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April 15, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • David Maclin Scholarship 5K This Saturday!
  • 21st Century County Event - Tomorrow, April 16
  • Next GRI 100 Series Class - Tomorrow
  • Red Cross Blood Drive - This Wednesday
  • RPAC Presents: Casino Night!
  • Huge SentriLock Sale
  • MAR Commercial Real Estate Symposium
  • 2013 NAR Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo
  • Good Neighbor Award Nominations

    Homeownership Matters
  • New Buy Suitland Flyer Available
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Staging for Spring and Summer
        Landscaping Projects with Great Bang for Buck
  • April is Fair Housing Month!
    The Industry Insider
  • PGCAR's New Grassroots Action Center
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Market Sen$e: Rates Down for Second Week
  • March Home Sales Stats and News Links
  • Sales Coach: Making the Right Impression
        How Quickly Clients Make Decisions
  • Code of Ethics: Case #7-1
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Real Estate Sign Regulations
  • MAR and NAR Volunteers Wanted
  • PGCAR 2013 Membership Reinstatement
    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K Run Walk THIS Saturday, April 20
    9 - 11:30 am 5K Fun Walk/Run
    8 - 8:45 am Registration & Packet Pickup
    Start / Finish Line: Marlboro Ridge Club House
    $30 per adult, $5 per child under 12

    The Office with most participation will be announced online and in REALTOR® Connection. Will YOUR office win bragging rights? Register Today >

    Every person that walks or runs with us, or contributes, helps local high school graduates
    pursue their dreams of higher education, and of making a difference.

    Commit to helping more students reach their dreams by joining us now!

    Register or Donate >     Become a Sponsor >

    Then, please post this flyer in your office lobby and share the event link from

    Better yet - print out some copies and ask to post them at the next five places you visit.

    Flyer & Printable Registration >

    Printable Sponsorship Contribution Form >     Runner Sponsor Form >

    21st Century County
    Coming Tomorrow, April 16 - Event is Free, RSVP Now!

    Make sure you and your office are signed up for our FREE "Creating a 21st Century County" event.

    This Tuesday, April 16
    9 am - 11 am
    The James R. Cousins Jr. Municipal Center Gold Room
    8600 Glenarden Parkway, Glenarden, MD 20706

    The keynote speaker is Howard Ways, AICP, Executive Director of the Prince George's County Redevelopment Authority. Breakfast will be served!

    You'll also learn about opportunities to market and sell NSP properties. You can download the Redevelopment Authority's RFQ for real estate broker services here >

    RFQ responses are due by 12 noon this Friday, April 19.

    The event is hosted by Housing Options & Planning Enterprises, Inc. (H.O.P.E.)
    and sponsored by PGCAR and Citibank®.

    Just click here to RSVP >


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

    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    This Wednesday, April 17
    9 am to 3 pm

    at the
    PGCAR Office


    Las Vegas Casino Night
    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.
      Register online >

    Share the flyer >


    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.

    MAR Commercial Real Estate Symposium

    Maryland Entertainment Expansion
    and Its Direct Impact on
    Economic Development

    3 Hours Continuing Education
    - Open to all Real Estate Practitioners

    (CEU pending, subject to MREC approval)

    WHEN: Friday, May 10
    9 am - 12:15 pm
    WHERE: Maryland LIVE! Casino
    7002 Arundel Mills Circle, #777
    Hanover, MD 21076 - Map
    COST: $35
    PROGRAM: 8 - 9 am
    Registration and Continental Breakfast

    9 - 10:30 am
    Panel Discussion
    (1.5 Hours Professional Enhancement CE, pending MREC approval)
    Our team of experts will discuss emerging trends of entertainment expansion in Maryland and their impact on the commercial real estate market.

    Dr. Anirban Basu, CEO of the Sage Policy Group will moderate the panel discussion. Dr. Basu will present his views on the topic.

    • David Cordish, Chairman, The Cordish Companies
    • J. Thomas Sadowski, President & CEO, Economic Alliance
      of Greater Baltimore
    • Principal from the Simon Property Group
    10:30 - 10:45 am

    10:45 am - 12:15 pm
    2013 Legislative Update - Impact on Commercial Real Estate
    (1.5 hours Legal & Legislative CE, pending MREC approval)

    William Castelli, Vice President, Government Affairs,
    Maryland Association of REALTORS®


    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.


