Print     Email a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

March 4, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Second Annual 5K Fun Walk/Run
  • RPR Basics - FREE Class, Huge Value
  • GRI 100 Series Begins April 11th
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
  • RPAC Presents: Casino Night!
  • Huge SentriLock Sale
  • PGCAR 2013 Membership Reinstatement
  • 2013 NAR Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo

    Homeownership Matters
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: NASA Approved!
        Air Cleansing Plants
    The Industry Insider
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Market Sen$e: Rates Moving Down Again
  • January Home Sales Stats
  • January Pending Home Sales Up
  • Sales Coach: Working Hard or Hardly Working
        What is Social Media Doing for You?
  • Code of Ethics: Case #4-1
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Tools Training
  • MRIS Training Videos
  • NAR Leadership Opportunity

    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund - Register Now!
    Second Annual 5K Fun Walk/Run - Saturday, April 20

    In 2009, the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® instituted the David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of REALTOR® David Maclin, the 2006 President of the Association. To date, the Scholarship Fund has provided $32,500 in scholarships to students graduating from Prince George's County High Schools.

    Come Join Us on What's Sure to Be a
    Beautiful Day and Support this Important Cause!

    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K Run Walk
    DATE:   Saturday, April 20
    TIME:   9 - 11:30 am 5K Fun Walk/Run
    8 - 8:45 am Registration & Packet Pickup
    LOCATION:   Marlboro Ridge Club House
    COST:   $25 - adults, $5 - children under 12
    $30 for adult registrations after April 14 and Race Day

    Register Online >   Sponsor Online >   Download Walk/Runner Sponsor Form >

    Click here for complete event details, including registration and sponsorship links.


    FREE Class on RPR Basics Tomorrow at PGCAR®
    Gain a Competitive Advantage

    Are you using the REALTORS® Property Resource (RPR®) for your listing presentations and to help more quickly serve your homebuyers and sellers? If not, tomorrow's free class is for you.

    RPR® quick facts:
    • an NAR members only, online tool for creating property pricing presentations, research, and analytics
    • RPR's robust and market specific data offers REALTORS® a competitive advantage in this recovering but still challenging real estate climate
    • provides valuable customized reports and statistics
    • is included with your REALTOR® membership dues!
    Join us tomorrow - Tuesday, March 5th, 10 am to 11:30 am - and learn how to log into the RPR® system, setup your profile, research and create customized property and market activity reports -- for FREE!

    Click here to register >


    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

    GRI 100 Series Class Schedule
    Thursday, April 11
    8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Module 101: Building a Real Estate Business
    Tuesday, April 16
    8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Module 102: Prospecting & Listing Techniques
    Thursday, April 18
    8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Module 103: Fair Housing & Cultural Issues; and MD
    Law Ethics, Flipping & Predatory Lending
    Tuesday, April 23
    8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Module 104: Basic Residential Financing
    Thursday, April 25
    8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
    Module 105: Marketing Methods

    Sign Up for the Entire Series Here >

    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    Wednesday, April 17th
    9 am to 3 pm

    at the
    PGCAR Office



    RPAC Presents: Las Vegas Casino Night
    Coming Tuesday, May 7th

    PGCAR Las Vegas Casino Night Party and RPAC Fundraiser 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.


    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

    1. Click here
    2. Log in
    3. Pay and receive an itemized receipt for your
      2012 - 2013 PGCAR, MAR and NAR membership renewals.

    RENEW IMMEDIATELY at, or please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.


    2013 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo

    The REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo is where NAR members come together to take an active role in advancing the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. There will be a variety of meetings and events including: special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

    Meetings:   May 13 - 18
    Capitol Hill Visits:   May 15 - 16
    Trade Expo:   May 15 - 16

    Midyears are FREE, as always, to REALTOR® members.
    For more information, to plan your Midyear Schedule, and to register click here.

    1. 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 >
    2. 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 >
    3. $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 >
    4. 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 >
    5. 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 >
    6. 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 >
    7. 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


    Consumer Tip: NASA Approved!
    Air Cleansing Plants

    English ivy removes toxins You'll notice Consumer Tip often features house plants as useful solutions for sprucing up stagings -- often they are a cost effective and easy to customize fix for a plain interior. This week's edition on air cleaning plants might be especially useful if a recent paint job was part of your staging preparations. Our first plant on the list is so good at removing pollutants that NASA looked into using it to cleanse the air during space exploration!
    • Spider plant - It was in the early 80s that NASA first discovered the Spider plant could do a bang-up job sucking up pollutants. This plant has the added bonus of being fairly easy to take care of.
    • Snake plant - Spiders and snakes, oh my! Another easy to care for plant, this one has a special trick up its sleeve -- it produces oxygen and removes carbon dioxide at night, while other plants are dormant.
    • Chinese evergreen - Well known for thriving in low-light conditions, this plant also has a special talent: the higher the concentration of VOCs, the harder it works to remove them.
    • Rubber plant - With the possibility of growing up to 8-feet-tall, this a large addition to any home that will bear its weight and more -- it withstands cooler temperatures, pests, a little neglect, and low light, all while removing formaldehyde and an assortment of other airborn toxins.
    • English ivy - A popular vine, English ivy isn't just for adorning the walls of prestigious institutions -- it's also a great indoor plant to let sprawl across a tabletop, drape off a ledge, or to let climb an indoor trellis. It's also especially good at removing formaldehyde from the air.

    Visit for a slideshow of even more plants and details.


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

    All classes are held at PGCAR offices. There's plenty of parking.

