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October 14, 2013

    I n   t h i s   i s s u e . . .
  • FREE Disclosures Webinar This Thursday
  • FREE Lunch and Learn Next Thursday
  • Crayons and Supplies Drive for
        Elementary School Children
  • PGCAR Red Cross Blood Drive
        Makes the News!
  • Annual Charity Event - December 11
  • 2013 NAR Annual Conference

    Homeownership Matters
  • New Law May Help Ease Refinancing
        Challenges for Homeowners
  • Homebuyer Incentives in Prince George's County
  • Consumer Tip: Preparedness Helps if
        Disaster Strikes
    The Industry Insider
  • New State Sales Contract
        - Download All 36 Updated Forms
  • Contract Forms Alert - New County Lease and
        Addendum Effective Immediately
  • MREC Short Sale Guidelines
  • What Does the Government Shutdown Mean
        for REALTORS®?
  • SentriLock Alert
  • 2014 PGCAR Dues
  • 30 Under 30 Application
  • Earn Your MD and DC CEU at PGCAR
  • Sale!  Only $11 for 1.5 CEU; $18 for 3 CEU
  • Market Sen$e: Minimal Movement
        in Fixed Mortgage Rates
  • August Continues Recent Trend:
        County Home Settlements Rise
  • Sales Coach: Beat Burnout
  • Code of Ethics: Case #4-3
  • Free Hands-On MRIS Training
  • Enjoy BIG Savings on Closing Costs!
  • SentriLock Lockbox Sale Expires Soon!

    Disclosures - with Chuck Kasky
    FREE MAR Webinar This Thursday, October 17

    Do you know how the seller's disclosure requirements differ from yours? What's the difference between a defect and a material fact? Want to know the truth about the Lead Paint Disclosure?

    Register here >


    FREE Lunch and Learn:
    REALTORS® Federal Credit Union Benefits

    Next Thursday, October 24
    11:30 am - 1 pm at PGCAR

    FREE for PGCAR Members.
    Just RSVP ~ So we can have lunch ready for you >

    Enjoy a FREE Lunch! And best of all, learn about the many benefits available to you through the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union. It's too good to be kept a secret! Come discover why people who switch to credit unions love them so much. The RFCU is even better, because it's designed especially for REALTORS®!

    RSVP today at
    We'll see you there!


    Crayons and Supplies for Elementary School Children

    Crayons and Supplies An elementary school class that participates in the annual poster contest, doesn't even have the money for crayons this year. Most of us can't imagine children without crayons. If they don't have crayons, what else don't they have?

    Please help a small bit, to impact at least this classroom in a BIG way! Please drop off new boxes of crayons at the PGCAR office, or donate at to buy crayons and other supplies for these precious children. They're our future!

    PGCAR Makes the News!
    Thanks to everyone who makes our blood drives a success. Prince George's Community Television visited the blood drive at PGCAR last Thursday, October 10. We're featured on their daily news! View the entire segment, or skip ahead to minute 4:40 of the October 10 video on their Facebook page.

    The next Red Cross Blood Drive at PGCAR is Thursday, December 19. Please join us in saving lives!


    That's right! 36 Maryland contract forms and addenda have now changed. The following 3 have significantly changed.

    See all of the updated forms at In addition to the substantial changes due to new regulations and laws, all MAR addendum are now fillable PDFs!

    See details and practice tips for the revised forms here, or linked from >

    Revised and New Contract Forms Already in Effect
    Forms are Online at Both and ZipForms

    Alvin C. Monshower, Jr., Association Counsel

    The current PGCAR Single Family Dwelling Lease (PGCAR Form 1105, Rev. 9/13) (the "PGCAR Lease") has been substantially revised from the October 2011 version. In particular, Section 3 of the current PGCAR Lease has been revised to specifically address the requirements of the Prince George's County Code with respect to rental security deposits.

