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May 27, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Memorial Day
  • Education Day - Earn 6 CEU
  • Who Shall be Named Prince George's
        REALTOR® of the Year?
  • 2013 Housing Fair This Saturday
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
  • Oklahoma Tornado Relief: You Can Help!

    Homeownership Matters
  • New College Park Program Offers up to
        $5,000 in Home Buying Incentives
  • Buy Suitland Program Offers up to $40,000
        in Assistance!
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Be Prepared for Emergencies!
    The Industry Insider
  • REALTORS® Lobby Capitol Hill
  • 2013 Real Estate Legislation
  • PGCAR's New Grassroots Action Center
  • DC and MD CEU
  • Sale on All PGCAR Classes
  • Market Sen$e: Third Consecutive
        Week of Upward Trend
  • Apply for the Annual Leadership Academy
  • April Home Sales Stats and News Links
        - Large Settlement Gains Continue in April
  • Sales Coach: How You Can Help Welcome
        Home Our Soldiers
  • Code of Ethics: Case #11-6
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • Real Estate Sign Regulations
    The PGCAR Office office is closed today
    in observance of Memorial Day.
    We remember and honor those who protect our freedom.

    Have a Happy and Safe Memorial Day!
      Memorial Day Salute

    at La Fontaine Bleu
    Earn 6 CE hours for MD and DC Continuing Education
    • MREC Agency - Residential
      3.0 CE, MD Required "H" Hours
      Instructor: Fredericka Lloyd
    • Financing Issues
      3.0 CE, DC Required & MD Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst
    • DC Legislative Update
      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Prabhjit Singh
    • Risk Management
      3.0 CE, MD Elective hours
      Instructors: Don Martin
    • MD Code of Ethics
      3.0 CE, MD Required "D" & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Don Martin
    • DC Fair Housing
      3.0 CE, DC Required hours
      Instructor: Prabhjit Singh
    • Contracts
      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels
    • Current Mortgage Guidelines
      Made Easy

      3.0 CE, MD & DC Elective hours
      Instructor: Michael Chelst

    Terrific Courses & Instructors

    Choose One Morning and
    One Afternoon Class

    Breakfast, Lunch and
    Our Famous
    Ice Cream Social

    All for Only
    $75 Members
    $100 Non-Members


    Click here for a printable flyer.


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

    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 next 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 2013 Prince George's County Housing Fair will be held THIS Saturday, June 1 at the Sports and Learning Complex in Landover, next to FedEx Field.

    Invite your customers and prospective customers to visit with mortgage lenders & bankers, housing counselors, rental property management, home developers and more. Attendance is FREE, and they can attend workshops to learn how to avoid housing scams, prevent foreclosure, find affordable housing, and manage their money & credit.

    The names of the House Lottery winners will also 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.
    House Lottery applicants must be present to win!


    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


    Oklahoma Tornado Relief: You Can Help!

    Our hearts go out to the victims of the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. Now let's put our empathy in action by helping those victims. The Oklahoma Association of REALTORS® has compiled the following list of needed supplies in the wake of the tornado tragedy. Please help by donating as you can.

    Supplies requested:
    Water bottles
    Individually-wrapped snacks
    Hand sanitizer
    Baby formula
    Hand towels
    Work gloves
      Oklahoma Association of REALTORS

    Please ship items to:
    Lisa G. Noon, CEO
    Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®
    9807 North Broadway
    Oklahoma City, OK 73114-6312

    Also, contributions to the Oklahoma Housing Foundation, administered by the Oklahoma Association of REALTORS®, can be sent to the same address. We'll keep you up-to-date with information as it's available. Thank you for your generosity!


    Consumer Tip: Be Prepared for Emergencies!
    Springtime is also Storm Time

    This month's tragic tornado in Moore, Oklahoma, and recent storms closer to home are sobering reminders that we never know when or where disaster may strike. And if disaster strikes in your area, responders may not be able to get to you right away. Therefore, emergency preparedness is essential - perhaps even for survival. Assembling a home emergency kit can be a good weekend project for the family, and a starting point for discussing your family's plan in case emergency strikes.

