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August 5, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Economic Update with Lawrence Yun
        - FREE Membership Breakfast Meeting
        Next Friday
  • 2014 Officer and Director Candidates
  • Short Sale Certification Class
        - This Friday
  • Last Chance: Earn Required DC CE
        - DC Licenses Expire August 31
  • Annual WCR Crab Feast - This Friday
  • Red Cross Blood Drive - Next Thursday
  • GRI 200 @ PGCAR!
  • Annual Charity Event - Save the Date
  • 2013 MAR Annual Conference
  • 2013 NAR Annual Conference

    Homeownership Matters
  • Video: PGCAR in the News!
        County Home Sales and Prices Moving Up
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Weeds, Weeds, Go Away!
    The Industry Insider
  • Contracts Alert: Required Form 1317 Update
  • Fight to Halt Homeownership
        Cost Increases
  • Alert: Testers are Checking Agency Disclosure
        - Are You Following MREC Rules?
  • 2014 PGCAR Dues - Now Online
  • MD and DC CEU
  • Sale!  Only $11 for 1.5 CEU; $18 for 3 CEU
  • Market Sen$e: Mortgage Rates
        Ever-So-Slightly Rise Again
  • Upward Trend in County Home Settlements
        Continues in July
  • Sales Coach: Do You Shine Online?
  • Code of Ethics: Case #16-17
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Training
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!

    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:

    The 2013 / 2014 Candidates*
    President: John Lesniewski, RE/MAX United Real Estate
    President-Elect: Desiree Callender, Desiree Callender & Associates
    Secretary: Chuck Ottley, SellState Dominion Realty
    Directors: 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
    * Voting opens on September 1 at

    Come hear noted expert Lawrence Yun discuss what's on the economic horizon and answer questions.


    PGCAR Offers New Maryland Short Sale Certification
    This Friday, August 9

    On July 1, the MARS Act became effective in Maryland, and ALL real estate licensees involved in short sales MUST COMPLY with the Act.

    How do you know if you're in compliance? How do you protect yourself and avoid penalties of up to $5,000 and/or imprisonment? (Yes, you read that right!)

    PGCAR is here to help! Our one-day program, The New Maryland Short Sale Certification, will give you the knowledge you need to successfully navigate short sales while staying compliant with the new regulations.

    Date: THIS Friday, August 9
    Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (8:30 a.m. registration)
    Where: La Fontaine Bleue, 7963 Annapolis Road, Lanham, MD 20706
    Instructor: Jill Pogach Michaels
    CEUs: 6 MD Elective CEU
    Investment: $295 by August 7; $325 after August 7


    DC Salesperson Licenses Expire August 31
    - Last Chance! Earn Your 9 CE in Required Topics in 2 Days

    Don't wait until August 31 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 Thursday, August 22 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Legislative Update Monday, August 26 9:30 am - 12:30 pm Register here >
    3 CE DC Fair Housing & Predatory Lending Monday, August 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!


    Prince Georges County Chapter
    Annual Crab Feast

    This 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.

    Give the Gift of Life!

    PGCAR is hosting a Red Cross Blood Drive®

    Next Thursday, August 15
    9 am to 3 pm

    at the PGCAR office



    GRI 200 @ PGCAR! - Starting Wednesday, September 4

    Presented by the Maryland Association of REALTORS® and
    Sponsored by the Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®

    PGCAR Association Office
    8:30 am - 4 pm each day

    GRI 200 Series Class Schedule
    Sign up for the entire, 5-day Series here >
    MD CEU - 27 Hours Total: 6 hrs Legislative Update and 21 hrs Elective CE
    Wednesday, September 4 Module 201 - Pricing Property & Appraisal
    Friday, September 6 Module 205 - Condominiums, Cooperatives & Buyer Brokerage
    Thursday, September 12 Module 203 - Interpersonal Skills & Personal Assistants
    Thursday, September 19 Module 202 - Contracts & Agency
    Wednesday, September 25 Module 204 - Advanced Financing & Real Estate Investments

    Just need a few make-up classes, or want to learn in-depth knowledge of specific topics?
    Sign up for individual classes by clicking class titles above.

    Hurry! Classes are limited to the first 40 registrants!



