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July 8, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Form Changes: Changes Already in Effect
  • Board of Directors Nominations Due Friday
  • 2013 MAR Annual Conference
        - Register by July 15 to Save
  • Certified Luxury Home Marketing
        Specialist® Training - Next Week!
  • Volunteer for a 2014 PGCAR Committee
  • Annual WCR Crab Feast
  • Earn Required CE Before DC License Expiration
  • Annual Charity Event - Save the Date

    Homeownership Matters
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: This Summer, Hit the Deck
    The Industry Insider
  • County Introduces Stormwater
        Management Plan and Fees
  • Alert: Testers are Checking Agency Disclosure
        - Are You Following MREC Rules?
  • MD and DC CEU
  • Sale!  Only $11 for 1.5 CEU; $18 for 3 CEU
  • Market Sen$e: Fixed Mortgage Rates Relax
        After Recent Rise
  • Apply for the Annual Leadership Academy
  • Upward Trend in County Home Settlements
        Continues in June
  • Sales Coach: Work and Family Life:
        Get the Balance Right
  • Code of Ethics: Case #14-2
  • 2013 NAR Annual Conference
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!

    Changes Already in Effect

    PG #1317: Residential Property Disclosure/Disclaimer Statement

    This updated form includes additional questions that are required by new legislation.

    As of July 1, 2013, all Property Disclosure and Disclaimer forms signed
    must include the additional questions of the revised form,
    PG #1317: Maryland Residential Disclosure / Disclaimer Statement, dated 7/2013.

    There are three areas where changes have been made:
    • On Page 2 under Property System, a category of "Other Type" was added to Sewage Disposal, for the newer-type septic systems that are for an entire designated area.
    • On Page 2, paragraph 8A was added, including the required questions regarding smoke alarms.
    • On Page 3, paragraph 16A was added, regarding renovations and obtaining proper permits.
    All three of these areas are in bold type on the revised form; to ensure that you are
    using the correct (revised) form, look for the date 7/2013 at bottom right of each page.

    Affects All Sales, Construction and Rentals

    New smoke alarm requirements for residential property in Maryland apply to contracts entered into as of July 1, 2013. The new requirements also affect current home construction, home renovation, and rental/landlord agreements. Additional changes, as noted in the detailed Legislative Alert (log in to Members Only), go into effect after January 1, 2018.

    Sale Requirements as of July 1, 2013:
    • Language added to the Seller disclosure form asking sellers to indicate whether the smoke alarms are over 10 years old and whether they have sealed, tamper resistant batteries.
    • This requirement applies to contracts entered into after July 1, 2013.
    Additional requirements for New Construction, Existing Properties and for Rental Properties
    are in the complete Legislative Alert and also effective July 1, 2013.


    The Prince George's County Association of REALTORS® is seeking self-nominations from individuals interested in serving as a member of the 2014 PGCAR Board of Directors. The PGCAR membership will elect a President-Elect and a Secretary to serve one-year terms in those positions, and four (4) individuals to serve two-year Director terms on the Board of Directors. All terms begin on October 1, 2013.

    Any individual wishing to run for
    President-Elect or Secretary

    • must be a REALTOR® member in good standing
      with PGCAR,
    • must have held membership in PGCAR for a minimum of two years, and
    • must have served two years as a Member of the Board of Directors during the last four years.

    Those running for a Director position

    • must be a REALTOR® member in good standing with PGCAR,
    • must have held Membership in PGCAR for a minimum of two years, and
    • must have served on a PGCAR Committee for one year during the last four years.

    Service on the Board of Directors requires a commitment to attend Board of Directors meetings (12 per year) as well as participating in other PGCAR activities.

    If you are interested in having your name considered by the Credentials Committee for inclusion on the ballot, please complete the online Candidate Form in Members Only.