    REALTOR® Magazine Seeks Good Neighbor Nominations
    Five Winners will Receive $10,000 Grants and National Publicity

    REALTOR® Magazine is seeking nominees for the 2013 Good Neighbor Awards. The program recognizes REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make their communities better places to live.

    If a REALTOR® you know is putting forth the effort to make a difference in the community, help their cause by nominating them today!

    Deadline for entry is Monday, May 20.
    Click here for more details. Click here for rules and an entry form.


    Share the New Buy Suitland Flyer

    Buy Suitland The Buy Suitland Program offers an exciting opportunity to purchase a home in the Suitland Neighborhood Stabilization target area, which includes parts of Suitland, Capital Heights, District Heights, Morningside and Temple Hills.

    This area is anchored by the Suitland Metro Station, the Suitland Federal Center, and the planned mixed-use Suitland Manor Redevelopment Project. Through the Buy Suitland Program, income eligible, credit worthy, first time home buyers can receive up to $40,000 in down payment and closing costs assistance to purchase a foreclosure or short sale property.

    Share information - including the latest eligible income guidelines - for this exciting program by visiting and passing out this revised flyer to clients.

    1. Maryland Homefront - Expires June 30, 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 All 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 > Revised Buy Suitland Flyer >
    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: Staging for Spring and Summer
    Landscaping Projects with Great Bang for Buck

    garden Here are a few simple landscaping projects with a good return on investment in terms of curb appeal gained for your dollar.
    1. Rigid Flower Bed Edging - Whether your flower bed contains gravel with container plants or rich black soil, it will look better with rigid edging delineating it from the lawn. A professional's trick is to use a charged garden hose to mark a steady, even curve. This is a fairly affordable update - steel edging is only about $1.25 per foot. Aluminum comes in at about $2.25. It only takes a day to edge the average yard.
    2. Create an Earth Berm - This is another tip straight from the professionals. If you have a small patch of front yard edged by a paved driveway, this one can be especially effective. Again use a charged hose and outline the berm, then add a few large undulating mounds of topsoil within the outline. After that, plant flowers and shrubbery on the mounds - creating as much groundcover as possible. This will create an especially eye-catching 3D garden. Taking care to create a pleasing shape is key, though any shape you make will be softened somewhat by the plantings.
    3. Build a Stone Wall for a Raised Bed - Stack river rocks or sandstone around your raised beds for a pastoral look that will instantly make your back yard a more relaxing place to be. All it takes is tamping out a level bed of sand to stack the rocks on. Try to choose stones of a consistent thickness - limestone, sandstone, or shale are recommended.
    4. Lay a Stone Path - For a surprisingly fast project that can change the whole look of your yard, install a flagstone path. In a day, you can lay down a meandering 3-foot-wide path that will add a charm to your property that is simultaneously refined and rustic. You could make a substantial path for $500 or less.
    5. Wall in Your Trees - Do you have an ornamental tree in your yard? A masonry surround can easily add a touch of drama to your yard and make it easier to mow around. The professional tip here is to tie a string around the tree and use it to mark out the circle that the masonry will be laid on. Simply tie a spade to the string and keeping the handle parallel to the tree, cut a circle around the tree as you keep the string taut. After building the wall with brick pavers, fill the circle with the tree-friendly material of your choice.

    Read more about executing these projects at >


    April is Fair Housing Month!

    Fair Housing tips Sign up for our MD Fair Housing class this Friday, April 19. Also, check out NAR's diversity program page for a range of related resources to use for your business.

    • How well do you know federal fair housing law? Test Your Fair Housing IQ >

    • Educate yourself, and your sellers about fair housing laws. Remember, you don't want to discriminate, but the law is about actions and not just good intentions. Discriminating in any way, even at the request of a seller, is illegal. If a seller wants you to discriminate, walk away from the transaction. Read more at NAR's Fair Housing program page >


    Check Out PGCAR's New Grassroots Action Center

    Take Action Button At the bottom left of, you'll now see a flashing "Take Action" button, which links directly to our new Grassroots Action Center.

