Print     Email a Friend

Back to REALTOR® Connection Archive

May 13, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • 2013 NAR Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo
  • David Maclin Scholarship Winners
  • Who Shall be Named Prince George's
        REALTOR® of the Year?
  • 2013 Housing Fair
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!
  • Red Cross Blood Drive

    Homeownership Matters
  • New College Park Program Offers up to
        $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives
  • Buy Suitland Program Offers up to $40,000
        in Assistance!
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Mary, Mary, Where do
        Your Tomatoes Grow?
    The Industry Insider
  • 2013 Real Estate Legislative Report
  • PGCAR's New Grassroots Action Center
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates Reverse Recent     Downward Trend
  • April Home Sales Stats and News Links
        - Large Settlement Gains Continue in April
  • Sales Coach: Don't Make the Mistake of
        Not Listening
  • Code of Ethics: Case #10-3
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Real Estate Sign Regulations
  • Good Neighbor Award Nominations
  • NAR Volunteers Wanted

    2013 NAR Midyear Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo
    Taking Place NOW Through Saturday in DC!

    Are YOU participating in the REALTORS® Midyear Meetings & Trade Expo? This is our chance to advance the real estate industry, public policy, and the association. Don't miss out on the special issues forums, committee meetings, legislative activities, and the industry trade show.

    Meetings:   Today, May 13 - Saturday, May 18
    Capitol Hill Visits:   Wednesday, May 15 - Thursday, May 16
    Trade Expo:   Wednesday, May 15 - Thursday, May 16, open 10 am to 6 pm

    Midyears are FREE, as always, to REALTOR® members.
    Click here to plan your Midyear Schedule, and to register.

    Carpool, drive or take Metro to the 2013 Midyear Meetings. The majority of meetings and the Trade Expo are at Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Road NW, Washington, DC 20008.

    Metro Directions: From New Carrollton, take the Orange Line (towards Vienna) to Metro Center. At Metro Center, transfer to the Red Line (towards Grosvenor / Shady Grove) and ride to the Woodley Park-Zoo Metro Station. The Marriott Wardman Park trade show location (2660 Woodley Road NW) is a 0.06 mile walk from the station.

    Congratulations to the 2013 Winners of the
    David Maclin Memorial Scholarship!
    Babila Doh 2013 David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Winner Amber Duncan 2013 David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Winner Travis Latchman 2013 David Maclin Memorial Scholarship Winner
    Babila Doh
    of Parkdale High School
    plans to attend
    George Mason University
    in Fairfax, VA
    Amber Duncan
    of Friendly High School
    plans to attend
    Delaware State University
    Travis Latchman of
    Charles H. Flowers High School
    plans to attend
    the University of Maryland,
    College Park

    We are grateful to all of you who participated and
    supported this fun and philanthropic event.

    Thanks to you, Babila, Amber, Travis, and future scholarship winners
    can reach for their dreams as they further their education.

    A most sincere THANK YOU also goes to our generous sponsors for the Fun Walk/Run:


    Who shall be named Prince George's

    It could be you, or someone you know who
    exemplifies leadership and service.

    But you first have to submit a nomination!
    1. Entries must be submitted on PGCAR's official form. MAR will disqualify anyone not using these same questions and format for responses.
    2. Nominees must sign the application to verify that it is accurate and complete.
    3. Nominees must be REALTOR® members who provide continuous, dedicated service to the industry to enhance the quality of the profession.
    4. Supporting information or documentation may be included as an attachment to the entry form.
    5. Pictures and supportive information are not encouraged.
    6. Entries that do not follow this format will be disqualified.
    7. ONE (1) COLOR PHOTO (any size) must be submitted in digital format, as a jpeg or .tif file, to with the subject line ROTY and your name.

    One ROTY application will be submitted by PGCAR to be entered in the MAR competition. The winner of the State Award will be sent to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) for consideration in the national award. Could we see a Prince George's REALTOR® honored in Ocean City or San Francisco this year?

    Award Nominations MUST be received by
    5 pm on Wednesday, June 5, 2013
    via email sent to or at the PGCAR office.