    Nominations/applications must be received no later than
    5 p.m. THIS Friday, July 12th.
    Click here for the online Candidate Form >


    2013 MAR Annual Conference & Trade Show
    Early Bird Rate Ends NEXT Monday, July 15


    Member Early Bird Rate $195
    (Register by NEXT Monday, July 15)

    Rookies in the business for 4 years or fewer save an extra $50
    (For pre-registered, three-day registrants only)

    Join your fellow REALTORS® in Bringing it Home at the Maryland Association of REALTORS®
    Conference and Expo in Ocean City. Take part in a schedule packed with great
    events and networking opportunities including:

    Three Days of CE Classes    Exciting Trade Show    Sunday Golf Tournament
    National Speakers    Cocktail Parties    Industry Awards
    Recognition Banquet Installation


    Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist® Training
    Sponsored by the Women's Council of REALTORS®

    Next Wednesday and Thursday at PGCAR
    July 17 and 18, 8:30 am - 5:00 pm
    Lunch provided!
    Location: PGCAR Office
    CRS Credit: 16 elective units total

    This intensive two-day CLHMS training course sets the standard for luxury sales training in the industry, and is the first step in earning the coveted CLHMS designation.

    With an investment of just $550, you'll learn:
    • TWO secrets that will guarantee your success
    • The luxury market's myths vs. reality
    • The ONE thing you have to do to be a luxury home marketing expert
    • The luxury market segment: what you must know
    • Why the top of the market is still healthy
    • Facts about rich buyers and rich sellers

    For more information about this valuable training, click here >
    To reserve your place, click here >


    Volunteer for a PGCAR Committee!
    Sign Ups for 2013 - 2014 Committee Year are Due August 1

    PGCAR wants, and needs, your involvement in your local association. Through PGCAR's many committees, you can play a major part in the leadership of our association, as well as help organize and promote the positive contributions that PGCAR members make throughout Prince George's County communities. It is an opportunity to give back, broaden your experience, develop leadership and team building skills, and of course - meet and work with other PGCAR REALTOR® and Affiliate members!

    Click here to sign up now >
    Committee applications are due Thursday, August 1, 2013.


    Prince Georges County Chapter
    Annual Crab Feast

    Friday, August 9
    7:00 pm - 11:00 pm
    Knights of Columbus - College Park
    9450 Cherry Hill Road, College Park, MD 20740

    Join the Prince George's County Women's Council of REALTORS®
    for an all-you-can-eat crab feast!

    Enjoy Maryland crabs, corn on the cob, fried and baked chicken, hot dogs,
    potato salad, cole slaw, watermelon and dessert. . . and Music by D.J. Phil.

    Beer, soda, and a cash bar will also be available.

    Tickets: $54

    Any questions, contact Linda Simpson at or 240-353-5808.


    DC Salesperson Licenses Expire August 31
    - Earn Your 15 CE Hours at PGCAR

    Don't wait until August to meet CE hour requirements and renew licenses through the DC Real Estate Commission.

    15 total CE hours are required for license renewal.
    Easily complete all 9 CE hours in required topics at PGCAR:

    3 CE Financing Issues / Update Wednesday, July 24 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Legislative Update Friday, July 26 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending Friday, July 26 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Register here >

    Note that 6 CE hours in electives are also needed. Earn DC elective hours at PGCAR or online!


    LEGISLATIVE ALERT - June 18, 2013


    Re:   Recent Interpretation by the Maryland Real Estate Commission Regarding Agency Disclosure At The Open House Or When Showing Property

    The Maryland Real Estate Commission recently adopted a formal interpretation as to the obligation of a real estate licensee to complete and provide the required agency disclosure form at the time of the open house or when showing property by a buyer's agent where the seller or seller's agent is present at the time of the showing.

    An article regarding the interpretation has been prepared by Al Monshower and was previously emailed to agents; click here to view the article. From Mr. Monshower's experience, very few brokers, managers or licensees are even aware of this new interpretation from the Maryland Real Estate Commission.

    Please retain Mr. Monshower's article for future reference when holding open houses or showing property.


    Save the Date!

    PGCAR's Annual Charity Event will be held on December 11
    at La Fontaine Bleu.

    Donations per ticket are
    $30 before December 1;
    $35 per ticket starting December 1.