    This page allows you to quickly and easily respond to PGCAR Calls-to-Action on vital legislative issues and learn more about legislative topics affecting Prince George's County REALTORS®. All you have to do is add your name and address to take action. The Convio system we are using does the rest. It knows your legislative districts and elected officials - allowing you to support and protect your business with ease at those critical moments when we need to make our voices heard.

    Click here for more details and to check out the page >


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

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

    Tomorrow, April 16
    GRI Module 104 - Basic Residential Financing
    6 Elective CEU, MD
    8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    This Thursday, April 18
    GRI Module 103 - Fair Housing & Cultural Issues; and
    MD Law Ethics, Flipping & Predatory Lending

    MD CEU - 6 Hours Total:
    3 Hrs Fair Housing and 3 Hrs Ethics CEU
      8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    This Friday, April 19
    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

    Next Monday, April 22
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Next Tuesday, April 23
    GRI Module 102 - Prospecting & Listing Techniques   8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Next Wednesday, April 24
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Next Thursday, April 25
    GRI 100 Series - Module 105: Marketing Methods
    4.5 Elective CEU, MD
    8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Next Friday, April 26
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU
    Michael Chelst 1:30 pm - 4:30 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: Mortgage Rates Down for Second Week

    Results released last Thursday, April 11, showed fixed-mortgage rates moving down for a second consecutive week.

    Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said rates fell further this week following a lackluster employment report for March.

    "The economy added just 88,000 net new jobs last month, about one-third as many as February and the fewest since June 2012," Nothaft said. "In addition, approximately 496,000 people left the workforce causing the unemployment rate to fall to 7.6 percent. Further, average hourly earnings were unchanged in March, indicating income growth remains tepid."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending April 11, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.43%, down from 3.54%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.65%, down from 2.74%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.62%, down from 2.65%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.62%, down from 2.63%.
    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 March 2013 are now available at >

    There were significant increases in Prince George's County single family contracts and settlements from February to March: a 17.9% increase for single family contracts and 19.9% increase for single family settlements.

    Also notable were substantial increases in new listings and contracts for higher priced homes in March 2013 as compared to March 2012. The $700,000 to $799,999 price range in particular saw an increase, with 8 new listings - compared to just 1 in March of last year.

    For condos and coops, settlements were strong in March with a 41.4% increase over February 2013, and a nearly 60% overall increase over March 2012.

    Sold dollar volume was again up by over 12 percent in March of this year compared to March 2012.

    The average number of days on the market was also significantly down again - dropping from 103 days to only 61 days when compared to the same period last year!

    Like us on facebook to be the first to see April home sales statistics and other market news!


    Sales Coach: How Quickly Do Potential Clients Make a Decision?

    Home Sales Coach Whether it's tone of voice, body language, clothes, or their handshake, you usually make your mind up about what you think of someone rather quickly. You might not end up being correct, but you form the opinions regardless. Potential clients are doing the same thing when they meet you, whether it's in person, on the phone, by email or your website. And you have about 15 seconds to prove that you're worthy of their business. Here are some tips on how to do it.

    In Person

    The words you speak are only a small part of communication. People form opinions about you by your body language, tone of voice, expressions and overall appearance. Whether you're at an open house, greeting a new customer, or working an event, here's how to make those encounters unforgettable:

    • Make sure your clothes and appearance are neat and the style suits the occasion.
    • Being enthusiastic and smiling lets everyone know you're happy to be there and excited to meet them.
    • Good posture, eye contact, and not fiddling with your clothes shows you are confident and self-assured.

    Via the Internet

    According to NAR, an estimated 80% of all buyers use the internet to find a home. And with all the options online, you have only a few seconds to get it right. To make sure your online presence is painting a positive picture, take these steps:

    • On a regular basis, ask friends and colleagues to look at your site and give you honest feedback. A customer survey can also produce some useful comments.
    • Respond promptly and enthusiastically to all email inquires. Before you hit send, however, make sure your e-mail looks polished by checking spelling and grammar.
    • Give online consumers what they want - easy access to information, privacy, anonymity and control. Without being pushy, let them know you are there when they are ready to advance from the information-gathering stage.

