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September 2, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • Labor Day Holiday - Today
  • Annual Installation of Officers & Directors
  • Vote Now for 2014 Officers and Directors
  • Red Cross Blood Drive - October 10
  • 2013 MAR Annual Conference - Next Week
  • Annual Charity Event - December 11
  • 2013 NAR Annual Conference

    Homeownership Matters
  • The Re-proposed QRM Rule
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Keep a Lid on it!
    The Industry Insider
  • County Rental Security Deposit Law
  • MREC Short Sale Guidelines
  • 2014 PGCAR Dues - Now Online
  • GRI, MD and DC CEU at PGCAR
  • Sale!  Only $11 for 1.5 CEU; $18 for 3 CEU
  • Market Sen$e: A Return to the Teeter-Totter
  • Upward Trend in County Home Settlements
        Continues in July
  • Sales Coach: Have a New Listing?
  • Changes in the Real Estate Market
  • Code of Ethics: Case #1-6
  • FCU: Benefits for Your Business
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!
    The PGCAR office is closed today September 2, in observance of the Labor Day holiday.
    Enjoy a happy and safe holiday!



    Re-Proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage Rule Gains Support of REALTORS®

    On Wednesday, August 28, a re-proposed Qualified Residential Mortgage rule was announced. The new version has met with approval from REALTORS® - a departure from the first QRM rule proposed in April 2011 that required a 20% downpayment. Proposed downpayment requirements range as high as 30%. The re-proposed QRM draft rule announced last Wednesday has eliminated that downpayment requirement and provides standards that will help to maintain home buying affordability as well as prevent unscrupulous lending.

    Click here to read NAR President Gary Thomas' statement on the new QRM rule.
    Click here for an August 29 Reuters article, "Proposed QRM Rule a Plus for U.S. Mortgage Lending."


    Mike Graziano, Director of Government Affairs

    County Rental Security Deposit Law
    Differs From State Law

    Prince George's County law differs significantly from Maryland law relative to security deposits on rental leases. Specifically, when intending to keep any portion of the security deposit, Prince George's County requires a 30-day notice by certified mail of "detailed statement of damages" versus the state's 45-day notice. Prince George's County also calls for 4% simple interest versus the state's 3% interest.

    Further details and a lease revision addendum will follow in the immediate future. At this point, if you have leases coming to the "end of term" in the next 30 days it is suggested that you provide, if applicable, any notice of the intention to keep any portion of the security deposit as allowed for unpaid rent, damage due to breach of lease, and/or damage to the dwelling unit to the tenant within 30 days (not the 45 days as stipulated under Maryland law). Additionally, please be certain to return any security deposit monies at the rate of 4% simple interest per annum within 45 days after the lease is terminated.

    For further information please feel free to contact Mike Graziano, PGCAR Director of Government Affairs at 301-306-7900 or



    The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation (DLLR) released specific guidelines concerning recent rulings concerning Short Sales. Most importantly, "Federal Regulation O and the Maryland MARS Act do NOT provide a specific exemption for real estate licenses."

    Log in to read the DLLR MREC guidelines here >

    Other important legislative issues being tracked:


    Review the slate of candidates and vote today!

    Check out the slate of candidates for PGCAR's 2013 - 2014 Board of Directors, then go to the PGCAR website at to vote online. Voting closes at midnight on Sunday, September 15.

    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
    (4 to be elected)
    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


    Give the gift of life at PGCAR's next Red Cross Blood Drive®!

    Thursday, October 10

    9 am to 3 pm
    at the PGCAR office


    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: Keep a Lid on it!
    How You Can Help Prolong the Life of Your Roof

    Prolong the life of your roof If you're like most people, your house is the single biggest investment you'll make. Did you know that proper maintenance is essential to prolonging the life of your roof (which helps to protect all of your investments under it)?

    Take the following actions to ensure a long life for your roof:
    • Clear out the gutters.
    • Keep the surface leaf- and debris-free.
    • Eliminate moss.
    • Cut branches that hang over or too near the roof.
    • Don't allow ice or snow to linger.
    • Inspect (using binoculars is fine) after storms, or if you've heard scurrying on the roof.

    If you find anything amiss, or if you need assistance to perform any of the items above, call a reputable roofing company for help. It's worth a little bit of money to protect your big investment!

