Print     Email a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

April 29, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • David Maclin Scholarship 5K This Saturday!
  • Casino Night - Next Tuesday, May 7
  • Huge SentriLock Sale
  • MAR Commercial Real Estate Symposium
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
  • FREE MMP REALTOR® Workshop
  • 2013 NAR Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo

    Homeownership Matters
  • New Buy Suitland Flyer Available
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Sparkling Patios for your Staging
        Get Outdoor Spaces in Tip-Top Shape
  • April is Fair Housing Month!
    The Industry Insider
  • 2013 Real Estate Legislative Report
  • PGCAR's New Grassroots Action Center
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Market Sen$e: Rates Near or at Record Lows
  • March Home Sales Stats and News Links
  • Sales Coach: Managing Expectations
  • Code of Ethics: Case #8-2
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Real Estate Sign Regulations
  • MAR and NAR Volunteers Wanted
  • Good Neighbor Award Nominations
    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship 5K Run Walk Now THIS Saturday, May 4
    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

    We said "Rain or Shine" but instead had tornados, which did force the 5K to be rescheduled. But we're in luck. Come out and join us THIS Saturday morning -- the weather forecast looks great!!

    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 >

    Flyer & Printable Registration >

    Printable Sponsorship Contribution Form >     Runner Sponsor Form >

    Las Vegas Casino Night
    Casino Night is Next Tuesday!
    May 7, 6 - 10 pm at La Fontaine Bleu

    Join us for a fun spring-time party with table games, an open bar, music, dancing, food, prizes, and much more at our 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 next 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

    WHEN: Next 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)
    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.

    • Laura Neuman, County Executive, Anne Arundel County
    • 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)

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

    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    Thursday, June 13
    9 am to 3 pm

    at the
    PGCAR Office



    Maryland Mortgage Program REALTOR® Workshop
    Reservations Required by This Wednesday, May 1

    The Maryland Mortgage Program is hosting a REALTOR® Workshop next Wednesday, May 8 at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032. Registration starts at 8:30 am and training is from 9 am to 12 noon. A continental breakfast will be provided.

    Please RSVP by this Wednesday, May 1, to - just put REALTOR® WORKSHOP in the subject line and include your real estate license number. REALTORS® can get CE credits if they arrive by 9 am and stay for the full program.

    Share the flyer >


    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.


    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: Sparkling Patios for Your Staging
    Get Outdoor Spaces in Tip-Top Shape During Spring Selling Season

    patio cleaning At this time of year, buyers are going to be looking at the potential of a home for outdoor gatherings. Summer is just around the corner and it can pay off big time to have your patio in tip-top shape if you're selling.

    In order for these areas to look their best, they have to be clean! Unlike many other cleaning jobs, getting these outdoor areas sparking clean can be fun - so put on some other clothes and get out that pressure washer. Even if you don't own one, which you should consider, they can be rented for under $50 a day.

    The advantage of pressure washers, besides the super-soakeresque fun of using one, is that they are green. No harsh chemicals are necessary for these machines to do their job. And while it may be tempting, it's important to never point a pressure washer at a person - these are serious tools and the high-pressure jet of water could injure someone.

    Nevertheless, they are enjoyable to use and you may find yourself moving on to the sides of your house after you get those patio tiles spick-and-span.

    For more tips and suggested cleaning areas, check out this article on >


    April is Fair Housing Month!

    Fair Housing tips Fair Housing month is almost over, but its principals should be practiced all year long. 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 >



    Below is a status report of issues followed by PGCAR and MAR during the 2013 Maryland General Assembly. Representatives of PGCAR frequently traveled to Annapolis to lobby legislators and testify on a number of these issues.

    2013 Prince George's County Annapolis Delegation Issues
    Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs - PGCAR

    HB 634 - WSSC - Water Efficiency Tariffed On-Bill Financing Program
    STATUS: Failed in Committee

    This Bill would have authorized The WSSC to establish a loan program intended to fund a property owner's voluntary installation of water conservation systems. Under the proposal the WSSC would develop a loan program that would have been re-paid by the property owner through their quarterly water bills.

    PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR initially OPPOSED this effort. During debate on the bill the sponsor offered amendments that addressed our concern relative to notification to future property buyers. Following the addition of the amendment PGCAR withdrew opposition and took NO POSITION on the bill.

    HB 1285 - Public School Construction Fee and Fund - Authority to Establish and Administer
    STATUS: Failed in Committee

    This bill would have allowed the Prince George's County Council to establish and collect a tax dedicated to public school construction on certain business establishments.

    PGCAR ACTION - PGCAR initially OPPOSED the bill as it would have had a highly negative effect on small business. After negotiating an amendment to clearly specify that the tax would only apply to large business corporations of 500 or more employee's PGCAR withdrew opposition and took NO POSITION on the bill.

    HB 1073 - Financial Literacy Curriculum
    STATUS: PASSED, Effective July 1, 2013

    This bill authorizes the Board of Education to develop curriculum content for financial literacy education to be offered to all County school students enrolled in the eighth grade.

    PGCAR ACTION - SUPPORT. After the housing bubble REALTORS quickly realized that many consumers have poor financial literacy skills. As such REALTORS nationwide support these efforts.

    HB 1433 - School Facility Surcharge
    STATUS: PASSED, Effective October 1, 2013

    This bill lessens the school facility impact fee by 50% on residential multifamily development within an approved Transit District Overlay Zone (TDO), or within one mile of a Metro Station. It eliminates the fee all together for studio or efficiency apartments built within a TDO Zone.