    By Telephone

    A phone call is often the first line of contact. Since the prospective client can't see you, you need to make a good impression by your voice alone:

    • A friendly tone goes a long way. Greet every caller with a smile - even though they can't see it, they can most certainly hear it.
    • Do not put them on hold while looking for information or answering other calls. If you can't answer their questions immediately, let them know that you'll get the information and get back to them as soon as possible.
    • Give them your undivided attention. Callers can tell when someone is actively engaged as opposed to checking email or doing other work while on the call.

    Don't leave the first impression up to chance. Although they are not always accurate, everyone makes them. After all, You never get a second chance to make a good first impression! So take charge and convince people that you're the REALTOR® for them!

    For more useful information, click here.


    Case #7-1: Acceptance of Compensation from Buyer and Seller

    Buyer A engaged REALTOR® B to locate a small commercial property. Buyer A explained his exact specifications indicating that he did not wish to compromise. They agreed that if REALTOR® B could locate such a property within Buyer A's price range, he - the buyer - would pay a finder's fee to REALTOR® B.

    Two weeks later, REALTOR® B called Buyer A to advise that Seller C had just listed a property with him that met all of Buyer A's specifications except that the listed price was a bit higher than Buyer A wanted to pay. Buyer A inspected the property and liked it, but said he would adhere to his original price range. REALTOR® B called Buyer A three days later to say that Seller C had agreed to sell at Buyer A's price. The sale was made and REALTOR® B collected a commission from Seller C and a finder's fee from Buyer A which was not disclosed to Seller C, REALTOR® B's client.

    Several weeks later, Seller C learned about the finder's fee that REALTOR® B had collected from Buyer A and filed a complaint with the Board of REALTOR® charging REALTOR® B with duplicity and unprofessional conduct. The complaint specified that when REALTOR® B had presented Buyer A's offer at less than the listed price, he, the seller, was reluctant to accept it, but REALTOR® B had convinced him that the offer was a fair one and not likely to be improved upon in the current market; and that REALTOR® B had dwelt at length on certain disadvantageous features of the property in an attempt to promote acceptance of the offer. The complaint charged that REALTOR® B had actually been the agent of the buyer while holding himself out as the agent of the seller. Further, Seller C asserted that REALTOR® B had never mentioned that he was representing the buyer or intended to be compensated by the buyer.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® B's defense was that he had served both buyer and seller faithfully; that he had not accepted Seller C's listing until after he had agreed to assist Buyer A in locating a property; and that in his judgment the listed price was excessive and the price actually paid was a fair price.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 7, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >


    REALTORS® Federal Credit Union
    Personal and Professional Lines of Credit

    Whether you're consolidating higher interest debt, investing in home or business improvements, spreading tuition or annual dues payments, or simply opening a line of credit "just in case", you can cover it with a REALTORS® Federal Credit Union line of credit or personal loan.

    Apply for personal or professional loans and find out more about great offers here >


    Sign Regulations and Other Great REALTOR® Resources
    Prince George's County Real Estate Sign Posting Regulations

    Need information? You might want to try looking in the links section of our REALTOR® Resources page. You'll find links to relevant news outlets, government associations, and frequently requested information like Do's and Don'ts for Unlicensed Assistants and Real Estate Sign Posting Regulations.

    REALTOR® Resources >


    WANTED: MAR and NAR Committee Volunteers

    Committee descriptions and a volunteer form are now online at All MAR members are encouraged to apply for 2, but no more than 3 preferred committee choices. Some committees have specific requirements; however, every attempt will be made to accommodate your request for at least one committee assignment. Committee selections are prioritized by qualifications and date received.

    Reminder: Current MAR committee members must re-apply for 2013 - 2014 MAR Committee Memberships.

    MAR Applications Due By Monday, May 6 >

    2014 NAR Committee Recommendations

    NAR committee recommendations are also open (login required).
    Nominations are due by Friday, May 24. Self nominations are encouraged.

    NAR Committee Details and Nomination Form >


    Membership Renewals Past Due

    Brokers and non-paid Agents - 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.

    Renew Online, or please call the office at 301-306-7900 to renew.

    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

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