    The following items are recommended by FEMA for basic home emergency kits
    (please share this list with clients):
    • Water - one gallon per person per day, with a minimum of three days' supply
    • Food - a minimum of three days' supply
    • Emergency Kit
    • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio or TV and NOAA weather radio with tone alert
    • Flashlight and extra batteries
    • First aid kit
    • Hygiene and sanitation supplies - e.g., toilet paper, moist towelettes, garbage bags, plastic ties
    • Whistle - to signal for help
    • Dust masks, plastic sheeting and duct tape
    • Wrench or pliers
    • Manual can opener
    • Local maps
    • Cell phone with chargers, inverter or solar charger
    • Cash

    Remember, too, that the kit needs to be checked and maintained - food and water, for instance, should be changed out every six months. For more information on emergency preparedness, visit



    Over 40 Maryland REALTORS® joined hundreds of their colleagues from across the country to urge Congress to continue support for key housing tax policies as well as a number of other important issues.

    Maryland REALTORS® asked the Maryland Congressional Delegation to continue to support:

    • Key tax policies like the Mortgage Interest Deduction, the deductibility of state and local property taxes, and the capital gains tax principal home exclusion,
    • A strong FHA program,
    • Continued support for a secondary mortgage market through government sponsored entities like Fannie Mae.

    Maryland REALTORS® also spoke to legislators about new Frank-Dodd rules on qualified mortgages, the USDA single-family rural development loans, continued appraisal problems, condo financing, and flood insurance.


    Below is a list of legislation followed by PGCAR and MAR and signed into law 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 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.


    Maryland Association of REALTORS®
    Bill Castelli, Vice President of Government Affairs - MAR

    On May 2, 2013, the Maryland General Assembly signed into law
    the following real estate legislation:


    HB 88 / SB 199 - Real Property - Refinance Mortgage - Priority over Junior Liens
    STATUS: PASSED - Effective October 1, 2013

    Authorizes homeowners to refinance a first mortgage without obtaining permission from the lender that funded a home equity loan or second mortgage. The bill applies to current mortgages as long as the refinancing occurs after the effective date.

    HB 235 - Property Tax - Valuation of Residential Real Property - Database
    STATUS: PASSED - October 1, 2013

    Requires the State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT) to maintain an accessible database on its website providing information related to a property's square footage, bathrooms, and the date of the initial assessment of new improvements.

    HB 263 / SB 144 - Property Tax Credit - Historically and Architecturally Valuable Property
    STATUS: PASSED - Effective June 1, 2013, applicable to tax years after June 30, 2013

    Authorizes local governments to increase from 10 to 25 percent the tax credit for the restoration or preservation of a historic or architecturally valuable property

    HB 695 - Homeowner's Insurance - Anti-Concurrent Causation Clause - Prohibited
    STATUS: PASSED - Effective for all policies issued, delivered or renewed on or after October 1, 2013

    Requires an insurer to provide a clear notice to a consumer regarding an anti-concurrent coverage (ACC) clause in policies. An ACC clause provides that if loss is caused by both covered and non-covered events, the loss claim will not be paid.


    HB 785 / SB 375 - Commercial Law - Maryland Credit Services Businesses Act - Scope
    STATUS: PASSED - Effective Date October 1, 2013

    Clarifies that licensed real estate associate brokers and salespersons are not required to obtain a credit services license in order to provide real estate brokerage services. Only real estate brokers had been exempted from the original law thus potentially exposing agents to regulation when assisting a home owner who is at risk of foreclosure.


    HB 706 - Natural Resources Forest Preservation Act of 2013
    STATUS: PASSED - Effective October 1, 2013

    Establishes a 40% goal for forest canopy in Maryland but does not mandate a compliance timetable. The bill also directs the Department of Natural Resources to create a forest resource inventory, and to provide technical assistance and guidance to local governments. The bill provides some limited exemptions from the act for activities related to stream restorations and projects in high growth areas with significant impervious surfaces.


    HB 1279 / SB 902 - Statewide Building Codes - Maryland Accessibility Code
    STATUS: PASSED - Effective October 1, 2013

    Gives tenants a private right of action against a building owner if the building does not meet accessibility requirements. The bill does not change a tenant's current right to sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act or Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Before initiating a law suit, a tenant must give a building owner 30 days to propose a compliance plan.


    HB 1209 / SB 436 - Recordation Taxes - Exemptions
    STATUS: PASSED - Effective July 1, 2013

    Revises legislation passed last year that imposed recordation taxes on Indemnity Deeds of Trust (IDOT's). Specifically, the bill increases the trigger for the recordation tax from $1 million to $3 million; clarifies that a series of loans falling below the trigger amounts can be aggregated to determine the trigger level; and clarifies that the refinancing of an IDOT is not taxable.

    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. There's plenty of parking.