    In consideration of the final revisions to the PGCAR Lease and its re-posting and dissemination, you should consider the following recommendations:
    1. Remove from your current inventory all prior versions of the PGCAR Lease, including such inventory as stored by hard copy or digitally.
    2. In the event you are a property manager or person leasing property which utilized the PGCAR Lease with the revision date of "10/2011", attached you will find an addendum which you are encouraged to have the tenant sign should your lease be expiring in the next thirty (30) days.
    3. If you are a REALTOR® member and are presently involved in negotiating a Residential Dwelling Lease, and if the property is located in Prince George's County, you should utilize the attached addendum to any current lease form which you use or which your company provides (other than the revised PGCAR Single Family Dwelling Lease revised 9/13).
    Should you have any questions or require additional clarification, please contact Mike Graziano, PGCAR Director of Government Affairs at 301-306-7900 or

    County Rental Security Deposit Law Differs From State Law

    PGCAR Form 1105 - Revised September 6, 2013
    Prince George's County Single Family Dwelling Lease

    PGCAR Form 1108 - Added September 6, 2013
    Addendum to the Prince George's County Single Family Dwelling Lease


    PGCAR's Annual Holiday Charity Event is Less Than 2 Months Away!

    Join PGCAR on Wednesday, December 11

    Help to make the holidays bright for Prince George's County families in need. Register for our Annual Holiday Charity Event, and your tax-deductible donation* will provide much-needed food for local families. At La Fontaine Bleue on December 11, you will enjoy fun, food, entertainment, networking, and dancing (what's not to love about that?).

    *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 >

    Food and coat donations are also gratefully welcomed until December 12
    - either at the PGCAR offices or at the event itself.

    Thank you for your generosity! This is truly the kind of giving that gives back!


    What Does the Government Shutdown Mean for REALTORS®?

    Until legislation providing for funding is signed into law, many federal government offices and programs will continue to be shutdown. This means many, but not all, government programs, including some that impact federal housing and mortgage programs, have been suspended or slowed due to the lapse in government funding.



    by Mark Feinroth, Esq.
    MAR Director of Regulatory Affairs

    The Maryland Real Estate Commission is expected (officially released July 22, 2013) to adopt new guidelines for real estate agents who assist clients with obtaining short sale approvals. When read together with guidance issued by the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation, the Real Estate Commission's statement will allow real estate licensees to communicate with a lender to assist a client awaiting a lender's approval of a short sale request.

    Prior to July 1, the Credit Services Business Act was the controlling statute for anyone engaged in the practice of negotiating a short sale on behalf of a seller. An exemption in the law allowed real estate agents and brokers to engage in short sale communications with a lender on behalf of a seller client, as long as the real estate licensee does not negotiate with the lender as the seller's representative.

    Beginning July 1, The Maryland MARS (Mortgage Assistance Relief Services) Act became the controlling authority for short sale negotiators. The Maryland MARS Act incorporates into Maryland law the Federal Trade Commission's Regulation O, which is now enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB). While there is no exemption in the MARS Act for real estate licensees, Federal and Maryland regulators have declared that they will not enforce the Act against agents and brokers who are "acting within the scope of their license." The Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation published guidance on the new law which states that he will rely on the Real Estate Commission's definition of permissible short sale assistance by a licensee.

    All of this means that most licensees may continue their practice of helping a client sell a home and obtain third party approval for a short sale. Under both the old and new law, a real estate agent is permitted to forward documents and information to the lender on a client's behalf in order to complete the short sale application process. The agent may also communicate with the lender concerning the value of the home and property to be sold. If the agent has the seller's authority to negotiate a deficiency agreement or other relocation benefits, the real esate agent may do so, but must first comply with the various MARS Act disclosure requirements. Real estate licenssees who negotiate with a lender on behalf of clients purusing a short sale approval are advised to consult the Commissioner of Financial Regulations "Guidance for Individuals Providing Short Sale Negotiation Services."

    In June, the Real Estate Commission considered a draft statement prepared by staff on short sale assistance that licensees are permitted to offer under the terms of a Maryland real estate license. Revisions were requested and a final approval of the statement was expected in July. Here is a link to that statement.

    In the meantime, licensees should take care to avoid entering into negotiations with a seller client's lender. Any real estate licensee who intends to perform those kinds of services should be prepared to comply with the disclosures mandated by the MARS Act. A future article in Maryland REALTOR® magazine and in REALTOR® Connection will detail the MARS Act disclosures.

    Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments at

    Reprinted from Mark Feinroth. "Commission Revising Short Sale Practice Guideline." Maryland REALTOR® August | September 2013: 30. Print.