    Maryland Residential Property Disclosure and Disclaimer Statement

    The following form was revised in July, and available at Members Only and ZipForm. Please destroy all older versions of Form PG 1317 and begin using the updated form immediately. The July 2013 revision includes the new Maryland smoke detector requirements among other changes.

    Visit PGCAR Members Only to download the latest forms, and to sign up for ZipForm. ZipForm is a FREE benefit for PGCAR members!


    LEGISLATIVE ALERT - August 2, 2013
    Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

    Thank you to all who responded to the recent NAR Call for Action regarding the tax reform overhaul currently underway on Capitol Hill.

    Senators submitted their tax reform priorities on Friday, July 26; we hope to learn that the Call for Action was successful and that the mortgage interest deduction and other vital real estate provisions are retained in future versions of the reform.

    We will provide you updates on this important issue as they become available.

    Other important legislative issues being tracked:

    Testers are Checking!

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


    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

    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: Weeds, Weeds, Go Away!
    Tips to Keep the Weeds at Bay

    Weeds, Weeds, Go Away! Here's the secret to why Mary was so contrary: she took the time to plant lovely flowers, but weeds kept intruding! Weeds seem to be a natural, accepted (albeit unwelcome) aspect of gardening. If you garden, you must also weed your garden. There are ways, however, to help prevent unwanted greenery from taking root to begin with.

    Follow these tips to help ensure that your garden grows only what you've planted:
    • Never wake a sleeping weed seed.
      Weeds lie dormant beneath the soil and wake when exposed to sunlight, so avoid disturbing the soil too much.
    • Here comes the sun... NOT!
      To prevent weed-seed germination, block out the sun with organic or synthetic mulch.
    • When you see the first green, get mean.
      Treat with a pre-emergent herbicide when your daffodils sprout.
    • Go along with the crowd.
      By planting your seeds or starters closer together (you can plant at 2-feet-plus depth to compensate for proximity), you'll minimize the space where weeds can grow.
    For more information on these and other gardening tips, visit


    PGCAR 2014 DUES - Available Online Now

     Invoices for PGCAR 2014 Dues are available online at

    Dues payments are due October 1, 2013.
    A late fee of $50 will be charged after November 30.

    Thank you for being a part of PGCAR!
    PGCAR Dues $310
    MAR Dues $215
    NAR Dues $155
    Optional RPAC Contribution $35
    Optional Maclin Scholarship Fund Contribution $5


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

    DC Salespersons are required to meet their CE requirements and renew their licenses by August 31, 2013.

    Nine CEU hours in required subjects and six DC Elective CEU hours must be fulfilled; CE requirements are also listed in detail at

    All 3 required classes will be offered by PGCAR one last time pre-deadline on August 22 and 26.

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

    This 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

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

    Next 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

    Monday, August 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, August 28
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 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: Mortgage Rates Ever-So-Slightly Rise Again

    Last Thursday, August 1, results released by Freddie Mac displayed a slight gain after the previous two weeks' modest dips.

    The 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.39 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate was also up, at 3.43 percent.

    The Vice President and Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, Frank Nothaft, noted that anticipation of the Fed's monetary policy statement this week led to the increase in mortgage rates, although the released statement held no change in monetary policy.

    "With mortgage rates still relatively low, the housing recovery continues to support the overall economy. May's S&P/Case Shiller® 20-city composite index was up 12.2 percent from last May and represented the largest annual increase since March 2006," Nothaft stated. "In addition, pending home sales in June hovered near a six-and-a-half year high."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending August 1, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.39%, up from 4.31%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.43%, up from 3.39%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.18%, up from 3.16%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64%, down from 2.65%
    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!


    County Home Settlements Still on the Rise in July
    July home sales statistics are now available for Prince George's County!

    facebook logo In July, single-family home listings and settlements were both on the rise overall, with significant movement in the upper-level price ranges. Single-family listings were up 700% in the $600,000 - $699,999 range, or eight listings to 2012's one. Listings from $700,000 - $799,999 also jumped -- 600% -- with seven over last year's one. Settlements also rose, showing an 80.3% increase over last year in the $300,000 – 399,999 range (119 settlements to 66 in 2012), and 100% increases in the higher-cost brackets of $600,000 - $699,999, $700,000 - $799,999, $800,000 - $899,999, and $1,000,000 - $1,249,999.