    Next 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

    Monday, June 17
    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, June 26
    Up to 6 hours of MD and DC CEU
    various 8:00 am - 4:30 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: Third Consecutive Week of Upward Trend for Fixed Mortgage Rates

    Results released last Thursday, May 23, showed fixed mortgage rates continuing their upward trend for the third consecutive week. Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, Frank Nothaft, said that some of the refinance momentum may be slowed because the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has risen about a quarter-percentage point since three weeks ago.

    "Rates are nonetheless low and home-buyer affordability high, which should further aid home sales and construction in coming weeks," noted Nothaft. "For instance, in April, single family housing permits rose to the strongest pace since May 2008 while existing home sales for the same month grew the most since November 2009."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending May 23, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.59%, up from 3.51%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 2.77%, up from 2.69%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 2.63%, up from 2.62%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.55%, unchanged from last week.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >


    2013 - 2014 MAR Leadership Academy - Applications Due Thursday, August 1

    The Maryland Association of REALTORS® Leadership Academy offers an enriching opportunity for REALTORS® to strengthen leadership skills through a series of eight sessions. Applications for the upcoming October 10, 2013 through April 15, 2014 sessions are due Thursday, August 1, 2013. Applicants must be available for an interview on August 8 or August 20.

    Details and application >
    Leadership Academy brochure >


    Large Gains Continue in County Home Settlements
    April Statistics 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 co-ops, 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: How You Can Help Welcome Home Our Soldiers
    Going Beyond the Job to Strengthen Your Community

    Home Sales Coach It's one of those basic facts about life: we can't understand experiences we haven't lived. So those of us who haven't been in the military or had a family member in the service simply can't identify with the challenges of soldiers returning home. And even those who have - either directly or indirectly - may have had a different experience than other members of the military. Regardless of our experience, though, we can all help to ease the homecoming of our dedicated service members by seeking to understand and welcoming them home.

    Here are a few ideas to help:
    • Don't be intrusive - Listen. Provide the opportunity to talk, rather than asking questions that may be sensitive, like "Did you kill anyone?" A question like, "How was it for you?" allows them to decide what and how much they want to discuss. Let them feel safe in the conversation, so they can say what they need.
    • Hold space in the conversation - Don't try to direct or take over the conversation. Allow for silences, so they can think about and express what they want to say. It may be awkward to wait, but it also shows them you respect them.
    • Reach out to service members - Thank military members for their service, even if you don't know them. They deserve our thanks every day, so show your appreciation as you can.
    We are all grateful for the freedoms we enjoy. Let's not only thank members (and families) of the military for their dedication; let's do what we can to reassure them that we value their presence.

    For more information, click here.


    Case #11-6: Appraiser's Obligation to Consider All Factors of Value

    Client A owned a commercial property in the path of a proposed street construction project. He was approached by a representative of the city government to open negotiations for its purchase. Client A engaged REALTOR® B to make an appraisal of the property. When Client A received the appraisal report he felt that it was unrealistic and was reluctant to use it in negotiations with the city. He then engaged REALTOR® C to make another appraisal. REALTOR® C's appraisal resulted in a considerably higher value which seemed plausible to Client A, who used it in a satisfactory negotiation with the city, avoiding eminent domain procedures. Following completion of the transaction, Client A filed a complaint with the local Board of REALTORS® charging REALTOR® B with violating Article 11 of the Code of Ethics by not considering all factors affecting the value of property in his appraisal on behalf of Client A. The Grievance Committee reviewed the complaint and forwarded the matter to the professional Standards Committee for a hearing.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® B defended himself by stating that he was primarily a residential broker; that he knew comparable market values in the areas by virtue of his activities as a broker; that he considered comparable sales to be the only significant indicator of market value; that the cost approach and the income approach of determining value were academic if the appraiser could produce a valuation in line with the price that a given property would bring at the time in the market; that his valuation had been made accordingly, and that he was willing to stand by it. In reviewing REALTOR® C's appraisal, the Hearing Panel noted that he had considered Client A's property as an investment property, and had determined not only comparable market values as indicated by recent sales of similar property in similar locations, but also had fully taken into account the current reproduction cost of an investment property of similar nature; that he had capitalized the net investment return of Client A's property, and had arrived at his valuation by giving weight to all three of these basic methods of appraisal. The panel also noted that the appraisal had definitely been a factor in the city's agreement to purchase, although the city was empowered to use eminent domain action if it was judged that the owner's purchase price was excessive. Part of REALTOR® C's appraisal had commented upon relatively low current market values in the area because of adverse environmental circumstances, but balanced this with its analysis of the income return on the property to the investor.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 11, 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 >

    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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