of information help instead of hinder? RealtorMag notes two general problems:
With negotiation, contracts, financing, and inspections all on the agenda, there are too many issues to pay attention to for the average buyer to form a genuine understanding on their own. Often buyers know "just enough to be dangerous."
- The information might not be relevant or accurate.
- The information is likely incomplete.
Your client shouldn't be seeing the documents involved in the largest financial decision of their life the day they sign the papers. It's your job to review the documents with them and help point out what is important. Not only is making sure your buyer fully understands their decision the right thing to do, it can also earn you a referral down the road.
For more on specific questions to ask your client, visit the RealtorMag website >
Case #3-4: Cooperation Not Mandatory
Client A called on REALTOR® B to list a small commercial property. In stipulating the price at which he wished to list the property, Client A explained that he was aware that it was a relatively low price, but he wanted a quick sale and, he added, a higher price could benefit very little at that time because of certain tax considerations. He told REALTOR® B that a number of prospective buyers had spoken to him about the property within the past year. He gave their names to REALTOR® B and said he felt sure that among them there would be a ready buyer at the price. He told REALTOR® B that he wanted the property submitted to them first.
The next day, REALTOR® C, who had unsuccessfully solicited the listing and learned that the property was listed exclusively with REALTOR® B, called REALTOR® B to ask that he be accepted as a cooperating broker. REALTOR® B told REALTOR® C that because of the circumstances the best service to his client did not require cooperation; that a prospective buyer was at that time seriously considering the property; and that under the circumstances he preferred not to invite cooperation.
REALTOR® C complained to the Board of REALTORS® charging REALTOR® B with a violation of Article 3 by refusing to cooperate. Pursuant to the complaint a hearing was scheduled before a Hearing Panel of the Board's Professional Standards Committee.
During the hearing, REALTOR® B outlined fully the circumstances under which the property had been listed by him, and maintained that the interest of Client A would not be advanced by acceptance of cooperation by REALTOR® C.
Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 3, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click her to find out >
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 www.realtorsfcu.org.
- 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 MRIS Training at PGCAR
Next Tuesday, February 26
MRIS 301: Cozy Up to the New MRIS Products and Features
11:00 am to 12:30 pm
Let MRIS help light your fire to success with the new products and features we have to offer! Learn about MRIS Homes, School Boundaries, Transaction Types and Showing Assist.
Keystone 101: Entering Listings Correctly. The Key to a Fast Sale
1:30 pm to 3:00 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 www.mris.com/training for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.
MRIS Training Videos
Do you find yourself struggling to keep up with the latest enhancements to Matrix and Keystone?
Whether you are brand new to MRIS or have been a customer for years, we offer a diverse curriculum of product and skill based training. These product videos break down Matrix and Keystone to allow you to choose the individual item you need help with, for instance, CMA, Auto Email, Saved Searches, CARTS, etc. Click here and get the help you need without leaving your home or office. For an in office presentation please contact Sue Pinder at 301-938-2054 or email@example.com.
Leadership Training Opportunity
2014 NAR Leadership Academy
Are you already actively involved, have a passion for the industry and a vision for the future of real estate? If this describes you, consider applying for the 2014 graduating class of the National Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy.
Full Details & Application >
Application deadline is March 31, 2013.