    For condo and co-op listings, notable increases were seen in the ranges of $150,000 - $199,999 (30% higher this year) and $500,000 - $599,999. And settlements were up a remarkable 128.6% for the $150,000 - $199,999 range with 16 in July 2013, compared with 7 in July 2012.

    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
    Renters Thinking More about Owning a Home, Say Homeownership is a Top Priority
    Fed Fending Off Rate Rise?
    Survey: Rising Rates Getting Sellers Nervous


    Sales Coach
    Do You Shine Online? 9 Tips for Great Web Reviews!

    Home Sales Coach Homebuyers and sellers who are new to the real estate game often turn to friends and colleagues to recommend a trusted REALTOR® -- but the referral doesn't end there. In today's cyber-savvy world, many people go a step further to look at online ratings sites and social media to see what others say about the recommended REALTOR®.

    Here are 9 suggestions to help ensure your reviews are stellar:

    Following these 6 rules will help to ensure that you are above par as a negotiant:
    1. Don't Hide Your Hard Work.
      It's great to make a tough transaction seem... well, seamless! However, if your clients are unaware of all that you do for them, they're not likely to be appreciative of your efforts. It's perfectly fine to let them know of the challenges you conquered to reach their goals; just do it after the fact, so they can brag about you.
    2. Ask your fans to rave about you.
      When your clients tell you how happy they are with your services, ask them to go one step further and tell others, too. Direct them to ratings sites and explain that they can help you by being candid about their experience.
    3. Appreciation can be so tweet!
      Twitter and Facebook are great - and popular - resources for professional praise.
    4. Request a Yelp.
      Clients who are especially pleased with you may be willing to review you on LinkedIn or Yelp.
    5. Suggest a review site for honest accolades.
      There are several websites that ask for client ratings of REALTORS® -- sites such as and Send your happy clients an email or text with the Web address to make it easy for them to review you.
    6. Ask for a signed testimonial.
      You can write down the positive comments of your clients throughout the transaction, then at the closing, present the compilation to them and ask them to sign it if they agree - or write their own if they're willing.
    7. Look back for reviews.
      Past clients are a great resource, and a request for a review is a good excuse to get back in touch with them.
    8. Research and plan your approach.
      Look around at the real estate ratings sites and know which ones you want to send to clients. Set up an email template with websites and tips to make the process fast and easy.
    9. It doesn't hurt to ask!
      This is your livelihood, and if you want to increase your business, ask clients to refer/review you, then make it easy for them to do so.
    There's nothing wrong with asking for sincere praise from happy customers, and it's a great (low- or no-cost) way to generate new business!

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


    Case #16-17: Buyer Conditions Purchase Offer on Seller's
    Agreement to Pay Buyer Agent's Fee

    REALTOR® A filed a listed property with his local MLS offering to pay a fee for subagency services. REALTOR® B called REALTOR® A, identified himself as a buyer's agent, and asked if REALTOR® A would arrange a showing of the property to his client and himself. REALTOR® A agreed. The following day, REALTOR® B presented REALTOR® A with an offer to purchase that was contingent on the seller's agreement to pay REALTOR® B's commission. The seller accepted the offer and the sale closed shortly afterward.

    REALTOR® A then filed a complaint against REALTOR® B citing Article 16 of the Code of Ethics as interpreted by Standard of Practice 16-16. He stated that REALTOR® B had interfered in REALTOR® A's relationship with his seller-client by attempting to negotiate a separate commission agreement with the seller. REALTOR® B responded that since the request that the seller pay his commission was made by REALTOR® B's client, the buyer, directly of the seller and not of the listing broker, no violation of the Code of Ethics had occurred.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 16, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >


    Upcoming Dates & Courses

    Tuesday, August 13 @ 10:00 am
    MRIS 201: Maximize Your Productivity with MRIS

    Tuesday, August 13 @ 1:30 pm
    MATRIX 201: Customize Matrix to Fit Your Business

    MRIS reports that agents who take advantage of their FREE workshops, also tend to seldom receive complaints and fines for misuse of the MLS. Visit for details and registration. Advance registration with MRIS is required.


    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 >


    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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