    For more information on protecting your roof and everything under it, please 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

    Tuesday, September 10
    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, September 20
    3 MD Elective CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
    Rachel Jefferies 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Monday, September 23
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU; 3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Thursday, September 26
    Maximize Your Credit Score
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Derrick Smith 10:00 am - 11:30 am
    ABC's of Rentals
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Rayna McLendon 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Friday, September 27
    MREC Agency - Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 9:30 am - 12:30 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: A Return to the Teeter-Totter as Fixed Mortgage Rates Dip

    Results released by Freddie Mac last Thursday, August 29, indicated a dip in fixed mortgage rates as the market speculated about the Fed's bond purchase program.

    The 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.51 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate was also down, at 3.54 percent.

    "The Fed is monitoring the housing market closely after the run up in mortgage rates over the past few months," observed Frank Nothaft, Vice President and Chief Economist for Freddie Mac. "The 13.4 percent drop in new home sales in July led financial markets to speculate whether the Fed might delay reducing its bond purchases and allowed long-term bond yields and fixed mortgage rates to decline over the week."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending August 29, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.51%, down from 4.58%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.54%, down from 3.60%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.24%, up from 3.21%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64%, down from 2.67%.
    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 MAR Annual Conference & Trade Show
    Maryland REALTORS® are Bringing it Home NEXT WEEK!!


    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


    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 August home sales reports when released this week!

    A couple of articles about the national real estate market from
    Existing-Home Sales Spike in July
    July Pending Home Sales Below June's Spike; 6.7% Above July 2012
    Commercial Real Estate Markets Show Steady, Moderate Growth


    Sales Coach
    Have a New Listing? Take These 7 Steps to Shine!

    Home Sales Coach Most REALTORS® follow a routine after taking a new listing, and many of those routines prove to be very effective, but there are some actions that will really help a listing - and its REALTOR® -- to shine.

    The next time you take a new listing, try following the 7 steps below to
    stand apart from the crowd:
    1. Hand-write and mail a "thank you" note to your new clients.
    2. Have the forms you need organized - and verified - and properly completed.
    3. Write up multiple advertisements, and note the ones that are effective to continually refine your ad-writing skills.
    4. Take and post plenty of good pictures of the property, updating photos season by season if necessary (don't let the photos belie a long-term listing).
    5. Practice effective Internet management of listings: be sure they're available (and accurate) on the various non-MLS listings sites that today's Web-savvy customers go to. Remove the listing from those sites when it terminates, too.
    6. Give your clients a preview of the listing flyer and Web listing - they may have helpful input!
    7. Create a follow-up plan for the next 30, 60, or 90 days and be sure to update the client regularly about your marketing efforts.

    For more information on these 7 steps and how you can distinguish yourself with your listings, click here.


    Case #1-6: Fidelity to Client's Interest

    REALTOR® A managed an apartment building owned by Client B. In his capacity as property manager, REALTOR® A received a written offer to purchase the building from Buyer C. REALTOR® A responded that the building was not for sale. A few days later Buyer C met Client B and told him that he thought he had made an attractive offer through his agent, and indicated that he would be interested in knowing what price would interest Client B. Client B answered that he had received no offer through REALTOR® A and asked for the details.

    Client B then filed a complaint against REALTOR® A with the local Board of REALTORS® charging failure to represent and promote his interests. His complaint specified that while REALTOR® A had been engaged as a property manager, REALTOR® A had at no time told him not to submit any offers to buy. Furthermore, in the absence of any discussion on this point, Client B felt that REALTOR® A should have recognized a professional obligation to acquaint Client B with Buyer C's offer, which Client B stated in the complaint, was definitely attractive to him.

    REALTOR® A was notified of the complaint and directed to appear before a panel of the Board's Professional Standards Committee. In his defense, REALTOR® A stated that his only relationship with Client B was as a property manager under the terms of a management contract; that he had not been engaged as a broker; that at no time had the client ever indicated an interest in selling the building; and that in advising Buyer C that the property was not on the market, REALTOR® A felt that he was protecting his client against an attempt to take the Client's time in discussing a transaction, which REALTOR® A felt sure would not interest the Client.

    Based on your understanding of the Code of Ethics Article 1, what do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >


    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 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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