    For details or to register, go to >

    View photos from the December 12, 2012 Winter Wonderland event >

    1. College Park Live Smart Program
      Up to $5,000 in Homebuyer Incentives!
      College Park's program highlights affordability and convenient location to encourage home sales in the community, offering up to $5,000 in incentives to home buyers. 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 $3,500 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
      $40,000 Maximum in Downpayment & Closing Cost Savings!
      Up to 5% of home purchase price to first-time homebuyers or those who haven't owned within the last 3 years; 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 Initiative (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: This Summer, Hit the Deck

    Hit the Deck It's summertime, and the livin' is easy. With an abundance of beautiful weather, it's a perfect time to pass the day or evening out on your deck with a book, a cold beverage and a snack, or with family and friends. Before you get lost in the daze of relaxation, though, it may be a good idea to consult the following seven components of your deck to be sure it isn't a danger to you or your guests.

    Areas to check, and what to watch for:

    • Boards - softness, rot, or cracking
    • Hardware connections - protruding nails or screws, or rust/corrosion
    • Framework - sagging or lack of solid contact among joists, beams, and posts that form the main structure
    • Attachments - improper or weakened attachment to the house
    • Footings and foundation - sinking or sagging
    • Stairs - lack of or unsteady handrails, improper lighting for nighttime, or risers/treads/stringers in need of attention
    • Rails - loose posts or sections, pickets/balusters spaced beyond four inches.

    A well-made and maintained deck is a beauty to behold; care for it well, and you can enjoy it for years.

    For more information about these tips and how to care for your deck, visit


    LEGISLATIVE ALERT - June 24, 2013
    Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

    Following federal and state mandates, Prince George's County has introduced legislation to implement a stormwater management (SWM) plan which will include a fee on residential and commercial property owners. Council Bill 45 and Council Resolution 59 (The plan) were debated last month (June 20, 2013) before the County Council's Transportation, Housing, and Environment Committee.

    The County Department of Environmental Resources (DER) has determined that the fairest and most equitable process for applying the fee at the residential level is through zoning classification. The plan (as presented) calls for the following fees on residential property owners.

    Zoning Classification:
    Tier I Rate Payers (R-T, R-20, R-35, R-U)
    Tier II Rate Payers (R-55, R-S, R-80, R-R, R-M)
    Tier III Rate Payers (R-E, R-O-S, R-A, O-S, R-L)
    Proposed Fee:
    $33.12 Annually
    $41.48 Annually
    $62.38 Annually

    In the above example, Tier I would be a small "townhome" style lot; Tier II would be an averaged sized subdivision property; and Tier III would be rural or "estate" styled properties. Fees will be significantly more for commercial and industrial land owners. The stormwater remediation fee will be collected on the annual County property tax bill. There are provisions in the bill that allow credits for property owners who can demonstrate that they are mitigating rain water run-off. Those who can prove economic hardship may apply for an exemption.

    The SWM plan is rooted in mandates imposed by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) upon the state of Maryland (and other states) to make significant reductions in nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment discharges by 2025. The Prince George's County Council is now considering the DER proposal. The state mandate calls for implementation by July 1, 2013.

    Learn more here:


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

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

    Friday, July 12
    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

    Monday, July 15
    Commercial SBA Loan Programs
    3 MD Elective CEU
    John Throne 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Tuesday, July 16
    RPR® Basics
    Non-CEU Class
    Margaret Ireland 10:00 am - 12 noon
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Friday, July 19
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Monday, July 22
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 1:30 am - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, July 24
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU;
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Successfully Selling Government Owned Properties
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Melanie Gamble 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Thursday, July 25
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Friday, July 26
    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

    Wednesday, September 4
    GRI 200 Series - Full Series of 5 Classes Begins
    6 hrs Legislative Update and 21 hrs Elective CE
    various 8:30 am - 4:00 pm

    Complete CEU Schedule >


    Remember! Enjoy Savings on CEU at PGCAR!

    Maryland and DC real estate CEU is on sale at PGCAR PGCAR Members and REALTORS® - Enjoy steep discounts on ALL classes held 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: Fixed Mortgage Rates Relax After Recent Rise

    Results released by Freddie Mac last Wednesday, July 3, displayed a slight dip in fixed mortgage rates after last week's significant jump. The 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.29 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate was also down, at 3.39 percent.

    Frank Nothaft, Freddie Mac's Vice President and Chief Economist, said that the easing in mortgage rates accompanied calming market concerns over a projected decrease in the Federal Reserve's bond purchases.

    "Rates are still low by historical standards and should continue to aid in housing affordability and the ongoing recovery of the housing market," quoted Nothaft. "For instance, pending home sales rose 6.7% in May to the strongest pace in over six years. In addition, residential construction spending increased in four of the first five months this year."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending July 3, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.29%, down from 4.46%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.39%, down from 3.50%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.10%, up from 3.08%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.66%, same as last week.
    Freddie Mac's Weekly Primary Mortgage Market Survey >

    Like us on Facebook to see monthly Prince George's County home sales and weekly mortgage reports as soon as they are released!


    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 >


    Upward Trend in County Home Settlements Continues in June
    June Statistics Available at >

    facebook logo Now available: June's home sales statistics for Prince George's County!

    Prince George's County home settlements continued to rise in June, as homes in the $300,000 - $399,999 range increased 33.3%, with 88 settlements in June 2013 compared to June 2012's 66. Home settlements in the $500,000 - $599,999 range also jumped, with 9 this June, compared with 4 in June of 2012 - a 125% increase.

    Year-to-date (YTD) settlements rose 17.3% overall for condos and co-ops as of June 2013, with the $150,000 - $199,999 price range notably showing an 83.3% YTD increase.

    Visit for more details. And don't forget to like PGCAR on Facebook to see monthly statistics first!

    And coverage on the national market from
    Home Prices Post Biggest Jump in 7 Years
    Don't Let Credit Checks Derail Buyers


    Sales Coach
    Work and Family Life: Get the Balance Right

    Home Sales Coach Sometimes it can be a real challenge to juggle the responsibilities of home and office, as you well know. It's important to find the proper balance, though, to ensure long-term harmony between the two. Luckily, there are some effective ways to keep the family/work scales even.

    The following eight tips may help you to mitigate the strain:
    1. Family is priority #1.
      Always make time for your family.
    2. Maintain YOUR schedule.
      Real estate allows for flexible scheduling; if you're supposed to be at your son's basketball game at 6, keep the commitment. Clients will understand, and can work around your schedule (they're not skipping their kids' events, either).
    3. Planning makes perfect.
      Looking ahead at the day - or better yet, the week - to schedule time for both work and family commitments is a great way to include everything and stay motivated.
    4. Work OUT.
      Work is important, but so is your health: you need to get exercise, too. An added benefit is that exercise helps keep your energy and mood up, so you'll enjoy both work and home life more.
    5. Eat and supplement properly.
      It's easy to lose track and skip meals as real estate agents, and/or to resort to fast food when we get hungry. Eating healthy meals, though, and supplementing with multivitamins (with your physician's approval) will help keep your energy steady.
    6. Give the phone a break.
      It's okay - and even liberating - to be incommunicado from time to time. If you're eating with the family or at an important event for your kids, the calls can wait.
    7. Tag-team for time off.
      Agree to help cover calls and emergencies when a colleague is out, and they can do the same when you need time away. You both have peace of mind in knowing that business carries on in your absence.
    8. Don't forget #1!
      Remind yourself - daily - of the importance of time with your family. Don't let significant events go by without being there: your presence is precious to your spouse and children.
    We all can slip up from time to time and allow the scale to tip one way or the other, but it's never too late to recalibrate and ensure that both family and office are happy.

    For additional information on the home/work balance, click here.


    Case #14-2: Refusal to Submit Pertinent Facts

    When REALTOR® A was charged with a violation of the Code of Ethics, he was notified of the charge and directed to attend a hearing before a panel of the Professional Standards Committee of the Board.

    At the hearing, the complainant formally presented the charge and a considerable body of evidence to support it. Members of the panel questioned REALTOR® A on specific points. To each question he responded that he was not guilty of the charge, but that specific answers to the questions put to him could conceivably do him an injustice, and that he felt that he should not be required to answer questions in a situation that was unfair to him.

    Further attempts to question REALTOR® A met with similar responses.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 14, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >


    2013 NAR Annual Conference - November 8 - 11

    2013 NAR Annual Conference

    What's the secret to earning more money in real estate? Attending the 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo, Nov. 8-11 in San Francisco, CA. Attendees make two times the average real estate income, so you'll have the chance to network with some of the most successful pros in the industry!

    Register today to take advantage of hotel room rates starting at just $129 a night; hurry! These rates won't last long!

    For complete conference details, click here >


    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 >


    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.

    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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