    PGCAR ACTION - The Association SUPPORTS legislative concepts that incentivize development interest in Prince George's County.

    HB 1432 - Public Safety Surcharge
    STATUS: PASSED, Effective October 1, 2013

    This bill runs in concert with HB 1433 in that it lessens the Public Safety Surcharge applied to development at Metro Stations.


    SUMMARY OF 2013

    Maryland Association of REALTORS®
    Bill Castelli, Vice President of Government Affairs - MAR
    The 2013 Maryland General Assembly considered legislation
    impacting real estate in the following areas:

    Affordable Housing & Tax Issues : Real Estate Brokerage & Contracts
    Common Ownership Communities : Land-use, Property Rights, & the Environment
    Property Management : Commercial : Miscellaneous

    Click Here for a Complete Summary of
    2013 County and State Real Estate Legislation >


    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.

    Next Wednesday, May 8
    Understanding Credit Reports & How to Improve Your Credit
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Next Thursday, May 9
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Next Friday, May 10
    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

    Tuesday, May 14
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Bruce Winstead 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm

    Wednesday, May 15
    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

    Thursday, May 16
    Small Investor Financing for Commercial Property Buyers
    3 MD Elective CEU
    John Throne 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Wednesday, May 22
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 DC Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU;
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Thursday, May 23
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 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: Mortgage Rates Back Near All-Time Record Lows

    Results released last Thursday, April 25, showed fixed-mortgage rates again near all-time record lows.
    Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist Frank Nothaft said the housing market is getting a boost with mortgage rates hovering at or near record lows. For instance, existing home sales averaged an annualized pace of 4.94 million over the first three months of this year, the most since the fourth quarter of 2009.

    "More impressively, new home sales topped 424,000 during the first quarter, which was the strongest since the third quarter of 2008. The sales pickup is helping to support house-price gains," Nothaft said. "For instance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency reported that February marked the thirteenth consecutive month that it has recorded an annual rise in its U.S. house price index, which rose by 7.1 percent in the twelve months through February, the most since May 2006. Even with these gains, this U.S. index is still 13.6 percent below its peak set in April 2007."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending April 25, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.40%, down from 3.41%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.61% (a new all-time record low), down from 2.64%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.58% (a new all-time record low), down from 2.60%.
    • 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: Managing Expectations, Teaching Change

    Home Sales Coach Letting clients know what could be coming in a transaction can go a long way toward easing the bumps in the road that come along with any real estate deal. Follow the link at the bottom of this article, to read three examples of properly preparing clients to overcome some of the more common obstacles:
    • That the proverbial "buyer's remorse" is a natural phenomenon that usually passes
    • Short sales remorse for the seller
    • The tendancy for buyers to successfully negotiate down at both the offer and inspection stages
    By checking out these examples, you'll be better able to come up with your own creative, caring ways to put yourself in your clients' shoes. How can you better prepare your clients in advance? Write down the obstacles your clients have encountered most often, then ways you can prepare them in advance. In almost every situation, the proper preparation can greatly reduce stress - this is especially true in real estate, which often involves the largest financial transaction in a client's life.

    To read the real life examples, click here.


    Case #8-2: Request for Investigation Filed by Board with the State Real Estate Commission

    REALTOR® A listed Client B's residential property and sold it to Buyer C, who made a substantial deposit subject only to Buyer C's obtaining a mortgage on terms and conditions not exceeding a specified rate of interest within 60 days.

    REALTOR® A assisted Buyer C by introducing him to officials of a lending institution, and after processing of his application for a mortgage, a written mortgage commitment was made by the lending institution which met the terms and conditions of the sales agreement. However, shortly after the mortgage commitment was received by Buyer C, REALTOR® A received a certified, return receipt requested letter from Buyer C, advising that Buyer C had changed his mind and would not go through with the sale. REALTOR® A discussed the matter by phone, but Buyer C said he would rather forfeit his deposit and definitely would not complete the sale, even at the risk of the seller suing for specific performance.

    REALTOR® A then advised Client B of Buyer C's refusal to go through with the sale and Client B told A that he did not wish to sue Buyer C, but would just accept a portion of the forfeited deposit as specified in the listing agreement between Client B and REALTOR® A.

    REALTOR® A then obtained a written release from the sale from Client B and Buyer C, and promised to send Client B a check for the portion of the forfeited deposit due to Client B as specified in the listing agreement. However, REALTOR® A failed to send Client B a check and Client B filed a complaint with the Executive Officer of the Board alleging a violation of Article 8 of the Code of Ethics.

    At the hearing, Client B stated that he had no complaint about REALTOR® A's services to him except REALTOR® A's failure to provide Client B with the portion of the forfeited deposit due him, and that after several telephone calls and letters, REALTOR® A had told Client B that he would provide the forfeited monies due Client B "just as soon as he could." Client B said REALTOR® A told him he had some unexpected expenses and therefore Client B would have to wait until REALTOR® A obtained other funds which he expected to receive shortly.

    REALTOR® A admitted the facts as related and further admitted that he had not placed the deposit received from Buyer C into an escrow account, but had placed it in his general funds. He said that unexpected expenditures had caused a deficit balance in these funds, and he would pay Client B as soon as he could.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 8, 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
    MAR Applications Due By Next Monday, May 6

    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 Next 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 >


    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.
    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