    Other important legislative issues being tracked:


    New Law May Help Ease Refinancing Challenges for Homeowners

    A new Maryland law may help homeowners to refinance their mortgages despite having a second (or junior) lien. The Refinance Mortgage - Priority over Junior Liens Bill, signed into law by Governor O'Malley on May 2, went into effect on October 1, making it possible for homeowners to refinance first mortgages at a lower rate of interest without securing consent from a current mortgage lender with a subordinate lien.

    In refinancing a first mortgage, the real property's lien of record is released and the refinance mortgage lien becomes subordinate to other mortgages of record because recording order dictates priority. Usually, a refinance requires that a subordinate mortgagee will agree to remain in its subordinate lien position, but that negotiation can mean lost time, value, money, and opportunity.

    The new Act eases the burden of that agreement by providing that upon recordation, a qualifying refinance mortgage will bear priority equal to the mortgage or deed of trust that it replaces.

    To qualify, refinance mortgages must:
    • Secure the refinancing of the loan that was secured by the first mortgage or deed of trust;
    • Secure residential property in addition to refinancing a mortgage that secured residential property, as defined in the Act;
    • Refinance for the mortgagor the entire unpaid indebtedness secured by the first mortgage;
    • Not exceed the amount of the first mortgage's unpaid outstanding principal balance plus a maximum of $5,000 for closing costs.
    • Not exceed $150,000 in the principal amount secured.
    Source: Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

    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


    SentriLock Alert:
    Do You List Outside of Prince George's County?

    SentriLock We have received a complaint that a County REALTOR® listing outside of Prince George's County didn't have their SentriLock lockbox properly programmed, which caused a potential homebuyer and their agent to be denied entry to this listing.

    Don't let this happen to your listings. Please take the correct steps to assign a lockbox to another region or Association. Otherwise, agents in those specific regions will not be able to access the lockbox.
    1. Remove the shackle from the lockbox.
    2. Insert your SentriCard® into card reader.
    3. Type in password and click Login.
    4. Click Customize a Lockbox.
    5. From the Select Lockbox window, select the lockbox you want to assign to another Region/Association. Click the serial number of the lockbox.
    6. On the Customize a Lockbox window, you'll see a Region drop-down list. Click the drop-down list and select a Region/Association.
    7. Click Finish.
    8. The Card Utility will update your SentriCard®. When finished, remove your SentriCard® from the card reader.
    9. Insert your SentriCard® into the lockbox. The lockbox will make a series of beeps.
    10. Insert the shackle into the lockbox at the listing.
    NOTE: Do not insert the shackle until you place the lockbox on the listing. Releasing the shackle after customizing the lockbox could cause you to lose your settings. If you need assistance, contact SentriLock support at 877-736-8745 (SentriLock).


    Consumer Tip: Auntie Em! Auntie Em! What's Our Emergency Plan?
    Preparedness Helps if Disaster Strikes

    Preparedness Helps if Disaster Strikes We're in the thick of peak season for tornadoes (no great surprise, with last week's tornado watch still ringing in our ears). Are you and your family ready if disaster should strike? If you haven't already prepared for the possibility of a tornado, review the following tips; having a plan can help you ride out the storm a bit easier.
    1. Create a plan for communication and evacuation.
    2. Have an emergency preparedness kit at the ready.
    3. Have tools handy that can help you clear debris.
    4. Take an inventory of your possessions.
    5. Review your homeowner's policy to be certain you are properly insured.
    6. Keep contact information for all family members, your insurance agent, and the insurer's claims office.
    7. After evacuation, wait for word from authorities before returning home.
    8. Document damage with photos or video.
    9. Record any temporary repairs or expenses.
    It is admittedly not pleasant to think of a tornado hitting your home as a real possibility, but planning will help to ensure peace of mind now - and it could mean survival if disaster strikes.

    For more information on emergency preparedness, please visit

    2014 Dues Renewals
    Late Fees Begin December 1

    Don't wait until the last minute to pay this year's dues.
    Use our fast and secure Online Dues Payment!
    Paying online is easy, secure, and supplies you with a receipt.

    Renew Online as Easy as 1-2-3:

    1. Click here
    2. Log in
    3. Renew online and receive receipt !

    The due date passed October 1, 2013, but there's still time to pay without a penalty! A late fee of $50 will be added for dues payments not received by midnight November 30, 2013.