    This Thursday, March 7
    Real Estate Tax Issues
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Linda de Marlor 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    This Friday, March 8
    Short Sales
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Pogach Michaels 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Next Thursday, March 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

    Wednesday, March 20
    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

    Thursday, March 21
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Bruce Winstead 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Friday, March 22
    How to Handle Settlements
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Michaels 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, March 27
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >



    Sale on All PGCAR Classes
    Special Pricing Extended Through June 2013

    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: Rates Again Moving Lower

    Results released last Thursday, February 28th, showed fixed-mortgage rates again moving lower after staying steady for weeks.

    Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said the lower rates will help drive the housing recovery into the spring home buying season.

    "Mortgage rates eased somewhat as the consumer price index in February held steady for the second month in a row. House price indicators, however, showed gains in 2012. The S&P/Case-Shiller® national home price index rose 7.3 percent last year, reflecting the largest four-quarter growth since the third quarter of 2006," Nothaft said. "This, in part, was a driving force that pushed up the number of existing and new home sales in February to the highest levels since July 2007 and July 2008, respectively."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending February 28th, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.51%, down from 3.56%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.76%, down from 2.77%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.61%, down from 2.64%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64%, down from 2.65%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >


    January Pending Home Sales Rise
    Up in All Regions

    According to NAR, pending home sales are on the rise and have remained above year-ago levels for the past 21 months. The Pending Home Sales Index, which is based on contract signings, was up to 105.9 in January, a 4.5% increase over December. The January index is its highest since April 2010 when it was 110.9, just prior to the home buyer tax credit deadline.

    Going into the spring home-buying season, NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, said inventory is key in this year's housing market. "Favorable affordability conditions and job growth have unleashed a pent-up demand. Most areas are drawing down housing inventory, which has shifted the supply/demand balance to sellers in much of the country. It's also why we're experiencing the strongest price growth in more than seven years."

    Read the article in its entirety >


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

    facebook logo Statistics for January 2013 are now available at >

    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 last year.

    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 February home sales statistics when released later this week, and other market news too!


    Sales Coach: Working Hard or Hardly Working?
    What is Social Media Doing For You?

    Home Sales Coach It seems everywhere you turn, social media services are being touted as powerful tools to boost your business. But having and using an account isn't enough... social media isn't a strategy in and of itself.

    A big part of the allure of social media is its intrinsic tendency to help you build relationships. In a business centered around people, it can be easy to delude yourself into thinking any success at building relationships is part of building business. But this simply isn't true. Just because someone likes, retweets, or shares your post, doesn't mean it is adding value to your business.

    Before you sign up for the latest and greatest social media network, think about how you will use it to actually increase business. You will need to form a basic plan for how and why you will use a social media service. Here are a few "truths" to keep in mind before you get started with the next new thing:
    • The essentials of relationships remain the same -- "There is no way to 'like' your way to trust." Building quality relationships takes the same thing it does in the real world -- steady and quality interaction over time.
    • Don't overthink it. Think about what information and assistance your clients want and deliver it. You don't have to make things overly complicated. Just be genuinely helpful.
    • Keep your information delivery short and sweet. People are overwhelmed with more and more communications coming at them from all angles every day. Are your posts contributing to the confusion, or helping them sort through the deluge?
    For more details on these concepts, visit >


    Case #4-1: Disclosure when Buying on Own Account

    Client A consulted REALTOR® B about the value of a lot zoned for commercial use, saying that he would soon be leaving town and would probably want to sell it. REALTOR® B suggested an independent appraisal, which was arranged, and which resulted in a valuation of $130,000. The property was listed with REALTOR® B at that price. Shortly thereafter, REALTOR® B received an offer of $122,000 which he submitted to Client A, who rejected it. After the passage of four months, during which no further offers were received, Client A asked REALTOR® B if he would be willing to buy the lot himself. REALTOR® B on his own behalf, made an offer of $118,000, which the client accepted. Months later Client A, on a return visit to the city, discovered that REALTOR® B had sold the lot for $125,000 only three weeks after he had purchased it for $118,000.

    Client A complained to the Board of REALTORS® charging that REALTOR® B had taken advantage of him; that he had sought REALTOR® B's professional guidance and had depended on it; that he could not understand REALTOR® B's inability to obtain an offer of more than $122,000 during a period of four months, in view of his obvious ability to obtain one at $125,000 only three weeks after he became the owner of the lot; that possibly REALTOR® B had the $125,000 offer at the time he bought the lot himself at $118,000.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® B introduced several letters from prospects that had been written while the property was listed with him, all expressing the opinion that the lot was overpriced. The buyer who purchased the lot for $125,000 appeared at the hearing as a witness and affirmed that he never met REALTOR® B or discussed the lot with him prior to the date of REALTOR® B's purchase of the lot from Client A. Questioning by members of the Hearing Panel established that REALTOR® B had made it clear that his offer of $118,000 in response to his client's proposal, was entirely on his own account.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 4, 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

    • 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, March 12

    MRIS 201: Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS
    9:30 am to 12:30 pm

    This class introduces the often overlooked tools and features available as an MRIS customer benefit that are designed to save you time and money.

    MATRIX 301: Success with Stats
    9:30 am to 12:30 pm

    Using and Matrix, find and gather statistical information you can use to understand and discuss the market with your clients to showcase your expertise.

    Visit 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, MRIS offers a diverse curriculum of product and skill-based training. These product videos are organized by Matrix and Keystone functions, to allow you to choose the individual items 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


    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 Sunday, March 31, 2013.

    Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
    8300 Corporate Drive, Suite 100  :  Landover, MD 20785
    Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2013 PGCAR

    Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive