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July 22, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Last Chance to Urge Senators:
        - Do NOT Increase Homeownership Costs!
  • Economic Update with Lawrence Yun
  • 2014 Officer and Director Candidates
  • 2014 PGCAR Committees
        - Volunteer by Next Thursday
  • Earn Required DC CE This Week
        - DC Licenses Expire August 31
  • Contracts Alert: Changes Already in Effect
  • Annual WCR Crab Feast
  • Red Cross Blood Drive
  • Annual Charity Event - Save the Date
  • 2013 MAR Annual Conference

    Homeownership Matters
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Burglar Beacons to Beware of
    The Industry Insider
  • PGCAR in the News!
        County Home Sales and Prices Moving Up
  • 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
        Enjoy a Dip
  • Apply for the Annual Leadership Academy
  • Upward Trend in County Home Settlements
        Continues in June
  • Sales Coach: Six Rules to Help You
        Become a Better Negotiator
  • Code of Ethics: Case #15-2
  • 2013 NAR Annual Conference
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!

    call for action

    Please Click This Link to contact our Senators regarding the current tax reform overhaul on Capitol Hill. The tax reform re-write is beginning with a "blank slate", which eliminates ALL current tax deductions and credits. Ending the current deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes, and other homeownership tax provisions, would adversely affect real estate ownership and investment -- and by extension, our communities and our livelihoods.

    July 26ththis Friday – is the deadline for Senators to submit their priorities for tax provisions that should be maintained, modified, or improved. To ensure that the unique legacy of homeownership and real estate investment is preserved, REALTORS® must speak up NOW.

    Contact your Senators today - Don't Be Silent and Let the Mortgage Interest and Property Tax Deductions End!


    PGCAR in the News!
    County Home Sales and Prices on the Upswing

    On Friday, July 12, PGCAR's President-Elect, John Lesniewski,
    was interviewed by Patricia Villone of CTV News about home sales
    in Prince George's County. Home prices are 16% above a year ago, and home sales are brisk - creating a favorable market for sellers.

    Click here to view the video >
    John Lesniewski


    Economic Update with Lawrence Yun at PGCAR's General Membership Meeting
    - Friday, August 16

    Please join PGCAR for breakfast at our upcoming General Membership Meeting; you'll have the privilege to hear noted expert Lawrence Yun discuss what's on the economic horizon.

    Date: Friday, August 16
    Time: 9:00 a.m.
    Place: La Fontaine Bleue, 7963 Annapolis Road, Lanham, MD
    Cost: FREE!
    RSVP: BY August 12! Click here to RSVP >
    Breakfast is provided!

    Lawrence Yun is Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of Research at the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. He directs research activity for the association and regularly provides commentary on real estate market trends for its 1 million REALTOR® members. Dr. Yun creates NAR's forecasts and participates in many economic forecasting panels, including Blue Chip and the Harvard University Industrial Economist Council. He appears regularly on financial news outlets, is a frequent speaker at real estate conferences throughout the United States, and has testified before Congress.

    USA Today in 2008 listed him among the top 10 economic forecasters in the country and INMAN News has named him among the 100 Most Influential Real Estate Leaders.

    ALSO, you'll have the opportunity to meet PGCAR's 2014 Officers and Directors candidates:

    President - John Lesniewski, RE/MAX United Real Estate
    President-Elect - Desiree Callender, Desiree Callender & Associates
    Secretary - Chuck Ottley, SellState Dominion Realty

    Patricia Dowtin, Long & Foster Real Estate
    Fredericka Lloyd, Lloyd & Associates
    Emerick Peace, Keller Williams Preferred Properties
    Veera Phillips, Keller Williams Preferred Properties
    Melvin Pitt, RE/MAX Specialists

    Please mark your calendar and take time from your busy schedule to participate in this important exchange of information and ideas.


    Volunteer for a PGCAR Committee!
    Sign Ups for 2013 - 2014 Committee Year are Due Next Thursday, 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 next Thursday, August 1.


    DC Salesperson Licenses Expire August 31
    - Earn Your 9 CE in Required Topics This Week

    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 This Wednesday, July 24 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Legislative Update This Friday, July 26 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending This 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!


    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.


    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.

    Crab Feast Tickets: $54
    Show up Early; Swim All Day: $5 extra

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


    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.

    Give the Gift of Life!

    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    Thursday, August 15
    9 am to 3 pm

    at the PGCAR office



    Save the Date!

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

    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: Burglar Beacons to Beware of
    10 Things That May Invite Thieves to Help Themselves!

    Hit the Deck As you survey your home, you're probably pretty proud of what you have; you've worked hard for your belongings. All of your valuables could be gone in a matter of minutes, though, should your house be burglarized. Did you know that homeowners can inadvertently encourage burglary? It's true, unfortunately - and those who do don't realize it until it's too late.

    The following are some little-known things burglars like to see:
    1. Ladders left handy.
      These can be used to reach second-floor windows, which are often not wired to a home security system and are more likely to be unlocked.
    2. Boxes from new "toys" left out with your trash.
      If you leave the box from your new flat-screen television on the curb, you may as well write "Welcome" on it as well.
    3. Untrimmed shrubs and trees.
      Extra foliage helps to obscure windows and doors, allowing burglars to break in unnoticed.
    4. Kick-in-able doors.
      Some exterior doors are easier to break through than others.
    5. Mirrors in the entryway.
      Mirrors in the foyer are common, but a shrewd peeper can use the reflection to see if the alarm system is armed.
    6. Signs of long-term absence.
      Papers gathering in the drive, uncut grass, and a stuffed mailbox are clear indications that you're out of town.
    7. Portable safes.
      Safes that are convenient for you to move are equally convenient for someone who wants to rob you of the safe's contents.
    8. Vacation bragging on social media.
      Real-time photos or comments about enjoying your daiquiri on the beach just advertise an empty house.
    9. Geo-tracking apps.
      Apps such as FourSquare and Glympse, which can track where you are, can also broadcast that you're away from home.
    10. Selling from home.
      Advertising big-ticket items for sale from your home invites bold thieves to steal right from you.

    Beware of these burglar beacons to help ensure that your belongings stay home. To learn more about these signals and how to resolve them, 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

    But Never Fear; Earn Your Required CEU This Week!

    Nine CEU hours in required subjects are required to renew your DC license -- they're highlighted in red below!
    Six DC Elective CEU hours are also required -- take the July 25 Code of Ethics and August 7 MD Legislative Update and you're done!

    This 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

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

    This 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

    Tuesday, August 6
    Maximize Your Credit Score
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Derrick Smith 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Wednesday, August 7
    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

    Friday, August 9
    Maryland Short Sale Certification
    6 MD Elective CEU
    Jill Pogach Michaels 9:00 am - 5:30 pm

    Monday, August 12
    3 MD Elective CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Wednesday, August 21
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CE
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Thursday, August 22
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 Hours DC Required Financing Issues / Update CEU;
    3 Hours MD Elective CE
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 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 >

    PGCAR Store


    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 Enjoy a Dip

    Results released by Freddie Mac last Thursday, July 18, indicated a refreshing dip in fixed mortgage rates, led by cooling market concerns over the Fed reducing bond purchases.

    The 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.37 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate was also down, at 3.41 percent.

    Frank Nothaft, Vice President and Chief Economist of Freddie Mac, noted that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke eased market concerns over bond purchase reductions when his comments after a July 10 speech suggested a highly accommodative monetary policy.

    "Indications of a slowing in the economic recovery also placed downward pressure on mortgage rates," said Nothaft. "Consumer sentiment fell to a three month low in July while retail sales in June grew by only 0.4 percent, which was half of the market consensus forecast. In addition, housing starts fell in June to the slowest pace since August 2012."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending July 18, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.37%, down from 4.51%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.41%, down from 3.53%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.17%, down from 3.26%.
    • 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 NEXT 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 NEXT 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
    June Existing-Home Sales Slip but Prices Continue to Roll at Double-Digit Rates
    NAR Survey of Generational Trends Shows Younger Buyers More Optimistic


    Sales Coach
    Six Rules to Help You Become a Better Negotiator

    Home Sales Coach Your ability to negotiate well can help you please clients and achieve a successful deal; further, it may position you in the real estate market as a go-to agent, simply because of your negotiation skills.

    Following these 6 rules will help to ensure that you are above par as a negotiant:
    1. Be sure your client is informed about the negotiating process.
      In an unfamiliar arena, knowledge of what will happen helps to calm the buyer or seller.
    2. Ready your client for the worst-case scenario.
      By preparing for the worst, there's likely to be less alarm if things don't go as hoped.
    3. Gather information and make a plan.
      Know the answers to questions that are important to negotiations and caution clients regarding what should or should not be said.
    4. Be respectful and earn respect.
      By keeping your word throughout the process and maintaining integrity, you'll distinguish yourself.
    5. Objectivity is important.
      Be sure that information that's shared is appropriate and factual.
    6. Write an offer that is likely to be accepted.
      An unrealistic pie-in-the-sky offer or one that isn't complete will only lead to multiple volleys - and frustration.
    When it comes to the deal, negotiations are everything. Honing negotiation skills will not only help ensure a favorable outcome: once you earn a reputation as an excellent negotiator, you may find your business increasing as well.

    For additional information on these rules of negotiation, click here.


    Case #15-2: Intentional Misrepresentation of a
    Competitor's Business Practice

    Following a round of golf early one morning, Homeowner A approached REALTOR® X. "We've outgrown our home and I want to list it with you," said Homeowner A. "I'm sorry," said REALTOR® X, "but I represent buyers exclusively." "Then how about REALTOR® Z?" asked Homeowner A, "I've heard good things about him." "I don't know if I would do that," said REALTOR® X, "while he does represent sellers, he doesn't cooperate with buyer brokers and, as a result, sellers don't get adequate market exposure for their properties."

    Later that day, Homeowner A repeated REALTOR® X's remarks to his wife who happened to be a close friend of REALTOR® Z's wife. Within hours, REALTOR® Z had been made aware of REALTOR® X's remarks to Homeowner A earlier in the day. REALTOR® Z filed a complaint against REALTOR® X charging him with making false and misleading statements. REALTOR® Z's complaint was considered by the Grievance Committee, which determined that an ethics hearing should be held.

    At the hearing REALTOR® Z stated, "I have no idea what REALTOR® X was thinking about when he made his comments to Homeowner A. I always cooperate with other REALTORS®." REALTOR® X replied, "That's not so. Last year you had a listing in the Multiple Listing Service and when I called to make an appointment to show the property to the buyer, you refused to agree to pay me." REALTOR® Z responded that he had made a formal offer of subagency through the MLS with respect to that property but had chosen not to offer compensation to buyer agents through the MLS. He noted, however, that the fact that he had not made a blanket offer of compensation to buyer agents should not be construed as a refusal to cooperate and that he had, in fact, cooperated with REALTOR® X in the sale of that very property.

    In response to REALTOR® Z's questions, REALTOR® X acknowledged that he had shown his buyer-client REALTOR® Z's listing and that the buyer had purchased the property. Moreover, REALTOR® X said, upon questioning by the panel members, he had no personal knowledge of any instance in which REALTOR® Z had refused to cooperate with any other broker but had simply assumed that REALTOR® Z's refusal to pay the compensation REALTOR® X had asked for was representative of a general practice on the part of REALTOR® Z.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 15, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >


    2013 MAR Annual Conference & Trade Show
    Maryland REALTORS® are Bringing it Home!


    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


    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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