    Wayne K. Curry Sports and Learning Complex
    8001 Sheriff Road    Landover, MD 20785 (next to FedEx Field)

    The Prince George's County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
    will hold a house lottery for eligible applicants to purchase a home for below market value.
    A 5% down payment and closing costs assistance loan, as needed, will be provided.

    Only pre-qualified applicants will be entered in the Lottery.

    The names of the House Lottery winners will be drawn at the
    2013 Prince George's County Housing Fair on Saturday, June 1, 2013
    at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, MD.
    You must be present to win!

    TWO homes are being made available in this year's lottery.
    Both houses will be shown by appointment.

    House details and lottery applications are here >


    SentriLock Lockbox sale expires soon!  Get yours today!

    Pay only $65 each (plus tax) for up to 9 lockboxes; order larger numbers and enjoy even
    greater discounts! Power paddles are also discounted to $55 for a limited time. To take
    advantage of these great prices, please contact Shirley at the Association office.

    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    Thursday, June 13
    9 am to 3 pm

    at the
    PGCAR Office



    New College Park Program Offers up to $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives!

    College Park has launched a new promotional program called Live Smart to encourage home sales in the community. The ads tout College Park's affordability and convenient location and the program offers up to $5,000 in incentives to home buyers; additional information is available at


    Buy Suitland Program Offers up to $40,000 in Assistance!

    Buy Suitland Don't keep this a secret: share the Buy Suitland Flyer with clients. This exciting program offers the 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.

    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.

    Review the chart below to see who can qualify for this unique program:

    Qualifying Households May Earn Up to 120% of the Area Median Income (AMI)

    Prince George's County AMI 1 Person Household 2 Person Household 3 Person Household 4 Person Household 5 Person Household 6 Person Household 7 Person Household 8 Person Household
    50% $37,600 $42,950 $48,300 $53,650 $57,950 $62,250 $66,550 $70,850
    120% $90,150 $103,000 $115,900 $128,750 $139,050 $149,350 $159,650 $169,950

    For more information on the Buy Suitland program, visit – and don't forget to print the Buy Suitland Flyer to share with 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 toward 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: Mary, Mary, Where do Your Tomatoes Grow?
    Vegetables Need Not Be Relegated to Your Back Yard

    When we think of vegetable gardens, by and large, our thoughts take us around to the back of a house: the veggies' domain is in the back yard, right? tomato_plant

    Not so! Edible plants are now staking their claim in flower gardens, too. Sometimes, a back yard is too small, too dark, or too well-traveled to permit a full vegetable garden, so interspersing your vegetables (and/or fruits) with ornamental plants is an innovative way to grow your own delicious produce while perking up the landscape with surprise. Just think of the range of colors that vegetables will add to your flower beds! And an added benefit: pollinators like butterflies and bees love flowers, and attracting them nearer the vegetables helps to maintain the health of your plants.

    Two notes of caution: you must still be mindful of the soil, sun, and care conditions of your veggie plants - be sure to mix them with ornamentals that have similar needs. And do keep aesthetics in mind. If you're regulated by a home owners association - or even if you're not - be sure that what you plant looks attractive from the curb.

    For more on edible elements among your echeveria, read this article on >



    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 employees, 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 altogether 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.

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

    This 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

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

    Next Wednesday, May 22
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD 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

    Next Thursday, May 23
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Wednesday, June 5
    Successfully Selling Government Owned Properties
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Melanie Gamble 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Monday, June 10
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >


    Sale on All PGCAR Classes
    Hurry! Sale Ends June 28th!

    Sale Tag

    PGCAR Members and REALTORS® - Register NOW, Before Discounts Expire!

    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 Reverse Recent Downward Trend

    Last Thursday, May 9, results showed fixed-mortgage rates inching higher for the first time in six weeks. Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac Vice President and Chief Economist, noted that April's better-than-expected employment report helped to reverse the recent trend of declining mortgage rates.

    "The economy gained 165,000 new jobs on net last month, more than the market consensus forecast and the largest monthly increase this year," said Nothaft, "On top of that, revisions added 114,000 more jobs to February and March as well. All of these factors allowed the unemployment rate to fall to 7.5 percent in April, the lowest since December 2008."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 9, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.42%, up from 3.35%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.61%, up from 2.56%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.58%, up from 2.56%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.53%, down from 2.56%.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >


    Large Gains Continue in County Home Settlements
    April Statistics Now Available at >

    facebook logo April Home Sales -- on the move!