    Prince George's County Dues $310
    Maryland Association Dues $215
    National Association Dues $155
    Voluntary 2012 RPAC Contribution $  35
    Voluntary Scholarship Fund Contribution $   5

    Please note: If dues payments are not made online, they may not be reflected in your payment history in Members Only.

    Thank you for being a part of PGCAR, and to all who have already renewed!


    30 Under 30 Application Opens Tomorrow, October 15!

    Are you a rising star in the real estate industry, and younger than 30 as of May 31, 2014? If so, apply for NAR's 2014 30 Under 30 and be recognized internationally for your exceptional real estate skills! The application opens tomorrow Tuesday, October 15.

    30 Under 30 Web Site >      30 Under 30 FAQ and Contest Rules >

    Maryland boasts two REALTORs® in the 2013 class of 30 Under 30, and one in 2012.

    We'd love to see a member of PGCAR in the 2014 list of honorees!


    Earn All MD and DC Required CEU at PGCAR

    This Tuesday, October 15
    ABC's of Rentals
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Rayna McLendon 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    This Thursday, October 17
    MD Legislative Update
    3 MD Required Legislative Update CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 am
    MD Fair Housing
    1.5 MD Required Fair Housing CEU;
    1.5 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Next Monday, October 21
    Commercial SBA Loan Programs
    3 MD Elective CEU
    John Throne 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Next Wednesday, October 23
    MD Code of Ethics
    3 MD Required Ethics CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Don Martin 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
    Reverse Mortgages
    1.5 MD Elective CEU
    Eric Rittmeyer 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm

    Next Friday, October 25
    Financing Issues / Update
    3 DC Required CEU;
    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Monday, October 28
    MREC Agency-Residential
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Fredericka Lloyd 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

    Tuesday, October 29
    3 MD Elective CEU;
    3 DC Elective CEU
    Rachel Jefferies 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Wednesday, November 6
    Understanding Credit Reports
    & How to Improve Your Credit

    3 MD Elective CEU
    Michael Chelst 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

    Friday, November 8
    MREC Required Supervision
    3 MD Required or Elective CEU
    Larry Hudson 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: Minimal Movement in Fixed Mortgage Rates

    Freddie Mac released results last Thursday, October 10, reflecting very little movement in fixed mortgage rates.

    The 30-year fixed rate averaged 4.23 percent last week. The 15-year fixed rate was also ever-so-slightly up, at 3.31 percent.

    The Vice President and Chief Economist for Freddie Mac, Frank Nothaft, attributed the lack of movement in fixed mortgage rates to the federal debt impasse and a light week of economic data releases.

    "Of the few releases, the private sector added an estimated 166,000 jobs in September, which were fewer than the market consensus and followed a downward revision of 17,000 workers in August, according to the ADP Research Institute," Nothaft said. "The Institute for Supply Management reported a greater slowing in growth in the nonmanufacturing industry in September than the market consensus forecast."

    Freddie Mac reports the following averages for the week ending October 10, 2013:

    • The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 4.23%, up from 4.22%.
    • The 15-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.31%, up from 3.29%.
    • The 5-year Treasury-indexed hybrid ARM averaged 3.05%, up from 3.03%.
    • The 1-year Treasury-indexed ARM averaged 2.64%, up from 2.63%.
    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!



    facebook logo Prince George's County enjoyed a rise in all categories for single family homes ranging from $200,000 up to $599,999 this September over September of 2012. In particular, the $400,000-$499,999 price range was remarkable in all three categories, with a 60.5% increase in listings, 91.3% rise in contracts, and a whopping 150% increase in settlements - all in comparison with the same month last year. There was also a 1.4% increase in year-to-date settlements for this year over 2012.

    Condominiums and co-ops saw marked increases in settlements as well, with a 38.6% rise this September over the same month last year, and a 17.8% rise year-to-date.

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

    A few articles about the national real estate market from
    Gov't Shutdown Pushes Mortgage Rates Down
    NAHB Says Housing Will Strengthen in 2014
    Did You Know: Pent Up Demand Among Young Adults Could Boost Home Sales by 200,000


    2013 NAR Annual Conference - November 8 - 11

    2013 NAR Annual Conference YOU can Rise to New Heights at NAR's 2013 REALTORS® Conference & Expo! Join us at the conference to hear nationally recognized speakers, learn about the latest tools and emerging trends in the Real Estate industry, network, and just have fun!

    Friday, November 8 - Monday, November 11  |  San Francisco, CA

    Don't wait! Register and book your hotel as soon as possible for best selection. Tickets for NAR events, tours, and attractions are on sale now. To see all that awaits you at the REALTORS® Conference & Expo, click here >

    Start planning what you'd like to attend by viewing the Event Schedule.

    Register today >


    Sales Coach: Beat Burnout
    Tips to Renew Your Professional Energy

    Home Sales Coach The energy and motivation that drove you when you first started in the real estate profession may be waning, but don't give up just yet. The path to burnout isn't a one-way road; if you feel you're in a rut, take some steps now to put yourself back on the right track.

    Try following the tips below to reignite your professional fire.

    Watch for Clues

    How do you know if you're just having a bad day or really getting burned out? The Mayo Clinic suggests that the following are possible signs of burnout:
    • Increased cynicism and sarcasm at work.
    • Lack of energy and loss of productivity.
    • Lack of patience with coworkers or clients.
    • Low or no motivation to go to work or start once you're there.
    • A feeling of disillusionment regarding your job.
    • Little or no humor with yourself.
    If you find that the above signals are true of you, move on to the next step.

    Identify the Cause

    Think about your job and try to determine what caused your burnout. Are you feeling frustrated that your hours or workload seem out of control? Are you weary from putting out fires all the time? Are you simply realizing that this isn't the job for you? Once you find the cause, devise ways to help make a change.

    Adjust Your Attitude

    Let's be honest: the real estate profession isn't all sunshine and bonbons (then again, neither is any other profession!). There's a lot of hard work to be done in this business, and sometimes you may feel underappreciated. Take some time to reflect on your successes - big and small - and think about what you do that makes you feel proud or rewarded. Recapture the happiness you felt when you began by investing in the job again; ongoing education, for example, is a great way to keep your mind engaged.

    Celebrate Your Future Success

    Once you recall what you love about being in real estate, recommit to your profession and do something special to mark the occasion. Purchase a nice fixture or piece of artwork for your office, celebrate your success with friends and family, or get away for a bit to renew your enthusiasm.

    Once you recapture your motivation, you'll once again find yourself on the road to success.

    For more information on beating burnout, click here.


    Case #4-3: Disclosure of Family Interest

    REALTOR® A listed Client B's home and subsequently advised him to accept an offer from Buyer C at less than the listed price. Client B later filed a complaint against REALTOR® A with the Board stating that REALTOR® A had not disclosed that Buyer C was REALTOR® A's father-in-law; that REALTOR® A's strong urging had convinced Client B, the seller, to accept an offer below the listed price; and that REALTOR® A had acted more in the interests of the buyer than in the best interests of the seller.

    At the hearing, REALTOR® A defended his actions stating that Article 4 of the Code requires disclosure when the purchaser is a member of the REALTOR®'s immediate family, and that his father-in-law was not a member of REALTOR® A's immediate family. REALTOR® A also demonstrated that he had presented two other offers to Client B, both lower than Buyer C's offer, and stated that, in his opinion, the price paid by Buyer C had been the fair market price.

    What do you think the hearing panel concluded? Click here to find out >


    Upcoming Dates & Courses

    Next Tuesday, October 22 @ 10:00 am
    MRIS 101: Kick Off Your Career with MRIS

    Next Tuesday, October 22 @ 1:30 pm
    MATRIX 101: The Need-to-Knows of Matrix

    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.


    Enjoy BIG Savings on Closing Costs!
    One of Many Benefits of the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union

    Save on closing costs - and invest that money in your new home instead! How, you ask? Through the REALTORS® Federal Credit Union, with no origination fee and a rebate appraisal, provided that you close by December 31, 2013. For details on this limited-time offer, click here.

    Also check out the FCU's competitive rates on new / used auto, motorcycle, boat, and RV loans, among others!

    Not a member yet? Just visit and click on the "Membership" tab for complete details and the online application.


    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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