    Prince George's County single family contracts and settlements increased significantly from March to April: a 5.7% increase for single family contracts and 10.4% increase for single family settlements.

    For condos and coops, settlements stayed even with their strong March performance (when they increased 41.4% increase over February 2013, and nearly 60% over March 2012).

    From April 2012 to April 2013:

    • Single family settlements increased 2.3%
    • Condo/co-op settlements increased 26.0%
    Visit for more details. And don't forget to like PGCAR on Facebook to see monthly statistics first!

    Also see recent news articles on the fast-moving Prince George's County real estate market! And coverage on the national market:


    Sales Coach: Don't Make the Mistake of Not Listening

    Home Sales Coach Let's face it: we ALL have a lot going on, and there are a multitude of distractions around us: in addition to the noise inside our heads, there's the phone, the texts, the tweets, the construction cacophony in the street, the neighbor who keeps tapping his pencil... It can be maddening! But it's not as maddening as losing a client because you just didn't listen effectively.

    To help you become a pro at hearing what clients (and others) have to say, practice these tips:
    • Give all of your attention to your client.
    • Pay attention to the content, context, and subtext of the conversation.
    • Finish listening before you think about your response.
    • Listen actively - restate what you're hearing.
    It does take effort to listen well, but it's effort well spent. Your relationship with clients is key to your success, and listening - truly listening - is essential to your client relationships. And it may just delight your family and friends, too! Pay attention to the old quote, "We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak."

    Read this article for more information on effective listening skills.


    Case #10-3: Equal Professional Services by the REALTOR®

    REALTOR® A was contacted by Prospect C, a female head of household, concerning a home for sale which was advertised during the previous week in the newspaper's classified real estate section. When informed by REALTOR® A that the home in question had already been sold, Prospect C asked to be shown homes in the $80,000 to $90,000 price range with three bedrooms and located near schools and playgrounds. REALTOR® A proceeded to show Prospect C a number of homes which met her stated criteria for price range, size, and location, but Prospect C was interested in none of them.

    Shortly thereafter, Prospect C filed a complaint with the Board of REALTORS® against REALTOR® A, complaining that he had violated Article 10 of the Code of Ethics by failing to offer equal professional service to her because she was a woman. Prospect C contended that she did not receive the same professional service from REALTOR® A that would have been afforded to a male head of household and home seeker with the same criteria for price range, size, and location.

    The complaint was referred to the Grievance Committee and after its preliminary review and evaluation, the Grievance Committee referred to its Secretary and directed that a hearing be arranged before a Hearing Panel of the Professional Standards Committee. The Secretary made the necessary arrangements and provided the proper notices and opportunity for response by REALTOR® A.

    At the hearing, Prospect C expressed her complaint and concluded by saying, "It was obvious to me that REALTOR® A discriminated against me because I am a woman. In my opinion, he showed little interest in helping me find a home."

    REALTOR® A responded that he was sorry Prospect C had that opinion, but that certainly he held no such attitude as charged. REALTOR® A advised the Hearing Panel that he routinely utilized a contact report for each prospect which includes identification information on the clients, provides data on price range, type of house and location preferred by the prospect, and records the homes shown to the prospect with the information on the price, type, and location of each home shown. REALTOR® A presented several such reports from his files including the report pertaining to Prospect C. Prospect C's report showed that several homes shown to her met the data supplied by her.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 10, 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 >


    Good Neighbor Nominations Due NEXT Monday, May 20!
    Five Winners will Receive $10,000 Grants and National Publicity

    Time is running out to nominate your peers for the 2013 Good Neighbor Awards, which recognize REALTORS® whose extraordinary commitment to community service has helped make local communities better places to live.

    If a REALTOR® you know is making a difference in the community, show your support by nominating them today!

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


    WANTED: NAR Committee Volunteers
    Applications Due By Next Friday, May 24

    Be sure to nominate a worthy colleague - or yourself! - for a NAR committee in 2014. Login is required for nomination.

    NAR Committee Details and Nomination 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